WOW! This first week of session 1 has been a smashing success, thanks to our families, amazing kids, and super guides leading the way. What a beautiful thing to be a part of during these unprecedented times. Last year when we started our summer camps, we wanted to do something different, to grow a community and place where everyone feels they belong in the woods. We want to really get kids into the woods to learn through play and to grow up to be safe operators in our great wild backyard.
We know everyone has a different schedule, so we want to know when you need us and our programs. Session 2 starts on Sept. 28 and runs until Oct. 30. Keep in mind our programs, starting Session 2, are only around 4-5 hours long each day due to colder weather. Most likely, we will have afternoon programs after 2 in addition to day time programs around 10 – 2/3 to maximize daylight hours. Your responses will be very helpful as we move forward in deciding how to frame our programs until school starts up again.
Here are some of the courses we were thinking about:
1. daytime programs ~10 am – 2/3 pm (ages 5-7, 8-12, 13-18)
2. afternoon programs ~2/3 pm – 5:30/6pm (ages 5-7, 8-12, 13-18)
3. AK astronomy: the winter night sky ~8pm – 10pm
4. Bike club
5. Ski Club
6. “movie night in the woods” (more of a fun, outdoor movie theater get together for families) 7. potential full day programs if we can find a “warming hut” (see below!) 8. the language collective: chinese, german, spanish, french in the woods
These times necesitate creativity and thinking outside the box. We don’t like having our kids on zoom all day and would rather have them in outdoor school with us, so one option we are considering is renting a winterized RV or two to have at our different locations like Russian Jack, Kincaid, and the Hilliside trail systems as a kind of “warming hut” when it is really chilly, which would make it easy to continue with full-day programming. We would get a hotspot and help facilitate zoom lessons, or help kids with their homeschool work if they’re doing that. Of course, the uncertainty of COVID looms with every type of action we might take, even shutting down completely, so our philosophy is to do our best, maintain solid communication with families (slack is super helpful with this), be responsive and adaptable as things change, and carry on.
Using your helpful input, we will have our programs published and ready to book by the middle of next week.
We have just gotten word that we are now approved homeschool vendors with ASD! We will soon be listed with all homeschool programs so that is another option for families going forward.