Four Winds Nature Program Volunteer Opportunities at the Village School (2021-22)

For many years NBGS and Village School students have had the opportunity to be actively involved in the Four Winds Nature Institute’s Nature Program (previously ELF), thanks to the volunteer efforts group of parents and community members. Even during last year’s COVID restrictions, we were able to do the program entirely outdoors. 

This Fall we’re hoping to add at least two more volunteers to our current group.  Although the program means a great deal to the school and children, the time commitment for volunteers is minimal while the rewards are plenty, and no previous experience is necessary (plus it’s fun!)

The Nature Program offers five two-hour natural science workshops for the volunteers, lead by Emily Pals, the Nature Program Coordinator. Each training session includes informational presentations and indoor and outdoor activities.  Volunteers then go into the classroom (assuming visitors will be allowed in the building this year), schoolyard and/or Hiland Hall Gardens approximately five times over the course of the school year— usually for 45-60  minutes —to share what they’ve learned that month.  The classroom schedule is determined by the volunteer and the teacher, and is generally flexible.  

Training sessions are great fun and take place in Shaftsbury (this year’s training location TBD) from 9-11 AM on the 1st Tuesday of the month.  This year’s training sessions will be held in October, November, February, March and April.  Attending every training session is not absolutely mandatory for volunteer participation in the program, but is extremely helpful and volunteers are expected to attend the majority of the sessions to best prepare themselves for the lessons.

The Four Wind training sessions are fun and as the saying goes, “to teach is to learn”.  So, if you or someone you know is interested in joining the Four Winds Volunteer Team this Fall or would like more information, please contact Judie Brower, our Four Winds Volunteer co-coordinator at

For more information about the non-profit Four Winds Nature Institute based in Chittenden, VT, go to