Children are special and each one unique with talents that only need the freedom and opportunity to grow. What better place to grow than in the great outdoors where natural stimulation and new challenges are part of everyday life? Our commitment to our families is to provide a safe and encouraging environment that drives curiosity, exploration and the pure joy of discovery. Welcome to the Plein Air Outdoor School! We look forward to an exciting future together with you and your children!
A Note From the Founder
In searching for quality childcare for my son, I was told by the director of a prestigious daycare centre that my child would be taken care of better than any other centre, that the only thing better for my child than their program would be staying at home with me. I understand where he was coming from, but it is hard to feel good about spending all of that money on a childcare centre when you have just been told your son would be better off at home. It became my goal to create a childcare program which focuses on children receiving benefits they would not be likely to get if they were being taken care of at home by their parent. I wanted to incorporate time-intensive outdoor exploration, something many working parents simply do not have enough hours in a day for. I wanted to add highly nutritious meals and snacks, something which often is hard to achieve when you are on the go. I wanted to foster a creative environment centred on arts, literature and story-telling, something that is hard to find in today’s world of electronics and screen-based entertainment.
Plein Air Outdoor School was born. “En Plein Air” is a French phrase meaning literally “in the open air” or as we would commonly say in English, “outdoors,” which speaks to our nature-based, primarily outdoor program. Plein Air – “in the open air” also fits with this program in that we like to keep things in the open. We have an open door policy for our parents; you are welcome to drop by and check on your child whenever you would like (though we do encourage you to do so without them seeing you if they are experiencing separation anxiety). We have an open dialogue between teachers and students – teachers are encouraged to openly admit to the children when they do not know the answer to a question, and then they strive to learn something new together.
Kelly Wagner is the Director of Plein Air Outdoor School. She has 5 years of summer camp staff experience and many years of experience teaching Outdoor Survival in a wilderness setting. She has worked for over a decade as a lifeguard and swimming instructor with babies as young as 3 months old through to teenagers and adult learners. She is a dedicated field-naturalist, amateur ornithologist and hiking enthusiast with backcountry hiking and camping experience in three countries across two continents. She is the mother of a pintsized and fearless wilderness explorer.
Travis Wagner is the Lead Teacher for Plein Air Outdoor School. He has a Certificate in Wilderness and Outdoor Leadership from Prairie Bible College and 7 years of summer camp staff experience. He holds a current certification in Standard First Aid and CPR “C.” He is also a hiking and camping enthusiast with international backcountry experience. He is the father of a free-range nature baby.
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