PLEASE NOTE: RMSC Cumming Nature Center is closed from Sunday, November 13 through Tuesday, December 13. Re-opening will be on Wednesday, December 14. Trails and buildings are closed to the public until that date.

Cumming Nature Center > Forest School

Cumming Nature Center Forest School

Forest School provides children with the space to nurture their relationship with nature through unstructured play, curiosity-driven learning, hands-on projects and basic outdoor skills development.

  • 4-12 Years Old

  • Various Days from 10am – 3:30pm

e083ac4df288f0b9f03ec1adbe79e026_L

ABOUT FOREST SCHOOL AT CNC

Forest School at Cumming Nature Center recognizes the intrinsic relationship between children and nature. 

Our mission is to provide children ages 4-12 with the space to nurture this relationship through unstructured play, curiosity-driven exploratory learning, hands-on projects, and outdoor skills development; all within a physically safe and emotionally supportive environment. Through Forest School, students learn to be resilient, self-reliant, and confidently inquisitive.

Please call the Nature Center at 585.374.6160 with inquiries about the program.


NATURE IS OUR CLASSROOM

With nature as our classroom, guide, and companion, our daily activities are based on fostering three things: purposeful work, observation, and exploration. Purposeful work may consist of carving sticks, sawing wood, gathering acorns, building a shelter, building and cooking on a fire, creating natural art–the list is endless!

We take time to observe the little ways the world changes, even in the course of a week. Outdoor play allows the children to honor the strong developmental need to jump, twist, tug, pull, balance, roll, run, climb, dig, sort, build, weave and create. This play also develops fine and gross motor skills, executive function, spatial awareness, balance, coordination, kindness, and empathy. Children work together, using their strong imaginations and ideas to sort out all types of social situations.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Forest School days run from 10am – 3:30pm. Each day at Forest School is spent entirely outdoors in all types of weather. In order to fully immerse ourselves in the environment, it is essential that children come prepared for the day’s weather and with the understanding that it is ok to get dirty! Comfort and proper clothing are of the utmost importance. 

Forest School students are separated into self-contained cohorts of 10-15 children. In the event of a lock-down, Forest School instructors will take Forest School online.

It is critical that families review the parent handbook before registering a child for Forest School. The handbook provides detailed information about Forest School’s core values and guiding principles, along with logistical details regarding food, clothing, weather closures, registration, and more. Please take the time to read through the handbook, and feel free to reach out to our staff with any questions at 585.374.6160.


Meet The Forest School Instructors

angie

Angela Cannon-Crothers, Forest School & Interpretive Programs Coordinator

My name is Angela Cannon-Crothers (I am the one in the bandana) and my title is Nature Mentor Angie (Nature Angie is fine). Some of my other titles include Forest School & Interpretive Programs Coordinator, Lifelong Forest Schooler, Author, and mom. Some of my former titles have included Forest Ranger, Cloud Collector (for real), naturalist, and college science professor. My hobbies include wildcrafting, writing, exploring, reading, drawing, identifying dragonflies and marveling at fungi. My goal is to always keep my sense of wonder intact.


nona

Winona Brown

Hello! You can call me Nature Mentor Nona. My hobbies are: canoeing, dancing, singing, somersaults, squelching around in the mud, and building fairy villages. My goals for this year of Forest School are to laugh a lot, learn something new from everybody, see an owl, and find lots of mud to play in.


jon

Jonathan Jensen

I am Nature Mentor Jon: husband, dad (of 4), brother, son, uncle, teacher, friend, and coach. I have been a Forest School Nature Mentor for over two years and my children have been involved for even longer! My hobbies are eating and moving, and my goals for this year are P.E. – Play and Explore!


jim

Jim Davis

Out in the woods I’m known as Nature Mentor Jim! My hobbies are woodworking, tree climbing, and teaching. My favorite snack is chocolate chip brownies (yum!), and my goal for this year is to teach everyone about the amazing world around us.


laura

Laura Jones

Hello, friends! I am Nature Mentor Laura. Some of my favorite things to do are camping, knitting, cooking, biking, singing, gathering around a fire with friends, gardening, and storytelling. Lately, I’ve been inspired to learn about beekeeping and visible mending of clothing! If I could only choose one type of food to eat forever, it would be soup. I especially love working alongside children and noticing as we all grow and evolve with the seasons.


simon

Simon Conrad-Reingold

Hello Forest Schoolers and families! My name is Nature Mentor Simon. I am a teacher/educator/mentor for Forest Schoolers, new and old, this year at Cummings Nature Center. Additionally, I am a: climber, hiker, runner, reader, naturalist, outdoor educator, teacher, forest mentor, and a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).


kassandra

Kassandra Stymus

Hello friends! My name is Kassandra. I love to spend time with my family, which includes: 2 kids (Jacquelynn & Ivory), 2 dogs (Affina & Musha) & my partner (Kyle). We all love crafting, playing music, story time, organic gardening & wild foraging, hiking & camping.


Lauzon_photo

Becca Lauzon

Hi, I’m Becca! Cumming Nature Center is one of my favorite spots and I’m so excited to explore it with Forest School. I am an earth scientist and environmental educator. My favorite things to do outside are exploring, firebuilding, following animal tracks and wiggling my toes in the mud! Inside, I like to read, cook, bake treats, do puzzles, and hang out with my cat.


Facetune-21-06-2021-11-26-30-min-min

Camille Karavas

Hi there! My name is Camille but you can call me Cam if you please. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with an intention of being a herpetologist. I absolutely adore reptiles and amphibians. Aside from all things nature, I enjoy playing music and spending time with my loved ones. I was a summer camp leader at CNC this year and am so excited to be a Forest School instructor this year. I look forward to meeting all of your lovely faces!


image0-min-min

Amanda Adolf

My name is Amanda and I am excited to get outside and start exploring nature with you! Often times I can be found hiking, looking under rocks or logs for critters, between two trees in a hammock, learning new plants, or drawing things I see. I can’t wait to meet you and start adventuring together!



2022-23 FOREST SCHOOL SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAYS | 10AM-3:30PM

Fall: Wednesdays, September 14 through December 21 (except November 23) 

Spring: Wednesdays, January 18 through June 7 (except February 22, March 15, and April 5)

THURSDAYS | 10AM-3:30PM

Fall: Thursdays, September 15 through December 22 (except November 24) 

Spring: Thursdays, January 19 through June 8 (except February 23, March 16, and April 6)

FRIDAYS | 10AM-3:30PM (FULL)

Fall: Fridays, September 16 through December 23 (except November 25) 

Spring: Fridays, January 20 through June 9 (except February 24, March 17, and April 7)


Forest School Fees

The Forest School fees listed below apply to one day of Forest School during 2022-2023. You will need to pay additional fees for each day of Forest School your sign your child up for. 

 Full YearFall only (14 sessions)   Spring only (19 sessions)   
1st Child $1,120$467$653
2nd Child$1,110$462$648
3rd Child$1,080$457$643

REGISTER FOR 2022-23 FOREST SCHOOL!

Please register for the Spring 2023 session of Forest School by filling out the form below and paying a $50 application fee (this fee is required for registration and will be applied toward tuition upon acceptance into Forest School or Field Studies).

NOTE: Currently only Wednesday and Thursday sessions have openings.

Please read the parent handbook before registering your child: DOWNLOAD HANDBOOK.

SPRING 2023 INFORMATION

schedule

WEDNESDAYS | 10am-3:30pm
January 18 through June 7 (except February 22, March 15, and April 5)

THURSDAYS | 10am-3:30pm
January 19 through June 8 (except February 23, March 16, and April 6)

Fees

1st child | $653
2nd child | $648
3rd child | $643

register

Start your registration for the Spring 2023 session of Forest School by clicking the button below.

NOTE: Currently the Friday session is full and only Wednesday and Thursday sessions have openings.