Spring 2024

Limited spaces open Wednesdays & Thursdays for ages 4 – 13.

Click here for enrollment options.


Fall 2024 – Spring 2025

Enrollment opens to new families April 15th

 Two semesters, meeting for 28 weeks with a break in January and February, when Winter Camp is offered for those who are enthusiastic about being outside in the snow. We operate on this schedule so that mentors and families have a break from programming, as we are in operation for the entire summer as well.

Daily opportunities to build social, emotional, academic, and wilderness skills. Mentors offer engaging projects each day, with a wide variety of choices for different ages and abilities. Projects range from nature based crafts, to wild food processing and cooking on the fire, learning math through games and Montessori inspired lessons, science experiments, wilderness and naturalist skills including shelter building, knot tying, bird language, tracking, and more.

What is Self Directed Learning

Mondays are Nature Immersion at Thistle Pond (Monroe). Tuesdays through Thursdays we utilize Bear Camp and the Teaching Grove. On Fridays a group of older participants (ages 9-16) meet to identify how and what we want to learn together, planning the trajectory of the semester and year collaboratively. We will have opportunities to travel to various locations in the North East, including a Fall and Spring overnight.

Early drop off is available from 7:15am-9am and extended day is available from 3:30pm-5pm in Monroe only.

Drop in rate is $12/day for one, $24/day for both.


Thistle Pond


Tuesdays – Thursdays

Bear Camp + Teaching Grove



Ages 10-14

Monroe + beyond!

Early drop off and extended day meet at the Teaching Grove where we’ll play games, relax by the fire or wood stove and have access to the White Ash Learning Library.

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Just a few of the benefits of a self-directed, nature-based learning environment:

• Whole child development
• Increased fine and gross motor skills
• Increased language and communication skills
• Integrative approach to incorporating academic subjects
• Self-directed: based on participant interests and observations
• Practice regulating one’s own behavior
• Increase competence in social interactions and collaborative skills
• Development of problem solving skills and independent thinking
• Curriculum is not pre-scripted but instead inspired through nature-based play and skill building
• Deepening relationship with the more than human world

Learn more about:

Access the new registration system below.

Notes from the Field

Introduction to Self Directed Education
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Intro to SDE Self-Directed Education (SDE), Natural Learning (NL) and Unschooling Written by Je’anna Clements, pro-bono for the Pestalozzi trust Self-Directed Education, also called Natural Learning, and Unschooling, is fast growing in popularity around the... Read More

Stealth Games and Birdsong
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Underwater clouds erupting from sticky brown mud. Kids everywhere in the shallow pools, toes warmed by mud that squishes between them. Fish, tan-colored, each with a distinct thin black line from gills to tail down... Read More

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