January – May | Monthly Saturdays | Ages 5-12 | 10am – 3pm
Winter & Spring Dates: January 30, February 27, March 27, April 24
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
Enrollment available for one or more days per semester. $10% discount for multiple day enrollment
Wildschool is a nature immersion program for children ages 5-12. 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.
This was a week full of watery fun, skill building with knives and bows, and some good heart pumping hikes with views for miles and miles.
Monday we started with spear making at the Big Tesuque. Knife safety was the most important lesson of the day. Campers made some pretty nice looking spears in preparation for our Atl Atls on Wednesday. We played games to get to know one another and explored nature in all of it’s glory. (Caterpillars and all.)
Tuesday was a Rio en Medio adventure, a good wet hike to a waterfall where the campers enjoyed plunging into the icy water. They quickly chose to wear rain jackets to protect them from the icy flow. It was a joyous day on the Rio en Medio trail.
Wednesday was our day of Archery and more tool making in Chupadero. We worked on our spears and Atl Atls (an ancient hunting tool which provides speed and leverage fro throwing a spear). We then tried our hand at archery. Bark Bunnies was a fun game for all – aiming for chunks of bark, laden with jerky. If you hit the bark, and knock the jerky down, you get to eat the jerky. Yum!
Thursday we headed up the Winsor Trail for Raven’s Ridge. It was a challenging climb, so Michael helped break it up by teaching the kids how to make animal traps in the wild. Super simple and cool. The view from Raven’s Ridge was worth the climb! Nice work, all. We had a great week of tool making, hiking and playing with you all!
Today was an adventurous, hot and muddy day, and boy did we have fun! The morning was mellow with all the new campers shuffling in. Some decided to make the art project which was nature journals and some decided to play Park Ranger.
We circled up afterwards and had a great time playing a name game, and learning how to stay safe and have fun at camp. Next up was eating our snack while hearing an incredible story about archeology. We talked about how to be archeologists, and our plans for the week ahead. We then got ready to load into Steve, our adventure van. After water bottle re-fills, bathroom breaks and buckling, we were ready to hit the road!
The day began with some good clean fun, and ended with the joyful abandon of bug catching, mud slides and mud balls!
We arrived at the Galisteo Basin excited to see what we could find. Specifically we were looking for colorful rocks to make paint with, clay, and other clues to the past.
First off on the trail we found an old still working windmill! It was so neat to see it pump water up from the ground with wind power right before our very eyes. Back on the trail, we soon found an entire old ruin, a perfect find to practice being archeologists! We looked for clues about what this old ruin might have been and made some educated guesses. We also found what we thought were bells from a distance, and turned out to be a complete mystery when examined up close. (See photo, ideas about what this is are welcome!)
Afterwards, we happily trotted down the trail until we began to descend into a tiny canyon that had really unique and interesting rock formations. The colors kept changing from pure white to dark burgundy, to yellow ochre and varying shades of browns, greens and blacks. After finding many specimens of different colors, we ate our lunches and chatted about fun things.
Then off to the river, which was a short drive down the road to Galisteo, a tiny cute town with a beautiful river running through it. In this spot we found an excellent area of deep clay for making things and playing. The kids mostly enjoyed playing in the river, collecting bugs and tadpoles, making mudslides and mud balls and other imaginative and joyful activities!
After such wet, muddy fun there were lots of clothes to change! After putting on dry clothes, we drove home, laughing and smiling the whole way. What a fun day and an awesome group of kids. We are looking forward to more historical and playful adventures in the week ahead!
Enjoy some photos of the day below. More to come! 🙂
For our archeology week, Mountain Kids had a blast learning about New Mexico’s past all while playing outside. Thursday was a great treat! We went to Tsankawi to explore the ancient pueblo. We climbed down into the old homes and told stories. In the afternoon we enjoyed a giant rain storm, taking shelter in the nearby caves.
This Week the Eagles used their Eagle eyes peering through camera lenses to capture and share the beauty they found all over New Mexico. On Monday we hiked through an Aspen Grove and played games along the way. On Tuesday we mustered heroic persistence for a long but beautiful hike . The magical, misty, wide open view was worth all the complaining on the way up and hail/rainstorm on the way down. On Wednesday we donned our camping gear and headed out to Abiquiu Lake for a camping trip. As the rain clouds cleared we spent the day working on out photo transfers, swimming in the lake, and learning about its history from the park rangers. Once night fell, we shared stories, songs and s’mores by grandfather fire. The next day we had the opportunity to hike Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch and cool off in the lake, before heading back to Fort Marcy filled with vitamin nature, cameras of artfully composed photos, and lots of great memories.
“Focus, Patience and Practice,” this was our mantra as we learned some of the skills our ancestors used to survive 75,000 years ago. These “Ancient Lifeways” were taught to us by Matt Brummett, a skilled expert in the field. All of the older campers made their own hand drill, a tool used to make fire. We practiced a lot, some campers getting close to making a coal–a very difficult skill! We also made gourd canteens, a container our ancestors carried water in before the age of Nalgene and stainless steel! Our youngest campers each made a gourd bowl to eat out of, as our ancestors did. Everyone had the chance to learn how to make cordage (rope) out of cattails. We talked about how to make shelters to keep you warm and dry and then made shelters to sleep in on our campout. It was awesome to witness the TEAMWORK of the group as they made a coal together with a hand drill for our campfire (see photos below). We talked about the 5 Ws of preparing for a hike, and what to do if you get lost. We found some edible and medicinal plants on our hikes (Mmmm… dandelions!), and played lots of games to get us up close and personal with nature (Eagle Eye, Sardines, Capture the Flag and Meet-a-Tree, to name a few). We asked the Eagles how this week changed them. Here are a few responses: “I learned survival skills, and I am more confident in my ability to survive.” – Keifer “I got AWESOME!” – Joaquin “I got more creative.” – Jack J. “I got more peaceful.” – Merrick “I feel sorry for ancient people, and I am happy and thankful to have a house. I had fun!” -Jack D. All of the campers concurred with this last thought shared by Keifer, and agreed that PERSEVERANCE was needed for many of the skills and activities this week. Great life lessons! Thank you to all of the campers for all of your focus, patience, practice and fun this week! Photos of Eagles and Owls (See Hummingbirds below!):
On their photo safari, the Owls fearlessly captured many pictures of their natural surroundings. Among the birds chirping and the wind rustling the trees, the cameras shuttered harmoniously. The Owls played with light and dark, macro and micro shots, and portraits, taking photos of rivers, flowers, trees, moss, and campers. Choosing one original photo, they also created photo transfers, which required diligent work. The memories of playing and observing are held within the owls’ photos.