On this page we answer the most common questions we get. We also have detailed information about the program at each of our locations on their respected pages.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here is the summary of our most frequently asked questions. Please click on the question of interest to be taken to that section.
Schedule and location
Is this a summer camp or year around program?
We are a year around forest school! We are out exploring and hiking every week of every season!
What are the days and hours of operation?
Can I sign up my child for only 1 or 2 days a week?
You are welcome to sign up your child for just 1 day a week, or 2 or take all available days — whatever suits best your family needs. We just ask for consistent schedule.
In our experience having at least 2 days is ideal, as it helps the child to bond better with the other kiddos.
Where are the programs offered?
Our forest school program takes place in West-South part of Colorado Springs (N. Cheyenne Canyon, Red Rock Open Space, Garden of the Gods) and North part of town — Monument, Palmer Lake hiking areas.
Our Music, Arts & Science program takes place at our school house located in Palmer Lake, just 20 minutes drive from Central Colorado Springs.
Publicly funded tuition option for homeschoolers
For homeschool students we offer up to 2 days within state funded tuition.
We also offer out of pocket (private) tuition payment option. Please message or email for the current tuition rate.
What is the age of children accepted?
We believe that mixing children of different age groups as much as possible helps children to learn more from each other and develop in a more holistic and community-oriented way.
As some younger children might have difficulty keeping up with hiking pace of the older children we offer two slightly different programs for 2 different ages groups — 6-10 year olds (homeschool enrichment programs) and 2.5-5 year olds (nature preschool at Palmer Lake location). Our and programs for.
Pre-K related: Potty training and accidents
Child has to be fully potty trained. We understand occasional accidents may happen.
Caring of own backpack
Children participating in 4+ years old group should be comfortable hiking and caring a backpack with their water bottle and snack.
Appropriate outdoor gear — nothing fancy, but good backpack that stays on, good comfortable shoes and seasonally-appropriate gear.
Willingness and ability to follow basic rules
A child should be ready to follow our safety rules and rules of mutual respect.
Do forest school instructors have First Aid CPR training?
We do. Our First Aid CPR training is always up to date and is refreshed regularly.
Do all instructors have background check?
Yes, all instructors at both locations have background check on file.
What is the teacher to child ratio?
For our nature immersion homeschool enrichment days the ratio is no more than 4-5 children (ages 5+) to 1 instructor.
In Palmer Lake, we operate as a co-op of learning pods with 4 children to 1 instructor ratio. All children take turns participating in the same activities.
Are rock climbing instructors certified?
For our rock climbing classes we work with Front Range Rock Climbing CO who is a professional certified rock climbing guide service.
What makes this a Forest School?
The entirety of our Colorado Springs 5.5 hour program is spent in the beautiful Colorado outdoors. We hike, we climb, we play in the creek and we learn about animals and plants and nature at large.
Our program for 2.5-4 year olds at Palmer Lake location takes place in the forest for the first half of the program and at our school cabin for the second portion of the program. This program is ideal for the youngest age group, as it allows children to build their resilience and endurance for the elements gradually.
Water, snack and lunches
Each child brings in their own snack, lunch and water bottle with water. During the summer we also have a large water bottle to refill children’s personal bottles.
How do we manage personal hygiene in the forest
We bring natural liquid soap, water bottle and clean hand towels with us on every hike. This way we can always wash hands with soap when we need to.
What about bathrooms?
We follow Leave No Trace approach when it comes to bathroom needs. See this REI article.
In Red Rocks Open Space there is also a porta potty available in the parking area.
Should children require any assistance (which is especially common in cold seasons with all the layers) we are happy to aid as needed as long as child requests it and is comfortable about it.
Do children go outside in the rain?
Yes! We stay outdoors as long as children are comfortable and enjoying it.
Do children go outside in cold weather?
Yes, children play outside in all weather as long as they are comfortable. Once a child voices being cold we let the parent know to pick up the child, and in the meantime keep up with a lot of movement, hot drinks to keep everyone warm.
We believe there is no bad weather, but only bad gear. We are outdoors year around and we stay warm with a lot of movement, hot beverages and lunches, and of course proper winter gear.
We do take children’s age and cold tolerance into account.
For our younger group the time outdoors in the winter is shorter — somewhere between 2-3 hours, depending on the group of kiddos and degree of coldness.
For our older group of 6+ years old we monitor children’s condition and outdoor temperatures. Typically they are outdoor the entire length of the program and they do great! 🙂 On some particularly cold days we may cut a day short if it appears that children are starting to get cold in spite of the movement, active games and hot drink.
What if my child gets cold?
We always maintain close communication with the parents. We provide feedback if it seemed like the outdoor gear wasn’t performing well. And if a child is feeling cold to a point of discomfort on a particular day and we aren’t able to resolve it, then we contact the parent and let them know, so the child can be picked up.
Are there snow days or weather cancellation days?
Yes. We do have occasional ‘snow days’ when we cancel the program due to a storm or snow blizzard that may cause unsafe driving conditions. We also sometimes cancel a program if the temperatures are expected to be too low for the entire length of the program.
As a small program we maintain close relationship with all the families and correspond about these things to establish the best course of action on such days.
Do you have a list of recommended outdoor gear?
We do! From doing the forest school for several years and also being parents of young children we have accumulated a great list of outdoor gear that is both comfortable and sustainable. We are happy to share our recommendations.
How to enroll?
We have limited openings and accept both state funded tuition and private tuition options.
To be notified of our upcoming openings, new days or any other changes to availability please fill out this form to be added to our mailing list.
As emails sometimes get routed to Span, we also recommend to follow us Instagram where we post any news about availability.
How to ensure my child can participate in rock climbing?
To participate in our rock climbing classes it is necessary to be enrolled in our program at Colorado Springs location on at least 1 day a week basis.
You are welcome to enroll your little one at both locations, for example 1 day a week at Palmer Lake and 1-2 days a week at Colorado Springs location. That way they can take advantage of all our different activities.
How long does a person stay on the waiting list before an opening becomes available?
We do not have a way to predict when a spot will become available as they usually open up when one of the existing families move out of state or something else changes in their circumstance. However these changes do happen, and so we typically have 1-2 openings each season at one or both of our locations.
We also work on adding more days at both locations and hoping to have that worked out by Spring 2022.
Age and other requirements
Weather related questions
Enrollment and reservation
Although we try to do our best answering all the questions and emails, naturally our priority is providing best experience to the children currently enrolled on the program.
If you don’t hear from us, please know your interest is important to us and the lack of communication from us is for no other reason than lack of time.
Please always feel free to nudge us by email, text or Instagram DMs.