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Hi! This is a little post to announce the added page. If you look up at the navigation bar, you’ll see the new ‘wish list’ page. Here I’ll keep a running tab of things that we need or would like for the programs, that may not be inside the regular budget or may just be things not worth purchasing new. (R,R&R!) 

THANK YOU to the generous families who have already donated items this fall! 

Please also note that this is a very important time of year…. the time of the annual support campaign for the whole regional YMCA of Western CT, of which we are a branch. I will post a full letter soon in regard to this… as it is nearly closing time (November 12!) Look for that post soon. 

Bright Blessings!



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Landscape photos

Here are some gleaming moments from the land on Tuesday.

Dandelion's first lacing of frost


 The morning greeted us with a show of lace across the field. The first frost made a striking skirt around the sun loving goldenrod.

As the crystals melted and the sun settled our goosebumps, the trees and seedpods of the Hollow revealed their new jewel toned wardrobe. The clear rushing water escorted the gems downstream, as if to usher in the stars of fall.

See the stipules? The little underdeveloped leaves? A signature of the Willow genus.

And the red squirrel gave a little show too. Along with the wild turkeys.

They were hiding in the island of thicket.

The red berries gave hint to nearing holidays.

A search for clay.

Ancient teacher…..

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This is truly so exciting…. the roots of this revival in nature awareness and eco-education have rendered their decades of wisdom into a handbook for mentors. It’s about time! I can’t wait for this to be released, and I hope I can somehow get a copy into each instructors hands, for I have a sneaking suspicion it will never leave their backpack.

See for yourself what this is all about…. and take a peak into the future at the wonderful fruit that our place, Great Hollow, will bear over time:


Go to ‘home’ and start from the first page if you want the whole story.

ALSO, there is a conference call Monday night, October 6, open to all. Here is the invitation:
Join Internationally acclaimed speaker, naturalist, and teacher, Jon Young for an inspirational discussion on the importance and potential of mentoring ourselves and children in nature awareness, community resiliency, and the power of the up coming Art of Mentoring, hosted by the Vermont Wilderness School in mid October.(http://8shields.org/jonyoung)

Theme: The upcoming Art of Mentoring, The context of our times and positive solutions

Who: Anybody can participate!

When: Next Monday, October 6th, 7pm – 8pm

With respect to not inviting spam callers, please email me for the call code.

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UPDATE: So far the weather looks like it will be just fine, maybe even very pretty – but if we do get RAIN and have to cancel, the notice will be sent to the google group AND posted here by 3:00. Make a phone buddy if you won’t be by your PC since I will not have the time to call everyone individually. Thanks and hope for the best!

To all Great Hollow Registrants:

Wow! I can’t believe it’s that time already. Family night is this Saturday! I can’t wait to see all your familiar faces and finally meet all the new families too. I’m looking forward to you all coming together on our common foundations through Great Hollow for a fun night of community. Some of our staff will be there and you’ll have a chance to meet them to!

Andy’s been amazing this week bringing us up to speed on fire building, tracking, nature games, and many traditions of Great Hollow. Emily and Joe who are new to the Homeschool program are bringing fresh energy and creativity just ready to brew up a huge pot of fun and Natural learning. Whendi brings her expertise in Critical thinking, oral traditions, arts, and music for a dynamic new level of understanding. Ethan and Melissa will of course be infusing our programs with seasoned experience in Primitive skills, natural awareness, contagious enthusiasm and wonder, and much more. Our new Wilderness Challenge instructor, Dave, has designed a semester of survival scenarios that will elicit new teamwork and bravery from the students. 

We also have two new adjunct instructors, Justin and Janet! Justin, coming to us from Two Coyotes Wilderness School, brings a well of knowledge in perfect alignment with Great Hollow objectives. Janet comes to us with extensive experience working in areas of environmental education and Audubon volunteer work.

I can’t possibly do them justice here in this short moment, for each of these instructors is slated to have their own profile on here as soon as we can….. but I couldn’t help but give you a little peek into the realm of wisdom that will be ready for your child to utilize.

SO, back to family night. Come between 4:30 and 5:00. We’ll be holding an opening circle at 5:00, hopefully sharp. Then you all can relax into your picnic (BYO) and talk with each other.

This is an informal fundraiser for Great Hollow Homeschool…. please help us raise money for some outstanding adjunct instructors and educational materials!! Please bring some petty cash or change jar extras – thank you!


1)Parking: Please park up at the first lot, where the 5 car garage/barn is. Walk further down, hang a left and follow the noise to the back!

2)The Climbing wall is OFF LIMITS. I’m bringing this to your attention because in a free form atmosphere, the kids are likely to want to climb on it, but it’s not set up for use, or facilitated, so even though they can see it, it cannot be used. Thank you for your attention on this.

3)Alcohol and cigarettes are not allowed.

TIP: Bring a couple good flashlights, and warm layers.

OK I think that covers that. So far I have two helpers for the afternoon to help construct a fire pit (start at 1:00 pm)…… I would LOVE a few more volunteers to help move big rocks and to bring some firewood (or go into the forest and gather), that would be awesome. Just send me an email!

See you there!

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