Our Summer Camp Philosophy

Recapturing Wonder

Summer Nature CampsWhole Earth Nature School believes that outdoor play and exploration is critical to kids growth and development. We strongly believe that kids today are sorely lacking the wonder, freedom and sense of adventure that their parents or grandparents had, such as the freedom to wander to a favorite fishing hole on a summer’s day. For those kids in the past the journey to go fishing was just as important as the fishing itself. We try to re-imagine what summer camps can be. We still value games, activities and storytelling but those things are only used as vehicles for profound personal experience. Our experienced camp instructors safely guide kids on the trail of wild animals, help them gather wild berries to make jam, use mud to camouflage their faces and move invisibly through the woods, and introduce kids to the nutritious weeds and wild plants that grow all around us and learn to use the herbs to heal.

Top 5 reasons that parents love Whole Earth Nature School camps:

  1. All Outdoors: Our nature camps take place entirely outside. Time outside in real nature is the motivation behind everything we do. And we rarely transport kids. Driving time just takes away from all the amazing connection we can have right here at camp.
  2. Enthusiastic, Professional Staff: Our instructors are typically having as much fun as the campers! They bring the inspiration for all the fantasy, adventure and serious outdoor skills that happens at camp every day. And an amazing 1:6 staff-to-student ratio at day camps means campers always get lots of personal attention. (1:4 ratio for the youngest group.)
  3. Learning Real Skills: Our camps are about learning real outdoor skills. Whether it is identifying useful plants or learning to sit very still and observe, kids come away with real knowledge and experience to share.
  4. Creativity: Our Nature Camps strongly encourage creativity and inspiration. Our Whole Earth Learning Pathways curriculum plans are flexible and adapt to incorporate what the campers are inspired by in each group. And with careful use of fantasy and role play we get kids totally immersed in their outdoor camp experience.
  5. Personal Responsibility: We strongly believe that kids are amazing and capable young humans and we encourage them to be their best selves every day. We are constantly learning about self-respect, conflict resolution, and how to be a helpful member of a team. We always strive to give kids the personal skills they need to succeed in camp and in life.

Plus, Whole Earth Nature School is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We exist for the public benefit. That means that every dollar that comes in to our program is spent to build strong, healthy youth right here in Lane County. If you support our work please consider making a gift on our donations page.

Return to the Summer Nature Camp schedule