Wake Up With the Woods

Nature Connection Students

Saturday, May 15, 5:30am-8:00am

There is something magical about being in the woods before dawn-- watching the sun rise and listening to the first morning bird calls... Every student has a special place that they visit during class each day, called their sit spot. Students will get a chance to sit in their special place to connect with nature in a unique way during this early morning experience. We will spend about 45 minutes in our sit spots as the sun rises, and then share our stories while making breakfast over the fire (cinnamon rolls cooked inside orange peels, eggs, and sausages). 

Students should use the restroom in Cedar Lodge before being dropped off on the drop off loop. Nature guides will greet students and lead them up the hill to the fire circle and then out to their sit spots. Be sure to dress warm, since it will be chilly early in the morning, and we will be still and silent for quite a while. 

Thank you for getting up early and making the trek out to camp so your student can enjoy this extra special time in the early-morning woods. 

Please sign up so we know who to expect. Thank you!


Family Exploration Groups

Spring Refresh!

Weekly meet-ups at parks across West Michigan 

Spring Start Up, Week of April 12

Everyone is welcome to join a Family Exploration Group. No need to be enrolled with Discovery Wilderness School.


Homeschooling- it takes a village! Find your community here. Whether you are a veteran homeschooler, virtual pandemic schooling, or somewhere in between, you are welcome here. Let’s connect, support, and encourage one another while exploring in nature. Take your child’s education into the woods, fields, and creek.

Our Vision: To see families connect deeply with nature and one another through Exploration Groups in different locations around West Michigan. We envision small groups, committed to weekly time together outdoors--children and parents exploring, playing and learning from one another. Our hope is that children will build relationships through outdoor play and exploration while parents have an opportunity to connect, encourage and support one another in authentic community. 

Tips for Family Exploration Groups

What to Bring to Wilderness School guide may help you dress for success outdoors year-round.

animal tracks winter.jpg


Winter Animal Tracking

Wednesday, February 24 (Wed Students)

OR Thursday, March 4 (Thur Students)

at Little Pine Island Camp in our outdoor classrooms

For students enrolled in Discovery Wilderness, Spring Semester 2021

Nature Connection and Nature Explorers 10:30am-12:00pm

Junior Explorers Parent/Child Class 10:45-11:45 am

Please try to arrive early to use the restroom at camp and be in the outdoor classroom by 10:30am. If you have students in the older classes and you will be joining the Juniors, please first drop off older students, and then spend time in your warm car, filling up your kiddos belly with a snack and drink and/or using the restroom before we explore. We are keeping the class length to one hour for the littler ones.


Come explore the winter woods with us as we look for animal tracks and signs! The theme for spring semester (for the Explorers and Connections Classes) will be animal tracking. The winter is a fun time to jump into this experience, since tracks stand out well in the snow. We will use all of our senses to investigate and explore the winter woods, following animal tracks, wherever they may lead! This will be a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates and the land as we eagerly await Spring Semester. This event is free to students that are currently enrolled in Discovery Wilderness School.


Please note, we will not be going inside due to COVID. Please dress warm and use the bathhouse restrooms before and after our tracking experience. Parents are welcome to join us during this adventure, or drop off and pick up.


Maple Tree Tapping

Dates: Friday, February 26 and Monday, March 1

10:30 am-12:00 noon

at Little Pine Island Camp in our outdoor classrooms

For students enrolled in Discovery Wilderness, Spring Semester 2021

Park in the main parking lot, use the restroom, and we will all walk over to the maples trees as a group a little after 10:30. 


Have you SEEN the forecast for the next 10 days??? Quick, drop everything and TAP A MAPLE TREE! Sunny with highs above freezing during the day, lows below freezing at night. This is the perfect weather for sap to run! 

Every family will get an opportunity to sign up for a day to collect the sap to bring home and cook down into maple syrup in your kitchen. Parents are asked to join us for this event, so you can be part of the experience and learn how to empty out the sap and replace the bags for the next day's sap collection.

Please note, we will not be going inside due to COVID. Please dress warm and use the bathhouse restrooms before and after our tapping experience.