Mountain Biking for Kids & Adults!

Tuesdays &/or Thursdays After School | March 23 – May 20, 2020

Beginning & Intermediate Riders, Ages 7-16

4:00-5:30PM – Beginning Riders Only, Ages 7-9

4:15-6:00PM – Beginning and Intermediate Riders, Ages 9-16

Mountain Mamas (Dads Welcome) on Thursdays!  Beginner and Intermediate adult riders are invited to join us. Ride while your kids ride! Ditch the errands and hit the trails with some other intrepid Moms and Dads!

Challenge Level:

Beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers are invited to join us after school to learn riding skills, challenge themselves, and have fun! Beginners will learn the basics: ready position, gearing and braking, climbing and descending, and trail safety and awareness. More advanced riders will be introduced to skills such as: cornering, riding switchbacks, track stand, climbing techniques, and riding over logs and other obstacles. Having fun, positive mindset, and team work are emphasized for all levels of riders!

Program will meet at La Tierra, Frijoles trailhead. Intermediate & Advanced riders may meet at other trailheads during the season.

COVID-safe practices will be followed. Adult:Camper Ratio is 1:5.

Spring Tuition: $360 + tax for 9 sessions

 

If session is full, please join the waitlist and we will add another group of 5 when we have enough people.

Scholarship Application Due January 7th. Apply Early! Application

Wildside Saturdays

January – May | Monthly Saturdays | Ages 5-12 | 10am – 3pm

Winter & Spring Dates: January 30, February 27, March 27, April 24

Challenge Level:

Wildside is a monthly skills building and nature connection program which runs throughout the school year, with seasonal enrollment.

This is an empowering adventure for children and youth, providing them an opportunity to inquire, engage and challenge themselves in skills that will provide them with a deep sense of nature connection and accomplishment.

Wilderness skills, archery, tracking, orienteering, shelter building and natural crafts will be a part of our time together. As a group we will build strong trust and communication skills and have a lot of fun playing team building and nature-connection games.

COVID-safe practices will be enforced. Adult:Camper Ratio is 1:5.

Fall Tuition:$340 + tax.

Monthly drop-in available, space permitting: $85 + tax

Mountain Kids! After School Program

When virtual school is over for the day, it is time to step away from the screen, and get your kids out to play in nature!

Mountain Kids! After School program is a place for children to engage in free-play, group games, exploration, hiking, wilderness skills, and arts & crafts during adventures on local trails and in parks.

Studies (and experience) show that being outside in nature is good for children’s social, emotional and spiritual health. Children develop greater confidence, team work skills and build up tolerance for adversity by spending time outside, and so much more!  All of this while having fun, getting dirty, and best for parents; tired!

COVID-safe practices will be followed. Masks and hand-sanitizing are required by children and staff. Adult: Camper Ratio is 1:5.

Monday or Tuesday | Ages 5-12 | 3:30-5:30pm

January 11 – May 21 , 2021

Spring Break: Week of March 15

Challenge Level: (Age-Appropriate)

Monthly Tuition: $160 + tax

Enroll in 2 days weekly for 10% Tuition Discount

Scholarship  Application.

Mountain Girls!

Mondays or Thursdays | Ages 11-15

3:30-5:30 (time adjusted seasonally as needed)

January 11 – May 20, 2021

Drop-off and pick-up at local trail heads

Challenge Level:

Mountain Girls provides girls ages 10-15 with an opportunity to build confidence, positive relationships, health, leadership, and a love of nature through outdoor activities (hiking, mountain biking, wilderness skills, backpacking, games, art, and journalling).

Discussions and journaling will build self awareness, while challenging activities such as biking and hiking build confidence. Girls will be split into age-appropriate groups and will choose a group goal to work towards.

COVID-safe practices will be enforced. Masks and frequent hand-sanitizing required by all children and staff. Adult: Camper Ratio is 1:5

Winter & Spring Monthly Tuition: $160 + tax

Optional: Girls Backpacking Trip $285 + tax

Scholarship Application here.

Wildschool

Monday, Wednesday & Friday | Ages 5-12 | 9 am – 3 pm

January 11 – May 21, 2021

Spring Break: Week of March 15th

Enrollment available for one or more days per semester. $10% discount for multiple day enrollment

Challenge Level:

Wildschool is a nature immersion program for children ages 5-12. Days are filled with nature awareness games, primitive skills, tracking, crafting, natural movement, play and story. Phenology (the study of seasonal changes) will be incorporated in an age-appropriate way.

Listening to the wild within and all around, the children enliven their animal senses, tuning their creativity and awareness to outer rhythms and seasonal changes.

COVID-Safe practices will be enforced. Masks and frequent hand-sanitizing will be required by all children and staff. Staff:student ratio 1:5.

Winter & Spring Monthly Tuition: $340 + tax. $10% discount for multiple day enrollment. Monthly Payment Plans. Seasonal Enrollment.

Scholarship Application

Winter Hike: Diablo Canyon

The Diablo Canyon Recreation Area is a wonderland of black rocks, dramatic cliffs and sand. It is worth the bumpy drive along the washboard road to get there.

Directions are below. You will see the towering rock faces as you get near. As you begin your walk, you might see some little dots on the sheer rock cliff face above you.  These dots are people who climb this massive rock: remarkable and inspiring, and for those who prefer to stay close to the ground, downright scary.  Luckily, you will be on solid ground, and it makes climbing the big black boulders below seem very safe by comparison. 

With little ones you will prefer to stay in the sandy, beach-like wash that navigates between the sheer face on your right and the pile of boulders on your left.  The canyon narrows and then opens up, widening and eventually reaching the Rio Grande. You can walk down as far as you desire, which is often not too far with kids who love to create their own games and play, jumping off the big rocks. There is usually spring of water seeping up from the sand which makes for a fun play spot.

If your kids are a little older and you have confidence scrambling over big rocks with them, you can walk up the black rocks on your left and go as far as you feel comfortable.  I have been to the tippy-top of the mesa with some confident climbers in the 9-12 year-old range.  If this is your cup of tea, it’s a blast: inspiring confidence and memorable moments. If you are a nervous mom or dad, you may want to keep the kids on the down low.

I have seen rattlesnakes here in the summer, so do keep your eyes peeled and don’t stick your hands into dark places. Winter should not be an issue, but it is getting warm, so look for them sunning themselves. They will not bother you if you don’t disturb them.

How to Get There: Take Highway 599, get off at Camino La Tierra (Las Campanas exit), and then drive until you see Old Buckman Road on the right. Take the right and you will see a trailhead and parking area after seemingly endless miles of washboard road. You will pass some of our city wells along the way, which in interesting to point out to the kids, and talk about where our water comes from. Total drive from downtown is about 45 minutes or so.

August 12 : The Artist’s Adventure

What better way to start an adventure than by making a pouch to place all of your treasures in! On Monday we began our week by setting up a felting station in Hyde Park Campground, from where we played games, took a hike to a waterfall nearby and got wet and soapy. The smell of wet wool and lanolin was an interesting experience for the children. We learned that heat, water and friction together create an effective felting technique.

On Tuesday we had a go at needle felting a picture each. This is a fun art project to do – painting through color and form with felt onto a flat piece of felted fabric. These pictures were completed the following morning as we had a hike to make and some old-style camp shirts to turn into handy shopping/gear bags! We did this in the field down from Big Tesuque after lunch by cutting the sleeves and neck off the t-shirts, cutting one inch sections along the bottom part of the shirt and then knotting these together in pairs – Et Voila! A bag with a Mountain Kids Logo and design!

Games, of course, are a most important piece of our days together – tail Tag was voted as a number one experience this week, and Eagle Eye was also liberally enjoyed!

On Wednesday we went to Los Golondrinas for a day of learning about the times gone by and their life styles. The school room was tiny, our children looked well fed and way too big to stay seated and work at those desks! There was a little something interesting for each child there, but we sure were tired on our return!

Thursday saw the completion of the felted pouches at a second felting station by the river at the Ski Basin. We made a quick pot of Osage Orange bark to dye our cotton yarn for to make finger knit handles with, then left these to dry and settle while we took a hike down to the meadow below. Two female cows and their calves were in the middle of the trail at some point but we navigated the protective parents and this sweet scene with ease and frolicked in and over a river lined with wildflowers, clover and big mushrooms.

It sure was a busy and productive week with a lot fun to be had while crafting our way through!

 

 

August 19: Cooking Adventures in Nature

Monday morning greeted the Mountain Kids with the chance to harvest apples at the beaver ponds, which of course included some tree climbing for those who felt called to do so!

The Eagles were very successful in the apple hunt, picking more than 200 apples in a short amount of time! They did most of the coring and slicing of apples to make apple sauce for everyone to take home. (The Hummers would have their turn on Thursday with the peaches!)

On Tuesday morning we sliced and strung apples to dry them for a lovely dried fruit snack.

The remainder of the day was spent hiking at Tsankawi,
part of Bandelier National Monument. The children learned about how the Ancestral Pueblo people once lived. While enjoying lunch in a wonderfully cool cave dwelling. Mountain Kids learned of the many different types of food and animals in the local area and the ways in which the Native peoples would have gone about harvesting and hunting them for food.

 

On Wednesday, we headed out to Rio en Medio, where we were able to gather fallen acorns and experience the sweet taste of freshly plucked red currant berries and a few raspberries along the trail.

The heat of the afternoon was spent splashing about the crisp river water, creating dams and building boats from nature to sail down the river. On our travels back to Santa Fe, the Mountain Kids spotted a couple of beautiful fruit trees full of apricots and apples, which they harvested for a juicy afternoon snack! Foraging sure is fun, and tasty. 🙂

The Eagles hiked to the Rio en Medio waterfall, crossing the river many times, an adventure in itself. It was a challenge if you wanted to keep your feet dry!  We and had a blast getting wet and exploring the frigid waterfall at the end of the hike.

That afternoon the Eagles headed to Chupadero for our Cooking Adventure Campout. We roasted our dinner in the ground (Chicken, sweet potatoes, and corn), learned how to use a handdrill and bowdrill to start a fire, and pitched a large shade structure to provide respite from the hot sun.

We enjoyed time around the campfire roasting apples, apricots and telling stories. A quick rainstorm didn’t deter us from a fun evening under the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday morning started with an early trip to the Tesuque Pueblo, where the Hummingbirds and the Eagles joined together to pick peaches for the Pueblo people.

In return for the hard work gathering the fruit, we were able to pick our own peaches to enjoy and take home. Soon after we found our way to Chupadero where we spent the afternoon slicing peaches for a fruit compote and practicing archery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone got to take home fresh peaches that afternoon. YUM!!

With our bellies full of sweet fruit, it was nice to spend Friday playing in the woods and exploring our creative side. The Mountain Kids headed up and into the mountains where we spent the afternoon building shelters at Aspen Vista, creating hand made bows, arrows, and spears (from sticks, rocks, and yarn). It was a ‘sweet’ end to a super sweet and tasty week of foraging, eating, camping and archery! What an awesome end to an amazing summer 2019! Thank you families for being a part of it! 🙂