Coyote Pups- Community Outdoor School for Kids

Organization Sponsor: The Pine Project


Program Description

Children’s programming is our specialty. From basic outdoor experiences in our tracking club and after school programs, to our in-depth camp settings and Community Outdoor School, PINE has a range of programs to fit many needs.Nature based programming for new parents, kindergartners, and home schooled children.

Our Coyote Pups are the best adventurers there are! This class is full to the brim with storytelling, tracking local wildlife, and finding the coolest goings on in the forest every week! We build the best forts and shelters, pretend to be the sneakiest animals out there, and howl at the birds when they catch us unaware! Arts, singing, drama, naturalist skills, survival skills, and community building with parents and younger siblings are all vital aspects of this program. We create a small culture steeped in nature connection. This is not a class to be missed!

Content includes:

  • Storytelling and songs
  • An introduction to what is known as “cultural mentoring”
  • Learning how to create more nature connection in your home and day to day life
  • Adventures, wandering, and tracking wildlife (following animals to learn about their lives!)
  • Wild edibles, medicinals, and hazard plants (identification and uses)
  • Stewardship and taking care of the land
  • Nature based crafting and an introduction to various wilderness skills
  • And so much more
 Monday: Earl Bales Park, Bathurst & Sheppard
 Tuesday & Wednesday: Toronto West End Green Spaces –  Etienne Brule Park and King’s Mill (Humber Valley)
 Friday:  Taylor Creek Park, near Coxwell and O’Connor
Ages: 4 – 7
Dates: Winter Session 2014                              Spring Session 2014
Mondays: January 6-March 3 , 2014                      March 31-June 2, 2014
Tuesdays:  January 7-March 4, 2014                     April 1-June 3, 2014
Wednesdays:  January 8-March 5, 2014               April 2-June 4, 2014
Fridays: January 10-March 7, 2014                       April 4-June 6, 2014


       Mondays: 9am-12pm
Tuesdays: 9am-12pm; 1pm-4pm
Wednesdays: 9am-12pm
Fridays: 9am-12pm
Program Approximate Cost: 

Cost: $305

 Bursaries are an available option through the Best Day Ever Fund. Contact our office administrator (Amanda) for an application or further questions.

Funding Sources: 

The Institute for Natural Learning, Earth Tracks, Sticks and Stones Wilderness School,Sassafrass Earth Education,Earth Mentorship Program.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Primitive Integrated Naturalist Education (P.I.N.E.) is a non-profit organization created to bring the wonders of the natural world back to the urban jungle. ps we sell awesome shirts!

Impact Of Program: 


Stephanie, a long time wilderness traveler, educator, and nature enthusiast wrote this about her experience at the Art of Mentoring program hosted by p.i.n.e. each year:

“We’re deeply grateful for the most amazing and powerful week of learning, connecting, and play. Thank you all for your hard work and for helping to make the experience so incredible. I’m so grateful for the scholarship as well, that made it possible for the four of us to attend. Perhaps Christopher, who was exploring with the teens all week, summed it up best for all of us when he said “I feel new”. We all feel new, and super excited to continue working with all that we learned, on a daily basis and with our community. Christopher is one of many who struggle in school. I was so moved when the night we got home he decided to stay up late in bed and make a list of 20 birds of prey (his commitment) so that he can memorize them over the next two weeks. Suddenly, not only is he interested in learning about birds, but he’s taking initiative to learn about them himself! After experiencing the Art of Mentoring I’m not surprised, but it’s pretty incredible to see the difference between not caring about force-fed facts and being inspired and excited to discover and experience more. How can I possibly find proper words of gratitude for transformations such as this?

We look forward to seeing you next year and to being in touch through our ‘Granite Shield’ (Muskoka Art Of Mentoring) regional group.

With many thanks we wish you all the best,” Stephanie Aykroyd, David, Christopher and Alexa

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Our mission is to build healthy communities, deeply connected to the natural environment.

To achieve this, we deliver programs focused on building relationships between self, others, and the environment. Using music, drama, storytelling, naturalist studies, stewardship, outdoor adventures, games, play, and intergenerational learning, we weave it all into a “culture of nature connection” empowering our mantra: Be More, Need Less.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Andrew McMartin, founder and executive director of the Toronto-based P.I.N.E. Project, sees connections between so-called Nature Deficit Disorder (a hot topic brought on the cultural radar by Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit disorder) and rising rates of obesity, ADHD, depression, and anxiety among children with a lack of time spent freely in nature. While traditional nature and outdoor education programs take students out of the city and into the woods, one of P.I.N.E.’s key differentiators is using the natural space in Toronto—High Park, Humber Valley, or the patch of lawn or tree by the front stoop—as a classroom. “The goal is to foster an intense connection to where they’re from and what sustains it,” McMartin says of his choice to base his children’s programs in the city.

“We are raising the weakest, most unresilient generation in history,” nature educator Mark Morey told a room of parents, teachers, environmentalists, and outdoor educators at a recent talk at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton. Not surprisingly, the room went silent. In this era of over-scheduled kids whose parents structure family life around the goal of providing the best opportunities for the children to succeed, it’s jarring to hear that children growing up in a world of computer screens, standardized testing, and customized early-childhood education could turn out to be less effective adults than the generations that have come before them.

Length and Stage of Project: 


Share Your Thoughts