Growing Wild Nature Co-Op Handbook

Our Mission

Growing Wild’s primary mission is to connect homeschool children and families to an immersive nature experience. Our hands on learning approach allows children of varying ages to experience the beauty and joy of nature, while also learning valuable skills and lessons in ecology and conservation. Growing Wild is a secular inclusive co-op, welcoming families of differing values, beliefs, abilities and backgrounds.

Fee Structure

  • $20 for the first child per semester
  • $10 for each additional child per semester
  • Children under 2 years of age participate for free
  • Maximum fee of $50 per family per semester

The fees charged will cover the expenses of the regular semester's activities, including supplies, materials, and other program-related costs. However, parents should be aware that there may be additional costs for bigger excursions, such as camping or canoeing trips, that are not covered by the regular fees. Any additional costs will be communicated to parents in advance, and participation in such activities will be optional. All fees must be paid in full by the start of the semester, and no refunds will be given for missed classes or events. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the fee structure or the possibility of additional costs for bigger excursions.

Weather Preparedness and Gear

Our co-op program will primarily take place at Hueston Woods State Park, with all activities occurring outdoors. In case of inclement weather, class cancellation notifications will be sent out by the leadership. Extreme weather conditions such as high winds, thunder and lightning, and extremely low temperatures or wind chills may require class cancellation. Participants should be prepared to attend classes in any weather, including hot and cold temperatures, rain, and shine. Proper dressing according to the weather is essential for everyone's enjoyment of nature in all seasons. To help with gear preparation, we recommend specific items for each season, such as warm waterproof boots, thermal or wool base layers, and waterproof gloves for winter, rain gear and sunscreen for summer, and a warmer sweater or jacket, gloves, and base layer for spring and fall. Participants should also carry a small backpack with a water bottle and a change of clothes to stay hydrated and comfortable.

Social Media Policy

During Grow Wild events, photographs or videos may be taken of attendees. Our group values privacy, and as such, any images taken at a Growing Wild event that includes individuals beyond your immediate family may only be used for personal viewing or sharing on private Growing Wild social media pages. Public sharing of these images on social media or through email distribution is strictly prohibited without obtaining the consent of all individuals depicted in the photograph or video. This policy is in place to ensure the privacy and respect of all members of our community.

Expectations for Parents

  • Remain on-site for the duration of the co-op day to help lead activities, care for small groups of children, and clean up at the end of the event.
  • Read and encourage adherence to the Expectations for Students with your child(ren). Parents are responsible for managing their children's behavior, and any unresolved issues will be addressed by leadership as needed.
  • Arrive on time for all activities; the schedule will be posted on our Grow Wild Facebook Page, website, and sent through email.
  • Follow any specific guidelines for outdoor activities, such as wearing appropriate clothing and gear or bringing sunscreen and bug spray.

Expectations for Students

We expect students to demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the space around them. We believe that adhering to these expectations will create a safe and respectful environment where all students can learn, grow, and have fun together.

This includes:

  • Using appropriate and respectful language.
  • Cooperating with and following the directions of leaders and parent volunteers.
  • Acting in a safe manner that does not threaten the safety of themselves or others.
  • Staying with the group at all times.
  • Showing consideration for personal and co-op property.
  • Helping to preserve the natural environment.
  • Reporting instances of bullying and refraining from bullying behavior.
  • Using technology only as a support for natural learning during co-op activities. Please refrain from excessive texting or social media usage during these times.
  • Dressing appropriately for a learning environment of mixed ages, which means avoiding clothing that depicts or references profanity, alcohol/drug use, or sexually suggestive expressions or actions. Please also dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear.

Cancellation Policy

We understand that unexpected circumstances can arise, and occasional absences are allowed. However, to ensure that the co-op operates smoothly and all members benefit from the program, we request that you make attendance and involvement in our activities a priority. As a member, you are making a commitment to participate in one semester of the co-op (either Fall or Spring). Excessive absences may result in having to move back onto the waitlist if you choose to return for the following semester.

If you know in advance that you will be absent from a session, please let a leader know as soon as possible. If you were scheduled to lead an activity, please ensure that a backup leader or lesson is ready and that your backup has all the necessary supplies to complete the activity. This will help us ensure that the program runs smoothly and that all members have a positive experience.

Privacy Statement

We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting the personal information you provide to us. We collect personal information, such as your name and contact information, demographic information, and information about your homeschooling experience, to manage and administer our co-op and improve our programs. We do not sell or rent your personal information to third parties, and we take appropriate measures to safeguard your personal information.