7 & 14 Week Sessions
With nature as our classroom, we guide students in the practice of appreciating the natural world and developing specific wilderness skills. Our daily focus consists of intentional work, cooperative play, careful observation, and wilderness exploration. Our work involves splitting wood, sustaining warmth and fire, building survival shelters, and cooking over the flame!
We hope to encourage children to carefully understand what they experience through the senses, and promote the natural curiosity of observing nature. We plan unstructured free play times, where children can climb, run, jump and talk. Ultimately, we hope children enjoy working together and experience the important bond that we all share with nature.
Our Forest School programs meet once a week during the traditional school day and is limited to students between the ages of 6-13 years old. Read more below for information on locations and times.
For more details, please refer to our 2023 Forest School Parent Handbook below:
Our Penfield Forest School occurs in the beautiful Veteran’s Memorial Park off Atlantic Avenue. It is held on Tuesdays from 12-3 pm and Wednesdays from 9-12 pm. Registration is currently open for our Spring session. Click on the link below to register your nature-loving student!
Our Winter/Spring session is full for this year. To receive updates for when registration for Fall sessions begin, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curriculum Aligned Outdoor Learning
With small school green spaces, local parks, and school gardens, we understand the need to support children’s natural curiosity and developmental need to move, play and interact. Our enrichment includes sensory exploration, acute observation, deliberate skill practice, and nature-based play. We aim to provide holistic, and enriching experiences that promote the development of wilderness skills, sustainable attitudes, and appreciation of the natural world.
Once a partnership has been made with either an individual teacher or the entire school, our learning guides work with both the teachers and students to create an experience that best suits their needs. Whether this includes a standards-aligned local field experience, team-building through the practice of hands-on wilderness skills, creating a community garden, or an in-classroom nature-based exploration the possibilities are endless!
To learn more about our work with local schools, please read below. If you would like to learn how to partner with Earthworks in your school, fill out the form below.
Anna-Murray Douglass academy No. 12
In partnership with Rochester Ecology Partners and RCSD, Earthworks is working to imbed standards-aligned Nature-Based Learning into the school culture of AMDA 12.
With a 40 raised bed garden as our canvas, our Earthworks Learning Guides teach both indoor and outdoor gardening lessons to every student in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms at Lakeshore Elementary.
John James Audubon school no. 33
Alongside other members of the Center for Youth School-Based team, Earthworks helps conduct an after-school program based around nature crafts, gardening and play.
Mary McLeod Bethune school no. 45
Working in both the raised beds and the on-site greenhouse, Earthworks staff have worked alongside students to establish a community garden in the center of the city.
On-Demand Nature Workshops
Alongside one of our experienced Learning Guides, our on-demand workshops serve as an opportunity for individuals and groups to get together and explore a specific topic aimed at deepening our relationship with nature. EarthWorks workshops will empower individuals to seek vision, and experience, and develop a deeper sense of self.
If you are a teacher, community partner, local parks department or just an outdoor enthusiast and you are looking to get a group of students outside, follow the link below to reach out to our Program Manager and inquire how we can work together.
Below is a quick overview of some of the nature workshops that we offer. If you wish to learn more, click the link below to see our full menu of nature workshops.
Guided Wilderness Hikes
Guided by the smells, sounds, and sights, our guided nature hike will focus on the senses as crucial to experiencing this class in a magical way. We believe that simply being present in nature, begins to allow children and adults to experience mindfulness. Nature will be our guide as we embark on a journey that is unique with each step we take.
Alongside educators and students, we develop the most beneficial workshop for their needs. Our hope is to guide classrooms through wilderness expeditions, aimed at providing hands-on skill practice and collaborative team-building opportunities.
Forage & Feast*
We slow down and learn about the joy of food in a way that few people today ever will...with the ancient practice and knowledge of gathering wild edibles. Our experienced learning guides design a delicious and unique experience in which we set out on a quest to find and feast on some of the best wild food that NY has to offer!
*Due to the limited amount of foraging available in winter-early spring, this workshop is only available from April-October
Wilderness Survival Skills
With nature as our classroom, we guide students into the basic tenets of natural survival; allowing for structured skill development and unstructured outdoor play. As the most popular and comprehensive workshop, wilderness survival was developed to encourage classrooms and school groups to experience nature in a way that contributes to their academic and personal success.
With the forest as our playground, our games reinforce the relationships between the elements of nature, and the excitement of friendly competition. Play hard in the forest and live in the spirit of camaraderie! We will run, jump, twist, roll, hide and move!
An immersive character-building experience
Committed to immersing children in nature, our summer camp encompasses The American Camp Association pillars for a valuable and educational summer experience. Our nature guides encourage children to creatively explore the natural world, nurturing the development of resiliency and self-confidence through consistent hands-on skill practice. Each program is age-appropriate, with specialized outdoor skill practice aimed at improving self-confidence and developing positive social relationships.
Our summer camps provide a safe and structured space for children to dictate their learning while becoming aware of the natural world. Children are encouraged to embrace their curiosity, appreciate the natural world and explore the landscape. Expect your child to jump, crawl, run, hide and play in this fun-filled camp experience!
Summer adventure sessions are held at Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit and are available for ages 5 to 15. All class days run from 8:30–2:30 pm M-F. Each age group runs for two weeks during the months of July and August. Parents have the option to sign their child up for one week, or both! Please note, each section is designed for that specific age group. In order to make sure everyone gets the best experience, we will not allow students into a section outside of their age range.
For more details, please refer to our 2023 Summer Camp Parent Handbook:
5-7 years old
Neat Nature provides space for children to enjoy safe unstructured wilderness play, where they can run free and explore nature. Children will be encouraged to focus on the plants beneath their feet, the trees above their heads and the clues in the forest! Neat Nature is designed to increase children’s awareness levels, encourage hands-on skill practice through working in small groups and most of all explore at their own pace.
Dates for this year's Neat Nature Camp:
July 10th- July 21st
Neat Nature is FULL for this upcoming 2023 Summer Camp. To join our waitlist, please email email@example.com.
8-11 years old
Designed to balance curiosity, adventure, and hands-on skill practice; Running Wild taps into our need to experience the natural world. Expect your child to create survival shelters, be taught safe fire practices, engage in outdoor cooking, join daily navigation hikes, and most of all explore and get dirty! Running Wild will focus on building a foundation of survival techniques, while allowing children to naturally experience the wilderness at their comfort level.
Dates for this year's Running Wild Camps:
July 24th- August 4th
Running Wild is FULL for this upcoming 2023 Summer Camp. To join our waitlist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11-15 years old
Could you have survived without shelter, food, or water thousands of years ago? This is the central focus of Nature Leaders, as young adults are challenged to reach beyond what is comfortable and typical; allowing them the opportunity for specialized skill practice. Expect your child to be taught and practice knife and hatchet techniques, learn practical fire skills and understand our relationship within the natural world.
Dates for this year's Nature Leader's Camp:
August 7th- August 18th
To register your child for our Nature Leaders Summer Camp, please follow the link below:
Get in Touch
If you would like to see how Earthworks can partner with your school, community organization or local parks department, please fill out the form to the right in order to reach out to our Program Manager, Taylor Naugle for more information!