nature is often overlooked as a healing balm
for the emotional hardships in a child's life
Sapling Skills Series
Children's curiosity reaches up and out naturally, like saplings searching for the sunlight. When adults are able to meet them where they're at, we can help cultivate the passion for learning and growth that is inherent in every person. We gravitate towards building, creating, exploring and making decisions that affect our world because we, as humans, have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years of living in direct relationship with the land. These skills are embedded in our collective memory; that's why so many kids love playing outside.
Our six-week Sapling Series is designed to provide an approachable, accessible introduction to many small-scale, place-based living skills for kids ages 8-12. We meet every other week on Wednesday afternoons for two hours at the Eastern Promenade in Portland and facilitate a rotating variety of outdoor activities. The classes we teach include: shelter-building, fire-by-friction, bundle-bows and arrows, making string and weaving baskets, coal-burned spoon carving, identifying plants and trees, foraging for food, tracking animals, and more.
First Quarter 2021 Dates:
February 3, 17
March 3, 17, 31
First Quarter 2021 Classes:
1. Making shelter, emergency preparedness, medicine from trees
2. Matchless firestarting, campfire safety
3. Animal tracking, tree identification, bird language, scouting and stalking
4. Bundle bows and arrows, archery, throwing sticks
5. Coal-burned spoon carving
6. Baskets from invasive species, natural cordage from plant fibers
Grow as a part of a community, learn new skills, develop self-reliance and gain confidence in your own wild nature. Learn how to make shelter, find food and water, and start a fire from the landscape. Study the natural world to understand the habits of the trees, plants, animals, rocks and rivers with whom we share our lives. Practice communication to resolve conflict, maintain boundaries, and build friendships. Play games, make art and make memories.
Our goal for the Forest School is to create the container for long-term, multi-generational communities of children to learn together outside. Learning happens best when children are encouraged to follow their own curiosity. We cultivate the sense of wonder inherent within us all, and allow each child’s unique passions to affect the flow of education. We use a variety of small-scale, place-based living skills, activities, games and stories about natural history to teach kids what they need to know.
This twelve-week program is designed for kids ages 7-14. We meet every Wednesday from 9am-3pm. We work to maintain a mentor:mentee ratio of 1 to 5. In order to ensure our community is a diverse and safe space for all children, registration may not guarantee enrollment. If there is sufficient interest from the community, we can open for a second day per week, or switch to a different day. We are currently scouting potential locations for the 2020/2021 season.