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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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...

Review from Guidestar

Paul82

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

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:

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar