Ways of the Wild is a very special program. Harkening back to White Pine’s first days as an outdoor school for home-school children, we now welcome 24 kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays to enjoy long days outdoors learning, tracking and exploring. Small groups with a 4-1 ratio are led by caring and skilled mentors who provoke curiosity and conversation about all things natural.
Children arrive at 9 am, gather together for a welcome circle and then venture off to explore the incredible land at Zach’s Farm in York. Days are filled with activities, lessons and challenges that focus on awareness, wilderness survival skills and community building. The opportunity to experiment with new skills in a safe and nurturing environment builds confidence and self esteem while teaching valuable competencies that remain with participants for life.
The program is outdoors no matter the weather (we only cancel for school-based snow days and wind), building resiliency and respect for the environment. Children experience the same piece of land over three seasons, building a sense and relationship to place (a valuable life skill). The program structure mixes in free play with structured activities that invite children to observe and engage in the changes happening around them in the trees, animals, plants and landscape. Experiential learning engages the senses in ways that serve children for the rest of their lives.
At the end of the program day, the groups gather together for a closing circle, offering the opportunity for sharing the day’s experiences and some fun staff shenanigans. Children develop a comfort for speaking in a group and having their voices heard by their peers and mentors. Participants finish the day dirty, tired and chock full of stories to share with their families.
Please review our health and safety protocols for this upcoming program year as they relate to Covid-19: https://whitepineprograms.org/covid-19/.