Flying Squirrel Adventures is a free outdoor nature program for young and old in the heart of the Valley.
We know that nature is always teaching. Flying Squirrel Adventures helps
facilitate learning about nature IN nature by bringing people together to share, explore and grow. We will help you connect with nature through games, activities, challenges, discussions, presentations, workshops and more!
The Flying Squirrel is a symbol of being curious and having fun in nature! Also, the flying squirrel is active all through the year, and is very social and hangs out with a group. Just like us!
The Flying Squirrels meet once a month in the Kentville Ravine – an amazing landscape and ecosystem which will serve as our outdoor classroom! The Kentville Ravine is an ideal location because it offers so much diversity and inspiration. We chose it because of:
- The diversity of ecosystems to be explored in a small area including the marsh lands on the north of the Ravine (Eaves Hollow)
- The health of the ecosystem – remnants of an old growth forest – provide direct experience of what a healthy environment looks and feels like
- Its infrastructure- parking, a shelter, and maintained trails
- It’s accessible by public transit
For a map of Kentville to the Ravine, follow this link! Meet at the parking lot behind the research station.
Every 3rd Saturday of the month, rain or shine, year-round.
Opening circle begins at 10 am and we wrap up at 12:15. Please aim to arrive at 9:45 to allow for transition time. We encourage you to bring a picnic and enjoy lunch in community after each session. So pack the sandwiches and plan to stay – once you get here it will be hard to leave.
The program is open to anyone with an interest in being outside and learning about nature. Each session starts with all ages combined in a circle where we chat about the plan for the day. Depending on the themes and topics to be explored, the group will do some activities together before breaking into a children’s stream and an adult stream. At the end of the session, the two groups come back together to share their experiences.
The Children’s Program:
The children’s program is led by experienced nature education facilitators who take the children on an adventure exploring a different theme each month. The program is responsive to the group’s interest and energy, offering a combination of games, activities, discussions and explorations. Getting our hands dirty is our mission!
Program leaders have extensive experience teaching children outdoors, and have up to date safety training and legal checks to lead young people. Activities are geared for kids from 6 to 12 years, but all ages are welcome provided the children can keep up with the group. Volunteers support the kids program to ensure a best-practice ratio of 1:7 adults to children.
The Adult Program:
While the kids are on their adventure, the adults will have their own (we want to have fun too!). Where the Ravine is rich in teaching about many different naturalist topics, the Annapolis Valley is rich in individuals who can make those topics accessible to lay people. Each month the program will be led by a naturalist, scientist or other learned individual who will share insights and experience on a particular theme or topic. The Flying Squirrel Adventures program coordinator will also be on hand to support the adult sessions and provide continuity between sessions.
The format of each session varies, depending on the lead, but will predominantly be outdoor and active. From time to time there may be an indoor session at the Kentville Recreation Centre (348 Main Street). Please check the calendar for monthly updates, themes and meeting point.
The Sharing Circle:
Each session ends with the adults and children coming together to share their adventures with each other. This kind of sharing circle is a great opportunity for inter-generational exchange as well as for encouraging listening and speaking skills. Sharing circles also increase retention of the days activities and learnings, and foster community building! We encourage everyone to stay until the circle is complete.
Flying Squirrel Adventures is being offered as a collaborative initiative of various nature-loving groups in the Annapolis Valley. We are thrilled to be running this program with the help of passionate and dedicated local nature organizations and municipalities:
Friends of the Kentville Ravine
Our program takes place in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.