Organizing Idea

Why have we chosen the metaphor of basecamp as the organizing idea for our Innovate for Impact vision?

Conceiving of UWC-USA as a global basecamp encourages us to: 

  • Set our sights on the global challenges of the 21st century–the mountains that rise around us;
  • Imagine new pathways by which we can engage more students, alumni, and other stakeholders;
  • Design learning expeditions that prepare students to take on the global challenges before us;
  • Transform our physical campus into an inspiring basecamp for mission–one that is hospitable for all trekkers we welcome and minimal in its ecological footprint.
  • Develop adaptable teams of skilled persons able to respond to the rapidly changing environments that we must negotiate–the experiences of our students, the field of education, and the global challenges we face;
  • Design our two-year program as a challenging experience that leads well-equipped students out on life-long treks of global leadership.

Finally, reimagining our “college” or “school” as a basecamp  leverages current strengths of our program, campus, and culture; it challenges us to embrace a radical (or root) understanding of what it means “to educate”; and it recaptures our movement’s founding spirit of adventure and outward-facing sense of mission. 


A private secondary school;
from Latin col + legare, meaning "to tie or assign together with"


An institution for educating children; from Greek skhole, meaning "leisure, philosophy,
or lecture place"


To give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to someone; from Latin educare,
meaning "to lead out"


A main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities; a camp from which mountaineering expeditions set out