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Trail Boss

Children are natural-born explorers. From infancy, we're driven to investigate our surroundings and to study cause and effect in an attempt to understand the world around us.

We've watched our Mighty Acorns preschoolers investigate and invent, enriching their connection to the land and each other as they commune with Acorn Woods, but we know that drive doesn't disappear when children reach a certain age - the spirit of exploration and adventure will stay with us as long as we nurture it.

As adults, we also know how good it feels to do something for the first time; to see a project through; to make something that helps others - but those rewards need not be restricted to grown-ups! People of all ages can enjoy the chance to make the world just a little bit better and do work with meaning and purpose. Pride in creation begins as soon as there's an outlet.

These observations have led us to create an innovative program we’re calling Trail Boss, designed for children ages 7-10 who are ready to work hard and play hard, explore and discover, and band together to build something new!

Participants will learn all sorts of skills, including how to navigate the land, tell time by the sun, techniques for building fires and shelters, and safe tool use. As we go, we will also delve into the underlying scientific principles of the magnets, astronomy, combustion, convection, and simple machines that underpin our bushcrafting, gaining a deeper understanding of both the how and the why of what we're doing and the world around us.

Over the course of the semester, we will work on trails around the site charting new territory, naming things, and making maps along the way. At the end of the season, we will have a special event where the Trail Boss team can reveal the fruits of their labors to the rest of the Red Oaks membership and their families, and enjoy the thrill of accomplishment that comes from using time and energy to make the world better in a tangible, sharable way.

Trail Boss sessions will run from 10am until 2pm concurrent with the Friday session of Mighty Acorns. Participants should come dressed for the weather and bring their own lunch, snacks, and basic equipment (a list of materials needed and recommended brands will be provided).

IMPORTANT: In this program we will be working directly with real tools as well as with fire in a wilderness setting. We will also be doing demanding physical labor under a variety of environmental conditions. All participants must be able to follow directions, exercise good self-control, and conduct themselves safely. Before enrolling, please be sure your child is both ready for and interested in this type of activity.

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Trail Boss Fall 2019 Dates

9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/25, 11/1, 11/15, 11/22, 12/6

Make up day for severe weather: 12/13

Cost: $300

Trail Boss is now full for fall semester. Email registration@redoaksforestschool.org to join the waitlist.

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