Wilderness or forest schools are outdoor programs that allow for young people to spend extended and consistent periods of time in a forest or natural habitat on a daily or weekly basis with the support of caring mentors who help facilitate a positive and self directed exploration and connection with the natural world. Wilderness schools may offer flexible educational themes or intentions but their main purpose is to provide a safe and supported experience for young people to connect to the natural world; South Mountain’s wilderness school aims to provide an outdoor learner-led experience in which caring adults are ensuring that young people can develop their personal, social and emotional skills in a compassionate and respectful atmoshpere while learning about and stewarding the natural world. While respect and stewardship of the environment take precedence young people are encouraged to explore their natural environment in creative and self-directed ways, learning through their their own passions, interests, games, questions and initiatives.
In order for young people to get the most out of their experience in the forest they must arrive prepared with proper clothing and sufficient food and water. SMC staff are committed to creating a physically and emotionally safe space for all.