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April 29, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 29, 2010

COTEF is a wonderful program for families and youth. In May 2009 my two sons and I attended COTEF's Family Survival Weekend in NJ. Many of the skills taught during this weekend experience are the same as those taught to adults in the Tracker School's Standard class, which I had taken the previous fall. I was impressed with the instructors' ability to simplify the instruction and teach the skills at a level accessible to the children. I was amazed at the accelerated rate at which the children learned the skills - each child made his or her own bow drill kit and I believe all had a coal before the weekend was through... one 11 year old gave the hand drill a try and had a coal within 20 minutes of his first attempt. Wow! The instructors and volunteers were outstanding. They are terrific with the children and know how to help them learn and keep them interested; it was clear that they really enjoy working with children. Also, their emergency preparedness was top notch. Two of the instructors were certified Wilderness EMTs and put their skills to good use patching-up one of my sons. (Thanks to Simon and Kat.) On our long drive home from our weekend experience, as we discussed the weekend and what we had learned, my eldest son said:

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping my sons (i) further develop their interests in the natural world and primitive skills, (ii) increase in confidence, (iii) share their skills and love for nature with others, and (iii) make new friends with common interests.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to secure a more permanent site in the NJ area and use all reasonable means to better spead the word about this wonderful organization, including leveraging the alumni network more fully.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching my children learn and grow and then share that with others. COTEF has helped to enhance and strengthen a common interest that my children and I share.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

absolutely fantastic! One of COTEF's great stengths is the great people involved.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

influence for good many children and families. I don't know a child that would not benefit from the family programs offered by COTEF.

Ways to make it better...

it could have continued for another week or more. The Family Survival Weekend left us wanting more.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finances and fund-raising (I would assume). I hope COTEF will have the resources to grow and to sustain itself year over year.

One thing I'd also say is that...

we'll be back for more. My sons and I are looking forward to doing a week long program and my daughters are looking forward to their turn in a few years. Thank you COTEF for the rich experiences you help facilitate.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 28, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 28, 2010

My son and I participated in the family program. I loved the whole 5 day experience. Just enough structure and skills but also down time to wander... The camp site was beautiful woods that stayed cool in the summer. My son loved the camp counselors, although at age 13 he would have liked more adventure probably offer at more advanced courses. The food was great and a special learning experience all its own.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Daily living awareness.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Respect all the staffs gifts...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The structure of the day, starting with morning bird language and sit time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very in tune with particpants needs and having fun and adventure.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have a permanate site that they owned, branch out to other parts of the country/world.

Ways to make it better...

My son could climb trees, have less safety concerns and more adventure.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

A permanate site

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 24, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 24, 2010

My son attended approximately seven classes thru Children of the Earth Foundation about six to eight years ago. As he is diabetic, I needed to be available, so volunteered during the classes. I was able to watch how the classes were conducted and was able to participate in many of the activities. Hands down it was the best experience my son could have ever had. It instilled confidence that to this day affects his life. Although he enjoyed the outdoors before, the classes increased his awareness and skills so that he is now an accomplished outdoorsman. This is comforting for a diabetic mother! The staff is exceptionally professional and skilled and have excellent skills in engaging children. I highly, highly recommend this school for all kids.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the mental growth of my diabetic son in his ability to take care of himself. Learning survival skills in the wild has given him the knowledge and confidence to survive and succeed in the world of people!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try and hold to the high standards of education of the natural world that the current instructors do.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the interesting subject matter and the excellent instructors that teach it.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

probably change the world, one child at a time!

Ways to make it better...

More classes were located in the middle of the country, such as Colorado.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

consistant financal backing.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If more children understand where everything they use and eat comes from in the natural world, and try to hunt, gather and create what they need, they would have a much higher respect for the earth. They would naturally have an interest in protecting it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

Children Of the Earth gave my son the confidence and experience he needed to jump into life with vigor. He is growing up with four sisters and was frustrated and glum. I talked with him about COTEF and he was very interested since Dad had been demonstrating stuff he learned at Tom Brown's Standard Course. He came back psyched about life and

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son's confidence and enthusiasm for life in general and outdoor skills specifically.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand to other locations around the US to reach a broader range of children.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Teaching from the heart. Passionate professional, experienced staff that absolutely love what they do.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Caring, professional, friendly, dynamic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Drastically improve the health and well being emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically of children nationwide

Ways to make it better...

He could do more courses.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial support and getting more students.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This organization has the professional presence of organizations 10 times there size.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

Brought my son to Coyote Tracks twice and this year we are going with his younger brother! Very excited!! My son was amazed at some of the things he learned at camp and has asked to go back again and again since then.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that my son will remember things that were told to him at camp 2 years ago when he normally has trouble focusing on tasks and ideas.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

pay the office girl more ;)

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the kids get excited about learning about themselves through the skills.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very patient and relaxed. Great with the kids!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Buy a new camp!

Ways to make it better...

I didn't get myself lost on the way there!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

having a permanent home, bringing in enough money.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

What an outstanding program! The teen experience gives children a real connection with the earth and the animals who share it with us. All the learning is by doing, whether it be camouflaging with dirt, listening to the bird language, making fire, walking silently, tasting wild edibles or tracking animals. The program teaches kids to be always be aware of what is happening around them, to appreciate the ordinary and to experience the extraordinary. It should be a rite of passage for all children.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way my kids appreciate nature. When we go camping they build a debris hut to sleep in, make fire without matches, help with all the chores and explore the whole area around them trying to figure out which animals live nearby.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Secure a couple of permanent sites where the programme can continue to evolve and grow.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Time to see my kids learn about the most fundamental connection we have to the earth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Knowledgeable, helpful and let the kids learn by doing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Secure a location where the forest is protected and more kids could learn about nature.

Ways to make it better...

It could have lasted a second week!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

People being prepared to step outside their "me, me, now, now" life for a week. Of the 60 or so participants I personally met they were all amazed by what children of all ages picked up.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This programme opens up a whole new window on life for kids (and their parents if they are lucky enough to go too).

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

Children of the Earth is something very special. There is no other experience that I can think of that has changed my life as drastically as the time I've spent at Camp Shepherds Mill. Be it the amazing people that work there, or the amazing things they teach, this is an organization that changes lives very much for the better.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My own life and the lives of those I know that have also been involved in COTEF. No-one I know can say that they've spent time at a class held by COTEF and not been irrevocably changed in some way.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Immediately give it back to those that currently run it. I feel that there's nothing I could do better than they already capable of accomplishing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way that any time spent at COTEF can so vastly improve one's awareness of everything that goes on around you.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing people. They were truly dedicated to what they taught and some of the kindest people I've ever come across.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Find a place of its own, where it wasn't dependent upon other organizations to keep it running. As it currently stands, COTEF has no place to operate, as the location it once worked out of cannot be kept open by the group from which they rented it from.

Ways to make it better...

I can think of no way that my experience with COTEF in the past could have been any more fulfilling or enjoyable.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a general lack of funds, as COTEF cannot achieve an independent state with what little money it brings in currently.

One thing I'd also say is that...

COTEF deserves anything it can get in terms of funding. It is an organization that changes lives, and I can think of no better thing to put money towards.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

This is an amazing organization that is providing education that can be found no where else that I know of. I simply cannot wait for my children to be old enough to begin full participation as a family in their programming.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the teens who have gone through the programs and are now working for the organization as adults.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the programs to the west coast so that the population in this geographic region is easier served.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the connection that is nurtured with the Earth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very committed individuals who are living a vision.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

serve a population of children whose families cannot afford the programming currently.

Ways to make it better...

my child were old enough now to be able to participate fully in the programming.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money, full-time employees, land resources to hold programs.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am inspired by the COTEF and will be more fully participating as my child matures and is old enough.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 22, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 22, 2010

COTEF in my mind is one of the top organizations in the country connecting children to the earth. Their philosophy is both healing and dynamic, the instructors inspiring and students inspired. They offer a great palette of programs across the country. Several young men that I mentor have participated in their camps, and come back deeply enthused and awake. I highly recommend their programs to everyone.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

alive, inspired and skilled individuals

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 21, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 21, 2010

This expericence was the corner stone of our summer last year. We are going this year again !!! The team, the people and place was A1 !

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my relation with my wife and daughter.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be the most happy person on planet.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being in nature with all the ancestral skills and mystery !

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

good person and they really love what they do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world !

Ways to make it better...

nothing I can think of.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

COTEF is the best thing

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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