"I know many groups and organizations claim to "Change" lives - but in my experience this one actually does. I sent my two daughters here for multiple weeks each over the course of several years and in both cases after just their first week the change noted was astounding. The change is difficult to describe but impossible not to notice. My first daughter completed her first week almost 10 years ago and still raves about her experiences there"
Parent from multiple programs.
"My children tend to be very introverted. They shy
away from those they don't know and rarely speak to people outside of
the family. By the end of the Family Survival Weekend, they were
laughing and playing with the kids and instructors alike. My daughter
got up and spoke in front of the entire
group during the closing ceremony. They felt
very comfortable and confident in all the things they learned over just a
The underlying work that COTEF represents is equally important to empowering our children. The hope for our children's future lies within us, but within them as well, and the skills they learn to connect with the natural world that will ensure that future lies within COTEF.
I hope to join my children at many more COTEF programs..."
Parent from Family Survival Weekend, May 2013
"I want to thank you again for the most spectacular weekend experience ever! In the car on the way home my son told me, "I have been changed forever Mama. I look at the world differently now." Here is a boy who used to balk at having to sit in a car with "nothing to do" and beg to play video games (which we don't allow or have), and then just sulk, however on the two+ hour drive back to NYC with two complete strangers in the car (from the other camp), he was completely engaged and engaging in a very sweet way, and with a girl mind you, and she was younger than he is, and he was kind. We all talked the whole way while driving to Newark, and once they got out of the car, he was content with "watching the world go by" instead of begging me for my iPod. The world (nature) has become interesting to him in a big way!"
Parent from 2011 Family Survival Weekend
"Just wanted to let you know how much Luke and Joe love the class. Some conflicts in scheduling have come up, but there is never a question - my kids pick COTEF class, hands down! They are so proud of the new skills they are learning. Thank you so much."
Home-Schooling Parent from Concentric Rings Program.
"My 3 boys and I attended Coyote Tracks Family Youth and Teen Experience last summer and we had an AWESOME time learning about nature, tracking, making fire and soooo much more! They have a fabulous program going here and I highly encourage everyone to learn more about it!
GO SNAPPING TURTLES AND SCREECH OWLS!!!"
Parent from Coyote Tracks program.
"I just wanted to THANK YOU so much.My boys, Alex and Uri, had a GREAT time. I had a feeling they would enjoy it, and i'm so glad they did. You should know that they do NOT generally go for the "camp" thing. I think they feel so structured and "bossed around" (to use their term), during the school year, that in the summer, they would just rather do their own thing (which i can't exactly fault them for). But I continue to sort of push them to try new things, and get out there with other kids. The experience you helped give them was a HUGE hit, they want to come back next year!
We are a sort of "outdoorsy" kind of family, so i was hoping they would dig what you had to teach, and they did! Thank you thank you."
Parent from Concentric Rings program
"Here's what I would say about my volunteer experience (I volunteered in the summer of 2004). I would describe my experience of volunteering at COTEF as absolutely inspiring. What struck me most was seeing the sheer number of excited, beaming faces of children eager to build fires, discover new tracks, and get muddied up in prickly swamps. The greatest highlight was the opportunity to spend time surrounded by youth who were so enthusiastic to learn about survival skills and the natural world. It was also rewarding to watch children bond with their parents, who partook in the experience of playing awareness games, telling stories, and learning various skills right alongside their children. Moreover, I was impressed by the expertise of all the COTEF instructors who gave it their all to each and every lesson and activity. Each staff member had a true passion for teaching and gave his or her time and attention equally to anyone who asked a question or needed help. I also enjoyed spending time with my fellow volunteers and the young interns - a remarkable group of people who would lend a helping hand at every chance they got. In short, the COTEF atmosphere is one to which I would most certainly return, and I recommend the COTEF camps to any young person thirsting to learn and practice the survival, awareness, and naturalist skills necessary to feel confident and at home in the outdoors."
"At Cotef I interned in the summer of 2008, I did not know what to expect never participating in a cotef program at the beginning of the summer I was a little apprehensive. Not only did cotef have a strong feeling of family but the amount of learning was overwhelmingly good. the amount of dirt time and instruction that i got to participate in was an indispensable. I highly recommend any cotef program that they offer."
The Children of the Earth Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org 609-971-1799 PO BOX 607, Waretown, NJ, 08758