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Behavior Guidelines Policy

Be Safe — Be Kind — Be Curious

Nearby Nature has three simple but important behavior guidelines for our programs: Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Curious. Our staff discuss these guidelines with program participants at the beginning of each program and review them frequently/as needed. Please review for yourself and/or discuss these guidelines with your child before each program begins. Note: After each guideline below we have made some suggestions about how you might discuss it with your family.

  • BE SAFE: When staff talk about this guideline they may refer to general rules such as – “stay with the group and listen to my instructions” – or they may refer to specific rules relative to the day’s activities such as – stay on one side of the path, use sticks for walking or building only, don’t touch poison oak, etc.)
  • BE KIND: When staff talk about this guideline, they ask that participants be kind to themselves (let us know if you are thirsty, hungry, or need to use the bathroom), other program participants (share, take turns, be inclusive, etc.), their instructors, and the natural world (pack out your trash, don’t step on bugs or tear plants out of the ground, etc.)
  • BE CURIOUS: When staff talk about this guideline they ask that participants use their senses to explore, ask questions, be willing to try new things, etc.

If these guidelines are not followed during a program, our staff will model non-violent communication and use a trauma-informed approach as a framework for addressing challenging behaviors. Our staff will:

  • Give a verbal reminder to participant about our guidelines.
  • Discuss with participant alternative and/or more appropriate (kind, safe, curious) ways to communicate needs/get needs met.
  • Facilitate constructive communication between parties if repair is needed to resolve hurt feelings/bodies or damage of any kind.
  • Inform the participant’s parent/guardian about the challenging behavior and ask for support as needed.

Nearby Nature has a zero-tolerance policy for significant unsafe behavior or violence at our programs. 

  • Depending on the severity of the unsafe behavior or violence, and/or if it continues despite a request for parental/guardian support, we may determine that a participant needs to take a break from our programs. This means that the parent/guardian may be asked to pick up a participant early on a given day, keep them home for the remainder of a specific program (ex. a week of daycamp), and/or not return for the rest of the season.
  • Depending on the nature of the “break”, Nearby Nature’s admin team and staff will determine what goals need to be met and what measures need to be taken for a participant to be included in future programs.
  • If a participant is excluded from all or part of a program based on the policies above, no refund will be available for the remainder of the current session.

(Updated 2-5-24)