Areas of Focus

Saturday Forest School Teen Naturalist Program

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Animal of the day

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Stone Soup

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The 3rd Saturday of the month, September- May | 9am-3pm | Ages 12-18

With ReTribe mentors Julia and John, teens will spend the day

in our forest village learning and connecting.

 

The program will run one Saturday per month

and will include an overnight in September and May.

Cost $750

Scholarships available

Activities will include:

  • naturalist and earth living skills

  • ecology, hand crafts

  • team building

  • small group sharing circles

  • discussions on world topics

  • creative writing

  • music

  • cooking over the fire

  • theater 

  • games

  • hiking and exploring

  • swimming

  • tracking

  • mindfulness practices

 

We also have openings for Mentors in Training for Wed-Fri Forest School programs, Fall 2022 for younger children. Mentors in training will learn mentorship skills by supporting the younger children through their day with guidance from staff.

Contact Julia Hunt with interest.

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Daily Rhythm

  • 9am: Gather together, share nature observations from our previous week and explore the "nature museum" (unique nature items and crafts brought by mentors usually centered around a certain theme).

  • 9:30: Enter into the woods solo or in small groups with a nature question to ponder.

  • 9:45: Service - preparing the fire, collecting and cutting wood, trail work.

  • 10:30: Light a fire, make music, offer thanks, and share snack.

  • 11:15: Community games.

  • 11:45: Guilds: Project time, a period of focused creativity and mentor led projects.

  • 12:45: Shared meal time, sometimes communally prepared around the fire.

  • 1:15: Free, active, energy-exuding, and/or creative play.

  • 1:45: Contemplation time in a special sit spot, journaling, solo exploration.

  • 2:15: Clean up our camp, share highlights from the day. Mentor story telling. 

  • 2:45: Walk out to meet families.

     

I asked my daughter, "What are you thankful for?"

 

She responded:

"I'm thankful that Forest School was created. I'm thankful that it is a safe place. It's my home."

I was awestruck with each phrase that she spoke but when she said "it's my home," she didn't mean it feels like home. It was that she found her place in the world. It was really profound.

Areas of Focus​

  • Traditional living skills: shelter and fort building, carving and wood crafts, lashing, cordage making, wild edibles/medicinals, cooking, fire by friction and one match fires, ancient hunting techniques.

  • Daily ritual, seasonal ceremonies, reverence for the natural world.

  • Naturalist skills and knowledge: seasonal rhythms and attunement to seasonal changes, plant and tree identification, tracking, animal taxonomy, bird language, geology, geography, history.

  • Community building: leadership skills, problem solving, communication and conflict resolution skills.

  • Modeling and practicing community values: trust and respect for others and nature, ability to trust oneself, love of nature, social equity, sustainability.

  • Creativity: song and rhythm, art, craft, imagination, drama, role play.

  • Teen-driven outdoor play.

  • Outdoor physical recreation: hiking, climbing, snowshoeing, running, jumping, river play.

 

We will hold community workdays and seasonal festivals for parents and friends in the fall and spring, and an overnight campout to end our year. 

 

 For a glimpse of life at the Forest School...

There is an abundance of evidence that nature immersion provides essential components for physical, cognitive, and social well being, as well as the environmental benefits that can ensue when we feel connected to place and internalize the ethics of environmental stewardship.