Coyote Club Wildlife and Survival Program
“Instilling a sense of wonder, responsibility and stewardship for the natural world through ecological studies and primitive skills exploration.”
PROGRAM: Coyote Club was developed by John Pazdon and Mary Mazur in 2007 as a way to introduce children to nature-based studies, native crafts and environmental stewardship. It is believed that today's children are suffering from what some call 'nature deficit disorder', and the creation of Coyote Club was driven by a passion to rid children of this deficit by getting them out of the house, into the woods and connected to their environment. Children involved in nature-based education programs often experience a deeper sense of self respect, self-esteem and a strengthening of their connection to the natural world. We believe each child has a gift, which is often revealed through wildlife observation, awareness exercises and primitive skills exploration. Our hope is that we will be able to recognize and nurture that gift, and encourage the child to further develop and honor those unique abilities, strengths and talents we all possess.
INSTRUCTORS: John Pazdon has spent most of his life exploring the rivers, lakes, bays and beaches of the NH seacoast. He is currently finishing up his degree in Coastal Wildlife Ecology at Granite State College, and will be attending UNH to complete his graduate work. John is a level 2 Kamana student, an intensive naturalist program developed by Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State. He currently resides in Dover, NH where he spends his time fishing, hiking, playing guitar and doing homework (Yuk!).
Mary Mazur grew up in Greybull Wyoming, a little town 1 hour east of Yellowstone National Park. Living in this area gave her the opportunity to learn about some of the most amazing creatures found in North America. She moved to NH in 1999 and has since got involved in ecological studies at Granite State College. Mary enjoys reading, tracking, traveling and goofing around.
Both John and Mary have been extensively trained in wild edibles, poisonous plants and wildlife hazards. They will be completing their Wilderness First Aid certification in April.
Activities: There are 6 major topics which we would like to introduce over the course of the program. These topics will run in no specific order, as the patterns of mother nature strongly dictate what subjects are best taught for the week below is a list and brief description of these topics:
Hazards/Navigation/Mapping: In this session, we will be learning a few rules of Coyote Club, as well as learning how to identify several local poisonous plants. We’ll discuss hornets, ticks and mosquitoes as well. It’s all about gaining knowledge to ensure safety. Learning how to find your way around the woods is a key element to nature exploration, so we’ll discuss a few ways to find the 4 directions, and make a simple map of our area.
Birds: Spring migration is in full swing, and we’ll be learning about ecology, nests and bird language, and much more. Bring along a pair of binoculars if you can, but don’t worry, there’s plenty to see without them.
Animal Sign-We’ll learn how to identify tracks, scat, hairs and feeding signs in this session. A good tracker can retrace an animals trail, and tell a story just from a few prints he or she finds on the ground. This is an extremely powerful tool for any ecologist.
Plants: We’ll be learning how to identify several local trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. We’ll learn what these plants can provide us, and even dine on some wild edibles.
Shelter: The Shelter Challenge! Build your own shelter from only the things you find in the woods. We’ll be there to give you tips and guide you along.
Native Crafts: This lesson involves many different projects, from gathering clay and making pots, to creating birch bark baskets. This is a great project for rainy days.
Items to Bring: Every student should come prepared to go outside, no matter what the weather. While we will be doing indoor activities on those days that are just too crummy to go outside, a little rain or wind will not keep us from exploring the great outdoors. Students should always bring proper footwear (boots, hiking shoes, old sneakers, etc.), long sleeved shirts, hats and rugged pants, as well as a journal to write in. We always provide natural bug spray for our students, but if you prefer to use something else, bring it along. Backpacks, water bottles, binoculars, and field guides are great things to bring along, but not as essential as the things listed above. It is super important that everyone do a thorough tick check when they get home. While the possibility of getting lyme disease in NH is very real, if the tick is removed within 24 hours, transmission rates are about zero. If you have any questions about this, West Nile virus or anything else, please contact us. Along these same lines, if there are any concerns, comments or questions, please feel free to get in touch. We love to hear feedback, and encourage everyone to give us a shout whenever they want to. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for being a part of Coyote Club, and we’ll see you in the woods!
Ages: Grades K-4
Session III: January 5 - February 16, 2015; Mondays (SKIP 1/19)
Location: Bellamy Park - parents will drop off and pick up at designated time at the Bellamy Parking Lot
Cost: $55 per child