3rd Annual Vancouver Island Nature Preschool Campference…for KIDS ONLY!

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY!

                                                                                                                                             

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, Parksville, BC

– Friday, June 15th – Sunday, June 17th, 2018 –


Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program (HIH) is excited to host the 3rd Annual Vancouver Island Nature Preschool Campference…for KIDS ONLY! This 3-day nature-inspired event is for children, aged 3-6 (must be out of diapers) who have been enrolled in a Nature Preschool (or Early Learning Nature Education Program) on Vancouver Island and their older siblings. The KIDS Campference is a volunteer event, put together by the collective efforts of Vancouver Island Nature Preschool and Early Learning Nature Education Program educators as a way of giving back to the many Vancouver Island families who believe in and support our programs and early years nature education.

THIS IS A FREE EVENT! Registration is by donation only (the only finances that families are responsible for is traveling to and from the location, camping fees and meals). 100% of the proceeds will be split in half, where 50% will go to supporting HIH’s In-House Subsidy Program which provides financial assistance to low income families who are interested in registering their children in nature education programs (please click here for more information). The other 50% will be split in half and go to supporting each of the following 2 Vancouver Island environmental organizations in offering them financial assistance in their current fundraising efforts:

  • Project Watershed: A Comox Valley registered non-profit environmental society with Canadian charitable tax status focused on sensitive habitat stewardship. Project Watershed is currently fundraising for the KUS-KUS-SUM Keeping it Living Campaign, for the preservation and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary.
  • Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary: A wild oasis in the heart of the urban Victoria landscape that includes two distinct ecosystems: the beautiful marshland of Swan Lake and the rocky, oak-forested highlands of Christmas Hill. Swan Lake Christmas Hill nature Sanctuary is currently fundrasing for the Give-a-Sheet! Help replace the Sanctuary’s Outdoor Classroom Today, for the replacement of the 1,040 feet of floating boardwalk, which is an outdoor classroom and naturalist’s tool to ‘Bridge People to Nature’.

The 3rd Annual Vancouver Island Nature Preschool Campference…for KIDS ONLY is a great effort and wonderful opportunity to bring all of the Vancouver Island Nature Preschool and Early Learning Nature Education Program families and educators together in one forest, on one beach and in support of what we all love and do best…teach, learn and play with children in nature! We’re all looking forward to another inspiring weekend filled with nature, fun and adventure! Please sign up early so that your little one(s) (and their older siblings, if they have) and/or you do not miss out on these inspiring, creative, fun and playful workshops and teacher trainings. We look forward to seeing you all there!

TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


                                                      


Based on feedback from those who have attended in past years, we have added the following activities this year to our KIDS Campference:

  1. Workshops for older siblings (6 years old and up)
  2. A pop-up station where kids of all ages can play with natural selected materials
  3. Encouragement to have parents/guardians, grandparents and other family members join the fun and adventure and participate with their little one(s)
  4. Time set aside for nature educators/presenters to collaborate, network, and learn from each other (this includes FREE teacher training)
  5. Opportunities for public, private and home school teachers to come and observe nature education programs in action and learn how to integrate nature education with the existing curriculum in their classrooms.

This year’s KIDS Campference is going to be a very special event for many reasons, but we would like to point out just one here. The Annual Vancouver Island Nature Preschool Campference is turning 3 years old this year, and because that’s the age of children we begin teaching, learning and playing in nature with, we are planning to begin this year’s event with lighting candles, singing songs and celebrating the KIDS Campference’s 3rd birthday! All are welcome, so please come and join the celebration with us…and please remember to bring your candles!


                                                                       


Schedule of Events

(for a description of Workshops and Teacher Trainings, please refer to the WORKSHOP and TEACHER TRAINING DETAILS below)

Friday, June 15th

TIME EVENT
5pm – 6:30pm Check-In at S1-Picnic Shelter
7pm – 8pm Presentation at the Outdoor Amphitheater
8:30pm – 9:30pm Teacher Training #1

Saturday, June 16th

TIME EVENT
8am – 8:45am Qigong Warm-Up
8am – 12pm Teacher Training #2
8:45am – 9am Morning and Opening Circle at S1-Picnic Shelter
9am – 10am Workshop #1
10am – 10:30am Break
10:30am – 11:30am Workshop #2 & Teacher Training #3
11:30am – 1:30pm Break & Lunch
12pm – 1pm Teacher Training #4
12:30pm – 4:30pm Teacher Training #5
1:30pm – 2:30pm Workshop #3
2:30pm – 3pm Break
3pm – 4pm Workshop #4
4pm – 5 pm Teacher Training #6
4pm – 6:15pm Break & Dinner
6:15pm – 6:30pm Evening Circle and KIDS Campference’s 3rd Birthday Celebration at S1-Picnic Shelter
6:30pm – 7:30pm Presentation at S1-Picnic Shelter
8pm – 9pm Teacher Training #7

Sunday, June 17th

TIME EVENT
8:45am – 9am Morning Circle at S1-Picnic Shelter
9am – 10am Workshop #5
10am – 10:30am Closing Circle, Raffle, Door Prizes,  Thank yous & Goodbyes at S1-Picnic Shelter
10:30am – 11am Check out…and see you all next year!

                                

  TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


Early Morning Workshop Details for Everyone

 (The following Workshop begins at S1-Picnic Shelter. Please meet your educator there 5 minutes before your workshop begins.)

Saturday, June 16th & Sunday, June 17th, 8am – 8:45am
  • Qigong Warm-Up: Join me for 45 minutes of qigong to get your day moving. We will be working with energy as we enliven our senses using breathe, visualization, and body movements. Qigong helps to ground you and bring balance to the bodymind. Our time together will have an adult focus though children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Qigong is a gentle, but powerful form of exercise. It originated thousands of years ago in China, and includes the wisdom of the body’s energy pathways. The exercises, or movements are done while standing. We will begin with connecting to the earth, then we’ll do some movements to cleanse and enliven ourselves. The series of movements that follow aim to nourish and nurture your organs. We finish with an exercise to cultivate new energy. Tai Chi is a more familiar form of Qigong that some of you may know. Available space is for an infinite amount of forest friends and beach buddies (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Comox – Wendy Poole).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


Workshop Details for Children Aged 3-5 Years Old

(All Workshops begin at S1-Picnic Shelter. Please meet your educators there 15 minutes before your workshop begins.)

WORKSHOP #1 (Saturday, June 16th, 9am – 10am) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • The HeART in Nature: Come join me for a nature-inspired art experience where we explore the various elements of art found in the outdoors. In nature, we will discover and understand: patterns, land spaces and other artistic representations. As we learn, we will play games, imagine and create independent art pieces, as well as other themes of creative exploration such as: story telling, music and poetry. Available space is for 12 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (The Erutan Way, Merville – Kat Radford). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • What’s Your Superpower?: We all have a superpower, it just takes some recognition and energy to realize it! Did you know that our earthly creatures have superpowers? Owls, squirrels, dolphins, and bats to name a few! Grab a cape and let’s uncover this mystery! We’ll hear everyone’s ideas about these creatures and explore clues with hands-on activities! Note: Capes will be provided. Available space is for 10 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Monkey Tree Early Years Nature Program, Comox – Liz Ashton). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Musical Walking Sticks: There’s nothing like a good walking stick! When decorated with buttons, beads and bells, your little one will have a stick that keeps them jingling down the trail! Join HIH educator Alix Wilson to create your own beautiful stick, and then test it out on a short jaunt through the forest. Available space is for 10 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Cumberland location – Alix Wilson). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Bringing Kids Yoga Outside: Connect and learn in this exciting and interactive workshop that offers hands-on activities to easily integrate kid’s yoga (and walking meditation with a singing bowl) and mindfulness into your everyday. Yoga is a great way for children to stay active, learn self-awareness, build confidence and find calm in a fun and creative way. Yoga and the practice of mindfulness teaches children self-regulation skills, how to pay more attention to their bodies and feel good about themselves. Yoga is also an excellent modality for treating anxiety. Through yoga children are able to connect to the self, others and nature.  Participants should come in comfy clothes that they can move in. Available space is for 30 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Comox – Sue McGiffin). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Fire Starting Without Matches or a Lighter: We will explore a handful of tricks and tips to explore the lifecycle of fire. Using materials found in our bioregion and/or in our backpacks, (exclusive of matches and lighters!) we will discover how to ignite, feed and grow a fire…rain or shine. Available space is for 12 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program & Birthing Freedom, Cumberland – Serena Oliveira). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • A Community of Castles: Come and join us on the beach for some fun in the sand! Buckets and shovels will be available. There will be time to explore the beach for natural materials to add to our creations and plenty of time to play before the tide touches our toes. Available space is for 10 beach buddies (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 2 educators (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Campbell River location – Sue Cameron and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #2 (Saturday, June 16th, 10:30am – 11:30am)
  • A Family Pirate Adventure: Having fun in nature…together. A map, nature and teamwork will help us to find the clues to discover what these pirates were hiding from us in the forest and beach at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Children are requested to please bring their engagement and playfulness. Please keep in mind that this workshop is one and a half (1-1/½) hours long so it will end at 12pm. Available space is for 12 forest friends/beach buddies (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend since they are part of the team…retired pirates are welcome too!) and 1 educator and possible assistant (Panorama Forest Explorer Program, North SaanichSusi McMillan and E.C.O. Program, Victoria – Kyle Rix). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Animal Particip-Action!: Some hop, run, slither, crawl, swim and sometimes fly! Animals are amazingly creative and diverse at moving their bodies. In this workshop, together we will explore many different ways that creatures can move through props, activities, and games, all while putting our own bodies into motion! Available space is for 16 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, Victoria Erica Van Dyk). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Hug a Tree & Survive Program: AdventureSmart teaches people of all ages how to avoid getting lost, and what to do if you realize you are lost, so you can survive and be safe until you are found. Earlier registration may enable your child to receive FREE survival items! In preparation for this workshop, we ask that you please view the provided video with your child(ren) prior to your attendance (to view the video, please click here). Please keep in mind that this workshop is only 45 minutes long so it will end at 11:15am. Available space is for 60 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 2 educators (AdventureSmart, Vancouver – Cynthia Pollak (Nanoose Bay-based) and assistant TBA: trained members of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society).
  • Clay Creature: Children use clay to create forest critters and then using nature materials to build their animals a home. Available space is for 12 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 2 educators (Nanaimo Forest Kids, Nanaimo – Vanessa Pearson and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Campfire Bread: This workshop outlines the basics of fire building and cooking bannock over an open fire. Facilitators will cover campfire safety basics and show participants how to make bannock. Bring your own fillings (raisins, cinnamon, etc.). Available space is for 8 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 2 educators (Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society, Cumberland – Claire Hodge and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Exploring Primitive Art: In this workshop, kids will get a chance to create art with materials found in nature. Please bring children in clothing that can be splattered and tattered! Available space is for 15 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1-2 educators (Harry Otter Nature Wizard School, Campbell River Chelsea Holly and Jane West). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Rhythm in the Rain: Forest friends are invited to come sing, move and explore the rhythms of nature under the umbrella theme of rain and water. We will use our bodies and simple rhythm instruments and make a simple rain stick to take home. Available space is for 20 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1-2 educators (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Comox– Beth Quinn and possible assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #3 (Saturday, June 16th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm)
  • Fairy Door Fun: One of the biggest things we advocate for at Victoria Nature School is that we can offer similar (if not all) experiences as your “typical” indoor preschool. In order to make this happen, we plan some simple adaptations for popular things such as painting. In this workshop you will get to create your own paint brushes and of course your own work of forest art with the aim of painting fairy doors to leave around the base of trees. You never know which forest visitor or animal will want to explore your work of art! Available space is for 10 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Victoria Nature School, VictoriaAnna St Denis). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Hidden Language Hatha Yoga for Kids: In this workshop children will get to explore several poses and the meaning behind them. The workshop will begin with gentle stretches, breath work and visualization. Together we will explore the some of the poses and what they mean. Children will learn how to move into the pose in a way that is comfortable for them and will be able to learn what the pose can teach them. Afterwards the workshop will wind down with a relaxation and time to share their favourite pose and what they experienced. Available space is for infinite forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1 educator (Yasodhara Yoga, Campbell River Clare McDonald).
  • “No Silly Questions”, A Serendipitous Walk in the Park: A simple group-directed nature walk to make kids feel good about wondering while wandering. We would start in a scrum, by giving the guidelines (stick together and respect each other’s questions), and then start walking and stop frequently to point out interesting things and allow the kids to stand, look around, notice stuff, and come up with questions. They come up with the darndest ideas, really quite fun! And Rule #1 is NEVER laugh at someone else’s question! To provoke more careful scrutiny, I answer questions with more questions such as, “What do you see? What makes that one [e.g., a bird or fungus] look different than another one, so you can tell them apart? What do you think might be happening? Have you ever seen or heard of anything else like that? How would you find an answer to the question, if it’s a hard one?” If they ask “Why is the sky blue?” we might just back up and ask, “When is it NOT blue?” before tackling the first. Available space is for 10 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend and welcome to listen carefully to their child’s questions so they can chase down more answers back at home) and 1 educator (self-rogrammed, Nanoose Bay – Cynthia Pollak). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Apple Roasting: After learning some knife safety, sharpen your own roasting stick and then put it to the test roasting an apple over the fire. The apple will then be peeled and dipped in a cinnamon sugar coating and roasted for another minute before we enjoy a delicious snack together! Available space is for 12 forest friends that are 4-5 years old (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 2 educators (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Cumberland – Alix Wilson and Serena Oliveira). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Driftwood Fort Building: Using the bounty the beach offers, we will build driftwood forts or whatever else the imagination inspires. Child-led and loosely facilitated, with an emphasis on fun and experimentation, rather than results. We will work cooperatively to create a space to feel sheltered in…a place where stories can be told and games may be born.  Available space is for 10 beach buddies (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Comox– Wendy Poole). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • What’s Your Superpower?: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • A Community of Castles: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #4 (Saturday, June 16th, 3pm – 4pm) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • What’s in My Ocean?: This workshop will be all about how things make it into our oceans, from fish and leaves, to plastic…and what effect that could have on our ocean animal friends! How things that make it to the sea, can travel faaaar distances and even hurt animals in other countries! This is mostly to get them thinking about the forward motion of their actions with littering. Perhaps trigger thoughts of animals in the sea the next time they accidentally miss the trashcan at the park. With a discussion about how mountain snow melts into water and flows into lakes, then rivers and into oceans, we will use shovels to make a small hole (lake) and dig a river towards the ocean. Then we will take turns watching our rivers start flowing as water is poured into each lake, which brings up the conversation about how things make it into our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean. This will include a conversation around the importance of picking up our garbage, or making sure our backpacks are zippered before we head back to play, for those actions could potentially be saving a sea turtle or baby orca! Available space is for 10 beach buddies (all of which are required to bring their own shovels) and 2 educators (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program – Lisa Neilson and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Pattern and Symmetry in Nature: Children explore the environment to find examples of symmetry and/or pattern in nature. Then use a 10 square to create their own examples. Available space is for 12 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 2 educators (Nanaimo Forest Kids, Nanaimo – Vanessa Pearson and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • The HeART in Nature: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Animal Particip-Action!: (please see details in WORKSHOP #2) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Campfire Bread: (please see details in WORKSHOP #2) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Exploring Primitive Art: (please see details in WORKSHOP #2) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #5 (Sunday, June 17th, 9am – 10am)
  • Musical Walking Sticks: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Bringing Kids Yoga Outside: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1)
  • Fire Starting Without Matches or a Lighter: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Fairy Door Fun: (please see details in WORKSHOP #3) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Driftwood Fort Building: (please see details in WORKSHOP #3) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • What’s in My Ocean?: (please see details in WORKSHOP #4) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

                                                                                                     

TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


Workshop Details for Children Aged 6 Years Old & Up

(All Workshops begin at S1-Picnic Shelter. Please meet your educators there 15 minutes before your workshop begins.)

WORKSHOP #1 (Saturday, June 16th, 9am – 10am)
  • Hidden Language Hatha Yoga for Kids: In this workshop children will get to explore several poses and the meaning behind them. The workshop will begin with gentle stretches, breath work and visualization. Together we will explore some of the poses and what they mean. Children will learn how to move into the pose in a way that is comfortable for them and will be able to learn what the pose can teach them. Afterwards the workshop will wind down with a relaxation and time to share their favourite pose and what they experienced. Available space is for infinite forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Yasodhara Yoga, Campbell River Clare McDonald).
  • Wild Craft Play the Game: Imagine you are playing a video game, but it’s all REAL-LIFE. You are the characters, the landscape is Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, and the other characters are real humans to interact with. It takes an open mind, creative imagination and a body, ready to be active. Get ready for quests, treasures, adventures, storytellers and games in the woods. This game is perfect for children aged 8-14. Jamie will be the main educator, however she requires a 1:6 ratio of children to adults. If there are willing parents/guardians to participate, she could use your eyes, ears and hands! Please keep in mind that this workshop is two and a half (2-½) hours long, so it will end at 11:30am. Available space is for 30 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1 educator (Wild Craft Play the Game, Nanoose Bay – Jamie Black…AKA Hummingbird).
  • Musical Walking Sticks: There’s nothing like a good walking stick! When decorated with buttons, beads and bells, your little one will have a stick that keeps them jingling down the trail! Join HIH educator Alix Wilson to create your own beautiful stick, and then test it out on a short jaunt through the forest. Available space is for 10 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to attend) and 1 educator (Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, Cumberland location – Alix Wilson). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #2 (Saturday, June 16th, 10:30am – 11:30am) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Tools for Kids: Having Fun While Staying Safe with Sharp Things: Sharp things get a bad rap, but if used properly, tools can enhance a child’s experience outdoors that will have a lasting impact on their confidence and curiosity. This practical session will allow participants to learn about the function of certain tools (knives, hatchet, saw, drill…), a safety orientation to the tools, and some practice in using the tools. Available space is for 10 forest friends aged 6 years old and up and 3 educators (Child & Nature Alliance of Canada – Forest School Canada, Ottowa – Chris, Tia and Anya Filler; Victoria-based). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Exploring Primitive Art: In this workshop, kids will get a chance to create art with materials found in nature. Please bring children in clothing that can be splattered and tattered! Available space is for 15 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 1-2 educator (Harry Otter Nature Wizard School, Campbell River – Chelsea Holly and Jane West). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #3 (Saturday, June 16th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm)
  • Knife safety and Ceremony: This workshop will introduce participants to safe and effective use of a knife and we will learn how to use our knives for fire making. Please keep in mind that this workshop is one and a half to two (1-½ to 2) hours long, so it may end at either 3pm or 3:30pm (for those parents/guardians who are not intending to stay, please return at 3pm). For those children registered for this workshop, parents/guardians are required to please bring a knife to the Saturday Evening Presentation to be gifted to their child. Parents/Guardians are invited to a co-create ceremony that will take place during the Saturday Evening Outdoor Presentation (please see details below under Evening Presentations) around their children receiving a knife in symbolism of their learning how to safely use it. Available space is for 12 forest friends who are 7 years old and older…or younger, if they are ready (parents/guardians of the registered children are required to check-in with educator) and 1 educator (WildSpirit, K’omoks territory – Bruce Carron). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Wild Craft Play the Game: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) Please keep in mind that this workshop is two and a half (2-½) hours long so it will end at 4pm.
  • Rhythm in the Rain: (please see details in WORKSHOP #2 for Children Aged 3-5 Years Old) Available space is for 10 forest friends who are 6 to 10years old  (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend. THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #4 (Saturday, June 16th, 3pm – 4pm) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Exploring Primitive Art: (please see details in WORKSHOP #2) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • “No Silly Questions”, A Serendipitous Walk in the Park(please see details in WORKSHOP #3 for Children Aged 3-5 Years Old) Available space is for 10 forest friends aged 6 to 10 years oldTHIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

WORKSHOP #5 (Sunday, June 17th, 9am – 10am) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Sketching: Collaborating with Nature: Children incorporate natural materials into their own sketches. A fun way to bring together an appreciation of nature and our creative spirit. Available space is for 12 forest friends (parents/guardians of the registered children are welcome to attend) and 2 educators (Nanaimo Forest Kids, Nanaimo – Vanessa Pearson and assistant TBA). THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!
  • Musical Walking Sticks: (please see details in WORKSHOP #1) THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL!

                                                                    

TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


Evening Presentations for Everyone

(Please arrive at the Evening Presentations 15 minutes before it begins.)

Friday, June 15th, 7:00pm – 8:00pm: Outdoor Amphitheater
  • The Raptors (Duncan)Meet some amazing raptors up close and learn about these amazing birds and how important they are to our ecosystem! The presentation will last about 45minutes, afterwards we’ll answer any questions for the remaining 15 minutes. It will cover several species of raptor and lots of cool facts about them all, along with a focus on their conservation and how important they are to our ecosystem.
  • North Island Wildlife Recovery Association (Errington): DISCOVER OWLS education presentation includes a visit from one of our glove-trained owls representing a special education ambassador in support of the program content. Once the owl is on display to the students, we interact with the students (question/answer opportunities as well as guiding to the answers if needed) to identify the very unique adaptations of owls for the life they live as a ‘raptor’. Although the bird cannot be touched, our various biofacts and props do allow for students to touch after the presentation and thus get a sense of what the bird feels like.
Saturday, June 16th, 6:30pm – 7:30pm: S1-Picnic Shelter
  • Celebrate the Day Ceremony: This evening presentation will be brought to you by none other than your children…that’s right! After a full day of creating, exploring, building, sharing, learning, interacting and more, we will honour all that we have experienced together by our children sharing their exprience through words and/or showing their creations. This will provide us all with an opportuinity to gain a greater persective of all that was expreinced throughout the day. Our ceremony will also include, Bruce Carron from WildSpirit, who will lead a Knife Ceremony of mindfulness, readiness and consciousness with those children who participated in his Knife Safety Workshop which will be a rite on competence and acknowledgement of the skill and awareness of safety for knife use, recognize the skill for themselves and how it fits into the larger community and includes a parent/guardian offering of a knife with a sheath to symbolize that their parent/gaurdian now knows that their child is ready to have a knife.

                                                                                                                                                        

TO REGISTER, PLEASE CLICK HEREAND CHECK CAMPSITE RESERVATIONS DETAILS BELOW!

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)


FREE Teacher Training for All Educators/Adult Family Members

 (These Teacher Trainings are offered to all interested public, private and homeschool teachers (whether part of the KIDS Campference or not) and adult family members as a way to learn how to integrate nature education with the existing curriculum in their classrooms and/or home life. Teacher Training #1 & 5 will also be a time for collaboration, networking and learning from each other around the evening campfire!)

TEACHER TRAINING #1 (Friday, June 15th, 8:30pm – 9:30pm)
  • The Art & Science of Storytelling in Early Years Programs: There is so much value in weaving stories into our practice with mini-humans. Kids learn best by stories, in fact we all do. In nature settings stories take on another layer of importance as they often play the dual role of teaching us something about the natural spaces we practice in. This session will be all about stories as we discover a variety of approaches, get a chance to practice some methods, and share successes and challenges from practice. This workshop will be held at the S1-Picnic Shelter campfire. (Child & Nature Alliance of Canada – Forest School Canada, Ottowa – Chris Filler; Victoria-based)
TEACHER TRAINING #2 (Saturday, June 16th, 8am – 12pm)
  • Teacher Training at the Wild Craft Play Game: Come, participate, observe and debrief. What better way to learn a new program than to dive in and play a role yourself. In the game of Wild Craft Play, children, ages 8-14 create their own economy in Nature. It is similar to live-action role-play mixed with having a master storyteller, quests and challenges. Your role will be as “Friend or Fo”. Dive in as this character, dress for getting dirty and be willing to fully participate by sitting, waiting and responding to the children. Explore by trying on a new way of connecting with the children following Jamie Black’s Hummingbird Approach. All teacher trainees are required to arrive at S1-Picnic Shelter at 8am (one hour before the Wild Craft Play the Game Workshop begins) for a front-loading of information and instructions. Role-play the duration of the game two and a half (2-½) hours, then circle up for a 30 minute debrief after program is over to unpack the experience and discover how you could offer this in your community. Alternative options for witnessing “like a fly-on-the-wall” are available as well, please inquire. For teachers, parents and program leaders of all walks of life, who are not already facilitating a workshop at the same time. Suggested $20 donation, where 100% of the proceeds go towards the KIDS Campference fundraiser! (Wild Craft Play the Game, Nanoose Bay – Jamie Black…AKA Hummingbird)
TEACHER TRAINING #3 (Saturday, June 16th, 10:30am – 11:30am)
  • Connecting Nature with Family Values: Come learn the latest research on the importance of children of all ages having a regular nature connection as they grow up and how to make it an easy part of your family routine! This workshop will be held at S1-Picnic Shelter. Please arrive 15 minutes before it begins. (Victoria Nature School, Victoria – Bonnie Davison)
TEACHER TRAINING #4 (Saturday, June 16th, 12pm – 1pm)
  • Favourite Song-Games for Outside Learning: Join us for this lunch and learn new song-games that are not only fun, but great for creating routines, transitions and foundations for literacy success! This workshop will be held at the S1-Picnic Shelter campfire. Please arrive 15 minutes before it begins. (Victoria Nature School, Victoria – Bonnie Davison)
TEACHER TRAINING #5 (Saturday, June 16th, 12:30pm – 4:30pm)
  • Teacher Training at the Wild Craft Play Game: (please see details in TEACHER TRAINING #2). All teacher trainees are required to arrive at S1-Picnic Shelter at 12:30pm (one hour before the Wild Craft Play the Game Workshop begins).
TEACHER TRAINING #6 (Saturday, June 16th, 4pm – 5pm)
  • Connecting Nature with Family Values: (please see details in TEACHER TRAINING #3).
TEACHER TRAINING #7 (Saturday, June 16th, 8pm – 9pm)
  • Favourite Forest School Foundations & Activities: After 5 years of running nature programs, come hear what has worked best for the Victoria Nature School…from routines to favourite activities! This workshop will be held at the S1-Picnic Shelter campfire. Please arrive 15 minutes before it begins. (Victoria Nature School, Victoria – Bonnie Davidson)

Meet Most of Your Creative, Passionate & Dedicated Educators/Presenters

(In order of workshops, trainings and presentations offered)

Wendy Poole – My informal early years education began about 40 years ago with the birth of my first daughter on an island across the harbour from Prince Rupert. Six years later, my younger daughter was born in North Vancouver, where I began my formal Early Childhood Education. From Deep Cove, we moved to Sointula where I taught preschool for many years, and opened a daycare. We moved to the Comox Valley in 1998, and soon after I began my 14 year stint at the nurturing Beaufort Children’s Centre, working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. I left there in 2012 to start up the Preschool program at Saltwater Waldorf School. After four wonderful years there, I felt it was time to retire… until Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program reached out to me. Playing outdoors with Hand-In-Hand Education is the icing on the cake. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to embrace two of the loves of my life, the mystery of nature and the wonder of children. So much is learned and nurtured outdoors, from the obvious to the subtle. I see such value in the hours we spend together outside, rain or shine. Nature rouses curiosity and joy and inspires learning. When we are comfortable in the outdoors, and carry the wisdom of nature’s life cycles, we are more comfortable in ourselves and the greater world. Nature becomes our ally as we wind our way through life’s journey. Another passion of mine, also related to nature, is body and energy work. I studied acupressure for many years, did training in Esalen massage, and more recently have studied Qigong. In this season of my life, it is Qigong that nourishes me at a deep level, along with the great outdoors, my nurturing family, friends and the many wonderful children that I connect with.

Kat Radford I feel complete when I am outside, in Nature. There is a calmness that finds its way, wraps itself around my spirit and brings me to the beauty of balance and serenity. Perhaps I was a tree in a past life? Whether it is a karmic path or an evolving inspiration, it is my communion with Nature that has inspired me to seek and redefine the qualities of modern education. I am licensed as an Early Childhood Education Assistant, certified as an Education Assistant/Community Support Worker and have earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a major in Visual Arts. I have a great passion for the outdoors. This is reflected in the manners I assume both personally and professionally. In my mind, it is equally important to integrate a myriad of experiences in Nature with my family, as well as to foster an appreciation within the local communities. I do this through supporting local parks and conservation initiatives and, more recently, in my endeavours to merge Nature with Art through the design of the following camp. For the past two years, I have offered camps uniting my love of the outdoors with Art, education and the soulful spirit of learning. I called it ‘The HeART in Nature’. Designed and implemented upon my own accord, this camp was intended to align the learners’ spirit with natural experiences in the wild, and with the essence of their individual spark lending to their autonomous creativity. I am tippy-toed excited for you to ignite your own spark, feel your heart and experience the magic of this as ‘The HeART in Nature’!

Liz Ashton In 2002 Liz received her diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB. Being an ECE opens up a world of possibilities working with children and families, and for the past 5 years she has been using her own superpowers to play, educate, and instill a love of learning outdoors with her nature based program.  Whether it was on the Alberta prairie or here in the rain forest of Vancouver Island, she is happiest playing outside.

Alix Wilson Currently in my 3rd year as an educator at Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program in Cumberland, my love of children and nature extends far into my past! Previously, I ran a nature-based program out of my home for 5 years, and have been involved with young children doing various fun things since I was a young teen. My husband, two sons (14 and 11) and I have lived in the Comox Valley for almost 10 years, and share our home with 2 dogs and a dozen chickens.

Sue McGiffin ECE, SN, IT, RYT 200Sue’s passion for yoga began many years ago when she lived in the Pemberton Valley. With her husband and daughter she moved to the Comox Valley in 2012. Along with her yoga practice Sue is part of the teaching team at Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program. She has recently developed and implemented a children’s yoga program at Holy Cow Yoga Studio and the Comox Community Centre and has witnessed first hand the physical and emotional benefits of allowing children room to move and explore within their learning. Sue is very excited to share her new knowledge and continue to teach yoga to children in a fun and creative way.

Serena Oliveira Serena is a busy mom to 2 wild willed boys, ages 4 & 9. She is also a nature preschool teacher at Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, a professional childbirth educator and lifecycle doula. She is the founder of the reproductive health collective Birthing Freedom in the Comox Valley and runs seasonal rewilding and adventure themed camps such as a Jedi Camp for youth! She weaves together her passions for forest filled adventures, martial arts, dance, primitive skills and embodied lifecycle awareness to nurture fun, rewilding connections and experiences to folks of various ages and backgrounds.

Sue Cameron I am a proud mama of three grown children. We were blessed to call Quadra Island our home for almost thirty years. The Quadra Children’s Center was a big part of our lives while we lived there. All three of my kids attended this childcare center. As my children grew, surrounded by such caring, devoted teachers in their early years I began to appreciate the importance of this work and wanted to be a part of it. I have been an Early Childhood Educator since the early nineties. I am passionate about children and their innate abilities and unique gifts they possess. My teaching background is based on and is continually inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. This philosophy sees children as capable beings full of potential. More recently I have been inspired by Jon Young and his Coyote Mentoring approach and Village Building Model. Both of these approaches are based on relationship with yourself, each other and mother nature. Nature is the third teach and I am honored to be a part of a program that re-connects children with nature and I look forward to facilitation a myriad of teachable, playful and fun moments as your children interact with their natural environment.

Susi McMillan – Grew up in Germany and has vivid childhood memories of exploring the outdoors and playing in the forest, fields and mountains. After a turn into the corporate world, she traveled around the world and settled in Canada. She now lives with her 15 and 18 year old  teenage girls and husband on the Saanich Peninsula in Sidney, BC since over a decade. As a Forest and Nature School Practitioner through the Child and Nature Alliance Canada, Susi is the leader of Panorama’s nature-based, early learning program at Centennial Park, since Sept 2016. She is combining her knowledge in event planning and early child care education in a forest setting where every day will be a new adventure! Her biggest passion is creating events where families and communities connect with each other and nature. Her Moonlight Adventures and Crafting With Nature events are just one of the few new family program offerings. Watch out…Susi is also know as Susi Sunshine, the magic face painter. She will make sure we have colourful owls, wolves and eagles joining the KIDS Conference. Susi McMillan is generously face painting by donation, where 100% of the proceeds go towards the KIDS Campference fundraiser!

Kyle Rix – I have been a leader in forest preschool for 2.5 years now in Victoria. I was at Panorama Forest Preschool for 2 years and just started in January at the Swan Lake Preschool with Gordon Head Recreation Centre. I love to backpack and portage in the summer and I like to go on hikes and rock climb in the winter.

Erica Van Dyk – While working in environmental education, Erica has been able to combine her two biggest passions – people and nature! From teaching ecological restoration to organic farming, Erica has a wide background of connecting herself and others to the wonders of our natural environment. Currently, Erica is a Program Naturalist at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, where she feels lucky to help provide fun and engaging programs for all ages about the amazing natural marvels around Greater Victoria. When she not at Swan Lake, you can find Erica cycling around the city, working in her garden, or planning her next backpacking trip!

Cynthia Pollak – As a generalist with a background in biomedical engineering, arachnology and silk polymer research, I’m comfortable with physics, chemistry, and biology. While completing doctoral coursework for Education at SFU, I taught and chaired the reform of the first-Year Biology Programme at UBC, leaning it toward exemplifying scientific discovery methods. I have greatly enjoyed taking elementary school groups on pond studies, naturalist groups on mushroom walks, and Bamfield groups on intertidal studies. I grew up wandering in the woods, climbing trees, swimming and fishing: That is probably why my preferred styles of teaching have always used Discovery modes, and why I have worked Self-Direction into any and every course over which I have had the slightest degree of control!

Vanessa Pearson – Owner and educator at Nanaimo Forest Kids

Claire Hodge Claire has been an integral part of Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society (CLWS) since the start of the organization in 2015. Her dedication and commitment to CLWS has helped developed the programming options currently offered by CLWS. Claire is an outdoor enthusiast who climbs, hikes and paddles and is planning on joining the North Island College Adventure Tourism program.

Chelsea Holly I love spending time with children and families in nature. Until recently, I spent four years running a small, nature themed day care from my home. I also have experience working with youth and have put on two summer nature emersion day-camps (with more to come!). Last summer I had the privilege of working as staff for the Art Of Mentoring youth program on Salt Spring Island. I worked with incredible mentors & families, learned a great deal, and had a complete and total blast! I love honing my primitive skills, foraging for wild food and medicine, and I’ve become a fungi fanatic. My own children & husband are my greatest nature companions. Together we go hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, foraging, star-gazing, exploring and more.

Jane WestLover of adventures in the great outdoors! Jane has been guiding and working with people in nature since 1995.  After completing her degree in Recreation, she has instructed for Outward Bound, owned and operated a sea kayak company for 12 years, and currently can be found studying Recreation Therapy or running around after her two young boys!  She is very inspired to be involved with the Outdoor Nature Education movement, deepening into her own work… and sharing that passion with the world.

Beth Quinn I am thrilled to the bottom of my be part of the Hand-In-Hand Education team! I have been fortunate to have had the experience of teaching and learning in many dynamic, alternative settings in which the focus has been holistic and child-centered. My years as a music teacher in Costa Rica, at Cumberland Elementary and with my private piano students have contributed to my heartfelt conviction that we learn so deeply and so authentically when we have voice and an intimate, emotional connection to what we are learning. I have seen this when my students thrive on being part of a musical community and discovering what aspects of an instrument they love before they are ready to embrace the formalities of written music.

Anna St Denis, Director, ECEAnna graduated from the Early Learning and Care program at Camosun College and this is her 5th year with the Victoria Nature School. Her passion to work with children is deeply rooted in many years experience with children of all ages and diverse abilities. During her time as a student Anna realized how important being outside, especially in natural settings was to her.  As such, working as an educator in a nature school aligns perfectly with her personal philosophy. “The thing I love the most about the forest is that it offers challenges for all children, regardless of age and ability. It is a great privilege for me to work with children and to get to know their families on a daily basis.”

Clare McDonaldI moved to Vancouver Island in 2015. I love being outdoors and enjoy reading books, journaling, gardening, cooking, baking, doing all sorts of artwork, playing music and spending time with my family. Yoga is a practice that I feel very passionately about and feel that it has offered me some amazing tools that help in my everyday life…and I look forward to being able to share that with you! I began my training at the Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, BC in 2009 in the young adult program and returning in 2012, I completed a 9-month residency program and received my certification as a Hatha Yoga Instructor. Subsequently I completed my Hidden Language Certification in 2016 and will be taking training for Kundalini and Dream Yoga this July. Since 2012 I have taught Hatha Yoga at the Robron Centre, in youth programs, addiction treatment centres, the YWCA, childcare centres, and elementary schools. I currently offer classes at Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Porgram as well as at Foundry.

Lisa Neilson Lisa is from asmall Northern Coastal BC community of just 200 people. After high school she moved to Vancouver Island and fell in love with the sense of community here, as it mimicked her small valley home in the north. She settled in the Comox Valley and although traveled annually, has called it home for the past 16 years. Now, after a short stint in Squamish, she has relocated to the “big city” of Victoria and is loving exploring it’s diversity! Lisa took her ECCE in 2004 and has spent the last 14 years working with children 0-5 all over the world in different settings; but has by far enjoyed seeing the growth in nature-based and child-led care. She has developed a teaching style all her own, and absolutely loves seeing the gears turning in a little one’s mind as they get to experience a new situation and discover how to navigate it for the very first time. Spending one-on-one time with children is important to her to get to witness the small progressive leaps they make 🙂

Jamie BlackLike the Hummingbird, Jamie Black brings joy and magic and loves to play in the forest. She uses a Guided Discovery Learning approach that takes the children through their own journey, leaving them with an internal motivation to be, do and have more of what they desire. Her mission is to connect children to the Earth through creative adventures, because she believes that nature is medicine, and can prevent dis-ease and bring serenity. With a diploma in Recreation and Sport Management, a Diploma in Sport Science and Coaching, a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication and over 18 years in the field as a guide, coach and facilitator, Jamie is a wealth of knowledge in the field and can’t wait to play with you.

Chris Filler – Chris has been teaching and learning in the outdoors for many moons. As a kayak guide, youth worker, teacher, researcher and university instructor, he has demonstrated passion and proven commitment to ensuring outdoor environmental education has a prominent place in the curricular landscape. He is currently as an adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria while coordinating curriculum development and instructing within the Forest & Nature School Practitioners’ Course. Chris holds a Masters in Education from OISE/UofT (cross disciplinary – Adult Education/Environmental Studies) and a PhD in Educational Studies from UVic. His two daughters keep him on his nature toes, allowing him to hone his skills and knowledge in how nature contributes to childhood development, learning, well-being and fun!

Anya & Tia FillerHi, my name is Anya and I like camping. I am 8 years old and my favourite part of camping is roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and going on hikes. I love to make fires with sticks, and I have a really good imagination in nature. In nature I play survival and camouflage. The reason why I love camping is because I have a forest behind my backyard. I especially like beachcombing and finding shells.

Hi, my name is Tia, I’m 11 years old. I like to swim. I go outside with my Dad and I like to go camping with my Dad. We whittle by the fire and we go on hikes with our friends. I really like animals and I like to see them on hikes. I have over 10 encyclopaedias about animals. I also have a big plant collection. My room is like a jungle.

Bruce Carron – Born in South Africa, I acknowledge the privilege of using the colonial language of English. As an immigrant-settler, I have lived predominantly around and in the Salish Sea. I am a father of two amazing children, Delfina and Kestrel, whom I live with in the unceded traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation in the Puntledge watershed. I am a co-founder of Firemaker Primitive Skills Society/Gathering (1999) and the Oak and Orca Bioregional School (1999). I currently run  WildSpirit (since 2005) in the Comox Valley, mentoring children and adults towards a deeper connection to Nature. I am a student of Tom Brown’s Tracker school, the Wilderness Awareness School and Nature. The vision of WildSpirit is to shift human consciousness to be in harmony with the wildness of the Natural world. We recognize that there is still “wildness” in every being, that there is a hunger for connectedness and thirst for understanding of one’s place in the web of life. At WildSpirit we offer connections. We reawaken wildness.

Bonnie Davison Bonnie Davison, teacher, music therapist, mother and Maritimer, is the founder of Victoria BC’s first forest school, the Victoria Nature School, and president of the Outdoor Learning Association.  Since starting the Victoria Nature School five years ago Bonnie has been guiding First Nations educators, preschool and elementary school educators and community leaders across the country on how important it is to get children playing and learning outside. Bonnie has been trained by Forest School Canada as a forest school practitioner and is also the founder of Singing English Education, which teaches educators on how to use music and movement to create strong early literacy foundations. Bonnie is passionate about empowering educators and community leaders to shift the way they look at traditional education.

Dr. Enid Elliot – Enid has been an early childhood educator for many years now. Over that time she has worked in Turkey, California, New York and British Columbia in a variety of contexts and programs. She is continually surprised, intrigued and delighted by the children, families and early childhood educators with whom she is engaged. Babies and toddlers have been a particular source of interest, inspiration and joy. Doing doctoral work helped her to develop different perspectives on that inspiration and her dissertation resulted in a book, We’re not robots: Listening to the voices of daycare providers. Recently she has begun to investigate the influence of outdoor natural settings on children’s experiences. Currently she is an adjunct professor at University of Victoria, British Columbia and on faculty at Camosun College, Victoria, BC. Dr. Elliot is the co-founder of the Nature Kindergarten at Sangster Elementary School in Sooke, BC and co-publisher of her Nature Kindergarten Guidebooks, Flora, Fauna & Fungi of Hatley Park.

Kurt Stushnoff – Kurt has generously offered his photography skills and experience in order to capture this event! Kurt is an amateur photographer who is interested in capturing the essence of people in whatever environment they live and play in. He is a father of three boys age 8, 12 and 14 and believes they should grow up active and appreciate the environment. Kurt has spent 25 years in the military and is looking forward to retirement so he can pursue his passions of photography and his love of the outdoors.

The Raptors – Our team is comprised of a group of biologists and falconers on Vancouver Island, who created The Raptors to bring people closer to birds of prey. Our goal is to educate, illuminate and encourage a sense of personal responsibility for the future of these essential creatures we share the planet with. The connection and experience of working with these birds is so powerful and profound, we had to create The Raptors and share it with everyone. We look forward to welcoming you to the flock!

North Island Wildlife Recovery CentreThe North Island Wildlife Recovery Association partners “with the citizens of Vancouver Island to establish a facility for the care of ill, injured and orphaned wildlife and to educate the public on wildlife and environmental issues. We are a non-profit organization that cares for the well-being of Vancouver Island wildlife and strives to educate the public. We continue because of amazing volunteers and incredible community support. Come out for a visit!

Project Watershed – Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is a registered non-profit environmental society with Canadian charitable tax status focused on sensitive habitat stewardship. The organization is guided by a volunteer board and managed by staff. We are also an active partner of the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy – Community Partnership. We offer professional conservation mapping and related technical services, host regular Streamkeeper & Wetlandkeeper courses, maintain a stewardship information library, and currently manage research, restoration, assessment, protection and awareness raising projects in the K’ómoks Estuary and Puntledge River Watershed. We often work in partnership with local stewardship organizations, industry and all levels of government, to meet these goals. For example, we partner with like-minded organizations to maintain offices at the “Comox Valley Conservation Center” at 2356A Rosewall Crescent in Tintown, Courtenay.

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature SanctuarySwan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a wild oasis in the heart of the urban landscape and includes two distinct ecosystems: the beautiful marshland of Swan Lake and the rocky, oak-forested highlands of Christmas Hill. Both are home to an incredible array of native plants and wild animals. The Sanctuary is a living classroom fostering an understanding and appreciation of nature through direct experiences. Educational programs for all ages encourage responsibility for the care and protection of the natural environment. To protect our native plants and animals, please remember that dogs are not permitted in the Sanctuary. Managed by a non-profit society, this urban refuge provides an exceptional opportunity to bring people and nature together. We welcome you to explore and discover.

“Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the educators and presenters who have generously donated their time and effort to share their skill, knowledge and passion with us all. With all of these wonderfully creative people coming together, we are able to offer you and your little ones an unforgettable experience focused on interacting, exploring and connecting with nature!”


Registration Procedures

(PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATION CLOSES THURSDAY, JUNE 14TH AT 5PM)

1) If you are interested in registering for any of the Workshops and/or Teacher Trainings, please complete and submit an online Registration Form by clicking here.

2) Please send your donation via e-transfer to jarrett@hand-in-handeducation.com (optional)


Campsite Reservations

Campsites at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park can be reserved four (4) months in advance of your arrival date. Individual families can make up to three (3) reservations per transaction. In order to do our best in making sure that every registered family has secured a campsite, please make your reservations with BC Parks Discover Camping Reservation Service starting February 15, 2018 by phone (1-800-689-9025) or online (discovercamping.ca). Discover Canada begins accepting reservations by 7am. If you plan to reserve a campsite online and do not already have an account, please register now for a new account by clicking here. If for whatever reason the KIDS Camperence is canceled, we are not responsible for refunding your campsite fee.

  • Please note that if you would like to register for the KIDS Campference but do not have a campsite at Rathtrevor or are not set up for camping, you are still more than welcome to register for the workshops and attend.

Partners and Contributors

Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program would like to thank all of the following thoughtful and generous sponsors and contributors (past and present) for making this year’s 3rd Annual Vancouver Island Nature Preschool Camperference…for KIDS ONLY possible:


A special thank you to Kirstie Hudson, Producer of CBC Radio Victoria – All Points West  and Rae-Anne LaPlante, Video Journalist, Programming from Shaw TV Nanaimo for reporting on last year’s KIDS Campference. To get an idea of the 1st and 2nd Annual Kids Campferences, please click the links below to watch a news story from Shaw TV Nanaimo.


If you have any questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program’s director, Jarrett Krentzel. Thank you, and see you all at the KIDS CAMPFERENCE! Contact Jarrett 

Explore, Interact, Learn…Naturally!
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