Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission: To create a quality forest school and enrichment program for learners of all abilities, where the magic of childhood runs free and nature is the greatest teacher to connect with yourself, each other and Mama Earth.

Vision: Preserving the magic of childhood

Values: Connected, Thoughtful, Caring, Family-Oriented, Child-Focused, Unstructured Play, Whole-Child, Magical, Natural, Unplugged, Limitless, Sacred Space, Empathy, Restorative, Dependable and Trustworthy.

Our Mentors

At Forest School, nature is the greatest teacher and our mentors consider themselves “co-discoverers”, gently guiding our learner’s innate abilities.

Each of our mentors are Level 3 Forest School practitioners and are endorsed by the Forest School Association. In addition to having diverse backgrounds, wild ones of their own, our mentors have trained for 300+ hours as Forest School practitioners and each year, we travel around the world to continue our nature connection education.

All additional staff and volunteers have undergone an appropriate process to assess their skills and suitability for working with young learners and have been subject to background checks. Qualified outdoor first aiders staff all sessions and all staff have access to a recommended first aid kit.

Read more about our wonderful mentors here


Nature is the teacher. We are mentors and facilitators, helping learners:

  • Connect with themselves
  • Connect with nature
  • Connect with others
  • Connect with what has come before us

We work with learner’s natural curiosity and passions. We gently motivate them to push their own comfort zones or “edges,” reading the ability level of each learner to provide appropriate challenges. We provide a safe, community-oriented learning environment where each individual’s gifts are honored and learners develop positive relationships with themselves and others. Learners love it when adults play, learn and wonder with them; as mentors we are part of the group too! We engage their imaginations and help them focus their minds and incorporate lots of sensory experiences to cultivate a true love of learning.

Young learners learn through play and mimicry. Most of what we do each day looks and feels like play. Leaders and volunteers are also role modeling dressing for the weather, being safe around fire, being active learners, being kind and respectful, caring for the land and more so the learners have positive models to mimic.

Every day, we use core routines to build the skills and habits of loving to learn, being happy, focusing attention, being physically active, being helpful, caretaking Mama Earth, being loving and quieting the mind.

Our Core Routines:

All sessions are designed and led by a Level 3 Forest School leader and qualified staff and volunteers. Each session is learner led and learners are given the freedom and responsibility to explore their interests and therefore initiate and direct their own learning. Our core routines include:

Giving Thanks—we start or end the day with a gratitude circle, and pause at other times as well to acknowledge what we value and think outside ourselves. We call in the 4 Directions and acknowledge those that came before us.

Hazard Identification—what every beginner needs to know to stay safe outdoors. We also work to develop common sense— “the least common”.

Sensory Awareness Activities—exercising our senses sharpens them and contributes to sensory integration. Attaching sensory information to a learning experience also makes it more memorable, and focusing on the senses relaxes and quiets the mind and body.

Games—sometimes organized, often not. Many are the wonderful, spontaneous creations of imaginative kids.

Animal Forms—thinking and moving like specific animals, we exercise our bodies, senses, and imaginations. Imagining being an animal may help a child learn how to empathize.

Group Singing and Storytelling—staples of every day. Songs and stories are used in so many ways: to inspire, teach, set the mood, lighten the workload, practice listening skills, bring a group together, and more.

Learners Telling Their Stories—For young learners, talking about what they just did is a chance to practice language skills as well as reflect on and integrate new experiences.

Ancestral Skills—such as shelter building, fire making, gathering, basket- and tool-making are hands-on activities that involve experiential problem solving and creativity; they also give learners a boost towards self-sufficiency and feeling “at home” in nature.

Celebration—inspires learning and builds community. There is always something to cele­­­­brate! Our celebration brings us full circle, back to gratitude.

ith a deep sense of loving and understanding the natural world of which you are a part. It leads both to an ethic of caring for Mama Earth and a sense of wholeness.

As a child psychologist and professor of childhood education, I was faced with this conundrum when my own children became of elementary school age. Knowing that our current school system is failing our children in its inherent inability to provide the opportunities for children to grow and mature across the various domains of development, I looked for the solution to this problem for my family. Which eventually led me to: forest school.
Forest school is a child-centered, inspirational learning environment. Forest school provides for an educational process to unfold in a supported yet unstructured manner, that is both natural and rich in opportunities for developmental growth. This model allows for ample amounts of play through exploration in nature, fostering physical, cognitive, and social/emotional expansion. Through immersion in nature, children learn about their relationship with the world, while opportunities for exploration and risk-taking build resiliency.
Children gain social skills in a real-life, natural environment, engaging in cooperative activities that foster problem-solving capabilities. Forest school provides an education that strengthens many areas of development at the same time. And while academic learning is a component, it is incidental, rather than contrived, which fosters a deep love of learning while allowing children to become exactly who they are meant to be.
– Dr. Jessica Scher Lisa

When I first met Jordan I knew things were going to be different. She understood neurodiversity, development and the need for children to be more than with a homogeneous group of peers.  Aishling Forest School is a safe haven for all children; tall, short, big, small, diverse in every way.  It is a safe haven for neurodiversity.  The guides nurture relationships, collaboration, and problem solving among peers.  The forest is rich with opportunities.  Aishling provides a safe space to explore all that the forest has to give. 

– Dr. Fern Baudo

I can’t say enough good things about this wonderful program.  I am so honored I have had the opportunity to have my child attend.  


This school is amazing, nurturing and nature loving. Jordan and Stacey are so warm and welcoming it is easy to leave our littles with them to explore, learn, sing and play in their natural environment. Our little springs up to go to forest school with a smile and easily transitions in to his outdoor classroom. Hands down we would recommend The Aishling School to everyone! What a great experience for them to have and to grow to love nature and hiking. We wish this school love and growth with nature

– JBM Smith

The Aishling Forest School is pioneering on Long Island an incredible opportunity for children which we feel so privileged to be a part of. The children learn in the depths of the forest, exploring the beautiful world that we live in, taking risks with tools and fire, and building invaluable character traits like empathy and respect. The teachers’ passion shines through. They have a carefully-considered and innovative philosophy of education whereby the little learners really flourish. They are sensitive to each child’s individual needs and the children are loved, respected, nurtured and cherished. Even the wider family feels the love. When I say, “It’s time for Forest School!”, my child lights up!

– Alexandra Sophie Radcliff

Aishling Forest School is a true treasure of the community. Leaders Stacey and Jordan create a warm and welcoming environment for all learners. They encourage each child to be themselves and do what interests them while still providing creative opportunities for play and learning. Stacey and Jordan’s ability to guide, but not “do for”, has helped my daughter become more independent, self-directed, and well rounded. Her Kindergarten teacher even mentioned it! Aishling has filled such an important need in our child’s life – I wish all children had the same opportunity!

– Erin Thompson

We want to thank Aishling Forest School from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the beautiful gift of the forest school experience. It has been the highlight of our weeks and the first thing we talk about when seeing friends.

We’ve all (mommy included) learned so much about ourselves and each other! We’ve become so much more confident in our decisions, brave in our adventures, and appreciative on our time alone. Even though we are so sad our time here is over, it makes it all that much more special to us. We can’t wait until our next forest school adventure!

– Bryce and Mackie

I just wanted to write a quick note about how much we absolutely LOVED Forest School! It was such a lovely group of people and kids, hosted by two absolute rays of sunshine, Jordan and Stacey. It felt so freeing to allow my little guy to just roam around and explore and play freely without constant streams of “don’t touch that!”, “be careful”, “stay over here”, coming from me. I loved watching him play quietly in their wonderful mud kitchen, or sit on a tarp with other baby friends and enjoy delicious vegan treats, or to watch his face as he discovered a beautiful bell on a dead log and play it loudly to his heart’s content. We would go home after Forest School, get in a warm bath, and then he’d crawl into bed or his stroller and have the most deeply satisfying nap. I couldn’t be more grateful to Jordan and Stacey for bringing this wonderful school to our neck of the woods.

– Elettra Wiedemann

Thank you, Aishling Forest School, for a wonderful experience! Our son really flourished these last few weeks exploring the outdoors. We hope to see you again in the near future.

– Melissa and Caleb

Antonio was fortunate to have been apart of Aishling’s pilot program and it’s EXACTLY what our kids need right now. Not sitting all day at desks with their mouths covered. If you’re considering home and/or world education, Aishling Forest School is the best of the best.

– Donna and Antonio

Our Guidelines

All mentors and learners participating are encouraged to be involved in the decisions and agreements about their environment and safety; however, there are a few basic guidelines that the learners will be made aware of at the start of their Forest School experience. Behind each guideline, there is a range of learning opportunities that will encourage learners to engage with and understand these guidelines. Each season, we will also work with our learners to co-create a larger Forest School Manifesto filled with agreements dedicated to themselves, each other and the greater world around us.

  1. The Forest School Way: Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care of Mama Earth
  2. Treat others as THEY would like to be treated (The “Platinum Rule”.)
  3. Honorably Harvest. Ask permission before harvesting, Take only what you need and leave some for others, Never take the first and never take the last.