Wild Tenders Youth Program

2024/25

youth program participants // photo by Dave Hage

Wild Tenders is a 9-month nature-based learning journey for youth 4 to 14. Our goal is to cultivate earth intimacy, embodiment, and a commitment to co-liberation in the youth we work with… all while having lots of FUN. These interwoven threads reinforce how caring for ourselves, each other, and the earth are inextricably linked.

At Wild Tenders, the local ecosystem is the classroom — the woods, creeks, meadows, hills, plants, and animals come magically alive through exploration, interaction, story, and consistent contact through the seasons. This direct experience and meaningful play help our students to know themselves as interdependent, ecological beings.

As with all of our programs, Wild Tenders is simultaneously committed to education that cultivates earth intimacy and that interrupts the socialization of dominant, oppressive systems that have caused so many social, ecological, and existential crises that we face today. We do this work in service to our vision of a world deeply rooted in interrelationship, respect for life, and shared protection of the planet upon which we all depend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. OUR APPROACH TO EDUCATION

We organize our curriculum into four interrelated pillars. While we present these pillars as distinct, we want to emphasize that they are fluid and always interconnected in practice. That fluidity is symbolized by the water moving through each pillar.

Before applying, please read below about how each pillar relates to our youth programs. We present this information so you can decide if our approach aligns with your family’s vision and values. If you have any questions, please email us at youthprograms@weavingearth.org.

For an additional overview of our curriculum, please take a look at our Core Curriculum page.

 EARTH INTIMACY 

 CO-LIBERATION 

 EMBODIMENT 

 prayerful action 

CP-rock-tower-careful

WHY EARTH INTIMACY FOR KIDS?

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”

(Robin Wall Kimmerer)

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Spiderweb,At,Morning.,Dewdrops,On,Spiderweb,At,Morning.,Spiderweb,Dewdrops

WHY CO-LIBERATION WITH KIDS?

“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”
(Fannie Lou Hamer)

Read More
ready to run

WHY EMBODIMENT WITH KIDS?

“Our bodies are the earth in human form.”
(tayla shanaye)

Read More
jazmin basketry1

WHY prayErful action with KIDS?

“To love a place is not enough. We must find ways to heal it.”
(Robin Wall Kimmerer)

Read More

II. PROGRAM dETAILS

Please read the following sections carefully, especially if you have participated in Wild Tenders before! Any questions? Contact youthprograms@weavingearth.org for assistance.

1. AGE GROUPS

 QUAIL COVEY 
4-6 YEAR OLDS
 OTTER ROMP 
7-10 YEAR OLDS
 BOBCAT POUNCE 
11-14 YEAR OLDS

PLEASE NOTE: For youth who are on the cusp of these age groups (3-turning-4, 6-turning-7, or 10-turning-11, e.g.), we like to have a conversation with the parents to decide whether the younger or older group is a better fit. 

Read More About Quail Program
Read More About Otters/Bobcats Program

2. WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Wild Tenders day-long programs run from 9 AM to 3 PM for all age groups. You can apply for any day or combination of days that you want. 

AGES 4-6
QUAIL
AGES 7-10
OTTERS
AGES 11-14
BOBCATS
MONDAY
OFF
OFF
OFF
TUESDAY
QUAIL COVEY 1
OTTER ROMP 1
BOBCAT POUNCE 1
WEDNESDAY
QUAIL COVEY 2
OTTER ROMP 2
OFF
THURSDAY
QUAIL COVEY 3
OFF
OFF
FRIDAY
OFF
OFF
BOBCAT POUNCE 2

3. DAILY SCHEDULE

All cohorts follow a similar daily rhythm. This varies daily depending on the season, group energy, and other factors, but the rhythm below will give you a sense of how the day is structured. 

9 AM — Drop-off + morning tasks (e.g., making tea, preparing firewood, harvesting medicinal plants for use)

9:15 AM — Opening Circle + Gratitude + Snack (+Storytime for the Quail)

10 AM — Morning adventure typically involves adventuring out on the land, away from central camp, to one of the group’s favorite destinations. There are plenty of games, activities, and spontaneous encounters along the way. 

12 PM — Lunch (+Storytime for the Quail)

12:30 PM — Return to base camp for “crafternoon.” We typically use the afternoon for more focused projects: arts and crafts, spoon carving, firemaking, natural dyeing, wild food preparation, et cetera.

2:30 PM — Clean up + Closing Circle

3:00 PM — Pick-up

4. ANNUAL CALENDAR

To see a detailed calendar showing all of the days we are in session for the 2024-25 year, click the calendar icon below to view a spreadsheet of dates, or you can click here. Please note — this calendar is subject to minor changes between now and the start of the program.

4. LOCATION

A beautiful farm and forest location, 15 minutes drive NW of Sebastopol, with occasional field trips. 

5. AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM

We also run an Afterschool Program on Thursdays from 1-5 PM. We created this program to make a Wild Tenders offering accessible to Sebastopol-area children who are attending local elementary and middle schools, but anyone is welcome to join! Information and registration are on a separate page — click the button below.

III. TUITION

1. PRICING

Wild Tenders is priced on a sliding scale, according to the number of program days you are choosing. Note that there is a discount for enrolling in more than one day — 11% for 2 days and 16.67% for 3 days, respectively. 

Our sliding scale is priced to provide livable wages and benefits for our mentors as well as cover insurance, program supplies, and site fees. It does not cover the cost of program directors’ time, which we attempt to cover through grants and donations to our General Fund. 

 1 DAY/WEEK 

$3200 to $3600

 2 DAYS/WEEK 

$6400 to $7200

+ 11% DISCOUNT

$5700 to $6400

 3 DAYS/WEEK 

$9600 to $10800

+ 16.67% DISCOUNT

$8000 to $9000

HOW SHOULD I USE THE SLIDING SCALE?

If you are financially comfortable and/or have access to inherited wealth, family support, or other sources of financial stability, we encourage you to pay on the higher end of the sliding scale.

Similarly, if you inhabit multiple systematically privileged identities (e.g. white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, U.S. citizen, et cetera), we encourage you to pay on the higher end of the sliding scale.

Ultimately, with these considerations in mind, we trust and support you to choose the tuition that works for you and your family.

If you are able to pay beyond the sliding scale, any additional money will be treated as a tax-deductible donation and will automatically be put into our Financial Assistance Funds (see below).

WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD THE SLIDING SCALE?

We recognize the sliding scale may be or feel cost-prohibitive for some families. Moreover, we are committed to pricing our programs in ways that take into account structural barriers and systemic discrimination, past and present, to the best of our abilities. Please read the following section to learn more about three approaches we are using beyond the sliding scale to make Wild Tenders financially accessible to as many families as possible. If you have any questions about tuition and finances, please reach out to us at youthprograms@weavingearth.org.

2. FINANCIAL ACCESSIBILITY BEYOND THE SLIDING SCALE

I. GENERAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

We have some scholarship funds available and we prioritize supporting indigenous families, black families, and other families of color, as well as folx from other marginalized groups, single working parents, parents between jobs, parents with disabilities, et cetera. If financial assistance beyond the sliding scale would be supportive for you in joining this program, you can indicate that in your application. Once we have a sense of the overall need, we will do our best to accommodate everyone’s requests.

II. CHARTER SCHOOLS

Weaving Earth is a vendor with two California Charter Schools. If you are enrolled with them, you can take the Wild Tenders program as an enrichment class using Educational Support Funds. You can learn more about each school by visiting their websites, linked below. To enroll in one of these schools, contact the school directly and they will set you up with an education specialist. 

From Compass Charter’s website:

“Compass Charter Schools is one of California’s leading WASC-accredited virtual charter schools of choice.”

From Heartwood’s website:

“Heartwood Charter School is a local, teacher led, community created independent study public school. We are proud to offer strong curriculum programs that provide educational choice to our families.”

Please note: this option requires substantial additional work on our end. We charge a $50 administrative fee per child if you enroll with either charter.

III. PAYMENT PLANS

Finally, we offer flexible payment plan schedules. The following options can be combined with either of the aforementioned financial assistance options to create a tuition program that works for your family. We will ask you to specify in your application what your financial plans/needs are for Wild Tenders, but please note that you will not be asked to sign an official financial agreement until after you have been accepted. For now, we want you to have this information for your planning purposes.  

OPTION 1 — ONE-TIME PAYMENT

Some families choose to make a one-time full payment before the start of the year. This option is available to anyone, including families who are receiving Charter School assistance or scholarship funds.

OPTION 2 — PAYMENT PLAN

Many families elect to pay their tuition in installments. This option is available to anyone, including families who are receiving Charter School assistance or scholarship funds. We ask for payments starting in July to hold your spot and plan the program accordingly. Refund policies are outlined in the Financial Agreement you receive upon acceptance into the program. We offer two Payment Plans:

QUARTERLY

Under the Quarterly Payment Plan (QPP), you will make four equal tuition payments spread throughout the year. These payments will be due on:

July 15, 2024
october 15, 2024
January 15, 2025
april 15, 2025

MONTHLY

Under the Monthly Payment Plan (MPP), you will make ten monthly payments starting on July 15, 2024 and concluding on April 15, 2025. If you register after July 15 and choose this option, we will start in August and add an extra month at the end. 

July 15, 2024
AUGUST 15, 2024
SEPTEMBER 15, 2024
october 15, 2024
NOVEMBER 15, 2024
DECEMBER 15, 2024
January 15, 2025
FEBRUARY 15, 2025
MARCH 15, 2025
april 15, 2025
Please note: If you plan to pay by check, we ask that you send us all of your payments as postdated checks before the start of the year. There is also the option to pay by direct ACH transfers.

IV. APPLICATION

MULTIPLE KIDS?

Please submit a separate application for each child. 

1. APPLICATION PERIODS

 PHASE 1 

APPLY BEFORE MONDAY, MAY 2nd 2022

HEAR AN UPDATE ON MONDAY, MAY 9th 2022

If you submit an application before Monday, May 2nd, we will consider your application as part of our first round of acceptance decisions. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will be accepted in this first round. We will notify you of a decision on Monday, May 9th. If you are accepted, you will have two weeks (until Monday, May 23rd) to complete all of your registration paperwork and make a deposit to secure your spot. 

 PHASE 2 

APPLY BETWEEN MONDAY, MAY 2nd and MONDAY, MAY 16th 2022

HEAR AN UPDATE ON MONDAY, MAY 23rd 2022

If you submit an application between Monday, May 2nd and Monday, May 16th, you will automatically be placed on our Waiting List and we will consider your application as part of our second round of acceptance decisions if there is space. We will notify you of your updated status on Monday, May 23rd. If you are accepted, you will have two weeks (until Monday, June 6th) to complete all of your registration paperwork and make a deposit to secure your spot.  

 PHASE 3 

APPLY AFTER MONDAY, MAY 16th

HEAR AN UPDATE WITHIN TWO WEEKS

If you submit an application after Monday, May 16th, you will automatically be placed on our Waiting List and we will consider your application as part of our third round of acceptance decisions. We will notify you of your updated status within two weeks of receiving your application. 

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