Merrohawke’s field school welcomes homeschool children and students who are excused from their school once per week to participate. Together we seek to develop an understanding of the unique ecology of our landscape while also deepening our connection to nature, ourselves and each other. We engage in a multidisciplinary, whole child approach to learning in the outdoors. During the school year, we will study diverse habitats through animal tracking, bird identification, songs and migrations, plant identification and wild edibles, harvesting and processing acorns, weather patterns, geology, and observing the sun and moon throughout the seasons. Hands-on skills include making knives, whittling and carving, coal-burning wooden spoons and bowls, weaving cordage from plant fibers, experimenting with wild crafts, and making primitive fire by friction. Students will building primitive shelters of leaves and saplings and spend one night in them in each season, fall/winter/spring. Intensive learning is balanced with quiet time to integrate the experience, through routine sit spots, quiet hikes, and journaling. Throughout, there are many facilitated and spontaneous opportunities to increase resilience and build a student’s capacity for empathy, understanding, cooperation, listening and clear communication through conflict resolution, awareness games, storytelling, and singing. Parents report their child becomes more confident, creative, resilient and connected to nature through participation in this program. This complements traditional school settings by developing personal and leadership skills that enable them to succeed in academics and other pursuits.