OUR CORE VALUES
Besides our kids, our woods and our winters, at Elements we also embrace individuality and celebrate the qualities, quirks and characteristics of each child. Knowing that kids flourish in different ways, we follow the “Challenge by Choice” approach to teaching. We provide leadership, encouragement, instruction and support.
We embrace personal growth and communal citizenship. After each session, your child will be in their own element! They will feel confident, energized, and more knowledgeable about themselves, their peers and their park. They will be ready to take on the world (or their homework). It is our hope that by playing in the winter woods, they will become stewards of this beautiful earth. This is a lofty Elements goal but one we strive for every day.
More and more research is coming out about the importance of exposing youth to the wonders of time outside. My favorite site for accessing all the latest information is www.childrenandnature.org
PROMPT AND PREPARED:
We ask that you do your best to have the kids to the park on time. We have a lot to do in a short period of time and it is tricky to find us once we are woodland bound. If you are running late – please send the Site Leader a text and he/she can direct you to where we will be stationed.
We also ask that you help in assuring that the kids are dressed appropriately. Please remember that the temps drop as the sun drops. Sadly, they will not be able to join if they are not dressed appropriately for the weather and terrain. Good waterproof boots are required!
While we embrace the elements, we will always be safe. We closely follow the weather reports from National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other weather apps especially when there is a forecast for potentially dicey weather. We will send out an e-mail notice with a final decision a few hours prior to the applicable session.
If dangerous weather presents during an Elements session please come to pick up location early. DO NOT WAIT FOR A CALL OR EMAIL. We will gather the kids either at our pick-up location or shelter in situ. Our foremost priority is the safety of the kids and crew.
- If there is a forecast for heavy rains, thunder, lightning, –we will cancel for that session and try to re-schedule.
- Forecasts for high winds: most of our locations have meadows where we will gather and play when we have wind forecasts. If the forecast is for severe gusts (over 50mph) we will cancel and try to re-schedule .
- If the roads are impassable due to snow or ice, we will try to re-locate.
- If we are unable to accept your child (location full and no movement in wait list) we will return your payment in full.
- If you have to cancel prior to December 31st – we will refund your payment less $75.
- If you have to cancel after Dec 31st there will be no refunds issued.
- Please be sure to explain the Elements program to your child. They should understand that we will proceed in the elements: rain and shine, snow and cold, dusk and dark. If they are dressed for the weather and embrace the winter elements, we can promise that fun and friendship will follow!
On special occasions or really freezing days, we provide sweet, hot ELE’MiNTea’. The kids love it! Snacks are provided only on special occasions – like ‘Julia Child in the WIld’. We ask that your child not come to Elements with a snack unless it is medically necessary and cleared with the site-leader. If necessary, be sure they have a nibble before they come to ELEMENTS.
Electronic devices are not permitted during ELEMENTS. Our goal is to unplug, be present in the moment and engage in our surroundings. If your child needs a cell phone, ringer must be put on vibrate and phone can only be used at end of session. All instructors have cell phones & Elements issued walkie talkies for emergency purposes. Need be, the kids are welcome to call a parent with a crew’s phone.
Elements Rules for our Flurries, Blizzards and Crew:
Basic Rules for the Elements kids:
1) Always stay with your group and always be in sight of your site-leader.
2) Treat peers, crew, the land and it’s visitors with respect.
3) Do not put yourself or others in a situation that could endanger you or them.
We keep it positive, simple and straightforward for the kiddos and typically all goes swimmingly during our sessions. We also understand that our Flurries and Blizzards have had a full day of school and have been asked to focus and sit still for many hours. They need to blow off some steam and Elements is a great place to do that! But certain behaviors are unacceptable. If the crew needs support, they ‘radio’ the Site Leader (Margaret or Fran). If misbehavior persists, we will contact parents and work towards a common solution.