Inspired by Richard Louv's book, I created a Nature camp ALL CHILDREN IN THE WOODS that runs during school breaks in the woods around Prescott, AZ.
The goal of this camp is to help children to connect with nature, with one another, to learn and to have fun. The dynamic is based on a combination of guided educational activities, organized games, songs, art work, journal keeping, walks, building, team work, storytelling, free play, and educational reflective time. Through these diverse activities children are inspired to creatively engage with nature, to practice cooperation and respect, and to develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the diversity of nature and human beings.
I also want this nature camp to be a place for collaboration and community involvement. For that reason, I opened the camp to Prescott College students who come to do their environmental education practice, senior projects and independent studies. Some professors from the college have brought their entire classes to participate, learn and experience first hand what it is like to be in nature with a group of 20 little kids.
I am now inviting people from the community who want to participate and share their skills, knowledge and experience. For example, for the Fall Break 2015 we will have the participation of a local musician who will do "music in the woods". In the last camp over the summer someone from a local NGO who taught us about forest fires. We also had the visit of a magician! who ended the show talking about magic in nature.
It has been an amazing experience so far. I am constantly looking for new ideas for games and activities to do with the kids. Some of the kids have been in all my camps, every time! So I need to keep doing new things. I have read the classics (Cornell, Coyote's guide) and use them extensively. I am searching for more resources and I welcome any suggestions.