I am writing to tell you about the amazing opportunity that we currently have to double any donation that you make to Whole Earth Nature School through the generosity of an anonymous donor. But first, I want to share a story with you. It really encapsulates the power that mentored nature connection has to transform the life of a young person.
Lorelei was just five when she moved back to Eugene in 2010. It was a scary move. Her parents had just broken up and she was a town where she didn’t know anybody. She was shy and didn’t make friends easily. She was meek and introverted.
A couple of months after moving back to town her mom signed her up for a camp with Whole Earth Nature School called “At Home in the Wilderness”. She was very nervous at first because she didn’t know anybody else who was going to be at the camp. That first morning she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go at all. By the end of the first day, however, it was obvious that she was having an amazing experience. Lorelei immediately felt welcomed and part of the family. She especially loved learning about the plants and all the amazing ways that they could heal or provide food and resources.
After that, Lorelei continued to come to camps every summer and also signed up for the Coyote Kids! after school nature programs. The year after her second summer of camps Lorelei went on a school field trip to Hendricks Park with her class. That afternoon the teacher told Lorelei’s mom that she was astounded by Lorelei that day. The usually shy and reclusive Lorelei had nearly taken over the entire field trip with her eagerness to share her knowledge of the park she had learned at camp. For a shy kid this was pretty astounding.
Lorelei is in 4th grade now. Her family saves up money every year so that they can afford to come to camp. They receive scholarships to make it easier to afford. In 2013 her younger sister came to camp for the first time. Now they have something to share with each other and they seem to have more purposeful interactions and be calmer together. Lorelei especially loves to share her knowledge of plants with her sister (or anyone who will listen).
Every year before camp Lorelei is still nervous about going on the first day. But she talks herself into it because she knows she will have an amazing time. And her mom says that she is always more confident in the months following her camp experience.
“I kind of feel like they’re my wood family, my nature family. Like I can really trust them and I know they will keep me safe” -Lorelei
Lorelei’s story is not unique: Whole Earth Nature School offers similar mentored nature experiences to over 1000 children every year. Last year 93 children were able to attend programs only because they received scholarships. It is our goal to ensure that every child has the opportunity to be transformed by nature connection.
Lorelei’s family urges you to donate to Whole Earth Nature School so that many more children will have the same opportunity as she did. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, any contributions you make right now will be matched ,dollar-for-dollar, up to a combined total of $20,000! This is a unique opportunity to double your impact. Every donation, whether it is $20 or $500 will have twice the effect.
Executive Director of Operations
Whole Earth Nature School