Wildside Saturdays

September-November | Monthly Saturdays | Ages 5-12 | 10am – 3pm

Fall Dates: Sept 26, Oct 24, Nov. 21

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: $225 + tax. Monthly drop-in available, space permitting. 

Mountain Biking for Kids & Adults!

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!

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.

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

Wildside 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!

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

Monthly Tuition:

1 Day $136 + tax

2 Days $245 + tax

3 Days $367 + tax

5 Days $612 + tax

Scholarship Application Due September 30th  Application.

Wildschool

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday | Ages 5-13 | 9 am – 2 pm

September 14 – November 16  

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 5-13. 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

A Walk on the Wildside

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.

#mountainkids #santafe #simplysantafe #letyourkidsouttoplay #kidsnature #kidsoutside #plantmedicine #winterwander #adventures

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 5: Mud, Clay, & Camouflage

It’s been another muddy good week with the Mountain Kids! It all began with an adventure to Deer Creek, where the Hummingbirds and the Eagles discovered several puddles of mud, camouflaged themselves from head to toe, and cooled down with an afternoon spent playing in the flowing water. While the Hummingbirds played in the stream much closer to the trailhead, the Eagles enjoyed a lengthier hike up to the ‘swimming pools’, where they practiced their [what felt to be] cold plunge and admired the beauty of the waterfall!

Tuesday, the two teams parted for different adventures. While the Eagles explored their way up the Santa Fe river, from Patrick Smith Park, the Hummingbirds took a sweet little adventure to Glorieta, where they gathered local clay, before heading back to the park due to incoming weather. While the adventures in Glorieta were short lived, the two teams enjoyed the opportunity to recombine at the park and spend an afternoon sculpting sweet pieces of art with our freshly harvested clay.

Wednesday morning started with a fun craft which showed the Mountain Kids how to create paintbrushes from yucca and painting pigments from different crushed up elements and stones. Before long, both teams were on their way to Abiquiu Lake, where the Mountain Kids found ample amounts of mud, dug through the dirt, sand, mud, and clay, and made a splash for several hours in the lake.

The Eagles and Hummingbirds headed up to the Big Tesuqe Trail for their Thursday adventures. While the two teams participated in separate hikes, both, the Eagles and Hummingbirds were able to practice their camouflage skills through games such as Eagle Eye” and “Pig”. Of course there was plenty of time, too, for the kids play in the water as they wished! Several of the Eagles competed in a dam building competition and used their wild imaginative creativity in order to build fairy houses along the river.

Friday found both teams exploring the Santa Fe River with an adventure up to the nearby tire swing. During our hike up the River, the Mountain Kids found several different berries and plants which we broke down into vibrant body paints. The afternoon was filled with much fun, playing at the Cerro Gordo Park, in the river, and on the tire swing! Our day was finished with a sweet little treat and a lovely lesson on bee keeping. One of our Hummingbird campers is a local bee keeper and brought a jar of his recently harvested honey to share with us, in addition to showing us his gear and talking us through the process of beekeeping. It wasn’t long after our lesson on bees that each Mountain Kid began running around and involving themselves in a massive water fight to end an exciting week!

 

Survival Hunting Tools: July 15-20

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!