Earth Scouts! Program
COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions challenged our organization’s ability to host educational events & safely connect with our community, leaving teachers, volunteers, and students isolated. More than half of the people we serve live in under-resourced and rural areas throughout Southern Oregon where poor internet access has plighted many from accessing virtual gatherings and educational materials. Many of the young people in our community are also struggling with mental and physical health during the pandemic with the decrease in human connection. As substance abuse and suicide rates double, we see a great need to uplift our valley’s youth.
Our Earth Scouts! program formed in 2021 and inspired by our late Board Member Scout, provides a safe outdoor educational experience specifically for teens and adults to heal from isolation and industrial culture. Through deepening relationships with themselves, each other, and the living earth, participants will build self confidence and trust in themselves and peers as they develop outdoor and rural living skills that they can depend on in uncertain times. Scout embodied what a community needed, and her compassion, humanity, and wilderness experiences are driving forces of this program.
We are currently in the process of program development, fundraising, and scheduling collaborations with other local organizations. Follow Earth Scouts! on social media to keep up to date! See our accounts below…
Through cycling with the four seasons, our curriculum allows participants to deepen their relationships with themselves, each other, and the earth. Our outdoor SkyLodge classroom provides 1500 sq-ft. of space, encouraging whole-body participation as the senses come alive with sounds, colors, and textures. These become valued and refined as students dive into experiential hands-on education. To empower participants and promote program sustainability, Earth Scouts! students will serve as future mentors to new students if desired. Our four pillars of Earth Scouts! includes:
- Skill Building: Participants will build self confidence and trust in themselves and peers as they develop survival and rural living skills they can depend on in uncertain times. This includes Permaculture, a framework of ethics for sustainable living, integrating plants, animals, buildings, people, & community.
- Reciprocity: By giving back to the land & our community, participants learn the value of Reciprocity. Local service projects will give students a chance to apply learned skills and develop a wider network of connection.
- Personal Growth: We encourage students to employ curiosity, focus, commitment, awareness, generosity, and honest self assessment. Social Skills are a large part of our program focus such as nonviolent communication and conflict resolution to foster respect towards each other.
- Connection to the Earth: This is an outdoor, earth-based program. Through cultivating their 5 sense, participants will learn about life systems (water, soil, plants, animals, etc.) and how to cultivate relationships with the land and all who share this home.
Examples of classes that will be offered but are not limited to:
Health & Wellness: Herbalism, First-Aid, & Community Death-Care
Food: Wild-crafting, Foraging, Growing, Cooking, & Preservation
Survival Skills: Friction Fire, Shelter Building, Navigation, & Tracking
Social Skills: Nonviolent Communication & Conflict Resolution
Arts & Crafts: Pottery, Basketry, Cordage, Hide Tanning, Music
Homesteading: Animal Husbandry, Off-Grid Energy, Natural Building