Linda Constant, founder and owner of Nature Nurture had a vision: teaching and practicing, along with a small group of preschoolers, the concept of "honoring all living things, including others and our selves".
Constant designed and created Nature Nurture in order to provide guided, small-group nature adventures for preschoolers, while gently, and with humor, reinforcing manners, etiquette, and proper behavior (at Nature Nurture, this is called, 'good character'). At the heart of the Nature Nurture philosophy, is respect and honor for each child's personality, style, pace, and age, as well as developmental stage.
In addition to manifesting that vision during since 2004, and in keeping with her pioneering spirit of adventure, Constant took a leap of faith and intention when she moved from a half indoor, half outdoor program to an all-outdoor program. Constant's vision now includes Kindergartners, elementary school age and even teens as they take on roles as ‘teacher helpers’ (ages 5-6), 'Jr. CAMP Leaders' (ages 7-12) and Asst. CAMP Leaders (ages 13 and up). Constant has also intentionally added programs that provide FUN, age-appropriate learning and life-skills and many more benefits for children to continue with Nature Nurture as they get older, and which are in alignment with the mission of Nature Nurture: to provide children with hands-on, slow-learning, organic connections to and with the Earth, while mentoring them in the art of 'honoring all living things, including others and themselves'.
In the Fall of 2017, Constant was proud and excited to announce Nature Nurture's 1,000th child has now come through its program.
Gratefully and happily, Nature Nurture continues to be the manifestation of Constant's ever-increasing pioneering visions for children, families and our Earth.
Founder, Program Director and Lead Teacher since 2004
Born and raised on Long Island with Jones Beach but a stones-throw away (okay, maybe a few stones!), a neighborhood mile-long grove of trees, roots, and undergrowth perfect for climbing, exploring and whiling the day away and Cedar Creek, a living, thriving vessel of frogs, salamanders, snakes, birds, and even very large snapping turtles, Linda grew up happily spending time and adventures connecting with nature, her brothers and friends.
Lindas background in child development entails three years as a Teachers Aide in a Pre-K Special needs class with the San Francisco Unified School District, ten years of experience as a home childcare provider for newborns, toddlers, and children ages 3-7 with a number of wonderful San Francisco families, as well as degrees from City College of SF (Child Development, 1998) and San Francisco State University (Liberal Studies, 2000).
As Linda consistently learns and continues advancing her knowledge and skills of mentoring children and providing family coaching in the art of honoring all living things, including others and ourselves, Linda also brings ten years of experience leading over 800 San Francisco Bay children over grass, hill, beach and Redwood groves in our beautiful backyard: the Presidio of San Francisco national forest.
A childhood spent outdoors and on family camping trips instilled a life-long love of nature in Summer. She has also been a dedicated practitioner of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness-based modalities for many years. Recently, Summer has rediscovered the transcendent joy of childhood and play through time spent with her toddler niece and other children in her life. Inspired to spend more time working with children, Summer obtained an Assistant Teacher Certificate in 2015 at City College of San Francisco and plans to continue course work in the Early Childhood Development field.
After almost a year of being the assistant in Nature Nurture 'seedlings' classes, along with the 'seedlings' in her care, Summer graduated to the ROOTS classes for ages 3-4s. This was a natural progression, and Summer and the children are enjoying the fruits of her labors and passion for leading and mentoring Nature Nurture children. In addition, Summer continues to delight in remembering innocence and awe while exploring the wonders of the natural world with young ones.
Jill was raised in Santa Rosa and inspired by her elementary school teacher, a Yellowstone National Park Ranger, that took her traditional classroom outdoors. This experience of learning in nature had a profound effect on her and inspired her to find a program where she could fulfill her passion to give children hands on experiences and adventures in nature.
Jill has a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University and is a Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer. Jill’s background in child development entails five years of experience as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Our Lady of Angels Pre-School in Burlingame, California.
Jill feels blessed and honored to add Nature Nurture Substitute Assistant Teacher to her resume as she believes strongly in the program’s core values of respecting and honoring nature and each other as well as looking at the world with eyes of wonder and being humans of good character.
In the Fall of 2017, Jill became a permanent member of the Nature Nurture team. Jill is a great addition to everything Nature Nurture stands for: integrity, a peaceful manner, dedication to and respect for the children and their families and so much more.
Carsten (Cardi) Spencer
With over 20 years of experience as a spiritual teacher, mentor and inspirational speaker, Cardi is now honored to include Nature Nurture Assistant Teacher to his resume. Nature Nurture’s philosophy integrates beautifully as it teaches kindness toward self and others and belief in the goodness of all.
Cardi began working with Nature Nurture and founder, Linda Constant in early 2013 as a substitute assistant teacher and became a permanent assistant during Summer CAMP 2013. Cardi sees being with the young ones in this loving, nurturing setting as a real gift.
In the Fall of 2017, Cardi decided to make a shift and is now pursuing his other passions, including his work as an inspirational speaker, teacher, mentor and energy worker. We are grateful that Cardi will continue on as a substitute Nature Nurture teacher, and wish Cardi much good cheer and success as he moves forward on his life's path.
As a city slicker kid who grew up in the Metropolis of Los Angeles, it was essential for Kara and her parents to find nature areas in which she could romp and revel! The Santa Monica Mountains near her home were her salvation. As a runner, Kara spent many hours marveling at the wilds of the hills amongst the coyotes, deer, mountain lions, bobcats, lizards and snakes, while the bustle of the city spread out before her from her high vantage. Kara understands the necessity for children who grow up in the city to learn the magic of nature as she did. In addition to being a lifelong competitive runner, Kara studied music at UCLA and plays the harp. She plays harp for weddings, parties, galleries, all kinds of soirees! Kara finds great joy in her work with children at Nature Nurture! As Kara guides children through the wonders of nature she recalls and relives her own childhood delights—finding bugs, worms, admiring trees, birds, making sand castles, telling stories, laughing and being blissed out with the ones who know how to do it best….The Kids!!!!
In the Fall of 2017, Kara decided to move on and pursue her other dreams and aspirations, as well as take time to discover new ones. We are grateful Kara will continue as a substitute Nature Nurture assistant teacher and wish her the best in all her future endeavors.
Raised in San Francisco, Pamela combines her love of stones, trees, dirt, wind, clouds, sand, water, children, play, kindness and learning, in her role as assistant teacher at Nature Nurture.
Pamela has a daughter at the San Francisco Waldorf School who reminds her to be lighthearted and creative. She has a BA from UC Berkeley, painted at SF Art Institute and traveled to West Africa, Bali, Mexico and Europe. Pamela co-created the Educational Outreach Program, "Folk Art in the Schools", for the Museum of Craft and Folk Art where she worked for 18 years. She taught thousands of Bay Area K-8th graders to appreciate indigenous cultures from around the world, to explore beautifully hand crafted artifacts, and to express themselves by engaging in hands-on crafts and folk art projects. Pamela is also a trained yoga teacher.
Pamela is now one of Nature Nurture's substitute assistant teachers, and we are very grateful for any time she has to join our classes.
Tessa is a San Francisco native and current Butler University student looking forward to her first year with Nature Nurture. She has spent the past three years working at various other summer camps, and her whole life enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. Tessa cannot wait to bring her experience and positive energy to Nature Nurture this summer!