Nature-Based Pre-K and K School Year Enrichment      

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The Young Explorers Enrichment Program is an extension of our pre-K and K summer camp program, designed to supplement your child’s regular pre-school or classroom learning through nature-based experiences. 

Our focus is on learning  through  play, exploration, and hands-on experiences using nature as the classroom; children are outside for the duration of each program day, and the environment is our teacher.  The journey of each individual is unique, and activities and curriculum are based on the interests and curiosities of participants.

The Young Explorers Enrichment Program is open to youth ages 3.5 through those currently enrolled in Kindergarten as of the session start date. All participants must be toilet trained.  The session lasts 15 weeks, and participants meet Tuesday and Thursday mornings during that session.  Most program dates will take place at the River Center (11605 Old Friant Rd, Fresno). The River Center features a restored ranch house with educational exhibits, a ¾ mile habitat themed nature trail, event barn, small vineyard and orchard, and plenty of open/green space to explore and play in.  Some field trip days to other Parkway properties nearby may be included in the session; participants will receive additional information on the session schedule prior to the start date. 

Parents/guardians or a family representative are asked to volunteer at/attend two of the session dates with their child, and are welcome (but not required) to stay with their Young Explorer during all other program dates. 

Ages: 3.5 through currently enrolled in Kindergarten as of the session start date (must be toilet trained)

Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays for 15 weeks

Cost: $1,425/15-week session ($150 non-refundable deposit, $1,275 session fees); partial scholarships are available and scholarship applications can be accessed through the online registration system during the normal registration process.  Payment plan options are available. 

Fall 2022 Session: 8/30, 9/1, 9/6, 9/8, 9/13, 9/15, 9/20, 9/22, 9/27, 9/29, 10/4, 10/6, 10/11, 10/13, 10/18, 10/20, 10/25, 10/27, 11/1, 11/3, 11/8, 11/10, 11/15, 11/17, 11/29, 12/1, 12/6, 12/8, 12/13, 12/15.

To register, click on the session link above.  If the session is full, you will be given the option to join the waitlist.

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Program Highlights:

  • Children are outdoors for the duration of each session (unless there is severe or dangerous inclement weather); once enrolled, we will provide a list of recommended clothing items to best prepare your child for all seasons and conditions; we will provide a waterproof rain trail suit for each participant to wear on rainy days, but participants are required to provide their own rain boots
  • Small group size (3 co-instructors and 18 children, 1:6 ratio)
  • Curriculum and activities are STEM, emergent play and inquiry based to promote inner-directed learning and foster a healthy sense of self
  • Young Explorers staff collects a portfolio of each participant’s project-based exploration work (writings, drawings, photographs) etc. to document each child’s journey and provide parents/guardians information on progress and achievements

Give the Gift of Outdoor Learning!

Purchase a Young Explorers Enrichment Program gift certificate and surprise the special child in your life!  Click here for more information on purchasing a River Camp gift certificate!

Young Explorers Enrichment Program Staff:

Lauren Black - Young Explorers Director, Lead Instructor

Katie Kincaid - Co-Instructor

Sample Daily Schedule:

8:45 – 9:00 am: Check in

9:00 - 9:30 am: Free play with thematic stations related to the week’s theme (e.g. bugs, birds, sounds, colors, etc.)

9:30 am - 9:50 am: Circle time & story time

9:50 am - 10:10 am: Bathroom break & snack time

10:10 am - 10:50 am: Guided activities (such as nature walks, item collection, sorting skills, etc.)

10:50 am - 11:05 am: Bathroom break & snack time

11:05 am - 11:50 am: Project-based exploration*

11:50 am - 12:00 pm: Closing circle & song

12:00 - 12:15 pm: Pick up

 *Projects will be a collection of information and creations done by small groups and individuals focused on a specific subject.  Participant interests guide project topics and staff help participants record questions, determine what they are most curious about, and engage in research, explorations, and crafts based on these interests.  Examples of work included in a project-based exploration portfolio focused on burrowing animals might include a collage of pictures of animals who build homes underground, a science experiment testing how sound moves through various objects, a map of holes found on site, a clay model of a tunnel system by a specific animal, etc.

Cancellations/Registration:

Full refunds will be provided for cancellations made at least 14 days prior to the session start date.  No refunds will be given for absences or no-shows.