Wild Learners – Nature-Based, Early Childhood Education

Play-based learning in action! Participants use natural objects to make imprints in homemade play dough


Wild Learners is a nature and play-based early childhood education program. Each week will explore a different theme and encourage curiosity and wonder for the natural world. Students will spend lots of time outside – rain or shine!

We are in the process of obtaining our Child Care License and anticipate finishing the process by summer 2024, however we cannot make any guarantees.

 Program Philosophy

We encourage families to read through our program policies and website to make sure that we are a good fit for your child. As an outdoor program, we spend a great deal of time outside. We focus on play and nature to guide participants’ learning. Please read our Family Handbook for more information on our policies or email us with questions at extension.tanglewood4h@maine.edu.


Flow of a typical day

Educator pulling young explorers in a sled

8:30-8:45 – Drop-Off at Blueberry Cove, Field Games 

8:45-9:00 am –  Morning Circle 

Students on ice

9:00-10:00 am – Child-Led Group Exploration 

10:00-10:30 am – Snack

10:30-11:15 am –

 Individual Free-Time 

11:15-12:00 pm – Lunch 

12:00-1:00 Rest Time 

  • Pre-Nap/Proprioceptive Activity 
  • Storytime 
  • Siesta 

1:00-2:00 – Facilitator-led activity 

2:00-2:30 – Snack (Blueberry Cove provides)

2:30-2:45 – Closing Circle 

2:45-3:00 pm – Pickup Window


Requirements for Participation

Due to the nature of our programming, participants need to be toilet-trained and able to stay with the group. There are no fences or physical barriers in camp, so being able to listen to staff guidance and stay with the group is incredibly important.

Participants should be prepared to spend 50 to 100 percent of their time outside. For a detailed list of gear needed, please see our family handbook. We strive to make gear available for any families that may need support in this area.

We cannot provide one-on-one support for participants due to the nature of our programming. If your child requires more support, please check out these resources!



Ages: 3 – 5, turning 3 before 10/15/24Enrichment time with animals

Dates: September 9th, 2024 – June 6th, 2025. See calendar for more details on holidays, vacations, early releases, and educator workshop days.

Schedule: 8:30 am – 3 pm, with a 3 or 5 day option

Group Size: 12 participants, with two dedicated educators

Registration: Registration for full time students begins March 15th, 2024. Registration for 3-day students begins April 15, 2024.

Open Houses: All families must attend at least one open house day prior to the start of the program. Register here!

  • Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 10 am
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2024 at 8:30 am
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2024 at 5 pm

Lighthouse with Clouds in the Background


  1. Read the Blueberry Cove School Programs Family Handbook
  2. Complete the Wild Learners pre-registration form
  3. You will receive a code to register online
  4. Complete all required forms and submit a deposit. You’re all set!


There is a one time $100 registration fee, which will only be refundable in the event that our child care licensing application does not go through.

Annual tuition can be paid in full at enrollment or in 9 monthly installments. Please contact us to make alternative arrangements. The first installment is due 2 weeks before the start of programming. The program runs from 8:30 am – 3 pm for 35 weeks. 4 – 5 year olds have the option to continue to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday with our After School Program (additional costs).

  • 3 Days: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday | $6,660/school year ($740/month)
  • 5 Days: Monday-Friday | $10,530/session ($1,170/month)

Financial Assistance

We understand that the cost of quality programming can be a financial burden and want our programs to be accessible to all families.

We have two ways to help lessen the financial burden:

  1. Flexible payment plans. Automatic payments can be set up in the registration system or you can manually make or send payments on a schedule that fits your budget.
  2. Apply for financial assistance during the registration process. We will help as many participants as we can on a first-come, first-serve basis taking into consideration family needs and available funds. Priority will be given to families with Adjusted Gross Income less than $60,000 but all applications and circumstances will be considered.
  3. Child Care Affordability Program – Subject to Child Care License approval TBD

Meet our Team!

Jillianne – B.F.A in Theatre from Young Harris College, M.S. in Outdoor & Environmental Education from Alaska Pacific University (APU). K-8 Teacher Certification from APU with a Praxis concentration in Social Studies. Jillianne has her Wilderness First Responder (including Adult, Child, and Infant CPR), Wilderness Lifeguard, as well as being certified in Safe Crises Management. Learn more about Jillianne here!

Josh – B.A. in Creative Writing with a focus on “nature and place as character”, and a B.S. in Outdoor Leadership from Young Harris College. M.S. in Outdoor & Environmental Education from Alaska Pacific University (APU). K-8 Teacher Certification from APU with a Praxis concentration in English Language Arts. Josh has his Wilderness First Responder (including Adult, Child, and Infant CPR), Wilderness Lifeguard, and Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer, as well as being certified in Safe Crisis Management and Maine Hunter Safety. Learn more about Josh here!


Nondiscrimination and ADA Notice

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 412, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5713, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

For more information or a reasonable accommodation, please contact us at 207.789.5868 or extension.tanglewood4h@maine.edu by 8/16/24. If requests are received after this date, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements