CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Upcoming events

    • Thursday, September 03, 2020
    • 1:00 PM (EDT)
    • Friday, May 28, 2021
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Glen Meadows Retirement Community
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Notchcliff Forest Kinder Co-Op is for families who want to balance home school or online distance learning with social play and nature connection in a small group setting. While most of the children's time is devoted to nature play, we also translate our adventures into activities that align with grade level expectations and standards. (Learn more at www.naturalcommunity.org.)

    Classes meet from Sept. 3 - May 27, 2021 on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. entirely outdoors, rain or shine! You will receive complete details about gear and policies when you register. Your child must be five (5) years old by September 1st to meet the age requirement.  Offered for grades K-2nd.

    Options include: full year (Sept 3 - May 27, 2021), half year (Fall/Winter 2020 from Sept. 3 - Dec. 22, 2020), or half year (Winter/Spring 2021 from Jan. 5 - May 27, 2021). 

    Co-Op agreement: By joining the Forest Kinder Co-Op, your family agrees to join us for 1 day each month and submit to background checks. (One or both parents may attend and you are welcome to bring younger siblings.) Parents provide helpful support to teachers and get a bird’s eye view into their child’s learning experiences. This is an important way we build community, share one another’s successes, and work together to encourage meaningful learning.

    Tuition:  This is based on less than you might otherwise pay a sitter (about $10/hour).  If you join partway through the year, we will pro-rate your tuition.  If you are experiencing financial need, please reach out. We have limited aid for those who qualify.

    Payment schedule: First payment is due upon enrollment and is non-refundable; second payment due Nov. 1, third payment due Feb. 1, and final payment due Apr. 1. Reminders with individual balances will be sent approximately two weeks before payments are due.

    Enrollment Requirements: Your child must be five years old by Sept. 1 of the program year s/he begins. 

    Family Agreement & Handbook: Immersive outdoor learning means just that - we are outdoors in all kinds of weather! Please read and sign the handbook and Family Agreement to acknowledge important policies that guide our program. Family Agreement_Notchcliff Nature Programs.pdf.

    You can find our COVID-19 Policies here. Our calendar and gear guide will be provided in your confirmation email.  We look forward to amazing adventures with you and your child!

    • Friday, September 04, 2020
    • 9:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, May 28, 2021
    • 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Glen Meadows Retirement Community
    Register

    Notchcliff Forest Preschool is a joyful way for young children, ages 3-5 to play and explore in nature. This is a drop-off program led by two caring adult guides with a maximum of 10 children. Class options include our Tuesday/Thursdays Fawns class from 9:30-12:30 p.m. or Forest Fridays from 9:30-12:30 p.m. Classes take place primarily outdoors, though we also access a classroom in the main building of Glen Meadows Retirement Community in case of extreme or inclement weather.

    Community Building: Families participate in our learning adventures! We welcome you into the forest to play during select Family Forest Days. We also offer monthly opportunities for families to attend a local outing at a nearby wild space. These outings allow families to develop kinship while we discover many more gems in our community. We also use this time to plan special activities with our 'grand friends' at the retirement community. (See program calendar.)

    Tuition: This is based on what you might otherwise pay a sitter! Please note that enrollment is for the full program year (Sept. 2020 - May 2021).

    Payment schedule: First payment is due upon enrollment and is non-refundable; second payment due Nov. 1, third payment due Feb. 1, and final payment due Apr. 1. Reminders with individual balances will be sent approximately two weeks before payments are due.  If you join partway through the year, we will pro-rate your tuition.

    Enrollment Requirements: Your child must be three years old by Sept. 1 of the program year s/he begins. Potty training is not required, but please let us know about this sensitive topic in advance so we can best support your child's needs.

    Family Agreement & Handbook: Immersive outdoor learning means just that - we are outdoors in all kinds of weather! Please read and sign the handbook and Family Agreement to acknowledge important policies that guide our program. Family Agreement_Notchcliff Nature Preschool.pdf.

    Our calendar and gear guide will be provided in your confirmation email. We look forward to amazing adventures with you and your child!

    • Wednesday, March 10, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Friday, December 31, 2021
    • (EST)
    • online!
    Register

    (The calendar date is the last day available day of registration. When you register, you get the link to this course for immediate viewing!)

    This webinar introduces the foundations of forest school pedagogy as it applies to math curriculum in K-6 elementary education. We will discuss how it is possible to blend forest school with the teaching of specific curricula learning outcomes,  as opposed to being an ‘add-on’, which requires extra time within an already crowded curriculum. Focus is placed on K-6 math learning and shows how learning math in the forest is engaging for all (teachers and students). We will also examine how it can support students suffering from behavioral and motivation issues, who are often distracted and disengaged in class.

    ABOUT THE PRESENTER: CAROLINE BAILLIE

    Professor Caroline Baillie is a trained forest school leader (UK) and STEM educator with diverse multidisciplinary background. She shares her time between academic work at the University of San Diego, CA and work with ‘Waste for Life’, which she co-founded with partner Eric Feinblatt.  Caroline formerly ran an innovative ‘bush school’ in Australia with Noongar children using forest school pedagogy (see Bush school talk) and continues her work with Indigneous communities through her collaborative work with USD students and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation (see Kumeyaay). During 2018, Caroline also facilitated the development of forest school at Sullivan West Elementary school in Sullivan County NY, which focuses on supporting math learners in the outdoor classroom. Waste for Life's Standing People Together program is currently launching its ‘Forest Exploratorium’ which provides forest school sessions for K-6 age children in rural Sullivan County, NY. Learn more about programs and training with Waste for Life here.

    • Wednesday, March 10, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Friday, December 31, 2021
    • (EST)
    • online!
    Register

    *You will recieve this recorded webinar when you register for immediate viewing!

    Discover some of the challenges of taking young children with diversabilities outside and gain some practical tips and strategies to make these experiences successful for everyone involved. This webinar is presented primarily through a Forest School lens, but some alternative approaches to getting children with diversabilities outside will also be discussed. We will address the needs of  Deaf/Hard of Hearing, ESL, developmentally delayed, and physically challenged children, as well as children with autism, children with challenging behavior and children with health concerns in this webinar. If you have thought about offering special programming to children with diversabilities within your existing Forest or Nature School program, or already have a few children with Special Rights enrolled and need help supporting them, this webinar is for you! 

    ABOUT THE PRESENTER: SALLY-ANN ANDERSON
    Sally has worked for over 30 years with young children, most of whom have diversabilities.  She is thSite Principal at the New Mexico School for the Deaf, Albuquerque Preschool; Forest Day Learning (FDL) Founder & Lead Teacher, NMSD Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Farmington Preschools; and Founder, Director & Lead Teacher of Sol Forest School, Tijeras, New Mexico.

    For decades, she has utilized the power of the natural world as a tool in supporting the development of young, diverse learners through the implementation of natural loose parts play, a focus on learning through the seasons, school yard "nature-scaping", school gardening, place-based learning, and forest school programming. Sally believes that all children have a right to learn in a nature-connected way, and that it is vital to their holistic development, as well as to the future of our shared Mother Earth.

    • Tuesday, April 06, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Thursday, May 13, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 18 sessions
    • Online!
    Register

    We are thrilled to offer our Nature-Based Teacher Certification as an online option! You will gain a deeper understanding of nature pedagogy and practices as you earn this introductory credential. 

    Our 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. We draw from experienced educators with diverse perspectives to help you hone your own approaches to nature-based ECE. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. 

    SCHEDULE
    Tuesdays:  Facilitated discussions on key topics
    Wednesdays: Cohort meetings
    Thursdays:  Guest presenters with Q&A

    Course meets from 7-8:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. There is a total of 24 hours direct learning through 6 consecutive weeks of online sessions with presenters and within small cohorts. An additional 12 hours of flexible, self-directed learning will take place centered on outdoor skills and experiences, which you must provide documentation of.  Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.

    We are delighted to share this course with our international friends and those who cannot travel for training at this time. Feel free to reach out to Emily with questions.

    • Tuesday, April 13, 2021
    • 6:30 PM (EDT)
    • Sunday, April 25, 2021
    • 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online!
    • 44
    Register

    This 12-hour course pairs benefits of outdoor learning with strategies for implementation at your preschool, daycare, public or private elementary school setting. As we move through the course, you will examine the physical spaces in your program (indoors and out) and explore ways to harness them for healthy outdoor play and learning. We will also identify ways that outdoor learning aligns with curriculum and discuss how to demonstrate the benefits to stakeholders such as fellow staff, administrators, maintenance crew, and parents. We will discuss practical approaches to moving class outside and help your team transform teaching practices to confidently teach in outdoor settings. This includes considerations for sites in urban and rural settings, guidance on risk management, planning for diverse learner needs, and low- or no-cost options for materials. Taking cues from nature-based programs and forest schools, we will highlight resources and research throughout as models of outdoor learning. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and a supportive network of colleagues to make outdoor learning a reality!

    Your course facilitators are:
    Heather Quinn, founding director of Hummingbird Hill Nature Preschool in Reisterstown, MD and Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, director of ERAFANS and coauthor of Nature Play Workshop for Families. Additional guest presenters will add to our class discussion as well.

    The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, work in a smaller cohort of teachers, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. Sorry, this is not a pre-recorded 'on-demand' class; it is designed for interactive learning in real time.

    SCHEDULE
    Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (EST): Facilitated discussions on key topics
    Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (EST): Follow-up discussion and cohort meetings
    Sundays, 3-5 p.m. (EST):  Facilitated discussion with select guest presenters

    There is a total of 12 hours of direct online learning with presenters and within small cohorts. Additional self-directed learning will take place centered on topics we discuss as a group. Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.

    All attendees will receive a professional development certificate for successful completion of this course. Maryland educator: please note this course is pending approval for MSDE clock hours.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is ideal for teachers in preschool, childcare, and elementary school settings who want to move learning outside! Feel free to reach out to Monica with questions.

    • Wednesday, April 21, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Wednesday, May 05, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Online!
    Register

    If you are starting a new forest or nature preschool program this fall (including childcare and home school classes), our intensive 12-clock hour Forest and Nature Preschool Boot Camp can help you get started! We address a range of topics including:

    • Honing your vision, mission, and educational philosophy
    • Establishing program basics like daily rhythm, class sizes, schedules
    • Business planning/determining a business structure
    • Locations and partners 
    • Licensing considerations
    • How to set tuition, compensate staff, and create a program budget
    • Policies and practices for your parent handbook
    • Creating greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in your program
    • Safety and risk management, including liability insurance needs
    • Finding and hiring great staff
    • Marketing your program
    • Evaluation

    Your course facilitator is Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, director of ERAFANS, founder/cofounder of three nature preschool programs in Maryland, coauthor of award-winning Nature Play Workshop for Families, and consultant to countless others starting forest and nature schools in the U.S. and abroad. Guest presenters will also share perspectives for select topics during the three-day course.

    The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, small group work among participants, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. As you might imagine, this is an intense course because we cover so much ground in a short span of time. You will want to plan time between our sessions to consider what we discuss. Please note this is not a prerecorded, on demand course. It is interactive so we can learn together! Are you ready to take the leap?

    SCHEDULE
    Week 1:
    Facilitated discussion and topics during first class, 6-9 p.m. (EST)
    Self-directed reading/planning for one-hour

    Week 2:
    Facilitated discussion and topics during second class, 6-9 p.m. (EST)
    Cohort meeting for one-hour (TBD based on group needs)
    Self-directed reading/planning

    Week 3:
    Facilitated discussion and topics during final class, 6-9 p.m. (EST)
    Cohort meeting for one-hour (TBD based on group needs)
    Self-directed reading/planning

    Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is ideal for anyone establishing a forest or nature preschool program, which may include a child care or home school model. Whether your program is in a rural or urban setting, this course will offer essential information so you can get right to it. Feel free to reach out to Monica with questions.

    • Sunday, April 25, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Sunday, August 22, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • Goucher College, Towson, Maryland
    Register

    If you've made it this far, congratulations for progressing to the capstone Level III Nature-Based Teacher Certification course! This registration is for a hybrid course with online learning and practicum (April-July) and a culminating long weekend of training in August.


    Our 36-hour capstone course combines deepening nature connection with a well-rounded approach to nature-based education, advocacy, and leadership. Offered as a hybrid course, the format includes online meetings with both live and self-directed time and a professional practicum that you will complete in your school or program setting. A three-day gathering is held in-person to further learning,  sharing, and celebration as a community.

    Time commitment for the capstone course is 36 clock hours, plus time required to complete the practicum. (Note: Attendees must complete levels 1 & 2 prior to taking level 3; see web for complete description.)

    • Sunday, May 16, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online!
    Register

    This webinar explores several approaches to help teachers foster values of kindness, empathy, gratitude, and compassion with young children. Discover how mindful practices can be seamlessly incorporated into your nature-based program, and why they greatly benefit the children in your care.


    Jess Gruber is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) with a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy. She works specifically in reproductive wellness, mental health, and yoga for educators and care providers. She is a former preschool educator, kids yoga teacher, and is a mother to a happy little boy and two furry dogs.


    • Wednesday, May 26, 2021
    • 7:00 PM (EDT)
    • Wednesday, June 30, 2021
    • 9:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online
    Register

    This course develops core routines, which are habits that help us draw closer to nature. As teachers and outdoor guides, we must nurture our relationship with and as part of the natural world to better help children do the same. This course takes inspiration from Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown (2010). We share a seasonal journey integrating core routines and nature connection practices in our own lives, complemented by suggestions for sharing core routines with young children. Be prepared for self-directed experiences you will do outdoors between class meetings.

    CLASS MEETINGS
    Wednesdays from May 26 through June 30, 2021 from 7-9 p.m. (see schedule below).

    FLOW OF CLASS SCHEDULE
    Each class is a mini-retreat! The format of this interactive course is a combination of facilitated discussion, work in a smaller cohort of teachers, and asynchronous independent learning experiences. 

    -Facilitated topics centered on core routines
    -Outside experiences/break
    -Cohort discussions and small group experiences
    -Reflection and closing stories

    There is a total of 12 hours direct learning through six (6) online sessions with course instructor and within small cohorts. Additional self-directed learning will take place centered on topics we discuss as a group. Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is ideal for anyone who wants to explore the core routines described in Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature as it relates to sharing nature with young children outdoors. Attendees may include: teachers in preschool, childcare, or elementary school settings; naturalists, environmental educators, or outdoor educators; wilderness survival enthusiasts; and parents.


    COURSE FACILITATOR
    Lynn is a Nature-Based Mentor, Certified Life Coach, naturalist, archetype enthusiast, ceremonial facilitator, and passionate gardener. She is also a contributing author to Discover Your Woman Within: A Journey to Wholeness. With a degree in Biology from Quinnipiac University, an apprenticeship with the Vermont Wilderness School, and a husband busting to co-create transformational, nature-based experiences for individuals and communities. Her life’s work is to support mission-driven people to stay focused on their quest to make the world a better place and find joy in the process. 

    • Friday, June 04, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Sunday, June 06, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, DE
    Register

    The Natural Wonder Summit is a very special gathering for nature-based educators, administrators, and childcare providers. This three-day event is a joyful way to explore nature-based early childhood education and personal natural connection. We recharge with old friends and new as we celebrate outdoor play and learning!

    This event is held in partnership with the Delaware Nature Society at the beautiful Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin, DE. 

    Please note that this year's summit will be held in a 'hybrid' format! Featured keynote speakers will kick off our event online Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m. Small, in-person workshops will take place throughout the day on Saturday at Ashland Nature Center. Optional tours of Coverdale Farm and an opportunity to experience a natural wonder (spawning horseshoe crabs and shorebirds!) are available on Sunday. Breakfast and an afternoon snack are provided on Saturday, but please pack your lunch and bring a canteen for drinks. 

    ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event; training is pending MD and DE approval of training hours. Please dress for the weather, as up to 100% of this event will take place outdoors, rain or shine. 

    COVID-19 protocols are in place including a Health Check (form to complete prior to arrival), temperature check, and required use of face coverings. Participants should bring an outdoor camping chair or blanket to physically distance during the training.  Your confirmation email contains further details.

    • Saturday, June 12, 2021
    • 2:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online!
    Register

    This workshop is meant to gather educators in community to share experiences of teaching during the pandemic, share their stories, and balance their bodies in community. We will use the power of community, yoga, and reflection to facilitate self-care and stress relief. No yoga experience is necessary for this class. Wear comfortable clothes, bring 2 pillows, a blanket, and a journal.

    Jess Gruber is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) with a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy. She works specifically in reproductive wellness, mental health, and yoga for educators and care providers. She is a former preschool educator and is a mother to a happy little boy and two furry dogs.


    • Tuesday, June 22, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Thursday, July 29, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 18 sessions
    • Online
    Register

    We are thrilled to offer our Nature-Based Teacher Certification as an online option! You will gain a deeper understanding of nature pedagogy and practices as you earn this introductory credential. 

    Our 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. We draw from experienced educators with diverse perspectives to help you hone your own approaches to nature-based ECE. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. 

    SCHEDULE
    Tuesdays:  Facilitated discussions on key topics
    Wednesdays: Cohort meetings
    Thursdays:  Guest presenters with Q&A

    Course meets from 2-3:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. There is a total of 24 hours direct learning through 6 consecutive weeks of online sessions with presenters and within small cohorts. An additional 12 hours of flexible, self-directed learning will take place centered on outdoor skills and experiences, which you must provide documentation of.  Upon registration, we will provide you with a complete list of materials needed for the course.

    We are delighted to share this course with our international friends and those who cannot travel for training at this time. Feel free to reach out to Emily with questions.

    Please note: We saw an incredible amount of scholarship applications and scholarships for this session are full. We will offer future online sessions and look forward to being able to open more scholarship opportunities in the future!


    • Monday, June 28, 2021
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, July 02, 2021
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Gramercy Carriage House, Stevenson, MD
    Register

    We are thrilled to offer our Nature-Based Teacher Certification! You will gain a deeper understanding of nature pedagogy and practices as you earn this introductory credential. (Registration is for live, in-person certification.)

    This five-day, 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. We draw from experienced educators with diverse perspectives to help you hone your own approaches to nature-based ECE. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. (See web for complete description.)

    Monday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Full day of workshops; breakfast and lunch provided daily

    Tuesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m.; full day of workshops

    Wednesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m., off-site tours and workshops

    Thursday: 12 - 8:30 p.m.
    Lunch followed by sessions, evening sessions include dinner and campfire

    Friday: 8:30 - 4 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m. , closing sessions and conclusion of the course

    Saturday: 9-12 p.m. 
    Optional Volunteer Day in Baltimore City at BLISS Meadows at Backyard Basecamp

    • Monday, June 28, 2021
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, July 02, 2021
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Gramercy Carriage House, Stevenson, MD
    Register

    We are excited to learn with you once again during the Level 2: Intermediate Nature-Based Teacher Certification! (Registration is for live, in-person certification.)

    This five-day, 36-hour course builds on what you learned during the Level 1 introductory course, diving deeper into best practices and helping you hone approaches to nature-based early childhood education specific to your learning environment. The intermediate course examines more nuanced facets of running a nature-based program, managing/mentoring teachers, and promoting your program.  We continue to draw from experienced educators and explore diverse perspectives in NBECE throughout the week. You will also take time to enhance your personal nature connection as an extension of this deep, important work. (Note: Attendees must complete the level 1 introductory course prior to taking level 2; see web for complete description.)

    Monday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Full day of workshops; breakfast and lunch provided daily

    Tuesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m.; full day of workshops

    Wednesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m., off-site tours and workshops

    Thursday: 12 - 8:30 p.m.
    Lunch followed by sessions, evening sessions include dinner and campfire

    Friday: 8:30 - 4 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m. , closing sessions and conclusion of the course

    Saturday: 9-12 p.m. 
    Optional Volunteer Day in Baltimore City at BLISS Meadows at Backyard Basecamp

    • Monday, July 19, 2021
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, July 23, 2021
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, OH
    Register

    We are thrilled to offer our Nature-Based Teacher Certification! You will gain a deeper understanding of nature pedagogy and practices as you earn this introductory credential. (Registration is for live, in-person certification.)

    This five-day, 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. We draw from experienced educators with diverse perspectives to help you hone your own approaches to nature-based ECE. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. (See web for complete description.)

    Monday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Full day of workshops; breakfast and lunch provided daily

    Tuesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m.; full day of workshops

    Wednesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m., off-site tours and workshops

    Thursday: 12 - 8:30 p.m.
    Lunch followed by sessions, evening sessions include dinner and campfire

    Friday: 8:30 - 4 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m. , closing sessions and conclusion of the course

    • Monday, July 19, 2021
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, July 23, 2021
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, OH
    Register

    We are excited to learn with you once again during the Level 2: Intermediate Nature-Based Teacher Certification! (Registration is for live, in-person certification.)

    This five-day, 36-hour course builds on what you learned during the Level 1 introductory course, diving deeper into best practices and helping you hone approaches to nature-based early childhood education specific to your learning environment. The intermediate course examines more nuanced facets of running a nature-based program, managing/mentoring teachers, and promoting your program.  We continue to draw from experienced educators and explore diverse perspectives in NBECE throughout the week. You will also take time to enhance your personal nature connection as an extension of this deep, important work. (Note: Attendees must complete the level 1 introductory course prior to taking level 2; see web for complete description.)

    Monday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Full day of workshops; breakfast and lunch provided daily

    Tuesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m.; full day of workshops

    Wednesday: 8:30 - 5 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m., off-site tours and workshops

    Thursday: 12 - 8:30 p.m.
    Lunch followed by sessions, evening sessions include dinner and campfire

    Friday: 8:30 - 4 p.m.
    Optional morning yoga at 7:45 a.m. , closing sessions and conclusion of the course

    • Wednesday, September 01, 2021
    • 9:30 AM (EDT)
    • Friday, May 27, 2022
    • 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • Glen Meadows Retirement Community
    Register

    Notchcliff Forest Preschool is a joyful way for young children, ages 3-5 to play and explore in nature. This is a drop-off program led by two caring teacher guides with a maximum of 10 children. Class options include Mon./Wed. Chickadees class, Tues./Thurs. Spotted Fawns class, or Forest Fridays from 9:30-12:30 p.m. Classes take place outdoors, although we have access to a classroom in the main building of Glen Meadows Retirement Community in case of extreme or inclement weather.

    Community Building: Families participate in our learning adventures! We welcome you into the forest to play during select Family Forest Days. We also offer monthly opportunities for families to attend a local outing at a nearby wild space. These outings allow families to develop kinship while we discover many more gems in our community. We also use this time to plan special activities with our 'grand friends' at the retirement community. (See program calendar.)

    Tuition: Rates are based on what you might otherwise pay a sitter! Please note that enrollment is for the full program year (Sept. 2021 - May 2022). If space is available, we may offer a pro-rated January-May session.

    Payment schedule: First payment is due upon enrollment and is non-refundable; second payment due Nov. 1, third payment due Feb. 1, and final payment due Apr. 1. Reminders with individual balances will be sent approximately two weeks before payments are due.  If you join partway through the year, we will pro-rate your tuition.

    Enrollment Requirements: Your child must be three years old by Sept. 1 of the program year s/he begins. Toilet-training is not required, but please let us know about this sensitive topic in advance so we can best support your child's needs.

    We honor the diverse background and abilities of everyone in our learning community. We work closely with families to ensure that every child receives necessary accommodations to thrive. Please reach out to Monica if you have specific questions about our approach to inclusion director@erafans.org.

    Family Agreement & Handbook: Immersive outdoor learning means just that - we are outdoors in all kinds of weather! Please read and sign the handbook and Family Agreement to acknowledge important policies that guide our program. 

    Our calendar and gear guide will be provided in your confirmation email. We look forward to amazing adventures with you and your child!

Past events

Saturday, April 17, 2021 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Sunday, April 11, 2021 Spring Sing Along with Megan Fox!
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Transforming Your Program by Centering Narratives and Roles of Indigenous, Black and People of Color in Nature
Monday, February 22, 2021 Nature Connection Practices
Tuesday, February 02, 2021 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (online course)
Monday, February 01, 2021 Train-the-Trainer Module for Nature-Based Teacher Foundations Course
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Networking Call for Nature-Based Educators
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Outdoor Preschool Teacher Series
Sunday, January 17, 2021 Winter Sing-Along with Megan Fox
Friday, January 15, 2021 Maple Sugaring Primer for Early Childhood Educators
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Forest and Nature Preschool Boot Camp!
Saturday, January 09, 2021 The Resourced Teacher: Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Trauma-Informed Teaching
Monday, December 21, 2020 Winter Solstice Ceremony
Friday, December 18, 2020 Not If, But How: Inclusion and Advocacy in Nature-Based Programs
Friday, November 06, 2020 Members Gathering
Thursday, October 22, 2020 Chesapeake Nature Play & Learning Conference
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Tuesday, October 06, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (online course)
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Edible Earth, Art Therapy, and Natural Apothecary
Monday, September 14, 2020 What are Forest and Nature Schools?
Monday, August 31, 2020 Lessons From Home: Nature-Based Day Care and Preschool at Home
Monday, August 24, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (online course)
Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Forest and Nature Preschool Boot Camp!
Tuesday, August 04, 2020 Starting a Forest or Nature Preschool Program? Free advice!
Friday, July 24, 2020 Starting a Forest or Nature Preschool Program? Free advice!
Monday, July 20, 2020 Outdoor Learning in a Nutshell: Taking Learning Outside
Monday, July 20, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification
Monday, July 20, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (Intermediate Level 2)
Monday, July 06, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (Intermediate Level 2)
Monday, July 06, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification
Monday, June 29, 2020 Spiritual Development and the Environment as a Third Educator
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (online course)
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 Nature-Based Educators Networking Call
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 Wild Life: Exploring Nature With Children
Friday, June 12, 2020 SC State Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, June 09, 2020 Director's Series
Tuesday, June 02, 2020 Nature-Based Learning, Inside and Out
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Creating Your Nature-Based Preschool
Friday, May 22, 2020 [Virtual] Open House for Notchcliff Forest Preschool
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Nature-Based Educators Networking Call
Monday, May 18, 2020 Creating Your Nature-Based Preschool
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Unpacking Emergent Curriculum
Wednesday, May 06, 2020 Dramatic Play-Based Learning in Nature
Tuesday, May 05, 2020 Nature-Based Learning, Inside and Out
Monday, May 04, 2020 The Abundance of Spring: Plant ID and Foraging Basics
Sunday, May 03, 2020 Local Networking Meeting (VA)
Sunday, May 03, 2020 Local Networking Meeting (MD)
Thursday, April 30, 2020 Virtual Forest School? A Facilitated Discussion
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Thursday, April 23, 2020 [Virtual] Open House for Notchcliff Nature Preschool
Friday, April 17, 2020 Drip Drop Fun: Simple Water Play Activities
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 Director's Series
Sunday, April 05, 2020 Staying Connected Through Nature Play & Learning
Thursday, April 02, 2020 Virtual Forest School? A Facilitated Discussion
Wednesday, April 01, 2020 Forest & Nature Preschool Director's Call
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Gentle Yoga for Grounding
Monday, March 23, 2020 Reframing the Meaning of Community in Changing Times
Friday, March 06, 2020 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, February 15, 2020 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, February 01, 2020 SC State Chapter Meeting
Sunday, January 26, 2020 Naturally Ready For Kindergarten (ONLINE COURSE)
Sunday, January 19, 2020 Creating Your Nature-based Preschool
Saturday, November 09, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, November 02, 2019 SC State Chapter Meeting
Saturday, October 12, 2019 VA State Chapter Meeting
Saturday, October 05, 2019 Tender Sprouts Caregivers Workshop
Saturday, September 21, 2019 Planning Your Natural Play Space
Friday, September 06, 2019 Forest Fridays at Notchcliff Nature Preschool
Sunday, August 18, 2019 Family Nature Play Day!
Monday, August 12, 2019 Nature-Based Teacher Certification NC
Monday, July 15, 2019 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (Intermediate)
Monday, July 08, 2019 Nature-Based Teacher Certification
Saturday, June 08, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat OH
Saturday, May 18, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, May 11, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, April 27, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 UK Forest School Study Tour
Friday, March 15, 2019 Natural Wonder Summit
Saturday, February 23, 2019 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, January 12, 2019 VA State Chapter Meeting
Saturday, October 27, 2018 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, October 06, 2018 Outdoor Teacher Retreat NY
Monday, July 09, 2018 Nature-Based Teacher Certification
Monday, June 11, 2018 Planning Your Natural Play Space
Friday, June 01, 2018 Natural Wonder Summit
Saturday, May 05, 2018 Outdoor Teacher Retreat at Common Ground, New Haven, CT
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Planning Your Natural Play Space
Saturday, April 14, 2018 Outdoor Teacher Retreat VA
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Outdoor Teacher Retreat
Saturday, February 10, 2018 Winter Workshop & Retreat
Wednesday, December 06, 2017 Naturally Ready for Kindergarten
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Gratitude, Mindfulness, and Loving Kindness
Saturday, November 11, 2017 Outdoor Teacher Retreat at Painted Oak Nature School, NJ
Saturday, October 07, 2017 Toast the Teachers!
Saturday, September 30, 2017 Outdoor Teacher Retreat, Westminster, MD
Friday, September 29, 2017 Planning Your Natural Play Space
Thursday, September 14, 2017 Back to [Nature] School Basics
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 Nurturing Communication in Your Learning Community
Monday, August 21, 2017 Loose Parts, Props & Tools
Friday, August 11, 2017 Summer Webinar Series, Part 3: Water
Monday, July 17, 2017 Planning Your Natural Play Space
Friday, July 07, 2017 Summer Webinar Series, Part 2: Fire
Friday, June 23, 2017 Complete Summer Webinar Series: Mud, Fire & Water
Friday, June 23, 2017 Summer Webinar Series, Part 1: Mud
Friday, May 05, 2017 Webinar Series, Part 3: Loose Parts, Tools and Props for Outdoor Learning
Thursday, May 04, 2017 Webinar Series, Part 2: Planning Your Natural Play Space
Thursday, April 20, 2017 Webinar Series, Part 1: The Value of Natural Play Spaces
Thursday, April 20, 2017 Complete Spring Webinar Series: Natural Play Spaces
Saturday, April 01, 2017 Natural Wonder Summit
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