"I never teach my pupils.  I only provide the conditions in which they can learn."

-Albert Einstein

"Children should play outside and get dirty.

-National Trust


We are thrilled to partner with the Wauhatchie School to provide a Forest Kindergarten Summer Camp in the Ooltewah/Collegedale area.  

WHEN:  June 12-22, 2017

TIME:  M-Th,  9 AM-12 Noon

COST: $200/child

AGES:  4-6 years old

STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO:  1:5, with 10 children maximum

WHERE TO REGISTER:  Applications are available through the Wauhatchie School here beginning January 23 and will be open until all 10 spaces are full. Thereafter names will be placed on a wait list.   You will also need to sign a Hidden Hills Waiver, which can be found at the registration site or here

What is forest kindergarten?

The following information is taken from the Wauhatchie School website:

Friedrich Frobel, a German educator, opened the world’s first outdoor “kindergartens” (German for “children’s gardens”) more than 150 years ago. He believed young children should spend their time playing in nature and away from so much emphasis on learning letters and numbers. Today, across Europe, thousands of these “forest kindergartens” have been established where children spend their entire class time outdoors year-round.

Forest Kindergarten is play-based and allows children to develop their skills and habits over time and at their own pace. Children learn naturally to be self-motivated, cooperative, respectful, grateful, and aware of their impact on the earth. Children experience outdoor adventures in all weather conditions. The Forest Kindergarten is made as safe as is reasonably possible, in order to facilitate children’s risk-taking. It provides a complete immersion in nature helping to build a child’s sense of place in the world.

Research strongly supports the idea that young children, particularly ages 2-6, learn best through direct experiences with the world around them. Being outdoors provides them with not only fresh air, but it also encourages imaginative play, creativity, hand-eye coordination and balance, physical strength and mental clarity. By tapping into their innate sense of wonder about nature, we can help children learn basic environmental and natural science principles, as well as respect for all living beings. Lessons flow organically from the natural rhythms of the seasons and from the children’s daily discoveries. There are no set lesson plans: each day is shaped by the animals, insects, birds, amphibians, weather and foraging that is encountered, providing spontaneous teachable moments.

The Forest Kindergarten program and site have been licensed by the State of TN as a day camp.

The following subjects and skills are naturally included as a part of your child’s Forest Kindergarten educational experience:


  • Ecology
  • Hydrology
  • Geology
  • Botany
  • Ornithology
  • Zoology
  • Entomology
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Fine Arts
  • Language Arts


  • Problem-solving
  • Social skills: respect, kindness, compassion, empathy
  • Emotional balance
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Body awareness, and risk assessment


  • Critical thinking
  • Divergent thinking
  • Joy of learning
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Risk-taking
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Peer Communication



Children aged 4-6 may apply. Children must be able to follow directions carefully, show respect towards other children and their teachers, and be able to communicate effectively. Children must be toilet-proficient in order to attend. They must be able to know when they have to go to the bathroom and be able to communicate that.


Appropriate clothing for Forest Kindergarten is CRITICAL to the success of the program. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing choices.”