The Forest School
Fall Semester: September 13 - December 15, 2023
Spring Semester: March 6 - June 6, 2024
9am - 3pm
Wednesdays & Thursdays in Underhill
Fridays in Richmond
Wild Woods Afterschool
We also offer afterschool programming:
3 - 5:30pm
Mondays & Thursdays
Read more and register separately on the Wild Woods page:
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 the pond and streams.
Forest School Full year tuition $1750
For New Students:
For Returning Students:
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.