Free Rangers – Kids Who Can

Learn practical skills and get your hands dirty outdoors in the fresh air.

Give kids time to relax and be invigorated by nature

Explore nature reserves

Learn bush skills

Grow your own produce to cook

Care for animals

kidstree3web.jpg

*JANUARY 2021!*

Free Rangers Summer School Holiday Program

Turner, Jan 11th to 22nd.  9am to 5pm. Full day ($77) or half days, 9am to 1pm or 1pm to 5pm ($42).

All the usual outdoor fun, climbing trees, gardening, cooking over the camp fire and some bigger projects too.  Building bamboo irrigation channels and a pizza oven! Visits from furry friends.  Long days of fresh air and getting our hands dirty.

Just what summer holidays should be! Time to regenerate in nature.

Booking form available here.

Contact Danielle for any questions, queries or bookings.

Ph 0405467173

daniellekcook@live.com.au

Term Sessions:

Turner Primary- Mondays and Thursdays 3pm-6pm

Aranda Primary- Wednesdays 3pm-6pm

North Ainslie Primary- Tuesdays 3pm-6pm

Majura Primary- Fridays 3pm-6pm

$290 per term.

Bookings now open

daniellekcook@live.com.au

Ph: 0405 467 173

EXCITING NEWS!  A beautiful pony will be visiting us at Free Rangers this coming term so we can learn to groom, lead and handle horses.


COVID-19 Response: Please note that Free Rangers- Kids Who Can hold the safety of our students and staff at highest priority. In response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we have prepared a management plan to ensure the health and safety of all. This plan is in accordance with the ACT Public Health (Restricted Activities- Gatherings, Business or Undertakings) Emergency Direction 2020and will be updated as restrictions change. The plan can be found here (download). If you have any questions regarding this plan and the measures we are taking please contact Danielle on 0405467173 or at daniellekcook@live.com.au.

Panel 1

Who are we?

Danielle Cook, director of Free Rangers: Kids Who Can, has been a mother of children at Turner school for the past 10 years. She currently has children in years 4,7 and 9.  With extensive childcare experience, and as a teacher of contemporary dance, Danielle expertly manages groups of children with care, fun and warmth.  Danielle is passionate about the well-being of the next generation and the environment that they will inherit and manage into their futures.   
Danielle has a Working with Vulnerable People Card and a First Aid Certificate. 

Testimonials

”Danielle has looked after my 3 children many times over the past 12 years.  She has cared for them during their early childhood, primary school and early high school years.  Danielle is always creative and interactive with my children, facilitating craft, conversation, gardening, outdoor adventure play, cooking, etc.  My children have told me many times how much they like being with Danielle; I believe this is because she sees them as individuals and they feel heard and respected by her.  As a health professional, I also know my kids are very safe with Danielle, because she makes a conscious effort to stay informed about important health and safety concepts including allergy management and first aid.  I would highly recommend ‘Free Rangers’ to any family looking for after school care.”
Sally McRae, Registered Nurse/Registered Midwife

 

“I have known Danielle for over 10 years, as a dear friend, caring mother, and qualified dance instructor. Danielle has a warm and caring disposition, and a tremendous affinity with children and adults alike. Her approach to life and the environment is instinctive, thoughtful, creative and passionate. She appreciates and respects the differences between children, from the more sensitive and reserved through to those with a more energetic and rambunctious disposition, and brings out the best in all of them. I am so excited about ‘free rangers’, an opportunity for exploratory and creative outdoor learning that today’s kids crave. Danielle is the perfect person to guide your children on this journey of sensorial discovery.”
Meredith Wilson (Australian Cultural Heritage Specialist)

”I have known Danielle for 10 years since our daughters were in preschool together and have enjoyed her wisdom, warmth and humour in many settings.  In particular I have had Danielle as a dance teacher and have seen her teach both children and adults.  I observe her to be a skilful teacher who adjusts her communication to meet each individual and motivates us to grow.” 
 
Genna Ward, Clinical Psychologist

 

Panel 2

What we do

Care hours contact: Danielle Cook on 040546717

Time 3pm to 6pm

Days   Mondays and Tursdays (during term time)

Location

We have four possible locations. Parents will be informed of our pick up point each day.

  • Between 3pm and 5pm: Turner school Art room, Canteen or gardens.
  • Between 5pm and 6pm ‘The Friends Meeting House’, Corner of Condamine and Bent Streets Turner, opposite the Turner School oval.
  • When the weather is good we may walk to the nature reserves either at O’Connor Ridge on Dryandra St O’Connor or Mount Ainslie reserve corner of Duffy and Foveaux Streets, Ainslie. Both of these bush reserves are about 30 minutes walk from Turner school.

Parents will be provided with a map at enrolment.

What we do

At Free Rangers, kids can have unstructured (safe) play in the bush on the local nature reserves. When the weather is good (not too hot, windy, wet or cold) we will walk slowly through our urban green spaces (Haig park, Corroboree park and the O’Connor Wetlands), taking time to enjoy the environment and stopping for an afternoon picnic. Bailyn the dog will join us for our walks. Once in the bush, either at the bottom of Mt Ainslie or on the O’Connor Ridge, we will play, collect kindling or build cubbies. We can learn about our native plants and animals as we go. Both areas of bush are about 30 min walk from Turner school, so we are guaranteed to get some exercise but we can walk at a leisurely pace so no one is overly stretched. If we are going to the bush I will ask parents to pick up their children at a designated street address in the area we are playing, a map will be provided.

In bad weather, or as our gardening, cooking and animal projects require, we will stay at school where we have use of the art room and school canteen. If we are venturing out we will all use the toilets and fill our water bottles before we go. At school we will plant seeds and watch them grow, harvest and learn to cook in the canteen kitchen. We will learn what good soil looks like and how to compost effectively. Care for chickens, playing with our family dog, a worm farm and visits from larger animals are planned.

After 5pm when the school needs to lock up we have space booked at ‘The Friends Meeting House’ across the road from Turner School where we can learn how to carefully build a fire in an enclosed fire pit and cook damper and bake potatoes.

We can be inside as needed but my hope is that the children will rug up and we will brave the weather where practical, as is done in Scandinavian forest schools. If you are busy and keep moving the cold can be invigorating. It will sometimes be necessary to be indoors and then we can make bush craft or learn about our environment through theory and stories. As our pick up point will be variable I will be in regular contact with parents about our intended locations.

In terms of afternoon tea, children will need to pack some to bring with them. We will be having additional food when we cook and I can let everyone know when this is planned. In case of fussy eaters it is a good idea to have something packed on cooking days as well. If we become very good at food preparation it may be that we decide together that the children will not need to bring afternoon tea anymore.

Panel 3

Our Philosophy

 

Slow down.

Take time to see, hear, feel, smell and taste.

Relax under a tree.

Learn what it takes to grow food, care for animals and cook.

Having a go builds adaptability.

Everyone is very busy today, even our children. Technology brings us many wonderful advantages and easy conveniences. We run faster, jump higher and do more than ever before. The problem is that we can be left feeling exhausted and anxious by the rush. At Free Rangers: Kids Who Can we want to take the time to relax under a tree or to watch the clouds change. Walking after school, instead of being driven, gives us time to hear the birds and see the changing seasons.

Growing a tomato from seed and tasting how good it can be brings back the simple pleasure of real food. Understanding how much it takes to produce food gives children a real appreciation of its value and of the role our planet plays in providing for us. For kids, food always tastes better if they cook it themselves and growing food encourages them to explore new tastes.

It is healthy to dig! Learning to cook, garden and look after animals gives kids an enormous amount of satisfaction. These real-life skills bring a sense of achievement and confidence.

Having a go, rolling up your selves and getting messy is sometimes daunting at first, but it leaves kids feeling like they can tackle anything that comes their way.  Being adaptable and finding your own solutions creates resilience.  At Free Rangers: Kids Who Can children of various ages will work together, developing strategies for everything from protecting our vegies from pests to fairly sharing the pizza ingredients.  All children will develop leadership and teamwork skills.

 

Panel 4

FAQ

Is Free Rangers appropriate for my child?  Any child from kindergarten to year 6 who can clearly follow instructions and is able to walk for 45 minutes (slowly with stops) will be able to participate.  As we will be crossing roads and moving through the bush as a supervised group, parents need to be confident that their children can be trusted to follow verbal instructions.

What about Safety? Your child will be supervised at all times by a responsible adult with a current ‘Working with Vulnerable People’ card. A trained first aid officer will be present at all times and will carry a basic first aid kit. 

How large will the group be? Child to adult ratios will be no more than 16 primary school aged children to 1 adult.

Why do we need to sign an Indemnity Form? Some of our activities carry potential risks.  Parents will be asked to sign an indemnity waiver to indicate that they are happy for their child to participate in these activities. This is a requirement of our public liability insurance.  All possible care will be taken to ensure your children are safe. At Free Rangers we believe that for children to grow up into capable adaptable adults it is important for them to be able to take some risks. Our job is to manage those risks for children so they can get benefit from new experiences and learn to manage the adult world without fear.

What if my child feels too old or young for the group?  At Free Rangers the older children will be given a leadership role and take on the more challenging aspects of animal care, cooking, gardening and fire-lighting.  Younger children usually love the attention of older children and will be encouraged to challenge themselves by learning new skills and being responsible for the welfare of animals.

What if my child has allergies or intolerances?  We will make sure that alternative food is made available for children with allergies and intolerances

Questions about our bush reserve outings:

Heavy School bag? We will carry a cart for heavy school bags.

What happens if I need to pick my child up suddenly and you are out and about? Parents will be told where we will be and have a map of our route.  Once in the bush we will never be more than 10 minutes from the road and Danielle will carry her phone at all times

Toilets? At school and at the ‘ Friends meeting house’ we have access to toilets.  Before we go exploring we will use the toilets and fill up our water bottles. In an emergency situation we will carry equipment and hygiene products to make a bush toilet possible!

 

Panel 5

Contact