Thank you for your support!

I like exploring and making independent choices.  The camping and backpacking trips are adventurous and exciting.  Outside Now teaches me to be at one with Mother Nature and allows me to learn about the world around me.
— Henry, Nature Academy teen

For so many centuries, the exchange of gifts has held us together…

― Barry López, About This Life


Moving through the past cycle of seasons outside with wee ones, youth, teens, and families; we experienced both the comfort of the familiar and the exhilaration of the unexpected. We settled into a greater awareness of our place in the stories that travel on the wings and in the calls of birds we meet on the trail; that live in the sycamore trees and granite boulders we rest against; that stick to us like estuary mud and wildflower pollen.  And, after years of learning about the effects of drought on our treasured local landscape, we were surprised to feel rain on our faces!

Puddles formed; dry riverbeds came to life. We were motivated to make fire with hand drills and bow drills to warm ourselves and our friends. Shelter building was essential, too.  Would our structures hold up to the forces of the windy, watery elements?  Imagine this: our youngest resourceful adventurers, Coyote Pups (ages 3-7), spent every day of their 10-week rainy Winter Camp outdoors or snug in a shelter of their own making!  

For our teens, the rains brought greater awareness of water as essential and life-giving.  Wni Wiconi–Water is Life–became an important slogan for them, as they harvested elderberries and made traditional medicine in support of the Standing Rock movement.  Imagine this: some made the journey to the Water Protectors with their families to deliver medicine and supplies as well as to learn from indigenous wisdom.  Who will see to the well being of future generations?  Who will tend the wild, if not me?

Outside Now exists to provide a direct experience of Nature as primary instructor for a growing number of young ones, who naturally become those who care about the health of the land and all its inhabitants. They become the innovative, resilient people who figure out what they have to offer and pass it forward to benefit future generations. Our immediate goals include bringing 120 youth into one of our year-long, deep nature connection programs: Coyote Pups, Nature Explorers, and Nature Academy.  We are over halfway there!  In addition, we would like the 100+ campers we took into the wild this year to become 150 summer campers for next season! 

We are grateful for contributions of any size which allow us to keep tuition affordable, effectively train and support mentors to keep up with expanding enrollment, and offer scholarship support so the opportunity exists for more young ones to get Outside Now!

Appreciation all around, 

Susan Pendergast, Director
for everyone at Outside Now



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Contributions of any amount are appreciated! Here are some helpful trail markers:

  • $10 replenishes our sunscreen and lip balm stash, essential gear! 
  • $25 keeps our library of field guides stocked and growing.
  • $ 50 pays for a day in nature with Coyote Pups.
  • $75 times three generous folks buys a teen ticket to the Buckeye Primitive Skills/Ancestral Arts Gathering (a favorite Nature Academy quest each year).
  • $100 times another three generous folks sponsors a child in a week of Wilderness Explorers summer camp.
  • $250 allows another mentor to receive Wilderness First Aid training.
  • $500 supports a weeklong backpack adventure for a Nature Academy teen.
  • $1500 provides a young one with a weekly nature connection experience for a full program year.
  • $15,000 brings another gently used van to our fleet, which will transport  another dozen children into the wild each day!
When people ask my little one, ‘Tell me about your school,’ her eyes light up, a smile stretches across her face, and she responds: ‘ My classroom is a redwood tree, we get to be in nature all day, and we do fun things like carve tools, build shelter, and listen to birdsongs.’

From my perspective, I love that my daughter spends her days in a safe environment where her senses are alive, her innate connection to the outside world is revered, and her curiosities are supported.  
— Coyote Pup Kalia and her mother Caroline