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Spring Programs, 2010


Making Pine Pitch Salve, Jr. Naturalists, 11-09


Return Enrollment: February 22

New Families: March 8

Deadline: March 24

Enrollment requires TWO actions:

1)Filling out your 3 forms and mailing them in WITH your deposit. *Spaces canNOT be held for those who do not send in at least a deposit.*

2)Calling to let us know you are enrolling (or re-enrolling) so we can put you on the list right away, and we can be sure to add you to this semester’s email list for parent updates. (203) 746-5852.

Spring is the time of promise. The land thaws, the sleeping seeds awaken, and the river feeds all things lively at Great Hollow. It’s a time of watering, growing, and blossoming. This spring we will be striving to deepen our relationship with the land, and sharpen our understanding of how to live in alignment with our Earth. And, of course, we will both work hard, and play hard.


NO CLASSES May 13 & 14

Not sure which program is right for your kids? See the About Page.

I’m excited to be building up great plans and ideas for a new season together!

All my best,



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Please welcome our guest photographer, Thursday Scout Herbie! He has quite an eye.









Amazing, huh?

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……I am speechless!…….Bobcat1Bobcat2Bobcat3

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Greg Anderson 003Hi everyone!  My name is Greg Anderson and I will be co-teaching the Wilderness Skills, Pioneer and Jr. Naturalist classes here at Great Hollow.  I am very excited to bring my skills as a primitive technologist, craftsman, tracker, and wilderness survival expert to the children I will be working with.  It was my privilege to learn these skills from various books and mentors such as Errett Callahan, Tom Brown Jr., and many less famous but very dedicated friends.

I have been studying the vast scope of wilderness survival and all of its facets (like herbalism, naturalism, ethnobotany, etc.) for eight years now and I am still learning new things daily.  Currently my partner Dena and I work at a local farm, implementing our skills in organic gardening and living closer to our visions of permaculture. Nature itself is limitless in it’s aspects and variations, and it is my passion.  Everything in modern society can be accounted for in a wilderness setting, from basic needs to comfortable leisure, and I find that when living the in the ways that are closest to nature I come closer to understanding my own.

Looking forward to meeting all of you,



Greg, Dena, and their baby Maple joined my kids and I for a hike and orientation at the Hollow last week. As you will see below, it didn’t take long for everyone to feel at home. Greg brings a refreshing combination of openness and knowledge to our staff that I feel will be in perfect alignment with our ways of learning and discovery. Greg, along with Broch (photo and intro hopefully up soon) will be co-teaching each of the courses formerly lead by Ethan. Broch has already been working at great Hollow for some time now, with Nature’s Chorus summer camp and has undergone full Great Hollow staff training. Together I am confident they will provide a wide range of adventure, mentorship, traditions, skills, and accomplishment.

Greg Anderson 011

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Rock Journal

Greetings New England!

We have GREAT programs coming up for you … and spots are filling fast, so register right away! It’s going to be a gorgeous Autumn at the Hollow and our excited, vibrant and creative staff are gearing up for a bountiful season chock-full of wonder. Below are our brief descriptions of what emphasis each course takes. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Times: 9 am – 3 pm

Dates: September 15 – November 20, December potential.

Wilderness Skills
Ages: 12-17
Emphasis: Pioneer and Native American life and history, primitive skills & tools, fire making, shelter skills, survival methods, stalking and camouflage, teamwork, plants and animals, tracking. (Oh but that hardly covers it all!)

Explorers – CANCELLED
Ages 7-11.
Lots of exploring! Navigation/maps, hiking, collecting, games, identification, tracking, animal stalking, and creative learning and team initiatives. A bit of everything.

Wilderness Challenge **FULL**
Ages: 12-17
Emphasis: Physical challenges, survival skills and first aid, teamwork initiatives, navigation, wild food and water, tracking, shelters. Our more advanced outdoor adventure course.

Ages: 7-9
Emphasis: Foundational nature skills, habitats, weather, story, history, plant and animal studies, eco-games, nature projects, awareness, and more.

Pioneers **One Space Open**
Ages 9-12
Emphasis: Intermediate Nature skills and discovery; building projects, eco-games, teamwork, camouflage, tracking, awareness skills, traditions, storytelling.


Micro-Scouts *FULL*
Ages 4-6
Emphasis: Observations, eco-games, nature art, collecting and sorting, examining and inquiry, hiking, weather, story, animals and plants.

Jr. Naturalist **FULL**
Ages 7-14
Emphasis: Observational skills, botany and herbal medicine making, animal/nature symbiosis, eco-games, nature journals, field skills, tracking, birdwatching, Earth science, and some primitive skills.
Registration Forms

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GH Burdock




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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