“Dearest Nature School Team,
We wanted to thank you for the last eight weeks which have been magical for our son. We are so grateful that you found a way to save summer. Because of your will to make this program work during a global pandemic, our kids were out together in nature every day, feeding their curiosity, and learning how to be stewards of the environment. Every day he was ready and eager to head over to “Forest Kindergarten” and at every pick up we were treated to another natural wonder along with a big story from what happened at The Cooperative Nature School at Moose Hill. We knew this was a special place, little did we know it would be one of the best decisions we ever made.
Our son made a number of friendships that will last beyond this summer. He also made great connections with all of the teachers. Every day spent on the trails with the Chestnuts wove a web of facts and wonder brought home and shared with anyone who would listen, and even those who didn’t always want to (for example, random people at the store, or passersby). Your teachings of respect while interacting with nature made our son bold, to the point that almost every picture of an insect or frog in a small open hand – was his! We would review the pictures and laugh, saying, “Yep. That’s his hand holding that…” (cicada shell, frog, beetle… the list goes on).
We were on a walk to the lake this morning and our son found an apple gall. He was super excited and said, “Yep. This is a red apple gall. I used to find these on the trail with my Forest Kindergarten crew!” We both smiled. I just love that he thinks of the Chestnuts as his “crew!”
With all the uncertainty with the school year, and the divisive nature it is bringing to our community, we keep thinking of what you did this summer and how great it was. I know as a mom, I feel more confident in the idea of in person learning due to our experience with you. I also saw what having a gaggle of goofballs to pal around with did for our son, an only child who was feeling the impact of social distancing. Just more takeaways from our positive experience!
The love, care, and lessons bestowed upon our son have built an incredible foundation, lit up the naturalist within, and given him great confidence as he moves on to Kindergarten, and steps into the greater world. The work you are doing, the way you are doing it, and the passion and patience you bring to the classroom is truly special. For that, from the bottom of our hearts –we thank you. “