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September 9, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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September 9, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I am a foster mom of many years and I attended my first Wilderness Survival Weekend with 4 children, ages 6, 11, 13 and 17. This was quite a challenge, especially with T, the 13 year old who was from the inner city. This weekend was so far from his comfort zone and he was determined to hate it. Since my hands were quite full with the other children, I turned to the staff for help. Not only did they devote time to T, they encouraged him, and cheered him on when he was the first camper to make fire. This weekend turned a street-tough inner city kid to a wilderness-smart young man. We left the weekend dirty, happy and at peace with the great outdoors.
I later took the Educators Class so I could learn their techniques in order to teach other children. I left that weekend smarter than the average bear! (Showing my age here). I am looking forward to next year so I can bring more children, and so I can go again!

Ways to make it better...

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

let them do it exactly they way they are now.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 8, 2013

My son and I did not know what to expect at first, but I quickly realized that the couse follows the same kind of skills that are thought at Tom Brown's Standard classes that I had previouly taken. However, the class is geared towards children and are therefore not as intensive as Tom's. My son is 13 and it was a great way to introduce him to the experience! He was afraid to do some of the night skills while blindfolded, but after he started doing it he had not problem. The staff provided a very safe environment for the kids to learn about themselves and face their fears. This kind of initiation into reality is what is needed for kids that are bored and disapointed with the made-up and un-natural society that we force them to get trained on. It was hard to leave after a week of experiencing this way of life. My only complaint would be that there was not more to learn and since there were not enough older kids to separate into age groups, most of the activities were done as a group (all ages together). Howerver, having said that, having the younger kids as part of the experience was a teaching experience. The young kids were not afraid to say what they felt from their heart! This has been trained out of older kids and adults and it is a great loss!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 31, 2013

My children tend to be very introverted. They shy away from those they don't know and rarely speak to people outside of the family. By the end of the Family Survival Weekend, they were laughing and playing with the kids and instructors alike. My daughter got up and spoke in front of the entire group during the closing ceremony. They felt very comfortable and confident in all the things they learned over just a few days.
The instructors and staff of COTEF have an uncanny ability to work with children from many different backgrounds and personalities. They bring out the best in them while teaching them things we never thought they were capable of doing. Anyone who has had experience teaching a group of kids or just bringing them to a playground knows how difficult that can be. The Staff handled it with ease.
The underlying work that COTEF represents is equally important to empowering our children. The hope for our children's future lies within us, but within them as well, and the skills they learn to connect with the natural world that will ensure that future lies within COTEF.
I hope to join my children at many more COTEF programs...

Ways to make it better...

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

...do nothing. This organization is doing a fine job in how it operates. More people need to know about it.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 22, 2013

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January 22, 2013

I know many groups and organizations claim to "Change" lives - but in my experience this one actually does. I sent my two daughters here for multiple weeks each over the course of several years and in both cases after just their first week the change noted was astounding. The change is difficult to describe but impossible not to notice. My first daughter completed her first week almost 10 years ago and still raves about her experiences there.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 1, 2010

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October 1, 2010

Truly an amazing experience. The peak for me was having my young daughter, who would not even enter a room at home with the lights out, say: let's go again!!! She was referring to an optional night time activity that involved following a trail through the woods blindfolded with no lights whatsoever!!! The staff and volunteers are amazing. I will attend again.

The Great!

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

The internal growth of my daughter, her self-worth and independence.

More feedback...

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

The growth of my daughter.

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

Absolutely dedicated to the ideals of COTEF.

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

Buy land for a permanent home.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 30, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 30, 2010

My son and I have gone the last two summers and we love it. We will be going again this summer. The Children of the Earth foundation is a tremendous contribution to our life.

The Great!

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

the way my child interacts with nature.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

it would've been a day shorter b/c my child was 5.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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 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

more

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

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