Archive for June, 2009

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Have you ever wondered as you’ve hiked through the woods which plants were edible or which plants would be just the thing to rub on an itchy poison ivy rash?

Well, the summer reading program, ONE BOOK ONE LAKE, is co-sponsoring a family hike on Saturday, June 27 at 9 a.m. that will highlight wild plants for food and medicine. Great Hollow Wilderness School, the regional YMCA, located at 225 Route 37 in New Fairfield is co-sponsoring the hike on its 896 acre property.

Ananda Wilson, the Whole Earth Home School Director at the Great Hollow Wilderness School in New Fairfield will be leading this informative two-three hour family hike. A second generation backyard herbalist, Ms. Wilson informs: “We will get up close and personal with some of the abundant local plants which have provided Native Americans with food and medicine for centuries. We’ll hike along some of the most scenic areas of the property and take note of the incredible biodiversity.

With wilderness and farms vanishing at an alarming rate, the 896 acres of protected land at Great Hollow proves to be a goldmine of natural history and a place of hope for a sustainable future…Among the canopy of hemlocks along the rushing river, we may find some endangered species to admire, or we may find a glorious stand of wild bee balm in the meadow, known for it’s gentle yet potent anti-viral action as a tea and spice in place of oregano.”

Great Hollow is the oldest non-profit outdoor education program in Connecticut and has been creating and managing change trough experimental education for over 35 years. With strong foundations in adventure programming, leadership, development, and diversity education to Upward Bound and other school-based/educational opportunity programs, Great Hollow also has expanded to natural awareness and primitive programs, camps for children with specific educational needs, freshman college orientations, and home school programs.

Register for this upcoming Great Hollow hike by calling the school: 203-746-5852. Please bring plenty of water and note this outing is not handicapped accessible. For more program details, go to www.onebookonelake.org.

(Article arranged and co-written by Suzi Mitchell)


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Below is the link for the Whole Earth Homeschool Programs registration form for what we are offering this summer, 2009.

Please note that we are offering an Herbal Intensive for adults!

Questions? Feel free to contact us.



Lepidoptera! For wilderness enthusiasts ages 6-8. We’ll be seeking and exploring all different sides of nature, from insects and mammals, rocks and minerals, plants, water, and anything else that strikes our curiosity! A full day out in nature gives students a chance to try their hand at fire skills, teamwork, and will offer lots of play and exercise.
Lepidoptera: Tuesdays, Session one: June 23-July 14 Session two: July 21-August 11

Explorers: For nature enthusiasts ages 9-11. We will look a little deeper into the hows and whys of nature. There will be longer hikes, fire building skills, water purification, swimming, and activities based on plants, animals and geology. Good field skills will be fostered and teamwork practiced.
Explorers: Wednesdays, Session one: June 24-July 15 Session two: July 22-August 12

Wilderness Challenge: For wilderness buffs ages 11-17. Test your limits, build teamwork skills, challenge and strengthen your body, and have the time of your life. This course covers a variety of initiatives; from survival skills, outdoor adventure and navigation, to projects that foster positive social and personal character. One of our most popular courses!
*Wilderness Challenge includes one overnight at the end of each session. Please note price difference.*
Session one: June 25-July 16/17 Session two: July 23-August 13/14

Herbal Intensive for adults: ages 18+ In this new course offered through Great Hollow, we will learn the plants first hand. We will hike through the various beautiful habitats, learn practical herbal preparations for home and family use, and grow close to the land and the abundance it holds. We will also be learning useful simple botany and practice indexing and journaling. Medicinal and edible plants will be an emphasis. We will also indulge in the cooling waters and learn fire making. This promises to be an empowering course.
Herbal Intensive, Wednesdays, June 24-August 12.
Things to remember….
All summer programs will be a full day, 9am-3pm. They will take place entirely outdoors, so pack accordingly!
Lightweight supplies in a backpack are a must. Water (pre-frozen water bottles are great!), lunch, and rain jackets will be needed. Swimsuits can be worn under clothes, and a small towel if desired can be packed. Extra helpful things would be: a bandanna, sunscreen, sun hat, bug repellant, and campers steel or enamel cup. Good hiking or kayak shoes should be worn. Water shoes should be packed in the backpack.

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