Do parents stay for the program?
Nope! Parents are free to go, it is a fully supervised program. Parents drop off kids for all classes and pick-up in the same location.
What is your child to adult ratio? What is the class size?
We keep a very small ratio of 3-6 kids to one adult, depending on age group. More importantly, our class size maximum is 8 students to ensure each student is listened to and worked with on a one to one basis. In other programs with a 1 to 4 ratio, how much attention is your child really getting if there are 40 kids in the room even with 10 adults? How many of those 10 adults are actively engaging the children instead of managing other tasks?
Energy builds exponentially as group size increases. We prefer to focus our time and energy on the interaction with the student, and not on managing large groups, cleaning, or tasks like lunch prep. This gives us the ability to give each child the calm, insightful interaction with science and nature we strive for.
How strict are you age ranges?
We believe that there are many factors besides age that contribute to finding the right program and group for a child. The age ranges are a general guide and parents are encouraged to call us and talk over options for their child's needs. Chickadees are still working on potty training and taking naps, generally 2-3.5 years old. Our Sparrows, usually 3.5-6 years old can go until 1:30 PM without a nap and feel comfortable using porta potties, my trail potty, or going nature potty.
Do you have students with various cognitive or physical needs?
Research shows that time in nature is incredibly beneficial for children with ADHD, anxiety, speech delays, and many other needs. Guided and unstructured time in nature can benefit many different diagnosis or concerns. We are not a certified special education program, however we do have many years of experience working with students with varying and diverse needs, and are happy to discuss your child's needs with you before enrolling.
What is your enrollment or registration process?
To enroll just click on Register above in the top right corner of our website. Enter the fields and click submit! Takes less than 1 minute. After we receive and process your information you will receive three forms via email:
- Medical Release
- Pick-Up Authorization Form
- Liability Waiver and Photo Release
How is payment processed?
Along with the forms above, your confirmation email will also have an invoice for the term or camp selections. Please mail a check with your completed paperwork to confirm your child's space.
Your schedule may conflict with my child's preschool, can we attend partial sessions?
Yes, if your child is enrolled in another program that overlaps with our schedule for any period of time, you can still enroll. Contact us to work out a schedule that fits your needs.
Neither of your locations or times work for my child's routine/schedule, are you opening any new locations or times?
Yes! If you have a group of 3 or more children ready to enroll, please contact us to see if we can find a park location and a time block that works for you but doesn't conflict with our regularly scheduled offerings.
What trail packs and gear do you recommend?
Chickadees- Osprey Moki pack Sparrows- REI Tarn or Camelbak
You want as little weight on them as possible while still giving them the opportunity to build responsible habits. Remember the water bladder will lighten as we go, and the snack will be eaten so by the end of class the only thing in the pack could be a jacket. Please make sure your pack has a chest strap! Also check to ensure the shoulder straps are not slipping off their shoulders, especially in rain coats.
How should I pack snack and lunch?
Lightweight lunch boxes or tupperware are key! Heavy plastic or pyrex tupperware adds too much weight to their packs, Foil and washable fabric pouches are always a good bet.
What else should I pack in my child's trail pack?
Other than water, snack (and lunch for sparrows), the only other things that need to fit in the back are a jacket, a hat, and extra underwear/pants in case of bathroom accidents. I carry sunscreen, extra socks, and extra water so no need to include those in your child's pack.