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: $225 + tax. Monthly drop-in available, space permitting.
3:30/4-6:30 (time adjusted seasonally and for school schedules)
September 17 – November 19
Drop-off and pick-up at local trail heads
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
Fall Tuition: $350 + tax.
Optional: Girls Backpacking Trip $285 + tax
Scholarship Applications due Sept 18th Apply Early! Application here.
September 15- November 17 (or until in-person school begins)
Enroll in 1, 2, or 3 days per week
Drop-off and pick-up at Fort Marcy or local trailheads
Children will participate in nature-based learning AND academic classwork in the same daytime program. This program is for children currently in traditional schools with virtual classes. Children will attend during school hours and may participate in class meetings through park wifi (Fort Marcy) and their own devices, if necessary. Children will bring schoolwork to do independently while being supported by a Counselor/Tutor at their side.
Children will begin the day in play, devote the bulk of the morning to school work, and then spend the afternoon integrating learning with exploration and play. Children will strengthen their curiosity and social-emotional skills while engaging with nearby nature.
There may be an opportunity for field trips to local trails in their small groups in sanitized vehicles. COVID-safe practices will be enforced. Masks and frequent hand-sanitizing required by all children and staff. Adult:Camper Ratio is 1:5.
Fall Tuition: $697 + tax. 10% Discount for multiple day enrollment. Option to cancel and receive a refund if in-person school begins before Nov. 17.
Scholarships Application Due September 18th. Apply early! Application here.
Tuesdays &/or Wednesdays After School | Sept 15- Oct 27
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 Wednesdays! 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!
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.
Fall Tuition: $320 + tax
If session is full, please join the waitlist and we will add another group of 5 when we have enough people.
Scholarship Application Due Sept 18th. Apply Early! Application
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!
Wildside 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- Friday | Ages 5-12 | 3:30-5:30pm
September 14 – December 18
Challenge Level: (Age-Appropriate)
Enroll in 2, 3 or 5 days weekly for 10% Tuition Discount
1 Day $136 + tax
2 Days $245 + tax
3 Days $367 + tax
5 Days $612 + tax
Scholarship Application Due September 30th Application.
Enrollment available for one or more days per semester. $10% discount for multiple day enrollment
Wildschool is a nature immersion program for children ages 5-13. Days are filled with nature awareness games, primitive skills, tracking, crafting, natural movement, play and story. Nature Journaling and 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.
Fall Tuition: $650 + tax. $10% discount for multiple day enrollment. Monthly Payments
Scholarship Deadline September 18th. Apply early for best chances! Application
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.
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!