9:30-10:00am - Morning Circle & Games
10:00-10:15am - Snack
10:15-11:00am - Nature Arts & Crafts (optional) or Supervised Free Play
11:00-12:00pm - Nature Interactive Activity & Exploration
12:00-12:30pm - Lunch & Free Play
12:30-1:00pm - Afternoon Nature Arts & Crafts (optional) or Supervised Free Play
1:00-1:30pm - Group Games or Wilderness Exploration
There is only one group per camp, and all of our camps are mixed age groups, so everyone will be together by default.
We have a maximum of 6:1 students to staff. Maximum group size is 18 children with 3 facilitators. All staff have been background checked and received a minimum of 10 hours of training.
All Head Facilitators have had a minimum of 1 year experience with Nature Rangers as a Supporting Facilitator along with a prerequisite of external educator training such as Forest School Teacher Certification, Montessori Teacher Certification or Early Childhood Development.
Safety is our first and foremost priority. We do not ever let a child out of sight under any circumstances. While children naturally want to explore, we maintain and strictly enforce tight boundaries and stay within speaking distance at all times.
Kids are allowed to climb low trees with supervision and staff support. We educate weekly helping kids to identify poison oak, and we do not condone aggressive behavior with nature-made weapons like sticks or rocks etc.
All Directors have completed certifications in Wilderness First Aid.
In programs near creeks or the ocean, we allow children to carefully wade in the water with full supervision at all times, but not fully swim. If children are not water-safe swimmers, we have an adult or CIT hold hands with the child while they are exploring any water habitats. If however, creeks are running quickly or there are waves at the beach, we do not permit children in the water.
When there is a bathroom available, a counselor escorts the child to the facility and after checking for cleanliness and safety, then stays outside the door until the child is finished.
When there is no bathroom available, we explain how to safely and privately 'nature pee', or provide a sanitary travel potty for going #2, then a counselor escorts the child to a nearby but shielded area and waits until the child is finished.
While our days are chock full of arts and crafts that use nature as the canvas, we also have interactive learning activities, where curiosity leads the way. For example, if we know there is a birds nest visible in a particular location, we might prepare a short discussion and activities related to birds nests where they can observe and then create their own miniature nests.
Or if there are cut trees in a particular location, we might prepare a short discussion related to tree rings or decomposers or invasive species, and then play a game that reinforces what they just learned, based on the relevance of what we've just encountered. Kids often don't realize the subtle learning because it's all encased in fun, interactive discovery!
In each program, kids will have the opportunity to work towards earning the chosen Nature Rangers Specialist Badge! In weeklong camps, kids may choose to complete one short task each day as they work towards the final day when they will receive their metal pin to take home! For a sampling of the badge options that may be available, click HERE.
While our arts & crafts are optional, we do encourage participation as kids often love to bring home their creations to show to family! If kids are not arts & crafts lovers, we always have supervision for free play, games, or a wilderness wander should they wish to do that instead.
The first thing we do is build dry shelter with tarps and other wilderness supplies. Then we continue with our day from our dry space. Children should arrive in appropriate rain gear such as waterproof pants and jacket with a hood.
If there is a big storm with a massive downpour, we will spend the day at a nearby facility like a local church who has generously opened their doors to us.
Morning Dropoff: We wait at the designated meeting point for 10 minutes past the listed dropoff time. Then we enter the trailhead and set up our basecamp for the day. If you are more than 10 minutes late, please call the Director or Head Facilitator for your program to get exact directions and you may walk your child in to meet the group.
Afternoon Pickup: If you are more than 10 minutes late for pickup (past the listed pickup time), you will be charged a $25 late fee per instance, paid directly to the staff member who waited overtime.
For Summer Camps: Through April 15, we allow cancellations (less the Stripe transaction fees). After April 15, we begin to staff and purchase materials based on a full camp of 18 children. If you need to cancel, you have one of two options:
- You may find a replacement on your own and give us the name and we will do a switch.
- You may move to a new week that has space available.
If you are sick and cannot attend a portion of the program, we are happy to accommodate a make up day on any week, space permitting, however it is rare that we have open space in our camps.
For Homeschool Programs: We permit up to one make up day per month and you may use it on any other day of the week that our doors are open throughout the year!