Fall 2019 

Fall Session- September 17, 2019- January 16, 2020

Forest Days at the Greenwich Botanical Center is a nature immersion program  designed to encourage children ages 3 through 5 to grow socially, emotionally and physically through interest-led play and natural exploration.  The program will be offered Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12:15 - 2:45 p.m.   You may register your child for one or both days.  Our afternoon schedule flows organically from what nature presents each day.  We are an all weather program and we will be meeting outdoors, rain or shine, in all safe weather.  Space is limited to twelve children with two teachers.  

Our belief is that spending unstructured time in the forest stimulates each child’s innate curiosity.  Outdoor nature play develops observation skills, problem solving, logic and reasoning skills and encourages taking risks.  Activities include creating secret habitats, making forest stew, observing critters in their natural environments, going on nature walks, singing, art and free play.      

*Children must be three years old by August 1, 2019 and be fully toilet trained.  


Registration Details

Session 1 -  September 17, 2019 - January 16th, 2020  28 sessions

Tuesday/ Thursday afternoons 12:15-2:45pm

Days Per Week                Cost

        1                        $700.00 member / 800.00 nonmember

        2                        $1,400.00 member / 1,600.00 nonmember

Register by August 19, 2019 for Early Bird Savings!  Those who take advantage of our early bird discount will save $50 off their tuition for the semester (those who register for two days per week will save $100).

Registration and payment is available online.  All forms and proof of vaccinations must be submitted by September 1, 2019 via email or by mailing in/dropping off to GBC, 130 Bible Street, P.O. Box 1600, Cos Cob, CT 06807.  

Only children with a complete Registration Packet submitted by September 1, 2019 will be accepted.  A complete registration packet includes:

  1. Registration Form, Emergency Contact and Waiver
  2. Immunization Records (current copy is acceptable)
  3. Payment (cash, check or credit card)



One of Greenwich Botanical Center’s experienced educators will lead each group. No more than 12 children will be placed in a group. One additional assistant will be assigned to a group to maintain a low student-to-teacher ratio; a second assistant will be added when necessary. Our lead teacher is certified in Adult, Child, and Infant CPR and First Aid for First Responders. She is also trained to use EpiPens. Certifications are updated annually. All staff must pass a thorough background check.  

Laurel Scarlata, Educator

Laurel Scarlata is native of Greenwich, where she inherited her love of the outdoors and nature from her father, Jim McArdle of McArdle's Florist and Garden Center.  

Laurel holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Special Education. She previously taught preschool in town for nine years as well as Kindergarten and First grade for the town of Greenwich. She has three teenage sons and lives in Cos Cob. Her hobbies include hiking with her family, gardening, birding, cooking and reading.

Kristen Paradise, Educator

Kristen Paradise moved to Greenwich at the age of four. She grew up with a love for animals, outdoor adventures and competitive sports. Horses became one of her passions and she learned to ride at age 7 and soon competed locally and then nationally. She then became a riding instructor and taught children ages 3 and up. Her love of teaching children continued when she became a preschool teacher at St. Saviour’s Nursery School and then at The Preschool at Second Congregational Church. She attended Greenwich High School, Boston University and Manhattanville College, earning a BA.

She currently resides in Cos Cob with her husband and 4 children, ages 4, 6, 15 and 16.

Some of her hobbies include running, gardening, hiking and exploring in the local trails with her children and dog.


12:15                 Arrival/Lunch/ Hike to the forest

12:45                 Stump Time

1:00-2:30         Time in the Forest:  Children may engage in various activities such as water play, cook in the kitchen, build a rock tower, paint with watercolors and observe birds and insects.

2:30-2:45         Closing Circle and prepare for dismissal


Forest Day participants must wear appropriate clothing for outdoor play and exploration. Please dress your child in clothes he or she can get dirty in. Open-toed shoes such as flip-flops, Croc and ballet flats are not allowed.  Closed toe sandals such as Sneakers, Keens Newport Sandal, Merrill’s Hydro Sandal and Native Jefferson shoes are all examples of proper footwear. Your child may wear rain boots every day if he/she is comfortable wearing them for a long period of time. A Ziploc bag containing a change of clothes should come in your child’s backpack every day. A raincoat and rain boots must accompany your child on rainy days. And last but not least, a water bottle, which we refill if necessary. Here is a list version:

When the cold weather arrives:

OAKI Suits

We’re happy to announce that we are partnering with OAKI to offer all GBC Forest Days families a generous discount on all weather clothing.  OAKI helps keep your kids comfortable and dry while they experience the outside.  While not required, we encourage you to consider purchasing a Classic Trail One Piece Rain Suit for your child.  The Rain Suit can be worn over layers and warmer jackets as the weather changes.  OAKI also sells rain proof footwear that you may want to consider purchasing.  More information can be found on OAKI’s website (www.oaki.com) and the coupon code will be provided to all registered families.  

Dependent on weather, please apply sunscreen and bug spray before arriving at the GBC.


If your child has an allergy that requires an EpiPen, you will need to sign-in the EpiPen on Monday morning. Your child’s EpiPen will be in their group’s first aid kit while your child is in the program and will be returned at the end of the session unless otherwise requested by the child’s parent/guardian.  


We will provide a healthy nut free snack every day.  Please do not send in food in your child’s backpack.  We take water breaks and ask you to send an appropriate labeled reusable water bottle with your child. Our staff will refill water bottles as needed.

If your child has food allergies please discuss them with GBC staff ahead of time. Although we are not a nut-free facility, we are respectful of children with allergies and use nut-free products.  


Should your child become ill or injured during Forest Days, you will be notified by phone immediately.  Staff is trained in CPR/First Aid and respond to all emergencies.


On the first day, please park your child and walk your child to the front of the GBC where we will meet and greet your child and check in for the week.

After the first morning, if your child feels comfortable you can remain in your car and pull up to the front of the building and we will take your child out of the car for you.

For pickup, please park your child and walk over to the front of the building. We will be sitting on the grass area to the left of the building.


Forest Days runs rain or shine.  In case of thunder and lightning, we will retreat to our indoor classroom. In the event the GBC is closed due to severely inclement weather, you will receive an email that the center is closed.


Child’s Name

Child’s Date of Birth

Child’s Age on August 1, 2019

I am the parent or guardian of ______________________ who intends to participate in the Forest Days Program operated by Greenwich Botanical Center.  I hereby consent to the participation of my child in the Program and release GBC, its officers, directors, agents, and employees from and against any and all claims, including injury to person, or for death, or from loss of, or damage to, property in any way connected to such participation. Further, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless each of the Released Parties, and all of them, from any liability they may incur as a result of My Child’s participation.

I fully understand and acknowledge that: 1) risks and dangers exist by virtue of the nature of the Program activities of hiking, climbing, and outdoor games and my child’s participation in hiking, climbing, and outdoor game activities, 2) such activities, my child’s use of equipment related to, and/or participation in such activities may result in injury or illness or death or damage to personal property and 3) these risks and dangers may be increased and damage may occur due to the actions of other participants, or by accidents, forces of nature or other causes. I understand that such risks may arise from foreseeable or unforeseeable causes and that such risks cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity. I hereby knowingly and voluntarily accept and assume these risks and dangers and the risks of illness, Injury or death or damage to personal property on my behalf and on behalf of my child.

In a medical emergency, I grant GBC permission to 1) take my Child to a hospital via motorized vehicle or ambulance and 2) authorize examination and treatment of injuries, x-rays and any other necessary care for my child.

It is my intention that this release shall be interpreted as broadly and inclusively as permitted by law and that it shall be binding on my child, my spouse, all of the members of my family and their heirs, executors and assigns.

Parent Name:




I understand that no refunds or credits will be given towards other programs, or events if I cancel my enrollment.

In the event  of cancelation, a tax receipt will be issued indicating that the program fee was converted into a charitable donation. Membership is non-refundable.

Parent Name:



Behavior Agreement: I understand that GBC reserves the right to cancel this contract at any time if the staff finds that the program is not suitable for My Child due to repeated conduct by My Child that the staff finds unacceptable and that any refund in such situation will be at GBC`s discretion.

Parent Name:



Photographic Permission and Release (Optional): I hereby grant GBC permission to copyright, publish, use and reproduce, in whole or in part, alone or with others, any photograph, moving picture, videotape or recording taken or made of My Child, in any medium, for any purpose related to the program, whether or not My Child is named or otherwise identified, and I agree to waive any rights of inspection or approval.

Parent Name:





Parent Guardian One

Alternate Phone Number


Home Address

Parent Guardian

Parent Guardian Two

Phone Number Two

Alternate Phone Number


All communication about the program will be emailed to you. Please print clearly.


Please choose three emergency contacts in the event guardians cannot be reached.  DO NOT LIST YOURSELF OR SPOUSE


Primary Phone #

Relationship to Child


Primary Phone #

Relationship to Child


Primary Phone #

Relationship to Child


Doctor’s Name

Doctor’s Phone Number

Is your child subject to asthma, allergies, dietary restrictions, limits on activities, or other medical conditions? If so, please explain:

Does your child have any emotional, behavioral, or learning challenges? If so, please explain and let us know the best way to connect with your child and/or address any challenges:

We are here to support your child. Is there anything about your child you would like GBC staff to know?

Medical/hospital insurance carrier

Group Number

Policy’s Holder’s name

Membership ID

Relationship to Child