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.
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
“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
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.
Our Saturday Wildside group had a blast this past week hiking along the Santa Fe River.
We started the day finding north and orienteering for treasure; it turns out kids can use their spidey senses to find treasure (apples and oranges), rather than compasses. 😉 We also used a stick compass to find north and all four directions, so easy and useful.
We were challenged in some physical agility; walking across logs, climbing and descending muddy slopes, and playing King of the Log; where one person tries to bounce an opponent off a log without touching them. A fun new game!
The rope swing was another fun-filled challenge, with some giddy swinging and Tarzan whoops filling the warm winter day. Only two kids took to the river for a wee splash and were none the worse for wear. Plastic bags and extra socks sure come in handy for wet feet on a winter day outside.
We hiked down the river through towering cottonwoods, in awe of the beauty, and the two hawks we encountered, who were just as interested in watching us as we were them.
We finished our day with a lesson on how to harvest willow and used our kitchen peelers to take the medicine rich bark from the plant. Each Mountain Kid went home with a paper sack of bark to make tea as a remedy for fever, diarrhea or sunburn.
What a beautiful winter day to wander and play along the Santa Fe river.
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!