Miraculously Muddy March Break Day Camps
$40 per day
Join us for three separate dates filled with learning, growing, exploring, and frolicking outdoor fun. Can you spot our resident bald eagle? Will you find a hidden burrow in the forest? Which animal made those tracks? Cook a snack over our campfire and build a fort at base camp. Hike through the woods, climbing over logs and learn about local plants. We can't wait to explore the wilderness with your wild one. Come prepared for the weather and bring water bottles and lunch/snacks. Early drop-off or pick-up is available (please enquire).
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
Thursday, March 19
Fridays in the Forest
9:00 - 12:00
$150 per session
9:00 - 3:00
$240 per session
Calling all kids to run like the wind in beautiful Essex County, the site of Natural Pathways Forest and Nature School, where we will fill our days hunting for the treasures of the woods, building forts, tracking animals, telling stories, and so much more. Are you an explorer? We've been waiting for you to help us discover the wonders of our site! Are you a cartographer, a local historian, a budding naturalist? We need your help to chart our paths, uncover the stories the land holds, and unlock the secrets of the rocks and trees and the creatures who live among them.
March 6 - April 10, 2020
Forest Family Explorers
$100 per session
With a unique focus each week, our small group of parents and children will explore the forest using all our senses and incorporating music, movement, yoga, traditional woodland crafts, storytelling and more. This program is specially designed to introduce small children and their care givers to the beauty of the forest. Together we will build coordination and confidence, creativity and resilience by walking trails, scrambling up rocks and balancing on logs. Through our explorations we will use our 'deer ears' and our 'owl eyes', finding evidence of forest creatures. We will build our forest community sharing stories, snacks, affection and wonder in the beautiful forests in our community.
Spring 2020 TBA
Drop-In Family Programs
$10 per family
We invite all parents and caregivers with young children to the forest at Gore Road to connect with the outdoors and introduce your child to its gifts in the security of a group. We encourage you to foster a life-long relationship between your child and the natural world. Meet like-minded parents and caregivers, and find support and community as we walk the trails and beach and return to the fire circle to play, rest, feed our babies, and share healthy snacks before heading back out into the world.
This is a drop-in program. No pre-registration required.
Please check our Facebook page for possible location changes.
Winter Wellness Series
Ages 14 and up
$35 per session
Choose 1, 2 or all 3 sessions
Session 1 : Stone Soup
February 22, 2020
Embracing the principles of this classic story, we will cook over an open fire and build community while connecting in nature.
Session 2: Shelters
March 7, 2020
Who can build the biggest and most stable shelter? Dividing into teams, we will test our structures and how they hold up against predators, wind, and rain.
Session 3: Season's Change
March 21, 2020
During this time of year, our attention is drawn toward the coming spring. We will use mindfulness practices, journaling, and our senses to observe the changes within and around us.
Session 1 - February 22, 2020
Session 2 - March 7, 2020
Session 3 - March 21, 2020
Remembering Your Wild
Ages 18 and up
$145 for the 4 week program
Growing and learning in our private forest, we will explore with a focused intention. Our experienced staff will connect you to resources on Forest Schools, re-wilding, forest bathing, and general wellness. Join like-minded people as we identify helpful and nutritious plants, learn the art of sit spot, practice new skills like fire-starting with flint and steel, whittling, and more. Each week, we will cook over an open fire, create something to take home, and hike in our gorgeous and peaceful space.
Childcare is available upon request, by donation. Please enquire for further information.
February 23, March 8, 22, April 5
Mentoring & Private Group Facilitation
Would your group like to develop a deeper connection to nature? Are you looking for a more personal experience of the forest and nature as a whole? Our trained and experienced staff can create a program to suit your needs. Our private forest is home to bald eagles, deer, foxes, rabbits, and a multitude of songbirds.
Spending time in nature has proven health and wellness benefits, and connecting on a deeper level can be extremely beneficial.
Contact us to book your group.
The Shape of the Day
Although the learning at Forest School is child-directed, rituals shape the day, week, month, season, and year.
Our days begin with a greeting circle
We embark on adventures
We share stories, songs, and poems during snack time
We plant and tend a garden
We harvest and cook on open fires
We celebrate the change in seasons, the culture of the land and people that came before us
We use a talking stick to reflect on our journeys and adventures
When it comes to safety, we believe in the risk/benefit balance. Instead of minimizing all risk, we believe that it is valuable to accept some risk because it is important to recognize that moderate risk has its benefits. How do we expect a child, for example, to learn how to ride a bike if we do not accept the risk of them falling down a few times?
All of our sites are risk-assessed as we endeavour to make them as safe as necessary, rather than as safe as possible. Before we begin each day we complete a Site Risk Assessment and we maintain clear boundaries within each location.
Practitioners are fully trained in CPR and First Aid certified. Child-to-educator ratio is 1:6.
Age-appropriate risk taking is encouraged in small, achievable steps as children learn to manage their own abilities when gauging physical, emotional, and social risks. As children succeed in increasingly risky challenges, they learn to self-regulate through increased self-awareness. "We can do it!" This is one of the statements often heard at Forest School.
How Does Learning Happen?
Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years - https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/HowLearningHappens.pdf
The four conditions that are important for children to grow and flourish:
Belonging refers to a sense of connectedness to others, an individual's experiences of being valued. Of forming relationships with others and making contributions as part of a group, the community, the natural world.
Well-Being addresses the importance of physical and mental health and wellness. It incorporates capacities such as self-care, sense of self, and self-regulation skills.
Engagement suggests a state of being involved and focused. When children are able to explore the world around them with their natural curiosity and exuberance, they are fully engaged. Through this type of play and inquiry, they develop skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and innovating, which are essential for learning and success in school and beyond.
Expression or communication (to be heard, as well as to listen) may take many different forms. Through their bodies, words, and use of materials, children develop capacities for increasingly complex communication. Opportunities to explore materials support creativity, problem solving, and mathematical behaviours. Language-rich environments support growing communication skills. which are foundational for literacy.