Time to Play. Time to Connect. Time to Be.

Our Team

Cassie Friesen.jpg

I feel most like myself and much more in tune with everything and everyone around me when I am outside. I studied Human Development and Education but stepped away from the path of teaching when I realized I couldn’t see myself working in a traditional classroom. I didn’t give it much thought until my oldest child turned three and everyone around me seemed to panic and wanted to know, “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR SCHOOL???”

I struggled to imagine my inquisitive child, who talked incessantly and never stopped moving, in a classroom. She was so engaged and emotionally regulated when we were outside… That led me down a rabbit hole of research on what outdoor based education could look like and -BAM- I discovered my passion.

Almost immediately, I met an ambitious woman who wanted to found one of the first nature immersion schools for children in Colorado. I spent the next year as a founding board member setting up a year round nature immersion school and the following 2+ years as an assistant teacher. I had the privilege of completing my Level 3 Forest School Provider certification through Archimedes Earth in the UK, which was truly a life-changing experience.

I have two little wild ones of my own and I love slowing down to look at the world through their eyes. Forest school is a philosophy that we live and breathe on a daily basis. You can often find me barefoot in the woods, creating nature art with rocks and sticks, telling silly stories for a laugh and if you need a buddy who is up for an adventure- I’m your girl! Come join me!

When I was kid, my most peaceful and vivid memories are of my time in the forest. I grew up near a creek and spent countless hours creek walking, finding critters and exploring. Those adventures became part of me and it’s so important for me to pass that on to my own children. I want *all* children to have the opportunity to experience themselves in nature.

 

My teaching career began in Maryland where I taught art in a middle school for ten years and then as a paraeducator for two years. Although I loved my students and the wonderful educators with whom I taught, I left questioning if there was a better way; if we were really doing what was best for students in our public schools. My biggest accomplishment in those 12 years had nothing to do with art or what my students learned and everything to do with building relationships.

 

My partner and I talked about moving out west for a decade and when the opportunity finally presented itself, we jumped. We have two sons and currently live on 19 acres in Evergreen with dreams to grow into a sustainable farm. After moving to Colorado, I became a facilitator at a nature immersion school for a year before traveling to the UK to complete my Level 3 Forest School Provider Certification through Archimedes Earth in the UK. It was a transformational experience and helped me discover how I could be the teacher I want to be. In forest schools, I get to prioritize my students, seeing and honoring them for who they are. I can meet them where they are that day, and we work together to facilitate their growth.