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forest school

Forest school is a space of learning and play where nature connection can grow throughout the year. There is a general rhythm to our days together, allowing us to become comfortable with the flow of the life we create in the forest. However, the rhythm simply serves as our baseline structure — within it kids are free, and encouraged, to follow their own instincts and ideas. This program is not a formal education modality translated to the outdoors; rather, we offer plenty of projects, primitive-focused crafts and skills, sensory awareness activities, imaginative games, and ways to learn about the world around us, all as a means of helping the kids find what sparks their passion. It is entirely possible that a plan we arrived with could evolve into something very different, and that is completely acceptable! As mentors, we seek to aid in the children’s natural curiosities and exploration. In this way, they learn to recognize what inspires them and to let that inspiration guide their engagement with the land.

 

The format of forest school is intended to be complementary to the traditional school week, and also provides an an ideal opportunity for homeschoolers to connect with peers in a natural setting.

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Areas of concentration may include the following, and more

Traditional skills such as shelter building, carving and basic woodworking techniques,

using stone tools, cordage making, basket weaving, wildcrafting,

various methods of fire building, cooking over fire, earthen oven creation


Environmental awareness and naturalist skills: understanding seasonal rhythms

and changes, knowledge of local wildlife, plant identification, practice of leave no trace


Other creative pursuits: storytelling, arts and crafts, imaginative play,

live action role play, singing, drumming and other co-creative musical cacophonies


A variety of physical activity: hiking, running, sledding, snowshoeing,

swinging, jumping, nature obstacle runs, climbing trees, etc.


Free exploration, play and constructive goofing off!


Solo time in the woods: contemplation and observation in a personal sit spot,

journaling, quiet time focusing on a craft or project


Constructive community engagement: respectful communication, problem solving

and conflict resolution skills, social equity, group collaboration


Development and practice of positive values such as trust in oneself,

respect for each other and for nature, love of the Earth, sustainability, stewardship


Cultivating a reverence for the natural world

through our daily ritual, stories, observation and sharing of ideas

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program details - Spring 2023

Children wishing to participate should be adaptable to and accepting of a group of diverse ages, genders, skill sets and abilities. Once you apply, we will review your application and determine whether your child will be a good fit for the program.

 

Location:   private land in Ripton

 

Monday Group  -- FULL, apply below for the waitlist   

Ages:           6-11 years old
Schedule:    8 weeks, April 10-June 5

              (no meeting April 24)
Hours:          9:00am-2:30pm

Tuition:         $440 Early Bird (before December 31), $465 after Dec 31

                     each additional sibling discounted $20

Thursday Group    -- SPACE AVAILABLE 

Ages:           12-15 years old
Schedule:    8 weeks, April 13-June 8

              (no meeting April 27)
Hours:          9:00am-3:00pm

Tuition:        $440 Early Bird (before Dec 31), $465 after Dec 31

                     each additional sibling discounted $20

Usually, sessions run from early March to late May and last for 10 weeks. The schedule will return to this format in Fall of 2023.

*At this time, we have exhausted our available funds for financial assistance. We can begin offering assistance again if and when we receive further donations toward scholarships.

Continuing participants are invited to apply first. Then, the application for any remaining spaces and/or the waitlist will open on December 3.

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You may find our general policies and most current COVID-19 information here. These reflect our current operations and apply to all upcoming programs.

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