Our mission is to connect people with Nature.
At Circle R Nature School we provide opportunities for people to get out and experience the wonders of nature in a weekly immersive program. Our passionate staff facilitate fun, connective, hands-on experiences that help children and adults grow as naturalists, leaders and stewards of the land.
Our Awesome Staff:
Jeremiah Riehl – Nature School Director, Skills fiend
Jeremiah has been working as an outdoor educator at Circle R Ranch for ten years. Six years ago he started running his own Forest School programs for homeschool families, as well as Coyote Mentoring days for kids on weekends. He has training in survival skills, mentoring, leadership and permaculture design. In 2011 he began developing a permaculture Forest Garden which he uses to teach Earth stewardship and Ecology. He loves to sculpt things with his hands, from carving wood and stone to making cordage and primitive tools. He is immensely grateful to have any opportunity to share his passion and knowledge of the land. He is also a writer, musician and father of an 18 month old boy named Sage.
Liam Farnworth aka Bob aka Quazar Bellybongo – Beast of the Feast
Circle R has been a special place for Liam since he was a wee tyke. He has known many types of leaders at camp, and always felt at home on the land at Circle R. He had the joy of participating in the Leadership Adventure Program (LAP) and Leaders in Training (LIT) at Circle R, as well as being a camp councillor for four years. He is very excited to return to Circle R and offer his creativity and passion for working with kids. Let’s get back to nature and find the wild within!
Wendy Bestward – Grandmother Goodness
Wendy is a recently retired Kindergarten Educator with a love of the outdoors and children. Wendy loves discovering the wonders of nature. She is excited to share hands-on experiences with others to deepen their connection to nature. Some hobbies include hiking, paddling, reading, exploring, nature crafts, jamming on the ukulele, spinning, yoga, practising mindfulness, gardening and loving life. She feels a deep connection to nature, and is a lover of animals, friends and encourager of all.
About Circle R Ranch
Circle R Ranch is located on 220 acres of mixed deciduous woods and fields and swamps and ravines, south-west of London, Ontario in what is considered the Carolinian zone. The Ranch has been active as a family-run summer camp and outdoor recreational facility since 1965. Founded by Milly and John Russell, the business continues to be a multi-generational enterprise focused on sharing the beauty and diversity of the land with other people of all ages.
We acknowledge that Circle R Ranch is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Attawandaron (Neutral), and Wendat peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties, specifically the McKee Purchase (Treaty #2) signed on May 19, 1970. We feel immensely grateful for the caretaking done by all Native people who lived on or passed through the land in the past. We give thanks for their protection of the life-giving waters which snake through the land, now known as the Dingman creek, which meets the Thames watershed in Delaware. For their care of the ancient groves of oak and beech and maple, of black walnut and hackberry and mulberry, which continue to grow and stand tall and feed so many beings throughout the land. For their tending and connection to the wild ones of the land, which have so much to teach us; the white-tail deer, the coyote and racoon and squirrels and chipmunks, as well as the light-bodied birds who fly through the trees, singing their songs and welcoming the day, as well as the Eagle and Hawk who soar above the land and share with us their vision.
General Daily Flow*
- Opening, Song and Welcome
- Story or Inspiration
- Motivating games
- Focused activity
- Hike, Explore, Play
- Hike, Explore, Play
- Sit spot time
- Circle time
- Hike, Explore, Play
- Story of the Day
**based on the Eight Shields model for Nature Connection
Circle R Nature School has so many awesome opportunities to learn and grow. Whether it is learning empathy from visiting the horses, or following a set of deer tracks through fresh snow, their is always something happening on the land to notice and study. Some activities options include:
- skiing or snowshoeing
- maple syrup production
- wild animal tracking
- hanging with the horses and farm animals
- primitive skills and survival/bushcraft skills
- shelter building
- nature art and crafts
- wood carving and knife work (for older kids)
- fire building
- wild food foraging
- tree and plant identification
- birding and bird language
- sit spot time
- rock hounding
- pond and stream studies
- owl prowl
And much much more…….