Greetings Families!

September 14 will mark the first day of a new Fall season of Whole Earth Homeschool at Great Hollow! We are so excited.

Here are some important details and some additional information on our programs in general……

Our registration is still open, first come first serve. If you are a returning family and your forms are pending, please let us know right away so your spot doesn’t get away.

If you are a new family, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or if your registration is on the way. Some of these classes fill up very fast!

Registration forms are found on the registration page here on this blog (registration tab at the top of your page or the link provided). You need all three forms completed with a deposit before classes begin. We are strict about paperwork because we know your children are precious and your paperwork information gives us what we need to keep them as safe and happy as possible while romping through the backwoods!

Program overviews are located on the “about” page (see above navigation bar or use link provided).

Our programs are designed with a balance of freedoms, challenges, and purposeful structure. It is all based on nature and/or interdependence principles. Although our classes each have their own distinct emphasis, in all we do we weave together natural awareness, purposeful play, creative problem solving, team building, physical challenge, hiking, quiet times, journaling, water exploration, and the art of questioning. Survival skills are integrated to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the class.

All of our instructors are inspiring and well-trained. Each one is with us because they possess that special something; an exceptional skill set, bright and inspiring energy, wilderness awareness and animal knowledge, adventure training….. they each bring immense dynamic and individual gifts to the program.  Each class is assigned two instructors, who are paired with the best class for their skills and experience. Staff are trained in experiential education concepts and Whole Earth Homeschool curriculum, policy, protocol, first aid, and wilderness safety. Every course carries a fully stocked med-kit with them. Each group also creates and implements a group constitution which remains their personal compass of self-governing for the semester and sometimes beyond.

If we are blessed enough to share the magic of the Hollow and the joy of learning in nature with your family this year – we say thank you!

Earth teach me stillness

Earth teach me stillness

as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

as the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

as the tree which stands alone.

Earth teach me limitation

as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

as melted snow forgets it’s life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

as dry fields weep in the rain.

~Ute, North American prayer


Join Clinical Herbalist, Plant Lover, and exceptional Great Hollow Homeschool Mentor for…

A Summer of Healing with the Plants

a nature immersion learning experience for adults

at Great Hollow Wilderness School ~ 800 acres of educational sanctuary land

Wild Medicine Intensive ~ June 26 & June 27
During this weekend intensive learn to identify, harvest and turn our wild local medicinal plants into useful remedies to stock the pantry. Fee: $125; materials fee: $25

Talking with Trees ~ July 17

In this day-long exploration of the Tree Nation, learn about trees in their natural habitats; explore folklore and tree symbolism; medicinal uses of various parts of trees and harvesting and preparation of tree medicines.
Fee: $62.50; materials fee $15

Flower Essences ~ July 18

Spend a day among the flowering plants of New England. Learn the techniques for making your own Flower Essences, the energetic medicine of the flower. Fee: $62.50; materials fee $15

The Herbal Kitchen ~ July 24

Explore your pantry! Learn about the spices and ingredients you already have at home and how they can be used to make effective home remedies for your family. Fee: $62.50; materials fee $15

Intensive Medicinal Plant Walk ~ July 25
Explore our forests, fields, rivers and gardens and learn about the medicinal, edible and functional uses of New England native plants and common weeds. Fee: $62.50

*Advanced cash only materials fee and $25 deposit is required. 10% discount for multiple classes.*

~ All classes from 9 am to 3 pm ~

For information call Great Hollow Wilderness School 203-746-5852

Thanks and please spread the word!

It’s the peak of spring and Whole Earth Homeschool is off to a blossoming start. The water is glistening with beauty and the woods are filling in fast with lush greenery.
The old apple trees of Great Hollow, a former orchard, are exploding with sweetness all over the place, a reminder of the fleeting moments in spring, as well as the fall harvest we anticipate.
The students and staff have been exploring adventures such as fire challenges, rappelling, blindfold tag, bow-drill skills, and the botanical mysteries and wonders of flowers. There never seems to be enough time in the day to explore and learn all that we wish.
And of course, as much as we plan our lessons, prepare our day, and carve our time slots, nature always delivers her own agenda. Rain, water filled trails, thorn bushes, and fleeting gallops by the coyote deliver us the most vital awarenesses of all.

And so with the momentum of the season, we run with it.

Howdy Folks of Great Hollow,

I’m Daniel Quiray, and this spring I’ll be helping Greg with teaching the Wilderness Skills Class.  For over a decade I’ve been actively involved in learning, practicing, and teaching “primitive” skills, the skills that indigenous people worldwide have used to live for thousands of years.  In particular the physical technologies and gathering of plant materials have interested me and consumed many hours of my time.  I also spend a lot of time foraging, kayaking, and exploring, on top of reading and writing and occasionally making my own hair-gel (after all, not all of wilderness living is subsistence).

As a recent graduate of Rhode Island College’s School of Anthropology, I gained invaluable experience and insight into the traditional lifeways of indigenous people throughout the world, but especially those in our own backyard.  This education has dovetailed nicely with my long held interest in primitive and wilderness living, as well as my belief that living sustainably and in tune with our landbases is important not only for our own satisfaction but for the freedom and wellbeing of the rest of our human and non-human relations.

I see these skills as the base, the roots, that allows us to create cultures in tune with the rest of the world, cultures in which people live freely.  From these roots we can grow a healthy tree.  I’m very glad to have the opportunity to work with a great group of people doing something so important, and I’m sure I’ll have a great time with all of the young people enrolled.  I look forward to a future in which we’re once again free to live indigenously, and I’m excited to play a part in that.

See you in the woods!

Daniel N. Quiray

Hi Great Hollow Friends,

My name is Darcey Blue French, and I’ll be teaching at Great
Hollow this spring in the Jr. Naturalist and Scouts programs!   I have
spent much of my life, both during childhood and as an adult enjoying,
learning about, and getting deeply intimate with the wild, natural
places on our great Earth.  I am an herbalist, and nutritionist by
trade, but deeply passionate about wild medicines, wild foods, and
deep nourishment of the body, mind and spirit through connection with
nature, and our relationships with plants, animals, water, food and

I’ve worked in and studied the natural world and nature skills in
various ways over the years, including backcountry work for the Forest
Service, primitive/wilderness skills courses, camping, backpacking,
wild plant identification, wild foods preparation and cooking, nature
awareness, ecology, organic gardening and more!

I’m deeply honored and excited to be able to work closely with the
children and parents of Great Hollow to awaken, deepen, and nourish
the love, understanding and living experience of nature, wilderness
and the Earth.  I am so hopeful for our future when I think of
children and families who are knowledgeable, confident and empowered
to value themselves, their connections to life, the people in their
community and the ecosystem in which they live.  Looking forward to
meeting you all very soon and having adventures aplenty in the fields
and forests of Great Hollow!

~Darcey Blue French

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,