Areas of Focus
The Forest School
Forest School & After School
Ages 6 - 14
9am - 3pm
Thursdays in Underhill
Fridays in Richmond
Fall Semester: September - Dec
Spring Semester: March - June
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. Scholarships available.
We are now enrolling for Fall 2020!
9am: Gather together and 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: Community service- collecting wood, cutting wood, trail work.
10:15: Build a fire, make music, offer thanks, and share snack.
11:00: Community games.
11:15: Guilds: Project time, a period of focused creativity and mentor led projects.
12:30: Shared meal time, sometimes communally prepared around the fire.
12:45: 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.
Forest School includes a mentor-in-training program for ages 12-15. As a part of their time at the Forest School, these students will receive one on one mentorship helping them to create self designed projects to take the program to the next level. They will also be empowered to take on specific roles and responsibilities within the community based on their unique interests and skills, with the guidance of mentors. The Forest School is led by mentors John Hunt, Colin Bradley, Teddy Pietrzak, and Caitlin Horigan.
A Video Glimpse of Forest School
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.
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