Home School Nature Studies 2021

Registration is now closed for this program.

Join Discovery Southeast Naturalists to explore, learn and play in the outdoor classroom. Each program will have a theme aligned with age-appropriate science standards that highlights the natural phenomena that occur in Juneau in winter. This is a great opportunity for hands-on learning, connecting in person with friends, and getting outside!

  • Groups of 8-12 students, mixed grade cohorts
  • There are programs for students grades K-8, some are three week sessions, some are single day options.
  • We will follow our pandemic protocols which include: small groups, cloth face coverings when in sustained close contact (otherwise optional while outdoors), health screenings and exclusively outdoors
  • The themes will explore hands-on winter science, skills and fun. Detailed descriptions are below.
  • Suggested tuition is detailed below, however, we proudly offer sliding-scale tuition. If full tuition is not appropriate for your family right now, simply enter the amount you’d like to pay, per child. We can bill HomeBridge or Raven directly for you, please indicate in the appropriate box below when registering and we’ll take care of the rest.

You can see more details in the “Description” tab below, and please send us an email info@discoverysoutheast.org if you have any questions. Registration will close Tuesday November 23rd. 

If your desired program is full, please sign up on this waitlist.

If you have a child at home too young for these offerings, our Forest Kinder program, Haadaa Héeni, meets M/W/F 9am-11am, you can  register Monday, November 15th at 12pm for December Haadaa Héeni program here


Category: SKU: N/A


What we will be doing:

These programs will be drawing on many of our tried and true winter-based Nature Studies lessons that we’ve been teaching school groups over the past 30 years. While each program will have a theme and some specific activities and goals, programs will also allow time for free exploration, play, and fun outdoor games. The program will strive for a balance of movement, hands-on learning, and community building. Below is a brief description of the themes.

  • Animals in Winter: How do animals survive cold, dark winters? We’ll learn about different ways animals stay warm using their fur, feathers or fat/blubber.
  • Properties of Matter: Different materials have different properties which make them suitable or unsuitable to use for winter clothes- we’ll explore the properties of fleece, wool, cotton, and jean to determine which makes the best material for winter, and why. We’ll also explore water and it’s three phases: solid, liquid and gas. We’ll learn about the unique properties of water by setting up experiments and making observations.
  • Heat and Animal Adaptations: Hibernate, Migrate, or Deal with it. This is how animals survive winter. For those that deal with it, how do they retain their heat to survive? One of our favorite activities of all time, challenging the kids to keep their jello “voles” alive by insulating them from the cold.
  • Winter Skills: Animal Tracking, navigating the forest, snow/ice science and safety, and if conditions allow: snow shoeing or possibly cross country skiing.
What should my child bring? 
  • In a daypack: A snack, water and warm layers *For Friday programs, please pack a lunch as well. 
  • Please come wearing a well-fitting, comfortable face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Having a dry spare on wet days is really nice! Masks are optional when 3 feet distance can be maintained, and required at pick-up/drop off.
  • Clothes for the weather. Insulated winter boots, insulated winter pants and jacket, warm socks, warm hat, and insulated water proof gloves or mittens. *If these are hard to come by, just let us know; we may have clothing to loan or give.
How does tuition work?

We proudly offer sliding-scale tuition.  If full suggested tuition is not appropriate for your family right now, simply enter the amount you’d like to pay, per child. It’s totally fine to enter “0.”

We can also bill HomeBridge or Raven directly for you, if this is a service you wish to use, pay 0 and indicate in the box which program we should bill for you.

What’s the paperwork?

After registering we have some important paperwork that includes Medical Information, Risk Acknowledgement, and Legal Waivers.  It’s all contained in our online Participant Agreement, which needs to be completed more than 7 days before the program starts.

(If you’d like to preview this form, you’re welcome to download a review pdf of the Participant Agreement)

Registration is voluntary, so if you don’t agree with the terms there, please don’t register, and instead let us know at info@discoverysoutheast.org.

Is there transportation? 

We do not currently provide any transportation, however, if getting to or from the daily drop off location is a challenge for your family, please reach out to us by phone 463-1500 or email info@discoverysoutheast.org.

Can we sign up for multiple days?

Please choose one three week session, which is either 3 or 6 total days. Or you can sign up for 1 to 3 single day, longer programs. If we still have space when we close registration, we may consider allowing children to participate in more than one group, please email bess@discoverysoutheast.org to inquire. 

Will I ever get off the waitlist?

If a day is full, please do sign up on the waitlist. 

What is Discovery doing for the pandemic?

We have reviewed and updated our Pandemic protocols as of June 18th, 2021.

This program will take place exclusively outdoors. We will be minimizing supplies to avoid touching similar items, avoiding group transportation, and supporting social distancing and mask-wearing when in sustained close contact.

Those with symptoms of COVID-19, or living with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, will not be able to take part in camp. Upon arrival to camp each day, we will conduct a health screening of each participant. We expect parents and children to answer these questions on a daily basis and let us know if anyone in their household develops symptoms of COVID-19.

For the safety of our staff and other participants, we ask that you cover your face at drop off and pick up and maintain at least 6 ft from anyone outside of your household.

Can I cancel?
  • If you cancel more than 10 days in advance, there’s a $15 cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel 10 or fewer days in advance, a refund is only possible if we can fill your spot, and if so there’s still the $15 cancellation fee.
  • If you don’t submit a completed Participant Agreement within 7 days of the camp, or if a child is not allowed to participate due to behavior reasons, that is considered a cancellation 10 or fewer days in advance.
  • If your cancellation is due to a participant or household member experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, you can opt to be rescheduled for a later program day in lieu of a refund.
What’s expected of my child?

Students are expected to follow directions from the adult Naturalists in order to keep them and the group safe. Any student unable to follow safety directions, may be asked to be picked up, stay home the next time, or to not return to our program. 

Nature Studies is possible thanks to a community of support.