Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook is welcoming a Forest and Nature School program!

Photo: Kim Urbaniak

Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook (WSKC) is happy to embrace the Kimberley Outdoor Learning Society’s (KOLS) Forest and Nature School programs as their own, effective September 2023. 

Forest and Nature School is an educational approach that was established in Europe in the 1950s. The primary goal is to provide regular and repeated access to a natural space, using largely emergent, student-led, and play-based programming. Students enjoy the freedom to explore, build, play, and engage with one another, throughout every season of the year. “Next time, can we have [forest school] for longer? I don’t want to go home yet.” RC shared, not deterred even on a cold winter day. “I feel so energized! The mud gives your skin a power-up!” LM exclaimed, sharing his enthusiasm for the muddy spring days. Nearing the end of a full year, OJ concluded, “forest school is more fun than I thought!”

KOLS began running fully outdoor programs in the fall of 2021, with a goal to inspire and enable children and adults alike to play, explore, and connect with nature and our community. “My daughter just loves it. She has so much fun every time she’s here.” noted one of the parents. They offered four different weekly programs for ages 12 and under, based on the Forest and Nature School philosophy. “He’s really been thriving these last few months. I think forest school has a lot to do with that.” mentioned another parent.

KOLS’s focus on Forest and Nature School programming aligns well with WSKC’s core values of inclusion, community involvement, collaboration, innovation, and sustainability. By taking on existing KOLS programs, WSKC will be able to provide year-round youth outdoor programming, while simultaneously helping the Forest and Nature School to streamline the behind-the-scenes work.

Programs will remain as they have been since they began: play-based, child-led, and guided by Forest and Nature School principles. Choosing the Forest and Nature School program run by WSKC offers security in the following:

  • Trusted organization
  • Community-focused
  • 3rd year program in Kimberley
  • Always 2 adult instructors
  • Lead instructors with over 15 years of outdoor/environmental education experience
  • 4 different programs to choose from

Fall 2023 programs are open for registration at www.kimberleyoutdoors.ca

  • Snowshoe Hares Afterschool, ages 5-12: Mondays 2:45 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Wolf Cubs Unparented Play, ages 3-5: Wednesdays 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ravens Full Day, ages 5-12: Thursdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Deer & Fawns Parented Play, ages 0-5 and their carers: Fridays 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

As one of the Ravens kids let us know, “You have the best activities here!”