Full Day Program in Rocky Ripple
Ages 13-17

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February 15, 2024 at 12pm noon: Forest School Enrollment begins!
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Program Overview

White Pine’s forest school Teens (ages 13-17) spend their days exploring the great outdoors with a balance between enjoying the seasons, working on focused skills, and playing nature connection games. Along the way, we exercise key components of our curriculum: free play, social and emotional learning, resilience, self-empowerment, and nature immersion. Our highly-trained, experienced instructors support their learning throughout the whole school year by providing the space for kids to ask questions, collaborate on projects and care for others and the environment. Our instructors help guide kids to find their place in both community and the natural world

Our forest school program is the perfect enrichment for homeschool families. After all, nature is our greatest teacher, connecting us to environment, community and ancestry. We balance free play with guided nature lessons using our unique, hands-on Shikari Wilderness/8 Shields curriculum that focuses on deep connection with nature. Teens are given a solid introduction to each skill, allowed space to explore their own interests, and given the chance to do crafting and projects of their own. We practice core routines throughout the year: crafting, wood splitting, sit spot, scouting, cooking, free play, tracking, foraging, archery, plant identification, storytelling, fire-starting, bird language, and so much more.

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Program Location

Our Teens forest school program is located at our Rocky Ripple campus, our home base since 2014. Rocky Ripple is a quiet neighborhood, tucked in between the Indianapolis Canal and the Wapahani (White) River, and is loved by many for it’s peace and quiet. Here, we explore the beautiful woods and shorelines of the river to connect ourselves to nature.

Our campus is a private, partially-fenced space with everything you’d need for having fun learning about nature: an archery range, flint-napping area, climbing wall, primitive cob house, multiple fire pits, a yurt, a tree house, super-high monkey bars, chicken coop, skinning area, wood splitting area, individual lockers for gear, a climbing rope/swing, and so much more.

We adventure into the woods almost daily, just blocks from our campus. Rocky Ripple is a riparian habitat, exhibiting traits from both terrestrial and aquatic systems. So what do we find? Sycamore trees, wild ginger, crawdads, chickweed, sunfish, turtles, red-tailed hawks, barred owls, burdock, an occasional coyote in the distance, and so much more.

Program Structure

Teens (ages 13-17) forest school meets from 9:00am-3:00pm on Fridays. For 2024-2025, Teens will meet from 9:00am-3:00pm on Mondays.

We meet at a consistent location, with the same group of peers and teachers through the whole school year. We have a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:5. We have 8 units per school year, centered around the changing of the seasons. Many families choose to stay the entire 8 units each year, but it is not required.

We are outside 99% of the time, with students only going inside in the case of restroom breaks, extreme heat or cold, or severe weather threats.

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per week
per month
*Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to offer financial aid.
Please visit the Ethan Runnels Memorial Scholarship page to apply for your family.

Program Team

Jack Pain

Course Director, Fire Chief

Nate Garvey

Course Director, Shikari Integrator, Teens Lead Instructor, After-School Flying Squirrels Lead Instructor