50 Days of Sharing
Owl's Hollow Early Learning

Over the last nine years we’ve built Clallam County’s most equitable outdoor nature school – delivering quality programming for local children and offering tuition assistance to families who need assistance to attend our programs.  

Olympic Nature Experience is able to nurture our community’s connection with nature through immersive outdoor experiences due to strong community support and financial contributions.

Together, we are connecting the next generation to nature, empowering future conservation leaders and creating ripple effects that impact families, communities, and our whole region. Your generosity makes that possible.

A gift that is meaningful to you is meaningful to us and will be gratefully acknowledged. You can contribute now at the bottom of this page or by clicking this link

50 Days to Celebrate Olympic Nature Experience

Sharing Classroom Activities

Thanks to Teacher Mahina Hawley for sharing her talents with us and photographing our classrooms this year!

Teacher Jill loves this open-ended craft: Collecting rose hips, snowberries, dry grass, and leaves and using them to make little people with students to inspire imaginary worlds.

Little people made of rose hips, snowberries, dry grass, and leaves.
Insects made from egg cartons.

Teacher Melissa loved creating insects from egg cartons. Egg cartons were cut into sections of 3 for the insects head, thorax, and abdomen then we added colorful feathers and used small sections of pipe cleaners for legs and antennae.

Teacher Mahina is so creative!  She helped outline the shape of the butterfly and asked kids to help gather the materials to create this butterfly inspired nature collage. Making art with natural materials utilizes many skills. Kids learn physical properties, patience, and acceptance (of the inevitable demise, as nature art is ephemeral), in addition to being a great way to express ourselves creatively and get some gross motor and fine motor skills working. This activity can be done in any season. Start at home by having kids gather materials and sort them by shape or color then see what they come up with!

Butterfly inspired nature collage.

Sharing our history

Adventure Club, started in 2012

In 2012, Olympic Nature Experience started out as our beloved family play group, Adventure Club. The play group was started by ONE founder, Sarah Salazar-Tipton. They met at what is now the Dungeness River Nature Center. Now that construction is complete, we are proud to be gathering there once again.

50 Days of Fall Sharing

Registration for our second session of Fall Adventure Club is now open! Join us at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles on Mondays or at the Dungeness River Nature Center on Thursdays from 10am – noon! This session is November 27 – December 19. 

In 2014, Olympic Nature Experience was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. That year, Owl’s Hollow Early Learning began classes 2 days a week at the Dungeness Recreation Area.

We have always aimed to be inclusive and to create opportunities for families to build connections with nature and to our community on the North Olympic Peninsula. In order to achieve this, our curriculum has been rooted in these five areas:

  1. Nature Awareness: Learning about plants, animals, and places and learning how to care for them
  2. Emotional Awareness: Knowing how we feel and what we want or need to do about that
  3. “Friend Power” (Community): Caring for each other, asking for help, and including everyone
  4. Resilience and Empowerment: Knowing we are capable, being willing to try, even when things are hard
  5. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Being curious, asking questions and finding solutions.

Our team is small and we all work hard to provide high quality programming for Olympic Nature Experience and to develop and maintain connections with our community, alongside many important nonprofit organizations in the region.  We are proud to have been recognized by the Clallam County Economic Development Council as a nominee for the Nonprofit of the Year Award in 2021 and congratulate the William Shore Memorial Pool for winning the award – it is well deserved!

What’s next for Olympic Nature Experience?
We are looking for a home! We have been fortunate to share an office with founding Board Member and longtime supporter Katy Bowman at Nutritious Movement for many years. As our 10 year anniversary approaches and our growth continues, we find ourselves thinking it’s time to lay some roots. 

We are thinking big and look forward to announcing some exciting ideas in the next few months! 

Sharing our philosophy

Our teachers practice “coyote mentoring” teaching philosophy inspired by Jon Young (8 Shields Institute).  A coyote mentor uses observation and play to awaken a student’s own curiosity about the world around them. Rather than teachers as experts conveying knowledge through lectures and facts, mentors  focus on the process of learning and discovery–acting like guides along a student’s nature connection journey through role modeling, storytelling, and demonstrating curiosity.

Our curriculum for each class is custom to our organization and is about 50% flow and 50% structure. We use the Coyote’s Guide to Nature Connection’s model of creating a daily rhythm that follows the flow of the cardinal directions for all programs.

*Our days begin in the East, like a sunrise, with Inspiration Time– students are welcomed into the classroom with open ended activities on our tarps or with shared games that align with our weekly curriculum. 

*Our day flows to the Southeast, with a focus on Activation. We gather together for circle time where we sing the welcome song, talk about our focus for the day, and make our safety and kindness agreements together. 

*Our day flows to the South, with a Focus. During this time, we journey together on our hike and practice awareness and observation of the natural world around us.

*Our day flows to the Southwest; here we pause for Rest. Following our hike, the students relax on their nest to have a snack and share what they are feeling grateful for. 

*Our day flows to the West, here we Gather and Share. This time of day is call “wonder time”. Students have time and space in nature to explore, wonder, imagine, move, or be still. It is where curiosity is sparked and the magic happens. 

*Our day flows to the Northwest, here we Reflect. Before hiking back to where our days begin, the class gathers for “forest music” to sing a song, play with rhythm, or move together.

*Our day flows to the North, here we Integrate. The class gathers in a circle for “Story of the Day”. Each student shares a moment from their day, what they observed, and how they felt while the rest of the class listens or engages with questions. 

*Our day flows to the Northeast, we bring our day to a Close. Families arrive to pick up their students, we say goodbye, and clean up the classroom.

Take action by Check

Payable to:
Olympic Nature Experience
PO Box 688
Carlsborg, WA 98324

Other ways to give

Donate goods or services

Contact info@www.olympicnatureexperience.org

Donate supplies:
Backpacks, Office Furniture and Plants, First Aid Supplies, Markers or Colored Pencils, Rain Gear or Tarps, Technology such as a new iPhone or Mac Laptop

Donate goods for resale:
Silent Auction Items for Annual Picnic Auction

Donate services:
Professional Consulting, Legal Services, Graphic Design, Event Planning, Catering

Family Fundraising Events, Outreach Events, Volunteering in the Classroom, Preparation for Class, Office Tasks, Work Projects on the Land

Our board is growing and we need your help identifying great candidates. A few people we’re looking for:

  • A connector who can use relationship skills to rally new supporters.
  • A champion who can mobilize support from corporate partners.
  • A foundation employee who can help us navigate institutional giving.
  • An executive who can leverage their leadership skills for a cause.
  • A party host who cultivates joyful gatherings and loves to plan events.
  • A philanthropist who wishes to super-charge an organization.

Olympic Nature Experience is a non-profit with 501c3 status from the Internal Revenue Service. All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and are tax deductible. EIN # 47-1002603