Log in

OUTDOOR Teacher RetreaT CT

Saturday, May 6, 2023

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

New Canaan Nature Center  

144 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT

About this Nature-Based Training

Join ERAFANS at New Canaan Nature Center for this 6-clock hour Outdoor Teacher Retreat (*CCAC Registry approved for 6 clock hours)! Get ready to play outdoors as we start the day touring and learning about the Nature Center Preschool. All workshops will be full of practical ideas and activities you can use right away!  Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. 

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. 

Note: Please bring your canteen for drinks; lunch is provided. While this workshop is open to educators working with children of all ages, the content will be geared towards those working with children ages 3-8 years old.

Who Should Attend?

This training is ideal for educators, caregivers, and others working with young children. Our participants 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. 

Workshop Descriptions

This retreat is packed with topics you will love! You can look forward to engaging, immersive sessions on the topics you need to learn, play, and explore with children outside.

Rooted in Nature: All About NCNCP!
New Canaan Nature Center Preschool

Discover the history and evolution of the New Canaan Nature Center Preschool from their team! A tour with Q&A offers insight into the vision, mission, and day-to-day operation of the nature preschool program, which is considered the first to be recognized in the United States.

Through Indigenous Eyes: What Educators Need to Know
Brent Spears, Mashantucket (Pequot) Tribal Nation Child Development Center

How do you view indigenous representation? Being A biracial indigenous person growing up in Oklahoma I grew up in an education system reflecting many educational standpoints. Many educators struggled alongside mainstream society to begin to understand how to view indigenous peoples especially in the classroom. Through this experience we will begin to build a platform of understanding basic concepts of indigeneity through diversification, authenticity, and realizations through a pan indigenous lens. Blending this with nature and incorporating indigenous knowledge respectfully in the classroom will transform your mindset to feel more confident for future endeavors into this perspective.

Ten Ceremonies to Honor Mother Earth
Evan Pritchard

Join Evan to learn about ten basic, simple ceremonial actions that you can use to create your own personal ceremonies to express your love for Mother Earth, and to help you strengthen your connection with Her in through, word, and deed. Elements of these ceremonies are found here and there, being used by Indigenous peoples around this earth, expressing their love for this planet, grateful to be part of it. Following the workshop, Evan's book will be available for purchase and signing. 

Re-enchanting Nature
Suzanne Fogle, Westbrook Nature School

A sense of place has been a cornerstone of nature education for decades. Now, there is a growing need to deepen our relationship to place with a new perspective: The Re-Enchantment of Nature. In this workshop we will discover ways to enliven our teaching through personal experience of nature’s animacy. We will discuss how language can enhance feelings of kinship with nature and we will explore how stories drawn from the land can create a new, living mythology. We will consider how poetry, art, dance, seasonal celebrations, and acts of gratitude can re-enchant our woods and streams. With this renewed perspective, our children will bring to the world a new way of seeing and relating to nature, one desperately needed in this new ecological era.

Immersing in Nature Through Play and Design
Brent Spears, Mashantucket (Pequot) Tribal Nation Child Development Center

We constantly forget as humans how we come from nature. Even today research shows how beneficial it is to submerge ourselves into a natural setting. How extensive can we in exploring nature? Although as an educator of very young children we participate in very natural surroundings. Nature is quintessential to tribal nations all across the continent. We will explore the obvious and also hidden concepts of nature through the classroom. This workshop will continue to inspire you as an educator to become closer to the roots embedded in you and your children.

Connecting Science and Early Literacy
Amee Borys, Earthplace

More workshops and descriptions coming soon! 

Have questions? Reach out to Emily Woodmansee at emily@erafans.orgPlease note that all participants are required to complete this waiver during registration. Our refund policies are found here as well

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software