Coyote Pups

10-Week Seasonal Nature Camps for Ages 3-7

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
— e.e. Cummings

Wee Ones (3-4 years):

Days:               9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Mondays, Fridays

Tuition:          Click here for tuition options

Kinder-Age (5-7 years):

Days:               9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays
                           9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fridays

Tuition:          Click here for tuition options

Location:       SLO Botanical Garden. The magical children’s garden, surrounding hillsides, and El Chorro Park across the bridge make up our home.

If you would like to be added to a waitlist for one of the upcoming seasonal camps, please click below.

September 11, 2017 through June 15, 2018

On Mondays and Fridays,  a multi-age group comes together for a day of games, stories, and nature-based learning designed for the young child. Imaginative play is the cornerstone of these days.  Everything is possible during imaginative play. This is how a young child explores and builds her strong, personal relationship with place and experiments with his role in a community. In this mixed-age group, older children learn and express a spirit of helpfulness and gain confidence as they pass on skills used during our days on the land.  Each day we:

  • begin with songs and sharing gratitude,
  • play games to develop and attune the senses,
  • adventure on the land to discover the unique offerings of each season,
  • tell and enact stories,
  • share a healthy lunch together,
  • engage in crafts and activities that develop fine-motor skills, and
  • end with our collective story of the day!

We gather together on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am-3 pm to deepen into place-based learning designed for the kinder-age child (5-7 years). These days are centered around nature immersion and activities that develop focus, initiative, and a sense of belonging within a caring learning community. With the kinder-age child, we trek further on the land to directly experience the changing seasons and movement of animals through the landscape. The seasons inspire a cycle of activities which help us all  create meaningful connections with the land, one another, and ourselves. Our days follow the familiar rhythm and flow to which we add:

  • foraging and tending the land,
  • practicing wilderness skills (whittling, shelter-building, tracking),
  • crafting with natural materials (plant-dying, basket-making), 
  • unstructured free play and timeless wanders.

Join our pack of Coyote Pups and get Outside Now!

Coyote Pups in Fall

September 11, 2017 - November 17, 2017

Mentors:  Julie Hackett and Brenda Gates

If you put Fall on a compass with Winter in the North,  Autumn becomes the Southwest/West time of year: the time for celebrating and gathering the gifts of nature. Together we harvest edible and medicinal plants, observe the animal life as we tend our surroundings, and tell the stories that reveal themselves on our day’s encounters. Nature beckons Coyote Pups in Autumn to gather and craft, trek and map, observe and imagine, sing harvest songs, and share gratitude for the gifts of nature.


Coyote Pups in Winter

November 27, 2017 - February 16, 2018

Mentors:  Julie Hackett and Brenda Gates

We speak of Winter as the Northwest/North time of year: the time for seeking shelter and reflecting upon the mysteries of life. Little ones deepen their relationship with fire, enjoy the coziness of gathering in a secure space we build ourselves, and sip teas we harvest on the land. Coyote Pups in Winter construct shelter, create warmth, “catch” songs, share stories from the ancestors, cook nourishing food, craft, and more. When the Winter rain arrives, we dress warmly and continue to engage our senses outdoors! 

Coyote Pups in Spring

February 26, 2018 - May 11, 2018

Mentors: Julie Hackett and Brenda Gates

We associate Spring with the Northeast/East: the direction of a sunrise. It ’s a time for anticipating and observing birth. In the springtime, little ones are energized with natural curiosity for the changes they see in a landscape bursting with new beginnings: blooming wildflowers, baby birds, budding trees. The brilliant colors, soft winds, growing grasses, and baby creatures of Spring awaken all of our senses. Coyote Pups in Spring share story, song, treks, games, crafts, planting, mapping, movement, and more!


Coyote Pups in Summer

May 21, 2018 - June 15, 2018

Mentors: Julie Hackett and Brenda Gates

We place Summer in the Southeast/South: the direction of a bright sun high in the sky.  Summertime children have peak activity levels, a vibrant match for long days working and playing in nature. The tickling grasses, warm earth, bright sunlight, hot air, cool waters, and active creatures of Summer stimulate all of our senses and invite endless adventure. Coyote Pups in Summer sing and dance, imagine and craft, garden and hike, splash in the creek,  and rest on the sunny rocks.