Q: How many kids will be in my child’s group?
A: Our ratio is one adult instructor for every six children, with no more than twelve children and two instructors in each group.
Q: Will my child get dirty?
A: Yes. Embrace it! From mud to grass stains to charcoal face paint, you can expect it all. Did you know some schools in New Zealand have barefoot recess so the kids get exposed to dirt and build their immune systems? It’s good for them to get dirty. We suggest designating special “wilderness clothes” for Two Coyotes days.
Q: What kind of clothes should my child wear?
A: You will receive a packing list upon registering for the program. Being appropriately dressed (with extra dry layers!) ensures that all kids can have fun in any kind of weather that the day may bring.
Q: Is it possible to get a schedule of typical day?
A: Each day is a bit different but always starts with a large group circle with students of all ages and the instructors. We share gratitude (for something nature-related) and a song, followed by group announcements like reminders to check for ticks before students offer a coyote howl together and head to their individual groups.
Our instructors will call the names of each child in their clan and then have a meeting together about safety and rules. From there students are led on a day of adventure with their nature mentors. This may include friction fire making, nature crafts and playing nature games. Each day is a bit different based on the age of the group and the instructor’s specialty. Toward the end of the day, all the clans on the land return to one big group where another song is shared and they each have the opportunity to share a few gems about their day. The day concludes with a game while we await the arrival of parents. Each child is signed in and out by an approved guardian.
Q: Can you provide a more detailed syllabus of what projects and activities will occur during a 10 week program?
A: All of our instructors bring unique skills and gifts to Two Coyotes Wilderness School. They use these special talents to draw on the specific interests of the students to determine the projects that each clan works on throughout the session. All groups learn how to safely make a fire and extinguish it in the forest. All groups learn about wild edibles, plant and animal ID, tracking and being a steward to the land. All ages learn scouting techniques and how to be invisible in the forest, and play nature games that teach them leadership and awareness of themselves and their surroundings, but to them they are just…games! Younger students will focus on forest mysteries, games, crafts and other interests of the clan. Older students may learn how to safely carve with a knife and make more advanced survival tools. Students will revisit skills multiple times throughout the course of a session because we know that they learn more deeply every time they are exposed to it. Children in our long-term programs come away with life skills that are difficult to get in other settings.
Q: What about weather?
A: We hold classes in all weather conditions. We have access to indoor space for many of our locations, which we will use in the case of extreme cold, thunderstorms or other dangerous weather conditions. See our registration policy for more information about weather and weather-related cancellations. Learn more about how to dress for cold weather here.
Q: Can you describe a day in Coyote Pups?
A: This special program creates a village environment where your instructors lead adults and children in stories, songs, games, crafts and other activities together. Pups classes will often hike a short way to a central location that acts as the village and then head off in different directions from there to explore and play. Similar to all of our programs, the day will start with gratitude and a song and branch out from there, closing again in a circle. Each day will have new focus and our instructors are gifted at reading the needs of each child. Many of our Pups instructors are parents themselves!
Q: Do you know which of your instructors my students will have?
A: All of our staff are highly qualified and skilled. You can rest assured that whomever your child has as an instructor will be someone they will love being around. We base our staffing schedules on availability, registration numbers and other factors, and is subject to change.
Q: Can my child be in the same group as their friend/cousin/sibling?
A: You may request students be in the same group in the comment section of the registration form. We are usually able to honor these requests as long as they are in the same age group.
Q: My child is very mature, can s/he be in the older age group?
A: In most cases, no. The oldest or most mature child in an age group has a unique opportunity to mentor his or her fellow students, cementing their knowledge and making use of their newly learned skills. Moving up to the next age group is a privilege that each student earns and looks forward to when they reach that program’s age threshold.
Q: I prefer my child be in the younger age group. Is this possible?
A: We try to keep our ages groups accurate but are happy to speak with you about a child who might benefit from being with a younger group.
Q: Can I stay with my child on the first day?
A: We welcome parents to stay for opening circle if they want to see their child off in the morning. Most kids do well with parents leaving after circle when the instructors take their clans into the woods.
Q: Why is tuition so high?
A: If you were to break it down by the hour, it’s actually quite competitive to any other child programming. The difference is there is so much more to it. Where else will your child be mentored by a skilled naturalist while learning team-work, leadership, primitive skills, self-awareness and so much more?
Q: Is this a drop off program?
A: Yes, the majority of our programming is drop-off unless otherwise stated. Our Coyote Pups are for a child and adult caregiver.