Inherent in our philosophy is the view that young people are strong, capable, and naturally curious about their environment; worthy of our respect and our celebration of their increasing independence; and learn best by directly experiencing physical reality. We believe that lengthy periods of immersion in nature, in weather of all kinds, teaches children to trust in their abilities, to become intimately acquainted with their natural surroundings, and to orient themselves as interconnected with and stewards of the earth. The richness of the natural landscape supports young people’s eager curiosity and ingenuity for creative interaction with people and the environment. Rain, snow, ice, wind, and heat over the changing seasons provide elemental parameters and opportunities. We believe that children benefit from the presence of adults (both professional educators and parents within the community), who care about them, trust them, encourage exploration and risk-taking, and are engaged in their own learning and risk-taking.
We embrace the spirit of family-centered, cooperative education and welcome parent participation within and outside of our program hours. At Home Base we foster a spirit of community that allows for individual strengths and weaknesses, and for differences in energies and commitments. We will enhance this spirit throughout the year, and grow and sustain our community, through volunteerism and regular family gatherings, parent education and speaker series, potlucks and all-family campouts, and regular formal and informal communication between educators and families.
We are excited to be a part of a growing outdoor education movement in the United States that has risen out of the environmental education, Scouting, camping, and early childhood movements in Europe and the U.S. over the past 100+ years. The Spirit of Adventure Council and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are a natural fit for educating children in what Robert Baden-Powell called “woods school,” the kind of learning environment and human dynamic that inspires lifelong learning and active global citizenship.
Within this site you will become acquainted with our mission and values, community culture and curriculum, and operating procedures and policies. Our program and policies are a reflection of and designed to support our guiding values/core developmental outcomes: Positive Youth Development, Social Justice, and Earth Stewardship. These policies apply to all members of the Home Base community: Children, caregivers, faculty, staff, volunteers, and visitors.
We are so happy to welcome you to our Home Base Learning Center community and are confident that you and your child will gain lifelong benefits from your experience here!
Dan Warren, Ph.D.
Amy Eva Alberts Warren, Ph.D.
Co-Founders, Home Base Learning Center
Community & Culture
Establishing and maintaining a strong sense of community where children feel emotionally and physically safe is the center of the work at Home Base Learning Center. Such feelings of safety provide the greatest opportunity for growth both individually and as a group. To this end the teachers and children work together to understand and meet individual needs in conjunction with meeting the needs of the group; working to support children in developing agency with an eye on interdependence and interconnectedness. Whole child-development, including social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development is nurtured. Finally, due to the demanding nature of the program and the output it requires from children, much attention is given to the daily flow, ensuring that high-output times are balanced with opportunities for group and individual reflection and quiet; thereby maintaining a feeling of calm and safety. These ideals are supported by the following:
- Safety – Help create safe spaces in the physical, social, and emotional domains.
- Love & Respect – This is the fabric that holds it all together, starting with self and extending outward into the community.
- Optimism – We assume goodwill whenever possible and believe that we are all doing our best.
- Proactivity – We seek to address matters at the earliest possible time with open hearts and forward-thinking minds.
- Courage to Confront – Because we believe that conflict is an opportunity for learning and growth, we commit ourselves to using dialogue to resolve conflicts.
- Responsibility/Accountability – Hold agreements with integrity. Be in communication when necessary.
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is…
- Trustworthy – We tell the truth and keep our promises. Honesty is part of our conduct and people can depend on us.
- Loyal – We support our families, other learners, our community, and the earth.
- Helpful – We are concerned about other people. We do things willingly for others without pay or reward.
- Friendly – We are a friend to all. We seek to understand others and respect those with ideas and customs other than our own.
- Courteous – We are polite to everyone regardless of age or position. We know good manners makes it easier for people to get along together.
- Kind – We understand there is strength in being gentle. We treat others as we want to be treated. We do not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
- Obedient – We follow the agreed upon rules of our family, community, and society. When we think these rules and laws are unfair, we strive to have them changed.
- Cheerful – We look for the bright side of things. We cheerfully take what comes our way and work to make the best of the situation. We try to bring happiness to the world.
- Thrifty – We work to make the most out of what we have. We protect and conserve natural resources and attempt to save for unseen needs. We thoughtfully use time and property.
- Brave – We have the courage to stand for what we think is right and to face danger even when we are afraid.
- Clean – We keep ourselves fit and clean. We help to keep our home and community clean.
- Reverent – We respect the beliefs, traditions, and sacredness of other peoples and places; we respect and steward the land we are on and the living system it supports.
The Home Base Learning Center staff is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all members of our Community. Conflict can be a great opportunity for learning and children are encouraged to work out conflicts as far as they can and when it is safe to do so. Teachers will be nearby to support and intervene when necessary. Whenever possible, concerns are addressed at the time that they occur. However, if this is not possible, children may be offered the opportunity to leave the group and talk with an available teacher or to “set aside” their concern until the next available moment.
Just as all people and situations are unique, so too are the conflicts and disagreements that arise. There are always many circumstances to consider; therefore, we employ a flexible conflict resolution strategy based on the ideas of nonviolent communication and restorative justice. Our resolution policy is designed to actively involve the learners, thus providing them an opportunity to develop the very necessary skill of diplomatic conflict resolution.
Non-Violent Communication Techniques
We encourage each other and the children to:
- Enter conflict resolution with the intention of finding resolution, not with the intention of finding fault or being “right.”
- Take time or find a space to breathe and relax a moment prior to conversation.
- Express our own needs and feelings rather than accusing, blaming, or pointing fingers at others.
- At the heart of many disagreements are misunderstandings, we strive to listen respectfully with the intention of really understanding another’s point of view.
- Be willing to take responsibility for our actions, even if no harm was intended. Avoid justifying ourselves.
- Work together to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties by being willing to make concessions to find common ground.