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KEEN’s Earth Explorers envisions a generation of bold explorers with meaningful connections to self, community, and the natural world.


With the increase in electronic influences on our children’s lives, KEEN’s Earth Explorers believes in letting kids be kids, outdoors.

 EARTH EXPLORERS Spring Quarter 2021    

March 29-June 18, 2021

KEEN’s Earth Explorers envisions a generation of bold explorers with meaningful connections to self, community, and the natural world. With the increasingly electronic influences on our children’s lives, KEEN’s Earth Explorers believes in letting kids be kids, outdoors.

Our Program Goals
i.    Place-Based: A place-based program promotes healthy development in a stimulating learning environment. Earth Explorers is 100% outside, through all seasons, with primitive facilities.
ii.    Learner-led: Allowing children to take the lead fosters their fascination of the world around them and free play opportunities inspire their creativity.
iii.    Risk-taking: Encouraging children to take appropriate risks provides real world examples to learn risk assessment and self-regulation.
iv.    Social Interaction: Developing healthy social skills and peer-group relations encourages improved communication and problem-solving skills.
v.    Environmental Responsibility: Nurturing a connection to the natural world enhances an understanding of our children’s role as environmental stewards in their local community and their greater natural areas.

Location and Facilities

KEEN’s Earth Explorers programs are located at Helen McCabe State Park just five miles south of Ellensburg on Canyon Road. We have limited primitive resources and facilities: including walled tents, propane fire pits, and porta potties.

How it Works 
(Disclaimer: Plans at the school district, county, and state level are changing daily. This overview is a working model that may be subject to change)

Spring Quarter Dates: March 29 through June 18, 2021

Spring Quarter Schedule Options: We ask that you sign up for a schedule that works with your child’s hybrid school schedule (if appropriate). Hybrid A will attend EARTH EXPLORERS on Tuesdays and Fridays and Hybrid B will attend EARTH EXPLORERS on Mondays and Thursdays. Wednesdays will remain our middle school Mountaineers day.

Spring Quarter EARTH EXPLORERS will run from 10am-3pm M, T, Th, & F for K-5 and 12-3pm Wednesdays for grades 6-12. If your family has no school commitments, your child is welcome for the full day (10-3). If your child has class commitments until noon on their virtual days, they can attend from 12-3pm. You will have the opportunity to choose which daily schedule works for you at registration. If you choose the full day option, we will ask you to provide a lunch for your child. All other snacks will be provided. The cost is the same regardless of the option you choose.

Enrollment Options
1. Adventurers (Hybrid B, Grades K-5) - Monday & Thursday 10am/12pm-3pm
2. Trailblazers (Hybrid A, Grades K-5) - Tuesday & Friday 10am/12pm - 3pm
3. Mountaineers (Grades 6-12) - Wednesday 12pm-3pm

Example Daily Schedule

10:00am - 10:15am Drop Off #1
10:15am - 11:15am Campfire and Games
11:15am - 11:45am Lunch
11:45am - 12:00pm Drop Off #2
12:15pm - 1:30pm Guided Nature-based STEM Activity in line with grade-appropriate WA Learning Standards
1:30pm - 2:15pm Snack and Free Play
2:15pm - 3:00pm Group Game
3:00pm - 3:15pm Pick Up

Tuition - 

1.    Adventurers & Trailblazers - $750/quarter/child, $100 nonrefundable deposit
2.    Mountaineers - $300/quarter/child, $50 nonrefundable deposit

You can pay in full upon registration, or request monthly invoices divided into equal payments.

Safety Plan and COVID19 Policies – Upon registration, a complete parent packet containing all relevant information and policies will be distributed to families prior to the beginning of each quarter.

a.    Health Screenings – Parents should monitor their children’s health for possible symptoms relating to COVID19. We will ask that parents check their children’s temperatures before attending every day. Parents will be asked to keep children at home if symptoms arise.
b.    Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures – Social distanced drop-off and pick-up will be enforced every day. We will ask that all people remain in their vehicle until checked in or out and given the okay from staff.
c.    Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures – Our facilities will be cleaned and disinfected prior to the start of every day. Facilities will also be cleaned during transition from AM sessions to PM sessions.
d.    Facial Mask Policy – All attendees and staff will be required to wear a facial covering as recommended by the CDC.

KEEN’s Earth Explorers program – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is KEEN’s Earth Explorers program? Earth Explorers is a supplemental outdoor program designed to unplug children from their screens and reboot their curiosity with the natural world. Earth Explorers is a part-time enrichment program.

  2. Earth Explorers program is not designed to replace traditional classroom time. Earth Explorers is not a charter school or childcare center.

  3. Does our program replace traditional classroom time? No, Earth Explorers is not a full-time school program.

  4. Will we have scholarships available? Currently, KEEN does not have any scholarships available. However, we encourage you to reach out to HopeSource, as they provide funding for many community programs.

  5. What will my child learn in your program? Earth Explorers promotes a child’s natural inquisitiveness for the world around them by providing a safe environment to explore and learn. We will be integrating grade-appropriate Washington Learning Standards into the program, including but not limited to mathematics, science, environmental science, and art. Each grade level will have a learning goal to reach at the end of every quarter.

  6. What will you teaching style be? Nature-based education allows the outdoor environment to be the teacher, permitting a child’s curiosity to allow them opportunities to learn and make connections themselves. Our educators focus on safely guiding children along this path, encouraging their natural process of deduction and questioning to lead the way.

  7. Where is the program located? Earth Explorer programs are located at Helen McCabe State park five miles south of Ellensburg on Canyon Road and Thrall Road. Our parking lot is past the main lot; a banner will be hung to mark the location. This is where drop off and pick up will be. There may be opportunities for us to hold programming at other locations in the area and parents will be notified prior to a change of venue.

  8. Will you have bathrooms on site? KEEN provides porta potty rentals, however the occasion may arise where your child may need to use a bush. Parents should review with their child safe and appropriate outdoor bathroom use.

  9. What about handwashing? Our bathroom facilities are equipped with handwashing stations. We also use child-safe hand sanitizer when moving around the park.

  10. Will programming be affected by the weather? Nope! Children are resilient and can flourish in any weather scenario. We will have primitive indoor facilities (walled tents) and heating sources (propane firepit) should the weather be less than stellar. In the event of severe weather, KEEN will make decisions on daily cancellations as needed.

  11. What is your cancellation policy? Our hiring, programming, and planning all depend upon tuition dollars. The down-payment for tuition is non-refundable. If you need to cancel prior to the Quarter starting, tuition is only refundable if you cancel 1-week prior to the quarter beginning. No refunds are available once the program begins. We appreciate the understanding. 

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