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
    • 4
    Register

    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!

    • Saturday, January 09, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Saturday, February 20, 2021
    • (EST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Online
    Register

    The Resourced Teacher series is about offering ready-to-implement tools to feel fully nourished and show up every day for our important work and purpose. As teachers, we spend so much time caring for others and other people’s children. Learning how to care for ourselves, how to make time without feeling guilty, and also what to do during that time is essential. We will learn and practice tools that you can use for yourself, as well as in your classroom. Learning how to regulate ourselves is just as important as learning how to spot disregulation due to trauma and empowering our students to do the same. These sessions will combine learning and discussing in front of the screen with movement and mindfulness practices. You will also be asked to keep a journal during this program, about 5-10 minutes every day. 

    CLASS MEETINGS
    Saturdays, Jan. 9, 16, 30, Feb. 7, 13, and 20. (Note: one date falls on Sunday, Feb. 7). Each class meets for 1.5 hours between 9-10:30 a.m. for a total of 9 clock hours.

    We will start every session with some centering meditation or a short movement practice, so please wear comfortable clothes. 

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is for teachers, guides, parents, or anyone who works with children. 

    COURSE FACILITATOR
    Simona Lederman is a Forest School teacher, a certified Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide, a registered yoga teacher, and a certified trauma-sensitive yoga facilitator (TCTSY-F). She is the Founding Director of Nature Playschool (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) and Trauma Sensitive Healing supporting people of all ages in their learning and healing process through nature, mindfulness, and movement-based programs, such as yoga, Reiki, forest bathing, and Qigong. (www.traumasensitivehealing.com)

    • Tuesday, January 12, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Tuesday, January 26, 2021
    • (EST)
    • 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.

    • Friday, January 15, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Saturday, March 06, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online!
    Register

    As spring begins its approach, some look to the maple tree as a source of food and inquiry. Discover the delight of tapping maple trees and sugaring with young children in this online primer. Under the lens of working with young children, we will introduce the process of maple sugaring and help participants feel comfortable bringing this experience to their own programs and practice. We will introduce basic winter tree identification, address the cultural and historical relevance of sugaring, share best practices and responsible harvesting, discover the science behind the sugaring process, and share tips and tricks for engaging children in the process.

    Participants will demonstrate proficiency in the different aspects of the sugaring process and, in turn, receive an ERAFANS sugaring badge representing their understanding of the practice, along with a professional development certificate. If you want to introduce sugaring to your program or personal practice with intention and authenticity but are not sure where to start, then this primer is for you!

    Your course facilitators is Emily Woodmansee, ERAFANS Board member and founder of Among the Ferns.

    ONLINE LEARNING FORMAT
    You can register for this course anytime now through March 6, 2021.

    This on-demand course is offered in three 45-minute segments that you can watch at your own pace. Additional materials will be provided to help you lead maple sugaring activities with your students. Upon registration, we will provide you with a list of suggested reading and materials.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is ideal for teachers in preschool, childcare, and elementary school settings who want to learn about the process of maple sugaring.

    • Saturday, January 16, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Saturday, January 30, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online
    Register

    Our Train-the-Trainer (TTT) program is offered to non-profit organizations or schools that want to deliver the introductory level 1 Nature-Based Teacher Certification as an approved trainer with the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools. The TTT model provides 20 clock hours of training which consists of 12 ‘live’ interactive training hours and 8 self-directed training hours. 

    Each module reviews essential topics from the introductory level 1 Nature-Based Teacher Certification course. Strategies, resources, and supplemental materials are provided throughout the training to ensure that trainers are prepared to lead their own level 1 NBTC courses.


    Goals of the TTT Program:

    • To build capacity for meaningful nature-based professional development focused on best practices in nature-based early childhood education

    • To equip trainers with skills and resources needed to provide the Nature-Based Teacher Certification as an approved trainer with the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools

    • To promote the mission and vision of ERAFANS to provide nature play and outdoor learning for all

    Requirements for Trainers/Training Organizations:

    • Must be a non-profit nature-based program or school with a minimum of five years experience running nature-based ECE programs (organizations, not individuals, can become approved trainers)
    • Facilitators must hold current NBTC from ERAFANS in levels 1 and 2
    • Must be an ERAFANS member in good standing
    • NBTC must be offered for a total of 36 clock hours in-person, hybrid, or live online. Course may not be recorded and offered ‘on demand’.
    Fees:


    $950 per training organization or school (Train-the-Trainer Course)
    $550 (Training Practicum during 'pending approval status')

    See additional Steps to Become An Approved Trainer and overview of training modules for more information.

    • Tuesday, January 19, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Tuesday, March 16, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Online
    Register


    This seasonal series is packed with practical approaches to help teachers take learning outside. Join experienced practitioners from the Eastern Ridge School in Great Falls, Virginia during this inspiring (and useful!) virtual series. Classes will meet on third Tuesdays, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, and Mar. 16. Read on for detailed descriptions of each session. A professional development certificate will be awarded at the conclusion of the series.

    PRESENTERS

    We are grateful to partner with the Eastern Ridge School in Great Falls, VA for this series. Learn more about Christina and Julie below.

    DESCRIPTIONS

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 7-8:30PM (EST)
    Bring it On! Embracing the Weather as a Teaching Tool
    So you are all geared up in your new waterproof anorak and your preschoolers and their families are prepared for countless days outside, but does the reality of teaching in the rain still make you feel like casting your morals aside and calling in sick? You are not alone, but you do have a choice. Do not let the rain wash out a great opportunity for learning what the new day provides. Instead, let the weather define the moment and shape your curriculum. This workshop will show how rain, snow, wind, cold, and heat can guide your curriculum. Let go, lean in, and learn some best practices for teaching in challenging inclement weather conditions.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 from 7-8:30PM (EST)
    Backpacks and Back Pockets: Essentials for the Outdoor Early Childhood Educator
    Along with new COVID-19 protocols, preschool teachers these days are facing other significant challenges as they take their programs outside for the first time. We are not talking about curriculum here. Taught by a team who has been there, this unique workshop was developed with practical challenges in mind. We are talking about how it feels to lead preschoolers in a project outside with a smile on your face as rain seeps into your boots.  Learn how to prepare yourself with not only practical ideas for your own gear, but also some tricks in your back pocket for the most challenging of outdoor moments. 

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 7-8:30PM (EST)
    The Capable Kid: Putting Kids to Work
    Our industrious preschoolers are ready and willing to work, and want to feel that the work they do is valuable. As outdoor educators, we need to find ways of providing learning opportunities no matter the weather. During this online workshop, we will look at some meaningful outdoor jobs that children enjoy and we will look at ways of quantifying the learning that goes on while kids are hard at work. We will cover practical tips and takeaways that you may use in your own program, including an opportunity to discuss and share best practices with other industry professionals. If you are new to teaching outdoors or are looking for fresh ideas, this workshop is for you. 

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
    This course is ideal for anyone who facilitates nature-based education and outdoor learning, which may include: teachers and administrators in preschool, childcare, or elementary school settings; naturalists, environmental educators, or outdoor educators; wilderness survival enthusiasts; and parents.

    Christina Dougan Blocksom, Lead Teacher at Eastern Ridge School
    Christina teaches four- and five-year-olds at Eastern Ridge School, a three-acre, outdoor, play-based, nature preschool in Great Falls, VA. With a background in business and early childhood education, Christina has been working with preschoolers for a little over ten years. She comes from a traditional, cooperative preschool model that increasingly merged with the forest kindergarten and nature immersion pedagogies. She has trained with the late Erin Kenny of Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, WA and later joined ERS as one of its lead teachers. ERS is dedicated to teaching outdoors in all kinds of weather, and values nature education and treating children with respect and encouraging them to be the capable, independent people they are.

    Julie Altman Liddle, Director of Eastern Ridge School
    After working as an art therapist in a special education setting for 10 years, Julie developed her own early childhood art program which she delivered in community centers throughout Northern Virginia as well as in  her own backyard.  She joined ERS as Art Specialist in 2013, and has brought her vision to the role of Program Director at the school since 2017.  Julie’s passion for weaving nature connection into early childhood education emerged from nearly two decades of work developing art programs for toddlers and preschoolers. She realized that along with children’s innate desire and ability to express themselves with materials, there was also an innate sense of wonder inspired by the natural world. She found that the marriage of these two elements seamlessly elicited joyful and meaningful exploration, discovery, self-expression, learning and growth across domains. 

    • Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Wednesday, March 17, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Online!
    Register

    As an administrator, how are you doing? How are you offering support to families and your staff as a whole? How have you allocated staff time and resources to deliver meaningful care and learning, now and looking into the future? What policies and practices are helping your program weather this storm? What are you doing for yourself, in terms of self-care, to keep moving forward during this stressful, uncertain time?

    Each networking call provides space to lean on one another from the unique perspectives we share as directors of nature-based programs and schools. We share challenges, strategies, resources, and practical solutions to help each other. This is a great place to air frustrations, ask questions of colleagues, or just listen and gather ideas. Encouragement and support is a-given! This is a networking call, not a presentation, so plan to interact and share.

    We will cap the discussion for each call; your confirmation email contains a link for all up-coming scheduled Zoom calls.

    • Wednesday, January 27, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Wednesday, March 24, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Online!
    Register

    We can all use a shoulder to lean on! This Zoom call makes space for facilitated discussion surrounding the challenges and silver linings we are facing with our nature-based programs. From COVID-19 protocol to general tips about working outdoors with young children,  the direction of the discussion is up to you!  Join us to connect, ask questions, and share ideas to support one another.

    This is a networking call, not a presentation, so bring your questions and plan to interact with other participants. These are typically small group discussions with 5-10 attendees, so no need to worry about getting lost in the crowd. We look forward to 'meeting' you!

    • Tuesday, February 02, 2021
    • 7:00 PM (EST)
    • Thursday, March 11, 2021
    • 8:30 PM (EST)
    • 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

    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 Monica with questions.

    • Monday, February 22, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Monday, March 29, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 6 sessions
    • 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
    Mondays from Feb. 22 through March 29, 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. 

    • Tuesday, April 13, 2021
    • 6:30 PM (EDT)
    • Sunday, April 25, 2021
    • 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online!
    • 49
    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, director of a nature-based preschool at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, 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.

    • Saturday, April 17, 2021
    • 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • Painted Oak Nature School, Hopewell, NJ
    Register
    Spring is here and we are ready to gather! 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. Light breakfast and lunch are included, but bring your canteen for drinks. 

    ERAFANS will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!

    • 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.

    • 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

Sunday, January 17, 2021 Winter Sing-Along with Megan Fox
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
Friday, August 28, 2020 Forest School as a Path to Math
Monday, August 24, 2020 Nature-Based Teacher Certification (online course)
Thursday, August 20, 2020 Supporting Young Children with Diversabilities in Outdoor Learning Environments
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
Friday, June 05, 2020 Natural Wonder Summit
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
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software