Wilderness Awareness School Programs
Over 29 years, Wilderness Awareness School has developed a successful method of Nature Connection based on how indigenous cultures taught their children: indirectly through storytelling, questioning and nature activities; and directly through outdoor skills. Our programs are engaging and fun, using universal child passions as a gateway for learning and relating to nature. We go on intriguing adventures outside, and playfully engage the sense of wonder and curiosity of nature (even in city environments) that is innate in all of us. We train individual children and adults, and multiply our impact by training the trainers. Our robust college-level programs and vibrant youth programming uniquely position us to train highly qualified instructors — giving them the practical training they need to reach thousands of new students throughout the world.
We serve over 2,100 children annually through youth programs for ages 4 – 18 (after-school, monthly and weekly1-day programs, week-long summer camps). Demand continues to increase, along with requests from under-served communities for access and scholarships. We are developing and running pilot programs through collaborations with organizations such as Treeswing (recess, after-school and family nature clubs), to make Nature Connection accessible to more families, and train at-risk youth to lead their communities in outdoor play.
Goals: double summer programs and triple school-year programs in the next 5 years, to serve 4,600 children a year.
Instructor Training Leadership Program
Our 2-year instructor training Leadership Program attracts students worldwide to learn our unique curriculum and educational methodology. There are over 120 “sister schools” around the world started by our graduates. We train 30 - 40 students annually.
Goal: double the program in the next 5 years, to serve 60 - 80 adults; multiply their impact to reach over 12,000 students a year.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Thank you for putting us on the Map! Over the past 5 years, we have served 13,098 youth and adults. Our high rate of returning students and consistent annual growth illustrate our ongoing success. We also receive extremely positive feedback from our parents and students — leading to our 2nd year of recognition in a survey through the parenting authority ParentMap as Best Nature/Environmental Daycamp and Best Overnight Camp.
Ready to Expand Access
Wilderness Awareness School is poised at an important juncture. We have developed a very sustainable and effective model, largely based on program tuition. We are ready to expand our model to provide greater accessibility to our programs — so that more children and families have the opportunity to benefit from a connection with nature.
Fund Development and enhanced Marketing and PR
We need to expand our funding model to allow us to increase program accessibility and our ability to get more kids of all backgrounds outside; further grow our individual donor base; build out and support multiple levels of engagement with our core stakeholders; and start a foundation and corporate grants program. We have enjoyed excellent success with marketing, and strive to continue to add more content-driven marketing that creates multiple levels of engagement, and to gain more experience with PR and Communications.