Cumming Nature Center Forest School

Cumming Nature Center Forest School

Ages 4-12 years old | Various Days | 10am-3:30pm

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. Find Forest School registration information below.

For parents who have questions about how we're keeping your children safe in the wake of COVID-19, we've compiled a list of answers to your frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, please reach out to our Guest Services team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please call or email with inquiries about the program: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 585.271.4320.

 

About Forest School | Information for 2022-23 Session | Register for Forest School | Summer Forest School


For information on weekly outdoor programs for ages 0-4 or 13-15, please see below:

Toddler Forest School (ages 0-4)
Field Studies Program (ages 13-15)


About Forest School at CNC

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.

Download Handbook

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.

 

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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!

 

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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!

 



Get Started with Forest School

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 Year Fall 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

*RMSC members receive a membership discount applied upon registration.


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

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)


Register for 2022-23 Forest School!

Please register for 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). Registration closes on August 1, 2022.

The Fall 2022 sessions of Forest School are full. To be added to a waitlist or for more information, please call 585.374.6160.

Please read the parent handbook before registering your child: DOWNLOAD HANDBOOK. Need-based scholarships are available. To apply, please fill out the Forest School Scholarship Application form.


Summer Forest School

Tuesdays, July 5 - August 16 | 10am - 3:30pm
Thursdays, July 7 - August 18 | 10am - 3:30pm

Summer Forest School offers children the opportunity to experience the magic of Forest School during the summer months. In 2022 we're offering two 8-week sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Forest School fees listed below apply to one session of Summer Forest School.

 
Price*
1st Child  $375
2nd Child $365
3rd Child $355

*RMSC members receive a membership discount applied upon registration.

Register for your session today!

TUESDAY SESSION

THURSDAY SESSION


About the Cumming Nature Center

Cumming Nature Center is a dynamic, 900-acre environmental education facility that celebrates the unique landscape and culture of the Finger Lakes region through experiential learning opportunities and thoughtful exhibits. Educational programming at CNC explores the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. These programs are designed to inspire innovative and creative thinking among participants and provide them with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to take action in the face of local, regional and global challenges.



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