Our exceptional professional educators and mentors are truly the foundation of this program. Each instructor brings a unique background and inspiration to our team, weaving a diverse and powerful container representing a wide variety of interests, skills and nature connection to share. Lead instructors plan thematic days and cumulative content experiences that focus on the specific location opportunities and group interests and abilities. With a loose flow and child centered learning rhythm there is room for teachable moments, surprising questions and completely amazing insights that we never could have planned. 

  • (Staff send parents an email with location, directions, what to bring and more)
  • Drop-off and games to get the wiggles out and build group cohesion.
  • OPENING CIRCLE – Share appreciations and set safety agreements, share our daily theme and options, introduce a skill or activity. Sometimes broken up with games. Water, snacks and bathroom breaks as needed.
  • EXPLORING might include tracking, foraging, mapping, treasure hunts, finding mysteries…endless possibilities. 
  • REFLECTION: Individual time to sit and write in a journal, play quietly, sit in meditation or walk silently. Group reflections might include sharing, problem solving or group stewardship projects such as clean-ups or plantings. 
  • SHARING FOOD: A time is set aside to sit and eat, drink water and be in community celebrating food and place.
  • EXPLORING – More time spent discovering the creek or other enticing discoveries.
  • CLOSING CIRCLE – includes sharing a personal “story of the day” or an appreciation…and whatever else needs to happen: Maybe a song or story or show and tell.
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Learning erupts organically as an intuitive interaction between adult, nature and child. This  is an approach of building relationships, moments of reflection and carefully guiding the learning process toward awareness, curiosity, practice and joyful play. We honor the natural learning rhythms that mimic the natural world and couple that with nurturing the multiple intelligences of youth in a holistic and playful fashion. There are five core values that we cycle through in our teaching process:

Core Values

  1. Sensory Awareness: Sensory stimulation in a natural setting along with challenges that hone sensitivity toward being more fully alive and present in the moment provides the skills to manage risks, to experience the world deeply, and to connect with the state of nature and being natural.
  2. Mindfulness: Opportunities to focus, practice mindfulness skills, and interacting with complex systems are all lifelong skills. Experience individual and group outcomes in the moment through hands on explorations, projects and positive adult role modeling.
  3. Risk:  Self-reliance and group interdependence are both integral to growth and confidence building. Challenging ourselves to try climbing a tree, hopping to a rock, or just taking off shoes to walk barefoot can be a risk. Trusting our intuition, trusting our group and leaders, and speaking from a place of self reliance gives us all strength.  Sharing in problem solving activities and contributing to stories provides a sense of belonging, confidence and competence as an individual, part of a community and in connection to the larger world.
  4. Stewardship: Participate in local conservation projects, from picking up trash, removing invasive species, designing low water gardens and planting acorns and other native seeds are all examples of meaningful ways children can contribute in real ways to their world. Individual writing, artwork and other forms of expression can also influence our community, and children find empowerment and a voice for change by practicing and being heard. 
  5. Play: Just plain fun, joyful exuberant goofiness and all-out roll around in the mud or crashing into the water is what it all really comes down to. Nature connection is not a metaphor. It is literal, and a perfect learning and growing experience. Creating space, time and opportunities, guiding positive play skills while allowing for child led problem solving and conflict resolution. Allowing for curiosity, creativity and imagination without interruption or interference. Opportunities for independent play and also learning to contribute to group play.