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 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
Red Squirrel Clan
Ages: 6-11 years old
Schedule: Tuesdays, 10 weeks, September 26-December 12
(no meeting November 21 and 28)
Tuition: $550 Early Bird (before June 30), $600 after June 30
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. The application opens to all on June 10 at Noon.
You may find our general policies and most current COVID-19 information here. These reflect our current operations and apply to all upcoming programs.