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Help Me Find a Hogwarts for Unschoolers

I’m on a property hunt, and I need your help.

Three months ago I received a call from a California unschooling family whose kids I’ve taken on a few programs. The family wanted to purchase an investment property—but not some second home that sits idly all year. They were looking for a property that could be used to run big overnight programs for the nationwide (and worldwide) teen unschooling and homeschooling communities. They asked me to help find the property and design and run the programs.

I said yes.

The idea of having a long-term overnight program for unschoolers—a sort of Yankee Summerhill or Hogwarts for Unschoolers—is exciting. My head is spinning with program ideas, both long-term and short-term. But first we have to find the property.

The family and I have looked at a lot of properties, both online and offline, and haven’t yet found one that meets our specific criteria. So now I’m asking you to help me find this property.

If you’re aware of a property on (or off) the market that meets the following criteria, please drop me a line.

The Criteria

  • In the United States
  • List price: $400,000-$800,000
  • 10-50 acres
  • Capacity for 30-50 long-term overnight participants. (Long-term means: not packed like sardines. Ask yourself, would you or your kids want to live there with other people for up to 3 months?)
  • Has both residential facilities (cabins, bunks, rooms, etc.) and activity facilities (common areas, lodge, etc.)
  • Commercial kitchen
  • 3-sesason operability & accessibility: capable of operating from March through November.
  • Little or no snowfall
  • Within reasonable driving distance (1-3 hours) of a major airport
  • Few neighbors
  • Zoning friendly to temporary structures (e.g. camping tents, yurts, trailers)
  • Previous use as a “camp”, “retreat center”, “conference center”, “boarding school”, or other designation that would allow “grandfathering” / continuous use of permits

Finding a property that meets all these criteria is unlikely, we realize. Some elements are open to negotiation.

Thanks for your help, and please tell your friends.

Photo credit: Blake Club