April 27, 2007

Young Nature Explorers Club


This summer I asked my kids what they wanted to do with their friends and Ciaran wanted to explore nature with them. Go to parks and catch frogs, look at bugs, walk through the woods, all that great stuff that sadly kids can no longer do on their own. So I agreed to start a Young Nature Explorers club within our homeschool support group. I posted an interest thread and was amazed at the response. So far I have over 42 kids interested! Who knows how many will make it each week but clearly this was desired by the kids and parents.

My plan is to meet at a different local park, nature center, or nature preserve each week and just have open exploring time. I made it clear it will not a drop off activity and with that many kids interested I am glad I did! We will just go through the parks together as a group taking time to observe, explore, discover and learn together. I encouraged families to bring whatever individual supplies they want. We will bring our butterfly nets, bug vacuum, magnifying glass, field guides, nature journal sketchbooks, colored pencils and some sort of bucket to collect things in. Though the rule of the club will be that we need to leave everything in the park and keep it nicer than we found it. I plan to carry a trash bag with me as well. I know one mom plans to bring a portable microscope.

It is a very easy summer acitivty to organize if you are interested. We decided on meeting every other week from the end of May through August. That is because I also organize beach days for our group and I made those alternating weeks from this nature club so we have at least one activity to look forward to each week to see our homeschool friends but we do not get overburdened with activities.

I am really looking forward to it. I am an outdoors mom in the spring, summer and fall. I love hiking, exploring nature, the beach, swimming, bike riding and taking walks with my kids. I love helping them discover God's creation and enjoy nature. This is a perfect set-up for me because one of the things that holds me back from hiking in some interesting places is not feeling safe alone in deep wooded areas with three small children in tow. Having other parents with me alleviates these concerns and opens up more new areas to explore for my family.

Our family also plans to take up geocaching as a new family hobby this summer. We are starting to investigate GPS handhelds and hope to start sometime in May or June. We love nature, hiking as a family and treasure hunting so this should be a great combination of things for us. Anyone else geocache and have a GPS they love?

Get out and enjoy nature with your kids this summer!

2 comments:

  1. I came across your blog from a post about nature on a homeschooling message board.
    In my previous life ;-) I was a naturalist. I have wanted to use my knowledge of nature somehow with other homeschoolers and couldn't find a way to go about it. This Young Explorers Club is such a great idea!
    I'm using your idea and starting one here in our area w/ our fellow homeschoolers. This is a very easy group for me to organize being a busy mama, yet so fufilling to everyone involved.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Enjoy! Glad to hear others are reading it and starting their own club. So easy to do and so much rewards. Have a great spring and summer!

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