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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.


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

program details - Fall 2024

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

Red Squirrel Clan

Ages:           6-11 years old
Schedule:    Tuesdays, 10 weeks, late September to mid December

                      (exact dates TBD)
Hours:          9:00am-2:30pm

Tuition:         $600
                     each additional sibling discounted $25

*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 Forest School participants are invited to apply first via email, followed by people on the waitlist. If you are interested in this program, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.


You may find our general program policies and information here.

These reflect our current operations and apply to all upcoming programs.

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