Outdoor Teacher Retreat

Saturday, April 17, 2021 

8:30AM - 4PM

Painted Oak Nature School, Hopewell, NJ

Sorry, this event is sold out!

About this Nature-Based Training    

After a long winter, gathering in person sure will be sweet.  Join us as we discover best practices and approaches to nature-based education. Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs.

This training is ideal for educators, caregivers, and others working with children three to six years old. Attendees work in all kinds of settings, from nature-based schools and forest kindergartens to public schools, traditional preschools, HeadStart programs, childcare centers, daycare, and more. Breakfast is included, but pack a lunch and bring your canteen for drinks. 

ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as 100% of this training takes 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.

Schedule of Workshops

Tour of Fallen Forest: Where Forest School Magic Happens! 

Nicole Landgo, Painted Oak Nature School
In this session, participants will hike out to the home of Painted Oak's Forest School, enjoying a game and some songs along the way. Once arrived, participants will hear how's and why's behind the organization of space, a bit about risk vs. hazard, and how we spend our four hours among trees. There will be time provided for Q&A.

Creating Routines Through Mindfulness and Song 

Mary Claire Sonneman and Anna Maxwell,  South Mountain Nature School 

One of the most important elements of a Forest Kindergarten program is that children experience a sense of timelessness in nature. We want to create time and space for them to feel free of the time constraints and transitions that make up our busy lives. Songs and mindfulness are great tools for creating

 routines that feel natural and easy in a Forest Kindergarten. 

Outdoor Nature Games
Jessica Clayton, Riverside Nature Play School

As a NJ-certified teacher, family childcare provider, and moderator for the Nature Preschool Ideas and Community group on Facebook, Jessica knows a thing or two about the value of playful games! She guides you through wildly fun Forest Games that highlight facts about animals, improve gross motor skills, hone observation skills in the forest, and provide joyful experiences in the natural world. Games can be modified for any learning environment. We will be playing the games ourselves, so be prepared to get active, make friends, and have fun! 

Oakers Make Ochres
Corey Sempler, Painted Oak Nature School

Come meet on the banks of Crayfish Creek to make paint from rocks! We will grind pigment by rubbing the local shale on large stones, and compare the colors of natural earth ochres from around the world. Adding sap and honey as binders, we’ll learn about the science and history of the very oldest form of art. Expect to get muddy!

Nature Art Networking and Jam Session: Sharing Music Around the Campfire
Bring a song in your pocket (and an instrument if you like!). This song share will introduce you to beloved tunes that others use in their programs. You can also opt to listen while you craft around the campfire.

*Schedule subject to change based on presenter availability due to the COVID-19 pandemic.*

COVID-19 Protocol 

We will only accept 50 attendees for this small training and we will take several actions to safeguard the learning community from the possible spread of illness. This includes a Health Check (form to complete prior to arrival), temperature check, required use of face coverings, physically distancing, and holding the training outside. Complete details will be provided during registration.

Ready to join us? REGISTER TODAY!

Learn more about our payment and refund policies here. Thank you for joining us!

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