About This Book
“What if parents, grandparents, and kids around the country were to band together to create nature clubs for families? What if this new form of social/nature networkingwere to spread as quickly as book clubs and Neighborhood Watches did in recent decades? We would be well on our way to true cultural change.”
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and chairman emeritus, Children & Nature Network
Getting unplugged is impossible without passion, enthusiasm, gusto, inspiration, and the deep rewards that come with doing something magnificent.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut while following the status quo—overscheduling children with adult-guided or screen-based activities that are meant to enrich their future. The results of this are long unwelcomed days for your children where you become a shuttle service getting them from one activity to the next. By the end of each day, your whole family is exhausted and spent from trying to do so much.
This book shows you how to unplug. By following a proven and flexible approach to building a family nature club, you will be inspired. You will find yourself restored and energized, and your family rejuvenated.
Here is a brief look at what each chapter in this book will cover.
Chapter One, “Law of Attraction,” will show you how to define a purpose, plan, and pick a name for your family nature club. This is the foundation upon which the rest of your work is built, and is really fun once you see how easy it is!
Chapter Two, “Build Your Tribe,” highlights simple and non-confronting ways to find and solicit initial members for your family nature club. This approach works especially well for anyone who is hesitant and unsure of what kind of response they will get and commitment they can make.
Chapter Three, “Circle of Influence,” focuses on how to get ideas for events. It includes how to approach the people you already know to get ideas, and shares a lot of ideas and research methods to uncover even more ideas!
Chapter Four, “Victim vs. Leader Perspective,” helps you understand one of the most important roles of the leader—how to scout and research locations for events in advance and document what is important to ensure a hassle-free and fun time for everyone. This chapter also helps you understand how rewarding it can be to have the responsibility of scouting locations.
Chapter Five, “FLY,” emphasizes the steps in writing event descriptions for family nature club outings that will inspire, attract, and motivate participants while avoiding any confusion or potential problems. The steps are accompanied by examples so you can quickly see the format in context.
Chapter Six, “Power of Efficiency,” shows you how to use technology to efficiently organize the logistics of events and communications with your group. A number of different solutions and strategies in choosing technology that is the right fit for your time, skills, and family nature club are discussed
Chapter Seven “Disconnect,” helps you become a good host at family nature club events by reviewing core practices for being present and guiding your families, versus sitting back and tapping away on your smartphone. This chapter also introduces some fundamentals for gently leading your group in a way that results in positive responses.
Chapter Eight, “Stay Safe,” shows you how to navigate the issues surrounding liability so you’re confident to start your family nature club from a legal perspective.
Chapter Nine, “Attachment and Desire,” focuses on how to let go of being in control and having goal-oriented activities, giving children independence and allowing events to be child-led. If you are like many parents striving to give children the best possible opportunities in life, this will be an important one for you.
Chapter Ten, “Love,” teaches you how to manage family nature club events when you have low attendance at your event. Your response will greatly determine the quality and future of your club. A heart-centered approach is combined with smart marketing strategies.
Chapter Eleven, “Small Wins,” walks you through how to promote your family nature club and raise attendance through content creation, even when you are just starting out and don’t have a lot to work with.
Chapter Twelve, “Listen to Truth,” emphasizes the importance of collecting feedback from members, and how to use their input to guide future events. This includes navigating both positive and negative feedback to the benefit of the club.
Chapter Thirteen, “Audacious Dreams,” shows you how to start with the skills you have and then slowly build your capabilities and the scope of your family nature club one step at a time until you reach your big dreams. This chapter introduces a framework that will help you focus on the highest priority actions to get your children and family into nature as quickly as possible, and continually refine what your role is and how advanced and complex your events become.
Chapter Fourteen, “Discover A Wise Sage,” provides a step-by-step process for adding educational aspects to your events without having to learn anything yourself. The chapter explores a variety of methods and resources for getting a third-party expert involved with your club events.
Chapter Fifteen, “Delegate Your Fears and Worries,” focuses on how to find and network with other leaders of family nature clubs, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel but instead can work on making the wheel more aerodynamic. There is a vibrant community of other like-minded folks who are eager to help you and resolve concerns you have based on their own experiences.
Each chapter also includes my personal picks, and the exact steps I took to develop my club into what it is today. At the end of the book are useful resources (worksheets, tip sheets, forms, samples, templates, and other materials) that will give you guidance and make it easier for you to get going and take that first step!