Youth Courses

Connect with Nature and Come Alive.  Our one of kind programs have kids connecting deeply with nature, community and self. Living Earth School Youth programs are for ages 5 – 18, and run in the summer as well as through the school year.  Below are the current courses and programs being offered.

SUMMER CAMPS

SUMMER DAY CAMPS

Jun
18
Mon
2018
2018 Summer Day Camps
Jun 18 – Aug 17 all-day

Voted the #1 Day Camp in Charlottesville!

The Living Earth Day Camps are a one-of-a-kind nature camp experience. We have been voted a favorite summer day camp for over 7 years!!  We will spend the week exploring the mountains, streams and other wild places. Campers work together in small groups learning about the natural world, plants, mammals, tracking, birds, wilderness survival, awareness and so much more. We do this with hands-on activities, games, adventures and fun challenges. Our instructors are
“Nature Connection Mentors” and guide campers into experiences that nurture their connection to the earth and allow them to feel at home in the natural world.

At Living Earth Camps, we give each camper the attention they need to follow their passions, to connect with nature and each other. We have some of the best staff on the planet ~ really. The campers come first because they should. We serve mostly organic kid-friendly food, that the kids rave about. We buy from our local farms whenever we can. At our mountain camp, we try to keep life simple, natural, full of learning and laughter. Just good ol’ down to earth fun!

Living Earth Camps adjoin Shenandoah National Park, nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains amongst forest, field, and river. A natural paradise with a lifetime worth of learning and exploration. The Living Earth Summer Camps are conveniently located in Sugar Hollow, just 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville, VA.

Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9am – 4pm (Fri. pickup at noon).
There is an optional overnight on Thursday and camp pick up is Friday at noon.
We have an optional aftercare program available on Fridays, for an additional $20, with pick up on Friday at 4pm.

Our Day Camps

daycamp_kids_swim_rockThemed Day Camps available for campers ages 9-13! We will continue to have our general day camp for ages 7-13, called “Explorers Day Camp”, for new campers and returning, with all the classic favorites of Living Earth. If you are signing your child up for our day camps for the first time, please register for the Explorers Day Camp, held several weeks throughout the summer. If your child has attended one previous Explorers Day Camp (general day camp) either in a summer past or this summer and is between the ages of 9-13, you may sign them up for a Themed Day Camp (Forest Ninja Scout, Animal Lovers/Natural History, Fort-topia, or Elements of Survival).

Please note all the themed day camp, have a prerequisite of having attended at least one Explorers Day Camp. Campers may continue to do the Explorers Day Camp several times, or they may choose one of the themed day camps. Themed day camps still keep to the old favorite core routines, like sit spot, fox walking, etc, but the daily focus centers around the particular theme of the week. The themed day camp will join the “Explorers” for group games, snacks, and swimming.

2018 themes for campers 9-13:

Forest Ninja Scout:
Want to learn how to sneak around and become undetectable in the woods? To go with the flow of nature and move silently through the wilderness? We will get down and dirty with wild camouflage, scouting techniques, “jedi training course,” hiding and sneaking games, honing in with our intuition and fine-tuning our senses. Forest Ninjas, unite!

animal_bones_booksAnimal Lovers/Natural History:
This camp is all about animals and where to find them. Learn about your favorite animals, how to spot animal homes and habitats, hear stories of animals, go wildlife tracking/looking for specific animal sign, bird language, and animal forms. We will also learn how to use field guides, connect with the trees, bees, plants, birds and scat. We will create our own handmade nature journals to track our progress on our natural historian expedition.

homeschool_cooking_pancakes_coalsElements of Survival:
Fire, Water, Shelter, Food. Do you long to live off the land? Begin to learn the skills you need to live in the woods. Each skill will be tested with a fun, special Challenge!

Fort-topia:
A week of massive fort building awaits! Forts to camouflage, forts to keep you warm and dry, forts to make with your friends- we will do it all!

Woodworking:
What do you get when you infuse a camp day of games, swimming and sneaking around in the woods with hammers, saws and wood? Wood Working Camp! Children will learn the ins and outs of tool use and building things with their own hands. They will dream big while creating their own projects from a pile of scrap wood like birdhouses, shelves, etc., puzzle over stripped screws and how best to pull out a nail.
Requirements:  all campers must bring their own hammer and Japanese pull saw (specifics will come in your welcome letter).

CLICK HERE for SKIPPING STONES our DAY CAMP FOR 5-6 YEAR OLDS!

Is your favorite camp marked FULL? Ask to be on our waiting list!

Details & Registration – 2018 Day Camps

  • Explorers Camps are for Ages 7 – 13, Themed Camps are for Ages 9-13
  • Day Camp 1 Explorers FULL: June 18 – 22
  • Day Camp 2 Explorers  FULL -or- Elements of Survival FULL: June 25 – 29 
  • Day Camp 3 Explorers FULL -or- Fort-topia FULL: July 2 – 6
  • Day Camp 4 Explorers FULL -or- Forest Ninjas FULL: July 23-27 
  • Day Camp 5 Explorers FULL-or- Animal Lovers FULL-or- Forest Ninjas FULL: July 30 – August 3
  • Day Camp 6 Elements of Survival FULL -or-Explorers FULL-or- Fort-topia FULL: August 6 – 10
  • Day Camp 7 Explorers FULL-or- Woodworking FULL (contact us to see if there is space in woodworking): August 13 – 17
  • Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9am – 4pm (Fri. pickup at noon).
    There is an optional overnight on Thursday and camp pick up is Friday at noon.
    We have an optional aftercare program available on Fridays for an additional $20, with pick up on Friday at 4pm.
  • All summer day camps are located at the Sugar Hollow Camp (click here for directions)
    There are carpooling options. Please contact us if you are interested.
  • Cost for each day camp is $310 (Woodworking camp has an additional $60 fee for materials and preparation)
  • Prerequisite for all themed day camps: Camper must have attended at least one Living Earth Explorers Day Camp, and be age 9-13.
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now

Jul
2
Mon
2018
Skipping Stones ~ Camp for Ages 5 and 6!
Jul 2 – Jul 6 all-day

It is now time to have little Living Earth-lings join us for Summer Camp!

Do you long to have your younger child connected and at home in the natural world?  We’ve been having parents ask for years, so here it is!

Come join the Skipping Stones for fun, first-hand adventures in nature, with caring nature mentors. Our experienced nature mentors will guide your child into the woods to see through the animals eyes and move through the land, nibble some tasty wild edible plants, wander streams and explore survival skills in a fun, safe way. Children become patterned upon what their senses take in and our day will be full sensory awareness with nature as our guide to connecting with each other and the beautiful forest.

  • Survival skills
  • Wild food / primitive cooking
  • Bird Language
  • Ecology / Community
  • Crafts / Tools

 

  • Nature studies
  • Peacemaker principles
  • Tracking
  • Awareness / observation
  • Storytelling

Details & Registration – Skipping Stones Summer Camps

  • Ages 5 – 6
  • Skipping Stones 1: July 2 – 6 FULL
    Skipping Stones 2: July 30 – August 3 FULL
    Skipping Stones 3: August 6 – 10
  • The day goes from 9am to 4pm (Fri. pick up at noon)
  • All summer day camps are located at the Sugar Hollow Camp (click here for directions)
  • Cost $310
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jul
30
Mon
2018
Skipping Stones ~ Camp for Ages 5 and 6!
Jul 30 – Aug 3 all-day

It is now time to have little Living Earth-lings join us for Summer Camp!

Do you long to have your younger child connected and at home in the natural world?  We’ve been having parents ask for years, so here it is!

Come join the Skipping Stones for fun, first-hand adventures in nature, with caring nature mentors. Our experienced nature mentors will guide your child into the woods to see through the animals eyes and move through the land, nibble some tasty wild edible plants, wander streams and explore survival skills in a fun, safe way. Children become patterned upon what their senses take in and our day will be full sensory awareness with nature as our guide to connecting with each other and the beautiful forest.

  • Survival skills
  • Wild food / primitive cooking
  • Bird Language
  • Ecology / Community
  • Crafts / Tools

 

  • Nature studies
  • Peacemaker principles
  • Tracking
  • Awareness / observation
  • Storytelling

Details & Registration – Skipping Stones Summer Camps

  • Ages 5 – 6
  • Skipping Stones 1: July 2 – 6 FULL
    Skipping Stones 2: July 30 – August 3 FULL
    Skipping Stones 3: August 6 – 10
  • The day goes from 9am to 4pm (Fri. pick up at noon)
  • All summer day camps are located at the Sugar Hollow Camp (click here for directions)
  • Cost $310
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Aug
6
Mon
2018
Skipping Stones ~ Camp for Ages 5 and 6!
Aug 6 – Aug 10 all-day

It is now time to have little Living Earth-lings join us for Summer Camp!

Do you long to have your younger child connected and at home in the natural world?  We’ve been having parents ask for years, so here it is!

Come join the Skipping Stones for fun, first-hand adventures in nature, with caring nature mentors. Our experienced nature mentors will guide your child into the woods to see through the animals eyes and move through the land, nibble some tasty wild edible plants, wander streams and explore survival skills in a fun, safe way. Children become patterned upon what their senses take in and our day will be full sensory awareness with nature as our guide to connecting with each other and the beautiful forest.

  • Survival skills
  • Wild food / primitive cooking
  • Bird Language
  • Ecology / Community
  • Crafts / Tools

 

  • Nature studies
  • Peacemaker principles
  • Tracking
  • Awareness / observation
  • Storytelling

Details & Registration – Skipping Stones Summer Camps

  • Ages 5 – 6
  • Skipping Stones 1: July 2 – 6 FULL
    Skipping Stones 2: July 30 – August 3 FULL
    Skipping Stones 3: August 6 – 10
  • The day goes from 9am to 4pm (Fri. pick up at noon)
  • All summer day camps are located at the Sugar Hollow Camp (click here for directions)
  • Cost $310
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now

Featuring new themed day camps!! Click here to see all summer day camps.

SUMMER OVERNIGHT CAMPS

Jun
24
Sun
2018
Earth Roots and Earth Roots Boost!
Jun 24 – Aug 11 all-day

Earth Roots is our foundation overnight camp, designed for both new and returning campers.  Get back to your roots and learn the philosophy of living close to nature, wilderness survival, and nurture your connection to the earth.  We will explore the surrounding forests, swim in mountain streams, as we discover more about the magical world of nature through building natural shelters, making fires without matches, and preparing wild plants for food.  Campers gain self-esteem, work cooperatively and make new friends, as they gain confidence in both living and feeling at home in the natural world.

Register Now

bowmaking_footThis is a camp where campers are truly looked after and cared about.  It is a safe place where kids can try new things and discover more about who they are.  Evenings are spent circled around the campfire telling stories, star gazing, laughing a lot, making native crafts, including coal-burned spoons and bowls.  Once the returning campers have completed the core foundation their day consists of several fun adventures and advanced skills of their choice.

We are sure that the Earth Roots Summer camp will be an adventure your kids will never forget!

earthroots_fire_startEarth Roots program includes:

  • Tracking Animals
  • Primitive Fire making
  • Awareness Skills / Games
  • Wild Food Gathering
  • Safe Water Gathering
  • Spoon & Bowl Making
  • Adventuring / Exploring
  • Building Shelters
  • Wilderness Philosophy
  • Natural History
  • Native Crafts
  • Campfire Cooking
  • Swimming
  • Team building / Communication

New this year: Earth Roots Boost!

This camp is for kids aged 10 and up who have been to Earth Roots at least once before and want to experience new skills of survival and awareness. Earth Roots Boost campers are still a part of main camp, sleeping in the wall tents, participating in meals, swim time and fire circles. For certain elements of the week, however, their instructors will give them a “Boost!” option based on the passions and curiosity of the kids and their instructors. The possibilities are endless: building a group lean-to shelter with a fire reflector, with the option to sleep in it one night!…a challenge to build a water filter out of primitive materials that can turn muddy water into something more potable…learning to make quickie survival forks and fire tongs…experimenting with flint and steel fire…hiking further away from camp to find animal tracks and learn navigation skills. Each Earth Roots Boost is different each week, since it’s based on those particular kids and instructors interest, so join Boost as many weeks as you’d like!

Earth Roots Boost is for curious, motivated campers who want to go deeper. Give it a try!

Note that though Earth Roots Boost campers are in a small group all their own, they can still request to sleep in wall tents with a sibling or friend who has not done Earth Roots before or is younger than 10.

In the case that there are not enough campers who sign up for the Boost! option, campers will participate in a regular Earth Roots group…and still have just as much fun.

Details & Registration – Earth Roots and Earth Roots Boost! Camp

  • Earth Roots 1 FULL June 24-29, 2018  faperson Ages 8 – 13 
  • Earth Roots 1 Boost! June 24-29, 2018  faperson Ages 10+ 
  • Earth Roots 2 FULL July 1-6, 2018  faperson Ages 10+
  • Earth Roots 2 Boost! FULL July 1-6, 2018  faperson Ages 10+
  • Earth Roots 3 FULL July 29 – August 3, 2018 fapersonAges 8 – 13
  • Earth Roots 4 FULL August 6 – 11, 2018 fapersonAges 8 – 11 
  • Earth Roots 4 Boost! August 6 – 11, 2018 fapersonAges 10+ 
  • Earth Roots 1, 2, and 3: Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon.
    Earth Roots 4: Monday 2pm arrival and pick up on Saturday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jul
1
Sun
2018
The Archers Craft: Making a wooden long bow, quiver, and arrow
Jul 1 – Jul 6 all-day
The Archers Craft: Making a wooden long bow, quiver, and arrow @ Ages 11+
Register Now
Have you dreamed of making and shooting your own handmade bow and arrow? This is for real and this is your chance to do it! 1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp.

This is a camp that has been requested over the years.  There is a limited amount of space in this program.  All materials needed to complete the project are provided.   In this program, the campers will make a wooden long bow from a piece of wood, carving it down, shaping it, and tillering the bow so it works optimally.  Campers will make their own string for the bow.   They will also make a quiver to store arrows in out of leather.  They will learn how to make arrows, fletching, shaping, etc.   They will leave with a few arrows to put in their quiver.

This is a great opportunity for campers to make their very own archery kit, that if cared for can last a lifetime.   To take a project from raw materials to completion teaches competence and builds confidence.   This is an awesome opportunity, and not one that could be found anywhere else.  The teacher of this program has helped hundreds in this process, and is a very supportive teacher.  We are lucky to have him on board.  Peter will also go over the instinctive shooting method so that students leave knowing how to shoot their new bow.

Building and shooting longbows has been practiced for thousands of years all over world.  Bows have been used in many ways including: survival (both food gathering and protection), sport and meditation, and spiritual practice (Zen meditation). This class is a continuation of these ancient practices.

During this class, you will learn the skills to build a long bow, how to choose the wood, the tools needed and their use, how to finish the wood, and make strings. You will be taught the “instinctive” shooting method (this is the same method used by people who relied on the bow in their daily lives).

Details & Registration – The Archers Craft Advanced Camp

  • Ages 11+
  • July 1-6, 2018 FULL
  • Sunday – Friday
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $725
  • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Camp.

    This camp will run alongside an Earth Roots program.   We will eat meals with the other camp, and be involved in some evening activities. During the day, bow makers will be focused on their crafts. This program is a fun workshop, but does require focus and the want to make something.  With that said, there is something about bow making that people love, so they get into it naturally and focus.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Jul
22
Sun
2018
Advanced Ancient Ways
Jul 22 – Jul 26 all-day
Register Now
Advanced Ancient Ways is for ages 12+. Campers must have completed 1 year of Ancient Ways previously.

This camp will take a small group of advanced campers to the next edge, living off the land and living as their own tribe.  It is sure to push ones skills in a fun and supportive way.  Are you ready for the challenge and the fun!?!

Here campers will further their knowledge and become a tribe in a sense, living close to the earth and interweaving primitive living skills into daily camp life.  We will spend much of our time living like the ancient ones and moving about the land as a native scout. This week is flexible and shaped around campers interests and passions, opening us up to the present moment and the beauty of spontaneity.

Program may include: furthering one’s fire-making skills plus advanced techniques, explorations and wanders both day and night, wild and medicinal plant preparation, cooking meals on the fire, story telling, hide-work and leatherwork, advanced cordage, flint knapping (arrowheads), wood carving, basketry, awareness exercises, tracking, team building, communication and of course lots of games and swimming.  Just think of the options and where the week could go………!!!!!!
Camp size will be limited.

ancient_baskets_blanket_group
ancient_baskets_knives
ancient_group_grass

Details & Registration – Advanced Ancient Ways

  • July 22 – 27, 2018  fapersonAges 12+
  • Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon.
    August 1-6 camp: Monday 2pm arrival and pick up on Saturday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: 1 year of Ancient Ways Camp.
  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Ancient Ways
Jul 22 – Jul 27 all-day
Register Now
This camp is for campers who have been to Earth Roots for 2 years. 

Here campers will further their knowledge and become a tribe in a sense, living close to the earth and interweaving primitive living skills into daily camp life.  We will spend much of our time living like the ancient ones and moving about the land as a native scout. This week is flexible and shaped around campers interests and passions, opening us up to the present moment and the beauty of spontaneity.

Program may include: furthering one’s fire-making skills plus advanced techniques, explorations and wanders both day and night, wild and medicinal plant preparation, cooking meals on the fire, story telling, hide-work and leatherwork, advanced cordage, flint knapping (arrowheads), wood carving, basketry, awareness exercises, tracking, team building, communication and of course lots of games and swimming.  Just think of the options and where the week could go………!!!!!!
Camp size will be limited.

ancient_baskets_blanket_group
ancient_baskets_knives
ancient_group_grass

Details & Registration – Ancient Ways

  • July 22 – 27, 2018  fapersonAges 11+ FULL
  • TBA
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: 2 years Earth Roots Camp.

    All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now
Click here for Advanced Ancient Ways for 12+
(Campers must have completed 1 year of Ancient Ways previously.)
Jul
29
Sun
2018
Fire Tenders
Jul 29 – Aug 3 all-day

This camp is for campers who have attended at least one year of Earth RootsIn this week-long camp.  We will explore fire in depth.  We will learn to make fire with many different methods including bow-drill, hand-drill, flint and steel, fire plow and more.

Fire has been a friend to many.  It is at the center of our galaxy, solar system, and the center of the Earth; it is the community center of all earth-bound cultures, and we have a fire that burns within each of us. All humans have an innate attraction to fire.  We are the only species that utilizes fire in such life giving ways.  Though we have become ‘modernized’, fire still fuels our culture and keeps us running.  Fire gives life to so much.  Working with fire can even teach us how to be a better person. Through tending fire, we learn how to tend to the light that burns within ourselves.

  • primitive pottery–firing pottery being one of the oldest alchemical transformations associated with fire
  • making tools such as burnt bowls/spoons, fire hardened digging sticks, bending wood over heat, firing chert (again one of the oldest alchemies associated with fire!
  • fire challenges such as carrying fire long distance, making torches, blind folded friction fire, etc
  • we will cook most of our meals over the open fire, from stone age techniques to dutch ovens.

It will be a fun time in the woods, with a small group of teens, facing focused challenges, building a strong group connection, and greatly expanding our personal awareness.  We will experience how fire teaches us respect, good conduct, and grounds us.  Fire has drifted to the edge of our awareness in the last hundred years, and we will bring its lessons and use back into our group for the week.  We will see how fire has shaped humanity since the beginning of time, and connect to the eternal.  Join us for this fun-filled and exciting week!

earthroots_fire_startWe will face the challenge of carrying fire with us in an ancient way as we walk about during the day, and use it to re-light our central fire at night.  We will learn to use it to shape our tools, manipulate materials, cook our food, boil our water, and more.  We will pass on old traditions of how to tend a fire respectfully, with care and skill.  We will share stories, face challenges, and feel an increased spark in us as we learn more about the gifts of fire.  We will be in our own separate Fire Tenders camp, although we will join the rest of camp for some meals and swimming time.

Get Fired up on Life!  Sure to have your own inner fire tended along the way as well.

Details & Registration – Fire Tenders

  • Ages 12+
  • July 29 – August 3, 2018 
  • Sunday 2pm arrival and pick up on Friday at noon
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
  • $637
  • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Overnight Camp.

    All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations.

  • Free T-shirt included
Register Now

campfire_closeup

Aug
6
Mon
2018
Wood, Leather and Metal Camp
Aug 6 – Aug 11 all-day

Make your own knife and sheath and leather backpack or shoes!

1 year of Earth Roots is a prerequisite for this overnight camp.
Come join in on this BRAND NEW Living Earth Camp! Soon to be a camper favorite!  Come get your hands in gear making your own stainless steel knife with sheath, and a pair of handmade leather shoes or leather backpack of choice.  Yes, you can do it all and you can wear shoes or a backpack that you’ve made your self, along with a beautiful hand crafted knife.

This is for real and this is your chance to do it!  Camp will be head along side another Earth Roots overnight camp and campers will spend days crafting their projects and also be able to join in on swimming, games, all meals and time at night around the fire hearing stories and evening games and adventures.

Please only sign up if you are ready to be focused and put quality care into your work. This is a focused week spent crafting, laughing and learning under Peter Yenkin’s careful guided mentorship.  It is sure to be a blast! Peter has been crafting with children and adults for many years and campers love his gentle, skilled ways.

Imagine waking in your handmade shoes or carving with your own handmade knife, or carrying your belongings in your own handmade backpack.  Yes, that sounds awesome! Come join us.  Spaces are limited and will fill fast.

Details & Registration – Wood, Leather & Metal Camp

  • August 6 – 11, 2018
  • Monday 2pm arrival and pick up on Saturday at noon
  • Ages 11+
  • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here to get directions)
  • $725
  • All materials needed to complete the project are provided.
    • Free T-shirt included
    Register Now

     

    SUMMER TEEN EXPEDITIONS

    Jun
    23
    Sat
    2018
    Wilderness Quest
    Jun 23 – Jun 29 all-day

    Register Now
    “The inner and outer journey.” 

    This camp is for campers who have attended at least one year of Earth Roots. 

    Come alive with adventure and discover the beauties of nature accessible only by foot. We will leave behind the modern world and use only what we carry on our backs, our own resourcefulness and gifts that that nature provides.  Campers will learn to depend on themselves as they pack their own packs and hike from one camp to the next.  They will also learn to depend on the whole group, make decisions cooperatively and build communication skills.

    Throughout this camp, much time will be spent on personal reflection, and helping campers develop more of a vision of who they are and who they are becoming. This will prepare us for the mini solo experience. This solo, rite of passage experience will serve as an opportunity to honor this transition from youth to pre-adulthood, something so needed in our youth today.

    wilderness_group_waterfall
    wilderness_backpackers_forest

    Program includes: Backpacking through beautiful wilderness, backpacking etiquette, Outdoor and campfire cooking, Wilderness first-aid, Team building and communication skills, Ecology and natural history, Wilderness Philosophy, Tracking, Awareness activities.

    Details & Registration – Wilderness Quest FULL

    • Date June 23-29, 2018
    • TBA
    • Ages 13+
    • Drop off is 9am at our base camp in Afton, and pick up is at 5pm in the Sugar Hollow Camp (get directions)
    • $725
    • Prerequisite: minimum 1 year Earth Roots Overnight Camp.

      All supplies will be included, other than the basic camping and clothing gear. We will send a what-to-bring list and details upon your registrations. Camping backpacks are available to rent. Please send us an email at livingearthva@gmail.com for more information!

    • Free T-shirt included
    Register Now

    sunset_kids_view

    WEEKLY HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS

    Jan
    10
    Wed
    2018
    Winter Homeschool Nature Studies
    Jan 10 – Feb 14 all-day

    home_snow_bird

    Register Now

     

    If survival and living off the land is your thing, then join us for some Wintery Homeschool Adventures and put your skills to the test!

    Join us for: Fire making, crafting, hanging out in our tipi, making our own winter-hardy shelters, tracking animals through snow and winter mud, finding springs in the forest and making warming tea over the fire… the possibilities are endless. Learn to live and feel at home in wintery conditions and gain confidence in your skills.

    Winter Homeschool Nature Studies

    • Ages  8+ (7 year olds who have done our homeschool program already are also welcome)
    • Wednesdays: Jan 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14. Inclement weather make-up days are Feb 21 and Feb 28, should other classes be cancelled.
    • 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
    • Charlottesville
    • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT! Sign up by Dec 10th for our discount price of $325. After this date, price will rise to $360
    Register Now
    Mar
    7
    Wed
    2018
    Charlottesville Homeschool Nature Studies
    Mar 7 – May 17 all-day
    Register Now
    The Living Earth School offers homeschool nature studies programs in the Charlottesville and Goochland/Richmond, Virginia area.
    The programs are offered in the Spring and Fall for ages 8 and up. Groups will divided according to age and experience level, and will be guided by a skilled mentor.

    Get your homeschoolers Nature Connected, under the guided care of skilled nature mentors! We have found that our outdoor classroom really makes learning real and the direct experience of seeing and knowing things first hand, takes learning to a whole new level. Learn about the seasons directly, gain skills in knowing what it means to live connected to the land around, harvest tasty fall wild edibles, shoot an arrow, makes fires by rubbing sticks, track animals, build things with your hands and be a part of a vital community of students of the earth.

    This is an opportunity for homeschoolers to come together in a community setting and learn about the natural world, themselves, and each other, through earth-based mentoring.

    We will focus on nature awareness, survival skills (shelter, fire, water, food), wild edible plants,  responsibility and respect- for self and others. This program will provide challenges, leadership, and community. LES staff take mentoring seriously, and are patient, caring, and supportive. This program will not only build good woodsman/woodswoman skills, but will increase the confidence of the kids.

    hand_leaf_sculpture

    • Survival skills
    • Wild food / primitive cooking
    • Bird Language
    • Ecology / Community
    • Crafts / Tools
    • Nature studies
    • Peacemaker principles
    • Tracking
    • Awareness / observation
    • Storytelling
    Seasoned woodsman Peter Yencken will be leading the Teen and Pre-Teen Group (11 and up). This group is for older or experienced kids who want to be challenged, to follow their own curiosity, and to go deep with a craft or knowledge and figure out how all this woods stuff applies to life back at home. Peter’s group will occasionally join the younger group for big games, but generally they are off on their own. (If your older child prefers to stay with Soupy and the younger group, that is fine too.)

    Bobcats & Grey Foxes
    – Charlottesville Homeschool Nature Studies

    • Ages 8 – 18
    • Spring 2018 dates: 10 Wednesdays
      March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 25, May 2, 9, and 16-17 (overnight)
      Makeup date for cancelled class: May 23
    • 9:30am – 3:30pm

      There will be an overnight May 16-17.

    • Located at Belvedere in Charlottesville, VA.
    • PRICE: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $530, Price raises to $575 after Feb 14(Note that a fixed blade knife is required. We sell these for $20.)
    Register Now

    Goochland/Richmond Area Homeschool
    Nature Studies, ages 8+:

    Spring dates: 8 Tuesdays from March 13 to May 8
    Cost: $450 for the 8 week session.
    Click here for full information on the Goochland/Richmond page.

    Mar
    13
    Tue
    2018
    Goochland / Richmond Homeschool Nature Studies
    Mar 13 – May 8 all-day
    Register Now
    The Living Earth School is super excited to be bringing our home school nature connection programs to the Goochland / Richmond area.

    kids_leaves_woodsThis is an opportunity for homeschoolers to come together in a community setting and learn about the natural world, themselves, and each other, through earth-based mentoring.

    We’ve made such great connections and had a blast running around in the woods, making fires by rubbing sticks, tracking animals, and cooking over the fire with your kids.  Our fantastic trained mentors are super excited to be exploring the forest and making deep connections once again.

    We will focus on nature awareness, survival skills (shelter, fire, water, food), wild edible plants, responsibility and respect- for self and others. This program will provide challenges, leadership, and community. LES staff take mentoring seriously, and are patient, caring, and supportive. This program will not only build good woodsman/woodswoman skills, but will increase the confidence of the kids. Get ready for archery, cooking on the fire, making a fire by rubbing sticks, tracking animals and so much more. All programs are led by experienced LES staff.

    girl_hut_woodsHomeschool curriculum is based on:

    • Survival skills
    • Wild food / primitive cooking
    • Bird Language
    • Ecology / Community
    • Crafts / Tools
    • Nature studies
    • Peacemaker principles
    • Tracking
    • Awareness / observation
    • Storytelling

    Please send in full payment as soon as possible to hold your space and feel free to spread the word. Currently this program is in Goochland but we are hoping to find a location closer to Richmond.

    Goochland / Richmond Homeschool Nature Studies

    • Ages 8+
    • Spring 2018 dates: 8 Tuesdays
      March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10, 24, May 1, and May 7-8 (overnight) Makeup date for cancelled class: May 15
    • 10am – 4pm
    • Goochland, VA.
    • PRICE: Early Bird Discount: $395, price raises to $450 after Feb 20 (Note that a fixed blade knife is required. We sell these for $20.)
    • We plan to have an overnight May 7-8- stay tuned for more details!*
    Register Now

    ONCE A MONTH SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAMS

    Feb
    24
    Sat
    2018
    Red Arrow Boys
    Feb 24 – May 19 all-day
    Register Now
    These Saturday Camps keep Nature Connection alive in our students throughout the year, and are held within the caring support of our skilled Nature Mentors!

    boys_leaf_structureWe have found these programs to be an important breath of fresh air during the often busy school year. Come join us for deep connections with nature, community and self, with learning and fun woven tightly together.

    This program will run seasonally (fall, winter, spring) during the school year for boys ages 8-15. That way we can really understand the different seasons, tasks associated with them, and the pure enjoyment of the ever-moving seasons. We will meet 1 day a month from 9:30-3:30pm. Each season will have an overnight (optional but strongly encouraged) where we can put what we learn to test.

    The program will be held in Charlottesville, near Belvedere. The location is rich with wildlife, river, forest, meadow, and stream. There are hundreds of acres of forest to explore, old Native American homesites, etc… In this monthly boys program, we will learn the way of a woodsman and forest scout. We will focus on nature awareness, survival skills (shelter, fire, water, food), responsibility and respect- for self and others. This program will provide challenges, leadership, and community. LES staff take mentoring seriously, and are patient, caring, and supportive. This program will not only build good woodsman skills, but will increase the confidence of the boys. All programs are led by experienced LES staff.
    Each month has a theme (though we always jump on learning opportunities that come our way).

    There has been a lot of interest in this program, so please don’t delay registration.

    3boys_branch_hut
    redarrowboys

    Details & Registration – The Red Arrow Boys

    • Boys Ages 8 – 15
    • Spring 2018 FULL dates: Saturdays
      Feb 24, March 24, April 28-29 (overnight), May 19 
    • 9:30am – 3:30pm

      Weather pending, we will have the overnight on April 28- meeting at 1pm, ending at 11am on the next day. 

    • In Charlottesville, VA. near Belvedere
    • Price: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $245, Price raises to $265 after Feb 3 (Note that a fixed blade knife is required. We sell these for $20.) 
    Register Now
    Woodland Girls
    Feb 24 – May 19 all-day
    Register Now

    These Saturday Camps keep Nature Connection alive in our students throughout the year, and are held within the caring support of our skilled Nature Mentors!

    We have found these programs to be an important breath of fresh air during the often busy school year. Come join us for deep connections with nature, community and self, with learning and fun woven tightly together.

    This program will run seasonally (fall, winter, spring) during the school year for girls ages 8-15. That way we can really understand the different seasons, tasks associated with them, and the pure enjoyment of the ever-moving seasons. We will meet 1 day a month from 9:30-3:30pm. Each season will have an overnight (optional but strongly encouraged) where we can put what we learn to test.

    camp_cooking_pancakesWe are thrilled to be offering this program for our girls! Woodland girls are adventurous, respectful, intuitive, compassionate and wise. WE will journey into these ways together in a safe, supported way.  We will  build our earth-wisdom in a fun community, where girls can be themselves and grow into the person they want to become. We will cultivate respect for the earth, our self and each other and boost self- confidence and zest for life. We will focus on nature awareness, survival skills (shelter, fire, water, food), wild edible plants and harvesting, self-expression through art, storytelling and deep nature connection. This program will provide challenges, leadership, and community. LES staff take mentoring seriously, and are patient, caring, and supportive. This program will not only build stong earth-wisdom, but will increase the confidence of the girls. All programs are led by experienced LES staff.

    The site is near Belvedere neighborhood off of Rio Rd.

     

    Details & Registration – Woodland Girls

    • Girls Ages 8 – 15
    • Spring 2018 FULL dates: Saturdays
      Feb 24, March 24, April 28-29 (overnight), May 19
    • 9:30am – 3:30pm

      Weather pending, we will have the overnight on April 28- meeting at 1pm, ending at 11am on the next day. 

    • In Charlottesville, VA. near Belvedere
    • Price: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $245, Price raises to $265 after Feb 3 (Note that a fixed blade knife is required. We sell these for $20.)
    Register Now

    FAMILY PROGRAMS

    Jul
    27
    Fri
    2018
    Family Archery: Making a wooden long bow or quiver and arrows
    Jul 27 – Jul 29 all-day
    Family Archery: Making a wooden long bow or quiver and arrows @ Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
    Register Now
    This Weekend Camp is designed for families.  Have you dreamed of making and shooting your own handmade bow and arrow, let alone making one with your child? What a gift to be able to do this together and to cultivate this shared skill as a family.  This is for real and this is your chance to do it!

    This is a camp that has been requested over the years.  There is a limited amount of space in this program.  All materials needed to complete the project are provided and each participant will go home with their own hand made bow and one arrow, or a quiver with several arrows.   In this program, the camper and parent/adult a will make a wooden long bow from a piece of wood, carving it down, shaping it, and tillering the bow so it works optimally.  Each participant will make their own string for the bow.   Or they can choose to make a quiver to store arrows in out of leather.  They will learn how to make arrows, fletching, shaping, etc.   They will leave with a few arrows to put in their quiver.

    This is a great opportunity for families to make their very own archery kit, that if cared for can last a lifetime.   To take a project from raw materials to completion teaches competence and builds confidence.   This is an awesome opportunity, and not one that could be found anywhere else.  The teacher of this program has helped hundreds in this process, and is a very supportive teacher.  We are lucky to have him on board.  Peter will also go over the instinctive shooting method so that students leave knowing how to shoot their new bow.

    Building and shooting longbows has been practiced for thousands of years all over world.  Bows have been used in many ways including: survival (both food gathering and protection), sport and meditation, and spiritual practice (Zen meditation). This class is a continuation of these ancient practices.

    During this class, you will learn the skills to build a long bow, how to choose the wood, the tools needed and their use, how to finish the wood, and make strings. You will be taught the “instinctive” shooting method (this is the same method used by people who relied on the bow in their daily lives).

     

    Details & Registration – Family Archery Camp

    • Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
    • July 27 – 29, 2018
    • The workshop begins on Friday at 6pm (please come having eaten dinner) and ends on Sunday at 3pm.
    • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
    • $380 (for 1 child and 1 adult), each additional person is $220
    • Basic tent camping is included, with options to sleep in our tent cabins or to bring your own tent.  Participants will bring and cook their own food and are welcome to use our primitive camp kitchen with supplies.
    Register Now
    Aug
    3
    Fri
    2018
    Family Medicine Kit / Leather Working Camp
    Aug 3 @ 6:00 pm – Aug 5 @ 3:00 pm
    Enjoy family time while you learn earth skills.

    Create an Herbal Medicine Kit for your Family! -OR- Make a hand crafted shoe made exactly for you, by…you! -OR- Create your very own bag, designed for your unique lifestyle! 

    Register Now

    Beauty and function combine in this amazing leather workshop offering! Choose your own adventure, and craftsman Peter Yencken will give you detailed instruction and guidance to create your own medicine kit, or a durable and comfortable bag, or a pair of shoes.  Those who choose to make a medicine kit during their time will make a leather bag, a handmade salve, a tincture and an herbal tea bag to use as an herbal balm for cuts. Others may choose to make a pair of leather shoes that are specifically cut and designed to the particular size of your own feet.  Finally some people may choose to use the time to work on a larger leather bag that is custom designed.  There will only be time in this class to create ONE amazing handcraft out of leather.  Each participant will have the opportunity to choose to make a medicine Kit, a pair of shoes OR a leather bag.

    This may be a perfect gift for you or one of your loved ones!

     

    Details & Registration – Family Medicine Kit/Leather Working

    • August 3 – 5, 2018
    • The workshop begins on Friday at 6pm (please come having eaten dinner) and ends on Sunday at 3pm.
    • Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
    • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
    • $380 (for 1 child and 1 adult), each additional person is $220
    • Basic tent camping is included, with options to sleep in our tent cabins or to bring your own tent.  Participants will bring and cook their own food and are welcome to use our primitive camp kitchen with supplies.
    Register Now

     

    Aug
    11
    Sat
    2018
    Family Knife Making / Leather Working Camp
    Aug 11 @ 2:00 pm – Aug 12 @ 3:00 pm
    Enjoy family time while you learn earth skills.
    Come get your hands in gear making your own stainless steel knife with sheath, or leather bags.  Yes, you can do it all and you can use bags that you’ve made your self, or a beautiful hand crafted knife. This is for real and this is your chance to do it!
    Register Now

    Beauty and function combine in this amazing workshop offering! Choose your own adventure, and craftsman Peter Yencken will give you detailed instruction.

    This may just be a perfect gift for you or one of your loved ones!

    Details & Registration – Family Knife Making/Leather Working

    • August 11 – 12, 2018
    • The camp runs Aug 11 at 2pm to Aug 12 at 3pm.
    • Ages 8+ with accompanying adult
    • Sugar Hollow Camp (Click here for directions)
    • $240 for one parent and child and $100 for each additional child
    • Basic tent camping is included, with options to sleep in our tent cabins or to bring your own tent.  Participants will bring and cook their own food and are welcome to use our primitive camp kitchen with supplies.
    Register Now

     

    RITES OF PASSAGE

    Note: Moon Tribe for Girls will be offered in 2019. (See Adult page for Moon Tribe for Women offered in 2018).

    May
    24
    Fri
    2019
    Moon Tribe for Girls
    May 24 – May 27 all-day

    Creating A Meaningful Experience That Girls Need

    Grounded in Nature
    Empowered Within
    Bright Lights Shining into the World

    Moon Tribe for Girls is the beginning of a journey, an initiation experience to transition into young womanhood. Moon Tribe is for girls ages 11-14 years old, or any girl who is ready to embrace a vision of her womanhood. “What does it mean to be a woman?” girls will ask themselves during their Rite of Passage. “Who am I now, and who am I becoming?”

    moon_hands

    In our modern culture today, aspects of the feminine are often shrouded in shame, brushed under the rug, or twisted from true dignity. At this critical stage in their lives, girls need to be immersed in a community in which femininity is honored and explored. They need to be honored and acknowledged. They need to experience the freedom of being fully themselves with a community of women and girls who are open about all aspects of being a woman. They need an initiation, a passageway into young adulthood that is deeper than prom or getting a driver’s license. We seek to bring these meaningful ways back to our children.

    Being in nature for four days is crucial to this process. Everything in nature–every tree, every rock, every deer, every flower, every sunrise–is always fully embodying itself and its gifts from the Creator. Immersed in the natural world and in a community of supportive women, these girls will lay a foundation for their womanhood built on authenticity, trust and support. We will create a safe nurturing space for each girl to explore the depths of what it means to be a woman in today’s world and to create the space for her authentic self to emerge.

    Rite of Passage experiences are initiations that mark a developmental transition. Elements in Rites of Passage include:

    • Immersion in the natural world
    • Time in solitude and time in community
    • Symbolic representations
    • Expression and reflection
    • Elements of challenge
    • Being sent off and welcomed back by engaged community

    Adult female mentors of all ages will be there to guide your girls. We’ll sing, play games, frolic in the creek, make art, have sharing circles, and eat delicious food.

    This weekend will serve as a way for girls to not only be acknowledged by their peers, and (community), but also serves as a stepping stone for self acceptance and knowing their place/stage in the journey of life. It will help create empowered young woman who are solid in who they are.

    moon_0215_girl_womanOur Intentions:

    • To create a supportive and trusting community that honors each girl’s unique self at this powerful time of change and uncertainty, which will allow her to stand stronger in who she is in the future.
    • To invite girls to go deeper, to reflect and vision on who she is becoming.
    • To share wisdom and stories and help the girls discover the beauty, mystery and joy of the feminine, of their cycle, of the mystery that is womanhood.
    • To allow mothers and daughters to truly see each other, to open the dialogue between them so they can stand hand in hand and on common ground as they embark on this journey together.

    Details & Registration – The Moon Tribe

    • Girls Ages 11 – 14, or any girl beginning her moontime/menstruation (Kate and Erin will be in contact to help you discern if your girl is ready)

    • Memorial Day Weekend, 2019.
    • Friday at 6 pm – and through Monday 3pm. There is a celebratory potluck and final ceremony with the mothers from noon to 3pm on Monday.
    • Donation based- please contact us for more details
    • Mothers, by signing your girl up, you are also committing to being intimately involved. You will be coming to an information meeting before the event, assisting your girls to find an anchor and supporters, helping her reflect on why she is coming, and acknowledging and working through any resistance she has (which is normal!). You’ll be donating food or volunteering to cook either on-site or preparing food beforehand. Feel free to contact us for more details on the time and effort we ask of you and your girl. Rite of Passage requires full, joyful commitment of both mother and daughter, and it is worth it! 

      Rites of Passage are a sacred birthright, so though the program costs about $200 per girl, we gratefully accept any amount above or below that. We realize that some are able to give more and some will give less. Our staff (a team of about eight committed women) generously donate their time that weekend, but there are still costs: food, insurance, facility rental, supplies, administration. Search your heart and discern what generous donation you can make to ensure that we can continue to offer these programs to girls and women for years to come.

    LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMS

    PRIVATE GROUP PROGRAMS