About this Nature-Based Training
Join ERAFANS at Little Leaf at Andrus-on-Hudson for this 6-clock hour Professional Development Institute! This event brings together experts in the field of nature-based early learning to share ideas and practices, with a variety of workshops to choose from. Gather to explore Earth skills, nature-based pedagogy, and more!
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. Lunch is included, but remember your canteen for drinks throughout the day.
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.
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.
Getting to Know Little Leaf School
Theresa McCaffrey, Founding Director
This is a special nature school with a wonderful story! Learn more about the vision, philosophy, and day-to-day basics of Little Leaf from the founder during an opening tour with Q&A.
Nourishing Your Inner Educator
Sue Wahlert, Avalon Nature Preserve
Join Avalon Nature Preserve’s outdoor educator, Sue Wahlert, to revisit who you are as an educator and how you came to the joyful world of lighting children’s imaginations. Bring home an original piece revealing your inner educator!
Risk & Reward: Strategies for Managing Risks and Communicating with Caregivers About Risky Play
Julia Cadieux, Bluebird Montessori
Gain strategies around managing risks on-site that balance safety with the rewards of risky play. Participants will work through real-life scenarios to figure out how best to intercede in the moment and how to de-brief these incidents to decide if changes need to be made to the environment/teaching. We'll also look at strategies for communicating with caregivers/parents around incidents of risky play and be given the opportunity to act out these conversations.
Nurturing Your Inner Storyteller
Lisa Kitchens, Brooklyn Forest School/Earth Stories Initiative
Stories are powerful tools in a child's learning journey. They help create meaning and understanding of the world, and they support connections with others and Nature. During this workshop, we will explore and nurture your innate storytelling abilities, and share different approaches and tools to use in your storytelling journey. By the end of the workshop, participants will feel empowered to create compelling stories that capture the attention and imagination of their students.
Toolbox of Words
Jessie Moscarello, Rewildling School
Building outdoor community starts with how we communicate. In an era when the pandemic limited communication and social skills for many kids, how we as adults communicate with them sets the tone for how they interact in the spaces we build for them. In this collaborative workshop, we will go through what responsive communication for different ages looks like in an outdoor setting, how to build a community based in trust, and we will collaborate on real world examples of integrating these strategies in an outdoor classroom setting.
Fort Building and the Lenape Culture
Mike Dennis, Traditional Earth Skills
Children love to build forts and tuck away into secret spaces. Join us to practice some fort building and discuss how we can share this magic with children in our programs. Throughout the workshop, Lenape culture and history, museum quality artifacts, knots and hitches, cordage, shelter options, survival bag items, Q&A time and wilderness skill used by NJ's earliest culture and much more.
Preview the full schedule here.
Have questions? Reach out to Emily Woodmansee at email@example.com. Please note that all participants are required to complete this waiver during registration. Our refund policies are found here as well.