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 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

Mountain Kids! Wildschool Online

“When we, as guides, can provide an atmosphere of sensitive discovery and direct experience, nature is able to change people’s lives spontaneously, in wonderful ways.” ~ Joseph Cornell, Sharing Nature with Children

Your children will embark upon a magical journey of deep sensory engagement, learning the wisdom of the natural world by awakening their innate animal senses through wonder-filled teaching stories, experiential activities and projects. We will follow the circular path of the moon in her many phases as we in turn become rabbit, deer, owl, racoon, dog, tree and river  ~ learning the secrets of each.

Wildschool Online Ages 6-11

Wednesdays, 1-2 pm & Fridays 10-11 am, all MDT

Each day will incorporate sharing, movement, singing, story, animal study, and time for a sit spot or a hands-on activity.

Wednesdays we will also introduce our animal of study for the week, one of our senses through story, and our photo challenge of the week.

Fridays we will include a sharing circle, and time to work together on our animal track books and other activities. An important part of nature mentoring Is the ability to share our direct experiences and observations.  Fridays are an opportunity for the children to show & tell us what they have been observing through their words, drawings, photographs and other findings.

Tuition: $150 for 12 classes over six weeks, $10-15 drop-in, suggested donation 

To reserve your free class email katie@sfmountainkids.com

To make a donation for drop-in classes, please use Paypal: katie@sfmountainkids.com

Wildschool Online Ages 4-6

Wednesdays 11-11:45 am MDT

Each Wednesday will incorporate sharing, movement, singing, story and dress-up!

Tuition: $75 + tax, six-class session, $10-15 drop-in, suggested donation

To reserve your free class email katie@sfmountainkids.com

To make a donation for drop-in classes, please use Paypal:katie@sfmountainkids.com

Supplies Needed:

  • Nature Journal
  • Colored Pencils
  • Access to a phone, tablet or computer
  • Space to move!

Parents will receive weekly, concise resources to aid in supporting their child(ren) to delve more deeply throughout the week.

How does it work?  Your child will need access to a backyard, arroyo, park, even a window or a view from a balcony.  Children should be set-up in a space where they can move around and place their device down to be hands-free. 

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID or otherwise, please reach out and let me know what you can afford. We would love for all children who are interested to be able to join us.

July 22: Wonders of Water

The Mountain Kids had an exciting introduction to the many wonders of water on Monday, a day spent venturing through the nearby Beaver Ponds, where the team learned about the adaptations of beavers, discovered many fascinating (and wildly unexpected) fossils, and played in the refreshing water of the Santa Fe River.

Tuesday was a day filled with much more water (and mud, too!) at Abiquiu Lake. The children were able to imagine the scarcity of water in our waterways with the Water Scarcity Game, before heading out to Abiquiu. It certainly did not take the Mountain Kids! long before they were jumping into waist-deep mud and making a real splash with a cannonball contests into the lake!

The Hummingbirds caught a glimpse of the unyielding strength of water during our hike, on Wednesday to the waterfall at Rio en Medio. Some children recognized how the trail had completely changed in some areas due to recent heavy rains, and that several of the river crossings were much wider and more difficult to maneuver. We were super impressed with the hearty group, making it all the way to the waterfall! A big hike for little legs.

With a challenging hike under our belts, Thursday came as a breath of fresh air. We discussed where our water comes from in Santa Fe, and learned about our local watershed before enjoying a much shorter hike through the refreshing water on our way up to the Nambe Falls. Here, the children splashed and played, made mud pies, practiced stacking rocks, and enjoyed the cool refreshing water in the falls.

It surely was an exciting week filled with lots of wonderful water! Friday was a lovely day for the team to come together, once more, and enjoy several games after a hike down the Little Tesuque trail.  Thanks for a great week, all!

The Secret Language of Birds & Bugs: July 15-20

It was a bugging good week for the Mountain Kids! Monday’s adventure on the Aspen Vista trail, accompanied by the Hummingbird’s hand-crafted bug catchers, provided a lovely introduction to a variety of our local bugs and birds. Tent Caterpillars painted the dirt paths and climbed up the aspen trees which allowed for fun and easy hands-on access to the little critters! After spending the morning reviewing some of the characteristics of different birds and bugs common in our area, the Hummingbirds practiced their creativity in a few rounds of bug and bird charades!

Wade, our wonderful bug friend in town, met with the team on Tuesday and guided us on a hike to several different bugs. The Mountain Kids learned about local spiders, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, water insects, and many more during their time at the Beaver Ponds.

With lots of new information concerning different bugs, the Hummingbirds were ‘antsy’ for their visit to the Bug Museum on Wednesday. The team met with Wade, again, at the Harrell House Bug Museum, where they held different bugs, watched the spiders and tarantulas get fed, and explored several different caged critters.

On Thursday, the Hummingbirds buzzed on over to the Santa Fe Raptor Center where they met with a variety of different owls and falcons and learned about their characteristics, diets, and different habitats. Each child was able to spritz one of the falcons with water to help him cool off in the heat. Boy – it sure was a hot one! The Hummingbirds also had their chance to cool off by splashing around in the river in El Rito.

We finished our day with watermelon and ‘appreciations’.  It was sweet to hear the kids appreciating new friends they had made, the birds they saw, bugs they met and the counselors who lead them throughout the week.

Friday was a sweet end to the week spent playing in the mud and water at Nambe Falls!

July 8-12: Robin Hood’s Secrets

“The story of Robin Hood evokes clever and thoughtful adventures in the woods, stealthy river crossings, balancing on logs and fine homes in trees.” The Hummingbirds had an adventurous week discovering ways to heal wounds, practicing archery and fire making skills, and uncovering techniques for keeping invisible and camouflaged in the woods! A Monday spent at the Norski Trail was the perfect opportunity to learn about the Leave-No-Trace Principles, how to stay prepared with the 6W’s (who, what, where, when, why, and weather), and to gain some practice building shelters and hiding huts.

A day of hiking at Rio en Medio, on Tuesday, allowed for the Mountain Kids to romp throughout the woods and experience several beautiful and refreshing river crossings. A handful of the Hummingbirds chose to challenge themselves with an extra long hike all the way back to the waterfall – a glorious feat well worth each step!

Wednesday, the Hummingbirds began their morning learning how to create Pinon Pine Salve which can be used to help in healing small scrapes and wounds. After their fun craft, the Mountain Kids headed out to Chupadero where they worked with, Michael, a wonderful primitive skills educator, who taught them new archery safety and skills and how to create fire with sticks! After a day spent in the sunshine, Thursdays trip up the Santa Fe River, allowed the Hummingbirds to use their imagination while balancing on logs, crossing the river, and walking stealthily up the waterway!

The Hummingbirds and Eagles joined together, on Friday, for a day spent splashing in the mud and water at Abiquiu Lake. The low waters allowed for endless amounts of clay and mud which was just perfect for practicing camouflage skills!

July 1-5: Mud, Clay, & Camouflage

Monday was a great start to a week full of mud, clay, and camouflage for the Eagles and Hummingbirds! Our first adventure location for the week was Deer Creek, where the Mountain Kids found giant pools of mud in which they rolled, jumped, and played for hours! The Eagles got into full camouflage mode and quickly were ready for stalking and hunting in the jungles of New Mexico!

On the Hummingbirds hike, several of the campers witnessed their first rattlesnake in the wild, enjoying the shade covered rocks. We gave the snake its space and moved along, full of excitement for what we had experienced.

Tuesday was all about clay! Each child had the opportunity to get their hands dirty in clay during our morning craft, making little pinch-pots and tiny clay structures. A trip to Galisteo allowed the team to romp about hunting and gathering buckets of their own clay – which was used Wednesday morning to create miniature ‘adobe’ bricks for clay houses. More messy mud fun followed, with a day spent playing camouflage games on the Little Tesuque trail.

The Mountain Kids! had a wonderful day, Thursday, discovering the Galisteo River, finding clay, making pigments, and whipping up some ‘algae pancakes’. We gathered cattail pollen as a last little treat and wandered along the dragonfly river path.

A refreshing end to the week was had at Nambe Falls on Friday. The Hummingbirds and Eagles hiked up stream together and cooled off with a splash in the lovely pool, created by the beautiful, roaring waterfall. It was certainly a clean and cool finish to a fun and messy week!