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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Children & Youth, Education, Environment, Environmental Education, Sports, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Ensuring the survival of future generations by guiding youth and community to a pure connection with the Earth.

Target demographics: Programs are offered for children and teens age 4 to 17 and their families and for groups such as schools, homeschool associations, boy and girl scouts and others who desire to reconnect children with nature.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 250 children to make a deeper connection with the Earth

Geographic areas served: NJ, NY, PA, & MA

Programs: In this program, youth and teens age 4-17, and their parents or guardians attend a week learning survival, tracking and nature awareness. They learn the ancient skills of making fire without matches, how to make shelters from the landscape, collecting edible and medicinal plants and much more. All teachings help participants change their relationship with the natural world, learning respect and appreciation for what we take from the land to sustain ourselves. So many leave transformed by this new relationship with the Earth.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Cynthia58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Children of the Earth are focused on helping individuals learn skills to do many things including appreciating all things about nature and the natural world; helping to maintain said natural world; how to live in the natural world with a minimum of technology, to the benefit of all concerned. Learning to survive in the wild without benefit of electricity, technology, internal combustion engines, etc...is a skill that never goes to waste, even while living in a Manhatten apartment.

The COTEF's current location is a lovely woodlands, nearly virginal again having survived 'technology' at various levels for many years, COTEF in conjunction with the landowners are endeavoring to return it to it's vernal best with careful and judicious pruning of the woodland, re-introduction of native plant life and utilization of various natural resources present in abundance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer I attended COTEF's Family, Youth and Teen Experience as a volunteer. I brought along my two grand daughters and 14 year old cousin. The were all excited as soon as they found out they were attending - the girls practicing shelter and my cousin starting a bow drill kit for fire. But the lessons they learned once they arrived helped them blossom in to new, more self assured people. The were able to learn from a fantastic staff who nurtured, protected and guided them every moment of every day. They met like minded peers and realized they had an even deeper connection to nature and the earth. They were nourished by a wonderful head chef with delicious healthy foods, some of which they'd never experienced before! Their growth blew me away, as did the dedication of all the staff, Interns and volunteers. All three of the kids want to go back next summer, and so do I. What a fantastic nonprofit. Im so thankful these skills are being passed on to all of us!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When COTEF offered a week in Aspen, Colorado (June, 2010), I offered my services as a high-altitude plant expert and as volunteer help. I, too, had learned plants the traditional Native American way and taught others as an individual as well as writing a local handbook. I was curious as to the approach COTEF used as an organization. I was so impressed by their method of approach, their leadership style and the results that they achieved with children, that I have now asked permission to do a research study of the group at the doctoral level. My intention is to bring more attention to this program and the traditional Native American values that are used in the program development.

Theresa (Tree) Leonhardt

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

COTEF is a fantastic organization offering children an experience that cannot be found at typical summer camps. Their volunteer/faculty to student ratio provides the attending children with so much personal attention and their emphasis on an experiential approach to wilderness skills leaves children with more of a sense of ownership than traditional teaching methods. I plan on sending my neice as soon as she is old enough, and my only complaint is that I wish it existed when I was a child.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most kids these days suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. The only way to cure this is to get them deeply immersed in nature. Since we tend to fear what we do not know, and we destroy that which we fear, the introduction to nature has to be done in a safe environment to gain the child's trust, as well as an environment where the child gains a burning desire to learn. Not only does this improve the life of the child, but it helps reduce the destruction of the environment since they now are aware that they are connected with the earth, and destroying it is destroying themselves. COTEF does a wonderful job of creating this environment so that anybody can meet Nature as a friend, and in the process teaches many skills usable in daily life as well as emergency situations. I have been teaching youth groups about nature and wilderness skills for about 12 years now, but when I took the training workshop (in 2008?) and then helped at a class , it changed my outlook and methods of teaching these skills!

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through the past several years I have helped out with a number of programs run by Children of the Earth Foundation. I always come away from these programs amazed at how much difference can be made in a child's life in just one short weekend. Not only do the COTEF programs train skills that are universal to our pasts, they also share the philosophy of living in harmony with the earth. Their mission and vision are essential parts of their programs. The programs are a great way to share with your family and friends what it means to become a child of the earth.

Review from Guidestar

4 lstein10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended COTEF in highschool and it changed the way that I've viewed the outdoors forever. Not only that, but it also gave me the confidence to stand up for the environmental issues that I believe in and fight to protect the earth. I will continue to volunteer teaching programs with Cotef for as long as I'm needed!!

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Participating in COTEF programs has been a fantastic opportunity for my daughters and me. Not only did it bring us closer to the earth, but also closer to each other. The week we spend at COTEF is always the highlight of our summer, and we keep coming back for more.

Review from Guidestar