Vaskebjorn: 4th Annual Forest School Congress of the Midwest
Vaskebjorn is the ultimate gathering of educators: a place for sharing innovative approaches and ideas to enhance place-based learning in wild spaces. The first Vaskebjorn was held in 2016 at Raintree School in St. Louis and many educators have enjoyed an intimate, dynamic experience at their beautiful Reggio-inspired school over the past three years. As Vaskebjorn begins to travel the Midwest, it finds its home for 2019 at Prairie School of DuPage in Wheaton, Illinois, just 30 miles west of Chicago. Participants will enjoy a relaxing weekend, with optional overnight camping on-site, to connect with fellow educators, deepen their understanding of place-based education, and hone outdoor education and forest school practice through hands-on sessions. Sessions include, but are not limited to: art, music, traditional skills, forest school administration, tool safety, and campfire cooking.
ALL MEALS ARE INCLUDED- look forward to pizza from a brick oven, gourmet s'mores, delicious hearty salads, robust soups and more. Whether you are an experienced outdoor educator, new to education, teach in a public school setting or non-school setting such as a forest preserve or nature center, this conference is for YOU. The keynote address, Place identities, self-identities: How place-based education can help students negotiate a sense of self in an interconnected world, will be presented by Emilian Geczi. Emilian Geczi is director of the Natural Start Alliance, a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education dedicated to driving excellence and leadership in the early childhood environmental education field, bringing quality environmental education programs to more young children, and promoting messages, policies, and research that support nature-based early childhood education. Prior to this role, he worked for the Chicago Wilderness Alliance where, as coordinator of its Leave No Child Inside initiative, he helped to align dozens of agencies and organizations for collective impact on the amount and quality of time children spent in nature. Emilian has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and is originally from Romania.