Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Children of the Earth Foundation

3,978 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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

33 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!

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!

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

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I attended a family course with my ten year old son, but I am also an educational professional with much experience in program design and supervision. COTEF's programs are among the best I have ever witnessed or read of. Their programs align with their mission and educational goals from the ground up; having knowledge of their content I can see deep connections and foreshadowing of future, higher-level learning even in their beginning lessons. Their staff are extremely well trained, with skill in the content and teaching methodology, and much patience and positive reinforcement. For staff and volunteers this is obviously a labor of love. Add that to thorough skill and training and you have a brilliant program.

WHAT they teach at COTEF is unique and important. Their content offers authentic educational experiences that align with the natural sciences but go beyond that to provide students insight into self, society, nature. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

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

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

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

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

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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 !

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

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Excellent organization with a purpose that is so necessary in today's world. What could be a more noble, more important task than helping our youth better appreciate the world they live in? Their promotional video brought me to tears; I have nothing but the greatest respect for the magic they're creating with kids. Prayers and best wishes for continued success into the future!

Review from Guidestar

4 jolanna

Client Served

Rating: 5

Children of the Earth Foundation is an organization which has the potential to impact the world in a profound way. This is my testimonial: My fiancés son has the

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My time spent with this organization was one of the best weeks of my life. I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the instructors and the immense knowledge they had to give about the earth and living naturally. The philosophy of Tom Brown Jr and COTFEF is essential education for all people; even just one class will help give us all a deeper appreciation for our planet, and the connection we need to live in balance.

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

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

COTEF is a superb organization that provides a unique and vital curriculum to peopl of all ages from all walks of life. I once worked with COTEF on an event that connected over 300 kids from NYC public schools to nature in a fresh and exciting way in just one afternoon. Everyone associated with this organization is inspired and dedicated, and only good things can come from supporting them.

Review from Guidestar

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome place to take your family and introduce them in a playfull manner back to the joys of being in the woods.

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son participated in COTEF summer programs in NJ for five years. The programs and the staff were fantastic. Not only did he learn outdoor survival skills and gain reverence for the earth, he developed a confidence to follow his own path. As a first year participant he was honored to carry

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

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I took a teacher training with COTEF in California and came home with great energy, activities, and renewed passion for connecting myself, friends, family, and students with the Earth. At the training we sang and played and sat on the ground. Simple, profound, beautiful!

Review from Guidestar

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

COTEF is a fantastic organization that helps connect kids and families with each other and the Earth. The skills and lessons learned are vital for treating ourselves, our communities, and our home with compassion and respect.

Review from Guidestar