I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.
Brenna Eldeen, mother of Everly (13), Anden (9), and Hutch (4)
"I have had all three of my children in taproot at various points in their lives. They have all loved literally every minute that they have spent with Michele, Zac, and the rest of the amazing group leaders. They come home just how you want your kids to be after exploring outside--filthy, exhausted and happy as can be! I feel that Taproot teaches our kids lessons and a love for our earth that they will carry their entire lives. Worth every single penny."
Dawn Anderson, mother of Kelby (13) and Erin (9)
"Our son, Kelby, did Taproot ASP from kindergarten through sixth grade; and our daughter, Erin, has done Taproot ASP from kindergarten until now (fourth grade). Both kids have done summer camp nearly every summer. We have felt so fortunate that Taproot has been such a big part of our children’s lives. It has been one of the major defining influences on their young lives – what they know about nature, how they appreciate and respect nature, how they can play and explore nature without structure, and how they interact with others. I love it that the kids can’t wait to show us the places they have explored with Taproot, and that they describe every place they go with Taproot as their favorite. They rarely come home from Taproot without a special treasure (shells, special rocks, bones, homemade dolls). I love it that kids can climb trees, get wet, get muddy, swim, canoe, fish, and catch creatures without someone telling them “no” constantly. I love it that they go outside when it is raining, when it is cold, and when it is perfect weather. And I love it that the Taproot leaders love and embrace nature and kids; that combination is irreplaceable. For them, it’s about taking advantage of every second the day has offered and sharing it as a gift with kids. Taproot is the gold standard against which every other summer and after school program is measured in our house. Thank you, Taproot."
Barb Canin, mother of Amiela (19), Ayla (15), and Misha (10)
“In addition to all his considerable talents as a role model and educator, Zac's love for and knowledge of the natural world make Taproot a delightful way for kids to spend their afternoons – exploring, playing, learning, and coming to more deeply appreciate the beautiful planet we live on.”
Claudia Corwin, mother of Max (15), Ava (14), and Ben (12)
"Zac's approach to outdoor education is holistic. He manages to teach important basic life lessons and skills, while at the same time helping the kids experience the very basic pleasures of being outside...Respect is a constant underlying thread, for both nature and people...Taproot is pure nourishment, an incredible way for the kids to unwind after the rigors and expectations of the school day. It is their time to soak it all in, all the while laughing and running. Rain, shine, snow, or sleet, nothing really stops them! Zac also does a great job bringing the outdoors to families. The Taproot plans for family education are especially exciting."
Jennifer New, mother of Taproot Students Bella (13) and Tobey (11)
"One day I was walking in town with my then-six-year old son and out of the blue he pointed to a tree and said, "That's a hickory." I looked it up and down and decided he was probably right. "How did you know that?" I asked, ever amazed by what he's managed to figure out thus far in life. "Zac Wedemeyer," he said. And that was all. Because those two words pretty much mean the gospel when it comes to nature and adventure for my kids. They've been "Taproot Kids" for two years, and I am so thankful and relieved. As someone who was able to ramble for hours in the woods behind her house when I was their age, I've worried about their lack of time in nature - so Taproot is a wonderful antidote!"
Rya Dunnington, mother of Taproot Students Aubryn (13) and McCall (10)
"We have been fortunate in our 13-year stint as parents to find amazing teachers for our children; people who are able to offer our children skills, awareness, and understanding about the world and themselves that not only harmonizes with our personal viewpoints but goes way beyond what my partner and I are able to accomplish on our own. Zac, Elesa, and the entire Taproot staff are such teachers, and, as a family, we are in their debt. They have given our children much, much more than the monetary value of the tuition we pay."
"There are so many times when I stop and think, 'Thank you Taproot!' When I'm at work on an achingly gorgeous day; when my daughter unflinchingly picks up a snake, spider or fish; when my son presents a carefully selected bouquet, stone, or other jewel from nature; when a walk around the block takes 40 minutes; when my children ask perceptive and thoughtful questions about life choices and the relationships between us and nature.
"So thank you Taproot -- thank you for being a crucial part of the village that is raising our children."