Most frequent questions and answers
We ensure low staff to student ratios for all of our programs. For our Farm & Forest programs, age 6 and up, we keep a 1:5 ratio and with our Ecotherapy program 1:4 ratio age 6 and up. This ensures safety and provides ample opportunity for your child to receive one-on-one interactions with our teachers.
Playing outdoors always involves some level of risk. At Giving Gardens of Indiana, we do everything possible to prevent hazards, including teaching awareness so that children learn to take responsibility for their own safety. Our staff is trained in CPR & First Aid and keep a cell phone on their persons at all times in case of emergency. All of our programs take place in areas with clear cell reception, and a safety plan is in place with local EMS should an ambulance be needed. We also put a strong emphasis on teaching children about specific hazards and giving them the autonomy to look out for themselves and each other. Awareness is a large part of what we teach in our program, and safety is one of the most important reasons to be aware of your surroundings.
Possible hazards include, but are not limited to:
- Poison ivy – all students are trained to identify and avoid poison ivy and reminded of it on a daily basis.
- Venomous spiders do live in our area. We teach children spider safety from day one, including how to identify venomous vs. nonvenomous spiders
- Poisonous Plants
- There are plants in our area that are poisonous if ingested. Most will only cause sickness, but some can be fatal. We also have many edible and medicinal plants in our area that are delicious and fun to try. Our staff are trained in expertly identifying edible vs. poisonous plants, and our strict rule for children is not to put any plant (or anything for that matter) in your mouth without specific permission from a teacher – even if you recognize the plant, or think it’s a plant you have eaten before. No exceptions.
All of our programs meet rain or shine. We want to teach children that nature is a beautiful and wonderful place, even in the rain. Rainy days can be some of the most fun, splashing in puddles and working together to build tarp shelters. Please see our Gear List for rain gear requirements.
Of course, rain can also bring lightning. If a forecast is calling for persistent lightning storms throughout the day, we may have to cancel class and make up our class at a later date. Please keep your phones on you so that we can contact you in case of weather change or emergency.
In the event of an extreme weather event, or severe ice storm, the program will be cancelled and a makeup day will be used at the end of the semester.