Learning the Language of Nature
The Naturalist Program is a natural science elective in which natural history study is interwoven with woodcraft, wilderness survival skills, rite-of-passage experiences, and place-based education. The Naturalist Program is a life-changing experience for many students. It takes maximum advantage of the extensive living forests and fields of the High Mowing campus.
The program focuses on learning the language of nature and establishing a living relationship with the world around us. Students learn to be patient and to let nature slowly reveal her secrets to them. Many hours are spent honing the senses while acclimating to being in, and feeling comfortable with, the natural world.
Skills which are introduced in the first year are developed in a deeper way over subsequent years. Students learn to track animals, orient themselves with map and compass, and make life-sustaining shelters and fires out of what is available in the woods. They learn to tan hide and transform it into moccasins, construct wooden bows, and identify and use herbs and medicinal plants. Building an Earth Lodge or Native American Longhouse offers the opportunity to explore ways in which indigenous cultures have lived and interacted with the earth in healthy, ecological, and life-sustaining ways.
The goal of the Naturalist Program is to enlarge our students’ vision by looking into our past and rekindling the wealth of wisdom found there, in order to move creatively into a sustainable future. Interested in learning more? Fill out our inquiry form to receive more information.