Our Program Goals

  1. 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.

  2. Learner-led: Allowing children to take the lead fosters their fascination of the world around them and free play opportunities inspire their creativity.

  3. Risk-taking: Encouraging children to take appropriate risks provides real world examples to learn risk assessment and self-regulation.

  4. Social Interaction: Developing healthy social skills and peer-group relations encourages improved communication and problem-solving skills.

  5. Environmental Responsibility: Nurturing a connection to the natural world enhances an understanding of our children’s role as environmental stewards in their local communities and natural areas.

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.

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

  1. Session 1 Fall Quarter: September 9 – November 25

  2. Session 2 Fall Quarter: September 21 - November 25

  3. Winter Quarter: January 4 – March 19

  4. Spring Quarter: March 29 – June 18

What will the weekly schedule look like?

Session 1 - Starts September 9:

1.    Adventurers A: Grades K-2, Tuesday & Friday 8-11am
2.    Trailblazers A: Grades 3-5, Tuesday & Friday 12-3pm
3.    Adventurers B: Grades K-2, Monday & Thursday 8-11am
4.    Trailblazers B: Grades 3-5, Monday & Thursday 12-3pm
5.    Mountaineers: Grades 6+, Wednesdays 12-3pm

Session 2 - Starts September 21:

1.    Adventurers C: Grades K-2, Tuesday & Friday 8-11am
2.    Trailblazers D: Grades 3-5, Tuesday & Friday 12-3pm
3.    Adventurers C: Grades K-2, Monday & Thursday 8-11am
4.    Trailblazers D: Grades 3-5, Monday & Thursday 12-3pm
5.    Mountaineers: Grades 6+, Wednesdays 12-3pm
6.    Adventurers E: Grades K-2, Tuesday & Friday 1-4pm
7.    Trailblazers F: Grades 3-5, Monday & Thursday 1-4pm


  1. Adventurers & Trailblazers - $500/quarter/child, $100 nonrefundable deposit

  2. Mountaineers - $250/quarter/child, $50 nonrefundable deposit

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.

Mailing Address

414 South Willow Street

Ellensburg, WA 98926



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