April/May Forest Explorers

Wed, Apr 14, 2021 - Wed, May 26, 2021
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Meet at Los Alamos Nature Center
2600 Canyon Road

Audience: Children
Admission: $140/non-member, $120/PEEC members.



PEEC is excited to continue offering Forest Explorers Hike and Play in April and May. This 3-hour drop-off program provides the opportunity for kids to go on hikes from the nature center for self-directed play in the canyons, creeks, and surrounding forest. Children will build forts, make observations, and learn to identify different plants and animals. Forest Explorers encourages children to have fun outside while working cooperatively, building gross motor skills, and learning more about the local ecology. Sessions will be taught by PEEC environmental educators.

Forest Explorers will meet from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26 (four sessions). We'll spend most of our time exploring the canyons and forests near the nature center. Drop off and pick up will take place at Los Alamos Nature Center. Children should come prepared to be outside for the entire time, wear winter boots and dress appropriately for the weather, including rain and snow. This is an all outdoor program and children should wear or bring clothing to stay warm and dry in all weather conditions. Participants also need to bring a face mask or cloth covering and backpack with a water bottle and snack (a full list of "what to bring and wear" will be sent to parents before the program begins). Please note that this is a screen-free program. Phones, cameras, and other electronic devices should be left at home. Group leaders will have phones for taking photos and to be contacted in an emergency. Space is limited to 16 explorers (two groups with eight children each) and registration will open at 9 AM on Wednesday, March 31.

Participants must be currently in grades 1, 2, or 3. PEEC educators will divide up registrants into groups.

Addressing COVID-19: PEEC staff continues using recommendations from New Mexico Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Camp Association, Association for Nature Center Administrators, and many other organizations to develop COVID-Safe practices for our programs. By staying in small groups, avoiding mixing, wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, and implementing strict health guidelines for participants and staff, we aim to avoid spreading the virus. During registration, you will be asked to read and agree to a waiver statement. This includes details about participant requirements, such as behavior and other expectations, drop-off and pick-up procedures, daily health screenings, and more. Please read the waiver carefully.

Admission: $140/non-member, $120/PEEC members.

Frequently Asked Questions about PEEC’s COVID-Safe Practices for Youth Programs

What is included in the daily health screening?

On the first page of registration, you will be required to agree to a waiver statement that includes the daily health screening questions. They include asking about household illness, a no-contact temperature check, recent medication, etc. A parent/guardian must agree to all of these terms in order to drop off at each program session. Click the “Click here to register online” button above and scroll all the way down to see the entire waiver. All staff and participants will undergo daily health checks.

What will PEEC do if a staff person or child attending the program tests positive?

PEEC’s plan involves parent notification and patient isolation until the end of the day program. All health and safety concerns will be reported immediately to the New Mexico Department of Health so they can implement contact tracing. Sick individuals and those within the sick individual’s group will not be allowed to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation. 

Do children or youth exercising or playing outdoors need to wear masks?

The New Mexico Department of Health's guidance for youth programs indicates that "masks are required for adults in public settings and recommended for children three and older, with exceptions for eating, drinking, swimming and medical requirements". So, as much as possible, we will be encouraging all participants to wear their mask during the program. Adults dropping off or picking up from PEEC programs will be required to wear a mask.

Of course, the health and safety of the children in our care is still our top priority, so we won’t force anyone to wear a mask if it will cause them harm (emotional or physical). The mask guidance for children and youth states that “teachers should use their professional judgement; if the emotional harm done by wearing a mask outweighs the potential physical benefit, a mask should not be worn.” In this case, we will continue to remind un-masked children to maintain greater physical distance from others.

Will all participants be from our local geographic area?

Yes, to comply with NMDOH requirements for youth programs, participants and staff will avoid traveling great distances to attend the program. NMDOH recommends participants live within 50 miles of the program location.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.