The Forest School
Areas of Focus
Forest School & After School
Ages 6 - 13
9am - 3pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in Underhill
Fridays in Richmond
See below for information on our
Teen Program (ages 12-17) on Wednesdays in Underhill.
(Every 3rd Saturday- Fall 2021-Spring 2022)
Fall Semester: September - Dec
Spring Semester: March - June
(We also offer Winter Forest School days during the
After School 3 - 5:30pm Thursdays in Underhill
Spend the day in the woods, engaged with community, land, and the seasons. Participate in activities such as nature study, wild play, team building, problem solving, earth connection, traditional living skills, and intrapersonal reflection.
Forest School complements the traditional school week by offering a nature-centered, spirited agenda guided by the interests and curiosity of participants. Also ideal for homeschoolers, offering a chance to connect deeply with peers, themselves, and the natural world.
Forest School is held in the beautiful woods of Underhill and Richmond where we enjoy the rolling hills and forests as well as the swamps and streams.
Full year tuition $1400. Spring tuition $800. Scholarships available.
We have a waitlist for Spring 2021 Wed - Friday.
There are openings in Thursdays, Afterschool
Saturday Forest School Teen Program
Registration is now open for Fall 2021-Spring 2022
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 a month
and will include an overnight in September and May.
Activities will include:
naturalist and earth living skills
ecology, hand crafts
small group sharing circles
discussions on world topics
cooking over the fire
hiking and exploring
We also have openings for Mentors in Training for Wed-Fri Forest School programs, Fall 2021 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.
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?"
"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.
A Video Glimpse of Forest School
I know that she is bringing home beautiful songs and stories. She is bringing home information about how fires are started and names of animals and she tells us that she laughs ALOT with Teddy
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.
Child-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.