Semester Program

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

Registration for the upcoming semester program is open now.

We have been visioning what a sustainable future for White Ash Learning looks like and are excited to meet the need for place based education in the mid coast area. Beginning next semester we will be enrolling for the entire year, a 26 week program with a break in January and February, when we offer two weeks of Winter Camp 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.

The semester program offers abundant opportunities to build social, emotional, academic, and wilderness skills. Mentors offer engaging projects every 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.

Mondays will remain the Nature Immersion program at Reeds Brooks Trails in Hampden. Tuesdays through Thursdays in the coming academic year will have integrated programming that will utilize Bear Camp and the Teaching Grove. On Fridays a small group of older participants (ages 12-17) will meet to identify how and what we want to learn together, planning the trajectory of the semester and year collaboratively. Fridays will generally meet in Monroe, but we will also have opportunities to travel to various locations in the North East, including the option for a Fall and Spring overnight.

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

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


Reeds Brooks Trails in Hampden

Tuesdays – Thursdays

Bear Camp + Teaching Grove in Monroe


Ages 12 – 17
in 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.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate this transition.

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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