The Teen Naturalist Team (TNT) is a group of six teens who have graduated from our GRUNT program spend the summer teaching children about nature in their local parks and schoolyards. Our lessons are outdoors, fun-filled, hands-on, and science-based! We want children to have fun outdoors while also gaining an appreciation for the nature in our city.
Sample Lesson Themes
Owls in the City
Play owl games, learn about Portland's owls, and dissect an owl pellet (thanks to the Audubon Society of Portland).
Play games to learn about bugs and metamorphosis; explore your park/schoolyard while catching and studying insects and spiders.
Go on a scavenger hunt to find invasive plants that have invaded your park. Many of them can be used for crafts, medicine or food.
Stories and games about the trees in your park/schoolyard.
Crafts and games about our local feathered friends.
What to Expect
Each lesson is completely led by our teen staff. One adult staff member is present to supervise and provide support. Lessons typically begin with a story or skit to introduce the theme. Whole group games provide reinforcement for the information presented. Next, children are split up into smaller groups for hands-on exploration and/or crafts. We spend the entire time outdoors.
We are available to visit your summer camp for 1-2 hour outdoor nature lessons. We can accommodate up to 50 children at a time. Book now: our calendar is filling up fast! Cost is $3/child; scholarships available to schools/camps with 60% or greater Free & Reduced Lunch participation.
To check availability and schedule a lesson, email Kelly Rosteck.
Testimonials from some of our partners
- "Your topics were well varied, interactive, and exciting." ~ Sitton SUN School staff, 2009
- "I think the program is great and I'm very happy our kids got this opportunity." Sitton SUN School staff, 2009
- "They learned about bugs and how they help the environment. They learned about different types of trees. They also learned (and were very excited) about all the different ways they could help protect the environment." ~ Lane SUN School staff, 2009
- "In the plant class, they learned how to identify a Douglas fir. Many of the children searched for cones and talked about Douglas the mouse for weeks after." ~ Grout SUN School staff, 2009
- "They had a ball; all of the kids were eager to tell their parents about the day!" ~ Beaumont SUN School staff.