Farm & Forest Nature Explorers
Our Farm and Forest program is a day program held thought the school year at Fire Ring Farm and Palmer-Taylor Preserve in Portland, CT. In this program, we spend time exploring beautiful and ever-changing preserve while we learn about foraging, shelter building, map reading and nature awareness through child-led exploration and play. We also help the farmers at Fire Ring Farm with seasonal farm activities and learn about growing food and sustainable farming practices.
Program fee structure: We are committed to offering our programs to all regardless of their current financial situation. Our program fee structure is based on a self-selected sliding scale from 100% to 60% of the full program cost. Options are shown at registration. Please select the highest tuition level you can afford. If you are selecting a program fee that is less than the full program cost, please see our FAQ page to learn more about financial aid caps per child/family.
Additional financial aid: We have a limited amount of additional scholarship funding available. If you are unable to afford any of the discounted program fees, please select "I need to apply for additional financial aid" when selecting a tuition tier and answer the application questions in the registration form.
Sibling discount: A 10% sibling discount automatically applies for multiple registrants from the same family.
Multi-session discount: A 10% discount automatically applies if you register for more than one session at once.
BIPOC award: Everyone Outside offers a $50-off BIPOC reparations award for this program to those whose children identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color. This option may be selected during registration by entering the coupon code BIPOC in the discount code box at checkout. If you would like to read more about our decision to offer this reparations award, please see our reparations award page.
Waitlist policy: You may find the program you are interested in already waitlisted. Don't worry! Please register for your desired sessions to be placed on our waitlist and we will reach out to you when a space becomes available.
This program takes place in Portland at both Fire Ring Farm and on the Palmer-Taylor Preserve trail system (map) that surrounds the farm property on 3 sides, which is owned and maintained by the Middlesex Land Trust. In the Spring and Fall sessions, we visit the Fire Ring Farm gardens to learn about and help with planting, harvesting, cooking (and eating!) organic, locally-grown vegetables. In the Winter session, we are often able to help tap, harvest and make maple syrup. The farm's chickens are around all year for tending, feeding and snuggling.
The Palmer-Taylor Preserve is a 90 acre open space that consists of wooded uplands, large hay fields, two ponds and Taylor Brook. We spend the bulk of our day out in the woods exploring on and off trail, playing in the streams and doing age-appropriate nature games, activities and challenges based on the interests of each group.
Want to see us in action?
To see a photo journal of us enjoying ourselves out on the land, check out our EO Blog.
Ages: This program is for children ages 5-12. The children will be placed into smaller groups of 8-12 kids based on their age, maturity level and experience in our programs. We believe that mixed age groups give older kids a chance to practice being role models and younger kids a chance to learn from older peers.
Weather/Gear: This program takes place in all weather unless it's dangerous (high winds, soaking cold downpours, hazardous road conditions etc.). Children are expected to dress for and be able to handle a full day outside in all weather. (Full rain gear if it's raining, warm clothes if it's cold and snow gear if there is snow on the ground.) The kids carry their food and water with them in back backs and we usually eat out in the woods. If you need help finding gear (rain coat/pants, boots, backpack, warm layers etc.), please contact us and we will help you!
Registration/refunds: $25 of your tuition fee is non-refundable and is due at checkout in order to reserve your child’s spot in this program. You will be asked to read and agree to our refund policy as part of the registration process.
"The team of mentors are compassionate, intelligent, creative, loving, and a very diverse group who guide our children into curating unique and invaluable journeys during their time together."
Parent of program participant