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YOUTH and FAMILY programs
  at WCNS

Wild Cascara Naturalist School provides hands-on outdoor learning programs for youth in grades K-5, middle, and high school. Our programs follow shared principles of the Forest School model which emphasizes unstructured time in nature, full immersion in the natural environment as the classroom and teacher, place-based learning, and authentic play. In addition to learning practical skills for sustainable homesteading, students also have the opportunity to learn crafts and skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. Our programs cover a range of topics, including food sovereignty, watersheads and their diversity, plant medicine making and Indigenous wisdom in relation to tending the earth.

We offer classes throughout the school year and summer season. We seek to foster interdependence, creative problem-solving with peers, and relationship with the earth. Our older students are encouraged to develop sustainable practices for their current and future lives. We promote the development of intuitive wisdom, imaginative creativity, and inner genius among all students, regardless of age.

ELEMENTARY & Young ADULT
program
s

FOUNDATIONS (K- 2nd)

Elementary

Our K-2 program offers a guided approach to natural world learning. We use a place-based approach that supports risky play to develop physical and social skills. Our students are fully immersed in nature, rain or shine, and engage in relational learning in an outdoor classroom.

 

Our custom place-based curriculum follows the Earth's seasonal rhythms and naturally incorporates math, reading, and writing skills into students' exploration of the world. Mixed-age cohorts allow for peer mentorships and independent studies within each age group.

 

This program fosters the developmentally appropriate sense of wonder and imagination in young children.

CREATIVE ENERGIES & LAUNCH (Middle-High School)

Young Adult

Our Creative Energies and Launch program offers education for young adults to develop an authentic connection to themselves and their communities while participating in place-based and inquiry-based learning. Our mentors create apprenticeships for students to directly learn and apply skills, preparing them with practical life-long skills for the future.

FOUNDATIONS (3rd - 5th)

Elementary

Our grades 3-5 program follows a similar structure and curriculum as the younger grades, but is adapted to fit their developmental levels. At this stage, students are encouraged to take more ownership of their learning, with opportunities to explore topics in-depth and share their knowledge with the community. We support creative exploration and unstructured play to keep their maturing imaginations active and thriving.

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Programs for EVERYONE

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Everyone

Wild Cascara seeks partnerships with organizations to provide support and connect our youth and young adult programs with the community. Our community services include clean-up days, gardening, and collaboration with local social justice organizations, putting into practice what we teach at Wild Cascara.

RENT THE SCHOOLHOUSE

Everyone

Are you an herbalist, healer, DIY enthusiast, or craftsperson looking for a space to share your knowledge? Look no further! Wild Cascara welcomes individuals from all walks of life to come and utilize our schoolhouse and the beautiful 20-acre forest on our property. Whether you're interested in teaching herbalism, healing modalities, homesteading projects, or crafts, we have the perfect space for you. Please fill out our Schoolhouse Rental Questionnaire or visit our contact page to inquire about dates and pricing.

FAMILY CLASSES

Everyone

Join any of our family classes to connect with like-minded families, exchange knowledge and ideas, and build stronger family dynamics. These classes offer community support in parenting and help families form authentic connections with one another. Classes will range from plant identification and herbal remedies to nonviolent communication and nature walks tailored to fit the needs of your unique family.

LAND SERVICE CLASSES

Everyone

Land Services classes are for people who want to learn about land restoration and the native habitat of the Pacific Northwest. By offering your time as service to the land, we will work on various projects around the property, schoolhouse, and other sister sites, including Echo Valley Native Nursery and neighboring properties. We will focus on tasks such as invasive plant removal, planting native species, riparian restoration, and learning about soil ecology, among other activities. These classes are a great way to get your hands in the dirt and connect with the land at a slower pace.

 WCNS Summer CAMPs 2024

JULY 1-4th + JULY 8-11th

Mary S. Young Park
K- 5th

9:30am-3:00pm

Mary S. Young Park provides 122 acres of fun forest adventures! From the banks of the Willamette to paths of native plants we will learn about the layers of this ecosystem starting from under the soil to the tops of the tree canopies. We will learn to honorably harvest seasonal plants, make plant medicine, craft and make new friends both human and more than human! Students will be exposed to the John Muir approach to Nature Journaling, place-based learning and co-creating the learning in a mixed peer group. 

Cost: $280

JULY 22nd-25th

Eagle Fern Park

K-5th
9:30am-3:00pm

If you’ve ever been to Eagle Fern Park you will know how magical this spot is. Tucked under some of the few remaining older growth trees in the Clackamas metro area little Eagle Creek meanders through this sweet little special park. We will dive deep into the story of the trees, our relationship to them and how we might tend to them. We will also be playing the creek so please make sure your student comes with water ready shoes, dry change of clothes and you are comfortable with their supervised water play. The creek’s water level is low at this time of year but you must sign a waiver for your child to be in the water ;-)

Cost: $280 

JULY 15th-18th

Wild Cascara School
K - 5th
9:30am-3:00pm

Join us at homebase for a lovely romp in our Oak meadows and Douglass fir forests. We will roam the wetlands, build forts, ID plants, and make plant medicine. We will have endless time to craft and create and explore the real Fairy Forest. This is a great chance to see what school looks like out here and get a taste for Wild Cascara’s K-5th program.

Cost: $280

INFO ON SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION

Attention Parents!

Please use the form below to register your campers for WCNS Summer Camp 2024.

Please note that there is a 15 minute drop off and pick up window for each camp. Please keep an eye out for your  welcome letter and paperwork after you register. 

Register for WCNS Summer Camps Below

 

We can't wait to see you outside this summer!

Summer Camp Info

Register for Summer Camp 2024

Important Notice for Multiple Campers: If registering multiple campers, please fill out a separate form for each child. Thank you for your cooperation!

 

Select your Camp Dates

Thanks for enrolling!

Summer Camp Registration Form

Ready to ENROLL?

To get started, please follow the link below to complete our Youth Programs Registration Form.

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“We are forever grateful for our daughter's time at Wild Cascara. Juniper’s guidance and support created an environment where she flourished and grew in ways we could only have dreamed of. Juniper exposed in our daughter a deep love of the land and getting her hands dirty, as well as nurtured her in her artistic expressions and the healing powers of stillness. Additionally, Juniper cared for and continues to, our entire family as we have shifted into this profound rhythm of education. We are thankful for the space Juniper created for our daughter and our family to look at the world through new eyes with a deeper reverence for Mother Earth and the natural world.” 

- Natalie Dickenson, WCNS Parent

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