Coyote Kids

Natural Start on Late Start Thursdays

Welcome to Coyote Kids, VWP’s program for 5-8 year olds on late start Thursdays on the campus of Chautauqua Elementary School.

Our Curriculum

Children in Coyote Kids get to have incredible adventures while making deep connections to the forest and pond in their own school’s backyard. Through core routines, awareness games and activities, storytelling, and play, kids will return to the rhythm of nature and rekindle a sense of wonder, comfort, vitality, and peace as they connect with themselves, their peers, and their nature mentors.

Throughout the seasons, and in all weather, we’ll offer some of our best practices to help kids:

    • develop sensory awareness and observation skills 
    • embody core routines of nature connection 
    • connect more deeply to the life of the forest and pond
    • grow their compassion, empathy, and gratitude for all beings
  • and have fun!

Our mentors will draw from our renowned 8 Shields curriculum, which weaves together:

  • Nature Awareness and Knowledge of Place
  • Mammals and the Art of Tracking
  • Plants, Trees, and Ecological Principles
  • Landscape Navigation and the Art of Wandering
  • Survival & Wilderness Living Skills
  • Birding and Bird Language
  • Local Natural History and Heritage
  • Community Awareness and Stewardship

What the Day Looks Like

Each program day begins with a choice to join an enlivening awareness game or a quieter, focused experience with our nature museum and field guides. Opening Circle, singing, and gratitude then brings the whole group together. Students will spend part of their day in smaller groups (aged -based clans, or choice-based guilds) for focused nature connection activities. The end of our day brings the whole group back together to share stories of inspiration, learning, and fun. VWP Mentors will facilitate the transition from Coyote Kids to CES for the start of the school day.

Coyote Kids Mentors

Our program is staffed by seasoned VWP mentors, trained in our renowned approach to nature connection called Coyote Mentoring. Other volunteers may be present to apprentice and help out.

Coyote Kids Parents

Time and again, we see that once kids begin down a path of deep nature connection, their transformation is palpable. They will come home excited to share stories with you of their adventures, and they might introduce you to ways of being in nature that are unfamiliar. How can you nurture their love of nature beyond our program time?

We’ve got you covered!

Free Training – VWP offers free training to all parents whose children are enrolled in any of our weekly, monthly, family, or special school programs so that you, too, can learn some of our powerful, heart-centered, time-tested tools for natural learning and growth. Check out our course: Coyote Mentoring: Raising Nature-Smart Kids in a Modern World.

Your Own Nature Connection Experiences – Want to deepen your own nature connection skills? VWP offers workshops for grow-ups:Consider enrolling in one or more of our Adult Workshops.

Nature Connected Community – Coyote Kids is part of a larger community of VWP families who value nature-rooted, harmonious living. Each season, we gather to celebrate our connections with each other and the Earth. We welcome you to join us for any of our free community events.


  • Dates: We meet on late start Thursdays form September – June. Specific dates may be found on the Vashon Island School District calendar.
  • Time: 9:00am-11:15am
  • Location: Chautauqua Elementary School Campus
  • Cost: 2018-2019 Tuition is $495 for all 13 sessions.  
  • Ages: 5-8; children must be age 5 by September 1st.
  • Transition to School: VWP Mentors will facilitate the transition to CES for the start of the school day.

Ready to Join us?

Applications for Coyote Kids will be accepted on a rolling basis until we are full. Priority will be given to children who attend CES. Simply complete the enrollment form below. We look forward to welcoming you to Vashon Wilderness Program!