Tuesday Fall Programs – Cole Harbour Heritage Park
This fall was the first time we have offered two programs during the week (primarily catering to the home-schooling community) in two separate locations. This meant building new relationships and expectations was going to be an important part of our season.
Of our five students in this program, only one of them had ever been to forest school with us before, and this was many years prior. This picture was taken on the first day of forest school this fall. Some students felt comfort in reading nature books and field guides; taking it easy and feeling out how the program was going to go. The other two students not featured in this photo spent the day building with ropes in the trees; promptly engaging in the same imaginative energy.
As the season went on these students really grew into themselves; each student shining in their own areas. These students were so uniquely different, but the one they they all had in common was their love for exploration.
We know that not all students in this class will be attending our late fall program this year and we are sad to see them leave. We hope that whether you’re spending your next season with us or not, you take the time to spend outside and find your love for exploration.
Wednesday Fall Programs – Kiwanis Park, Cole Harbour
Can you imagine going to forest school with your best friend? Well that is not only the case for these two students, but all four students in our program attend with their friend. The relationship our students have with each other really made for the dynamic of the fall 2022 season. This provided each student the opportunity to meet two new friends and have their own friend from home ; which is extra helpful for such a young group.
Though this group was small, growing to four students by the end of the season, they never failed to keep us busy. They climbed a lot of trees and made a lot of mud pies. Always eager to greet the ducks in the morning and head toes first into the lake – no matter how cold the water is, or how waterproof their gear may or may not be. Not going to lie, this season had multiple outfit changes a day – primarily following a morning on the beach.
These students are always eager to go on a hike through the park to discover secret forts in the woods or stand upon the large rock on the forest edge that overlooks the nearby street. Their curious minds and endless amounts of energy made for a great season at forest school and we look forward to having these students back with us in the near future. Thank you for spending your fall 2022 season with Wild Child.
Thursday Fall Programs – Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area, Bedford
Similar to the first photo, this was taken on the first day of fall programs 2022. Though very similar, upon closer inspection you will see a grand difference. The first photo featured new students, strangers to each other, us , and our program; new beginnings. This photo is reconnection. Unlike the Tuesday class, this weekday class of primarily homeschooled children have been attending forest school together season after season. This photo is the sharing of knowledge we’ve learned in our time apart. Sharing the stories. Smiling. Enjoying each other. I love both photos. I love both classes. But by acknowledging their differences we can really see how forest school can help shape and build a true wild child.
Looking back on this season it is hard to believe all of the things this class did in eight short weeks. They used tools like: vegetable peelers, knives, magnifying glasses, ropes, whistles, flint and steel. The climbed SO MANY trees. They played games. They learned from each other, their leaders and the forest. They built so many new memories with each other.
Although this class is primarily built of returning students, it is important to mention three students we welcomed this season; one new student and two junior leaders. Our newest student, “Iguana”, became apart of this class day one; quickly forming the last puzzle piece to the forest school buddy quintuple. One of our junior members was a return from the spring and the other was “Iguana’s” sibling; coincidentally enough, our two junior leaders even knew each other prior to the program. The addition of junior leaders this year has been extremely beneficial. By having extra eyes in the forest we are able to divide into more groups and better accommodate what each student wants to do. We also noticed that having leaders closer to the age of the students helps keeps some students more engaged in the activity at hand.
We are so thankful for the help of our junior leaders and by the overall great class we are privileged to spend our time with every Thursday.
Friday – Wild Child Traveling Toddlers
This season we introduced a new spin on a new-ish program. In spring 2022 we started offering a program to ages four and under , accompanied by a guardians. This program had a lot of interest but we found it was hard for the majority of people to make it to our location. We decided that instead of choosing a new location and missing out on the families that have been attending, we would offer a “travelling program”. Realizing all we need can be packed in a wagon and taken to any location to help toddlers engage with their surroundings and adults engage with each other.
So we set off on the road! And though we had a couple hick-ups along the way, we are happy to call the program a success ! We welcomed many families into the Wild Child community and are so excited to watch their littles grow up in the forest.
In 2023 we will be offering this program the first Friday of every month (holiday and weather dependent) ; hoping to open it up to even more families. Stay tuned for more information.
Saturday – Cole Harbour Heritage Park
That’s a wrap everybody! A quick glance of this semester from each member of this fall 2022 Saturday program.
That is the word I’ve heard most to describe how we feel about our Saturday class.
By offering a Saturday program we are able to open up the opportunity for so many more children to experience forest school. These programs are short (3 hours long) and fast. Due to the unique nature of the program of bringing together students from all across HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) for a quick play outside each week, the days are always full of so much exploration and imagination.
Though the classes always feel like they are over just when the fun is beginning, it really builds up the anticipation for next week’s adventures; counting down the day’s until they’re back in the forest. Many families really enjoy the offer of shorter programs on the weekends as this is time they would normally spend as a family, or being involved in other weekend activities (hockey is a big one this time of year with our students) and by offering a short morning program they can accommodate for more.
In order to avoid families feeling like they must choose between forest school and spending time together, we are planning to offer a family program on Saturdays in the new year ! This will be an all age program structured around the introduction to forest school and, building of nature skills and knowledge. Keep an eye on our website and social media for future information on this program coming February 2023.
Fall 2022 Wild Child Forest School Programs