Announcing Our New Outdoor Education Program! OVWS Farm and Forest

Announcing Our New Outdoor Education Program! OVWS Farm and Forest

The orchards and forested landscape of our campus have been a source of inspiration, playful adventure, exploration, and learning for all of us since Orchard Valley began. Now we are proud to launch our first program dedicated to outdoor education, starting in June 2016.

There will be three sessions of theme-based summer camps for children ages 4-11 starting in June and ending in August. In the fall our outdoor program continues for young children ages 4-7 years.

An outdoor classroom during the school year allows children to move, play and discover core principles in science through “hands on” nature-based activities. Children can help build fires, prepare food, find wild edible plants and work in the school gardens as an integral part of the day. Traditional skills in social dynamics and language arts are developed through oral story telling, skits, role-play, puppet shows, games and songs. The themes for each week reflect the wonder of the changing seasons, woodland crafts, folk lore, Native American culture, and knowledge of our local natural environment.

Many Waldorf schools in North and South America have been exploring ways to integrate best practices in outdoor and environmental place-based education with traditional Waldorf Education. This impulse began decades ago with the European “Forest Kindergarten” model in Copenhagen, Denmark. Forest Kindergartens have recently opened at The Hartsbrook School in Massachucets, the Saratoga Springs Waldorf School in New York, and the Waldorf School in Carbondale, Denver.

Stay tuned for more details about these new programs in upcoming Apple Core issues. Registration information will also be available soon–contact Morgan Irons, Enrollment Director.

~ Linda Weyerts, Pedagogical Chair