There are a multitude of reasons people flock the our lovely North Shore, but I think one the biggest draws is all the outdoor space and all the activities to be done in these spaces.
Something I am guilty of is not taking advantage of our beautiful parks, forests and hiking trails as much as I feel I should be. I also don’t get my girls out into these amazing spaces as much as I should be. Thank goodness for the Saplings Outdoor Summer Camp that Portia recently spent a week enjoying in July!!!
Saplings Outdoor Program is a nature-based program located in West Vancouver for children ages 2.5-6 years old. The main purpose of the program is to provide children with an opportunity to connect with the environment in a safe and enjoyable way. Nature is a child’s best education.
As a parent, making sure Portia is staying active this summer is important to me and she craves interaction with other children. We registered her in some sports camps, but when I heard about the Saplings Outdoor Program, I was SO excited to have Portia spend a full week in the great outdoors.
The activities the kids do in the summer camps are incredible! Portia came home with a bow and arrow made with sticks found in the woods, a raft that she made out of corks and elastic bands (which the kids all floated in the stream) and a head spinning with all-things-nature.
The kids start the weeklong camp exploring the forest and learning forest safety, to set the tone for the week. From there, they built climbing ropes to get up cliffs, imagined they were on a deserted island and used a handmade pulley to get their supplies to their imaginary island, did all sorts of craft activities and the list goes on.
My favourite part about camp was the tightropes, because it was hard to walk on those but I could do it – Portia, 4.5 years old
The idea of Portia being in fresh air, exploring nature, playing with others her age, having teachers passionate about nature, building confidence in an unfamiliar setting and having SO much fun is a summer camp that checks more boxes than I even had on my list! I HIGHLY recommend that you check out the availability for August camps and register your child this summer!
Some exciting news for Saplings Outdoor Program lovers… Saplings will be starting afterschool programs at West Bay Elementary and afternoon programs through the West Vancouver Rec Center in the fall, as well as a new Parent/caregiver and child program on Tuesday mornings as well. (Their regular 2015/2016 program is full, so thank goodness they are adding some additional programming!).
More about Saplings Outdoor Program
Saplings Outdoor Program is a nature-based program located in West Vancouver for children ages 2.5-6 years old. The main purpose of the program is to provide children with an opportunity to connect with the natural environment in a safe and enjoyable way. Nature is a child’s best education.
Creativity, nature, and play are the inherent rights of every child. Learning happens everywhere, and it happens best when children are immersed in authentic environments and situations. Our goal is to increase awareness of and connection to the natural world in order to foster compassion and empathy for the earth and all its inhabitants.
We believe there should be an unhurried, healthy unfolding of childhood. Nature plays an important role in the overall well-being of children and is, essentially, the ideal environment for early childhood education.
Intense creativity and strength of imagination, as well as a sense of wonder and reverence for the natural world, will serve as strong foundations for later academic learning.