Located in an idyllic corner of Huddleston, ONE Forest School at Smith Mountain Lake is set to open in late May with a summer camp.
It will be one of many Forest Schools dotting the country, which take a learnerled, holistic, nature-based approach to education, according to ONE Forest School’s director Catherine Eubank.
If a child were to pick up an acorn in the forest and ask what the object was, “you’d say ‘an acorn’ and move about your day,” Eubank said. “In a Forest School, we use the acorn as an introduction to a conversation. You say, ‘that’s a great question. Let’s get our book out and see what it is and identify what it is.’ We’re not giving out the answer, we’re teaching them how to think.”
Forest Camp will be offered in the summer for kids ages 3 to 12. Forest School will be a half-day program in the fall that will be open to children ages three to six.
The faculty for Forest Camp will consist of Eubank, who is set to receive a certificate in forestry management from Virginia Tech in May, and two other Forest School practitioners, Heidi Sutherland, a Florida teacher who spends her summers in Bedford County and Hannahbeth Derrick, a substitute teacher at Campbell County Public Schools. Catherine’s husband, Danny, is the site facilitator, who will help the kids with bush crafting skills.
-For more information, see the March 27 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-