Why GreenPlay?

GreenPlay began in 2009 as the culmination of a dream that all of the children in our community have the chance to grow up with a keen sense of the place where they live . . . the towns and cities and green places in Marin County. By connecting to the natural world, children can develop a sense of meaning and belonging that will give them the ability to adapt and be resilient regardless of what lies ahead. Childhood memories and an understanding of the power of this land will ensure that our children will be involved in its future and bring intention to the decisions that will be made in years to come.

It wasn't so long ago that I discovered that I was speeding through life without intention. The good fortune of discovering a few strong mentors to show me another way, and all of the discoveries that followed, set me on a more thoughtful track. As a result, 100% of my energy is now focused on making sustainable lifestyle choices and helping to support others who understand that each of our individual actions affects all of the rest of us and our home, the Earth.

Place and relationship-based education ensures that children establish strong bonds with the place where they grow up. Experiential learning allows them to learn by doing and become empowered as a result. They come to understand that decisions that serve the long-term interests of the community are fundamentally more solid than those that serve short-term whims. They know what grows here in what season. They know why humans settled in one place and not another. They know the names of the animals that roamed here 5000 years ago and the names of the ones that roam here now. After one GreenPlay restoration session, they have given more back to their community than most have in a lifetime. This place and its inhabitants (human and otherwise) are our children's shared history.

Let us help you give your children the gift of their history. Only by understanding what has come before, may we forge ahead.

Best wishes,

GreenPlay People

Founder/Camp Director/Camp Guide - Julie Hanft is the founder and Director of GreenPlay. She has worked in environmental education for several years with various groups and organizations including the Greenwood School Nature & Environmental Studies Program, Tree Frog Treks, the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and the Marin Montessori School. Julie has a Certificate in Natural History and a Certificate in Environmental Science from the College of Marin, received sustainability training at Dominican University and has a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from the University of Miami. Julie is a member of the Environmental Forum of Marin and the founder of the Marin Open Garden Project. Julie lives in Mill Valley.

Camp Guide - Lisa Landolina was raised in Mill Valley. During high school and college, Lisa worked as a public school aide and a children’s art facilitator at a non-profit organization for underprivileged youth. Lisa graduated with a double major in Elementary Education and Italian Studies from Prescott College in Arizona. Since college, Lisa has been working as a teaching assistant, while following her dream of traveling and visiting different cultures. She is thrilled to be at GreenPlay for a second summer and is looking very forward to sharing and enjoying with campers the beautiful environment of Marin! Lisa lives in Mill Valley.

Camp Guide - Melissa Witte is an avid birder, backpacker, organic gardener, and self-described jill-of-all-trades. She has worked as a field biologist, gardening teacher, and naturalist, and recently earned her credential to teach high school science, as well as a Master of Science in Education. Her work as a field biologist includes monitoring Piping Plovers & sea turtle nests, banding songbirds, educating at a fall raptor migration site, studying Rhinocerous Auklets, and tracking Black-backed Woodpeckers. Her favorite pastimes include watching butterflies lay eggs and ladybug larvae scurry around in her garden, and starting native plants from seed, as well as scouting for snakes, lizards, and other critters. She is thrilled to interpret and observe the natural world with people of all ages and looks forward to expeditions and adventures with GreenPlay this summer. Melissa lives in Petaluma.

Camp Guide - Tasha Rosekrans was born in raised in Mill Valley.  As a child and a teen her passion was playing soccer.  When she was a junior in high school she attended the TEAM school, an alternative school program for juniors in the Tam School District focusing on outdoor education. During this year she got the opportunity to do three backpacking trips.  One in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, one in Joshua Tree and the last one on the Lost Coast Trail in Humboldt.  After graduating, Tasha went to the University of Colorado at Boulder, mostly drawn to the area because of the abundance of natural beauty the Rocky Mountains behold.  When she wasn’t studying, Tasha spent most of her time snowboarding or hiking.  During her summer of 2011 and 2012 she joined the team at GreenPlay Camp and loved exploring all the natural wonders our beautiful place has to offer with the youth of Marin.  Over the last year Tasha moved to Kauai and just returned from a three month adventure in Asia. She is very excited to spend this summer working at GreenPlay Camp, instilling environmental values and a passion for the outdoors in all of our campers. Tasha lives in Mill Valley.

Camp Guide - Rhea Stewart-Laws, a Marin County native, is a self-proclaimed “nature freak.” She discovered her passion while attending the TEAM program during high school, an experience that taught her how to survive in the wilderness and to appreciate the natural world. After a brief stint traveling the globe and five years studying fashion design in New York City, she returned to Marin in order to pursue her true passion – nature. While obtaining an AA degree at College of Marin in Natural Science, she honed her naturalist skills, learning how to watch birds, track animals, and to see nature as an interconnected web between the living and non-living. In her off-time she prefers to spend her days hiking, birding, camping, cycling, swimming, basically anything that gets her outside. Soon she will complete her degree in Environmental Studies at Mills College, where she is currently conducting research on urban lake environments. Rhea particularly enjoys providing environmental education to kids and brings over fifteen years of childcare experience to GreenPlay. 

Employment Opportunities

GreenPlay hires some of the best outdoor educators in the Bay Area. All of the instructors are trained in First Aid and CPR. They also have extensive experience leading groups of young people and teaching in the outdoors. We require that instructors be at least 21 years of age or older, have a clean driving record and no criminal background. We specificially hire men and women who love working with children and can effectively share their passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors.

If you are interested in working as an instructor for GreenPlay, please email your resume and cover letter, including references, to: work@maringreenplay.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes GreenPlay different from other outdoor education programs?
GreenPlay takes children to the heart of the place where they live. Camp sessions are focused around learning about the tapestry of Marin's landscape, its history and its seasons, giving children the opportunity to gain insights into the natural rythym of their place. We focus on more than the natural world. Where and why humans settled certain areas and how those areas have changed as a result are examined and explored. And we undertake this adventure by inspiring curiosity and experiential learning through fun. Camp is not just about each child as an individual, but about the impact he or she can make working side-by-side with fellow campers on projects that improve the community.

What is your staff and what is the staff to child ratio?
GreenPlay staffs each camp session with a naturalist instructor who is a college graduate (trained in the ecology of the Marin area) and one or more high school graduate or current college student assistants. Our adult to child ratio is 1:6. We adjust this ratio as necessary to meet the ages and needs of the particular children enrolled in the session.

Earth Adventurers is a mobile camp. How do you get around?

We use fuel efficient 6-12 (never 15) person fuel-efficient vans driven by licensed, responsible adults.

How can I access Flickr photos of my child?
You received a confirmation email when you signed up for the program that contained sign in information for the Flickr photo site. Please send an email to info@maringreenplay.com if you need sign in information.

How long are you actually hiking? What if my child gets tired?
All of our hikes are broken up by games and side explorations of what we encounter on the trail. Water breaks are encouraged.

Is lunch provided?
We ask that all campers bring a waste-free lunch. Please let us know if you need suggestions for making your child's lunch waste-free. We provide healthy snacks in the mornings and afternoons and as needed.

What will the campers do if it is raining?
Typically, the summers in this part of California are hot and dry and rain is infrequent. However, depending on our location, we will seek indoor refuge. If an indoor space is not convenient, we use the moment as an opportunity to show children how to make a shelter.

Is extended care available?
FREE prearranged, extended care is available from 8-9 AM and from 4-5 PM!

We want to help! Email or call us with any additional questions you may have about GreenPlay Camp.

Contact the GreenPlay Team - 415.264.2828 - info@maringreenplay.com
Copyright ©2009-2014 GreenPlay. All Rights Reserved.

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