Learn More About Our Philosophy

Patti Shields, Founder/Lead Teacher:

Adult / Child CPR and First Aid Certified / Live Scan Clearance

M.A. Human Development, 30+ Years of Early Childhood Experience

Ever since Patti was a young child, she has felt connected to nature. As a parent, she took her sons hiking and camping and now does the same with her grandsons. Watching them explore, rest, and make their own discoveries convinced her of the importance of including nature in our lives.

Patti has been working in the field of early childhood education and parent education for over 30 years. In 1988 she developed an outline and curriculum for a new class to be offered through the parent/child participation classes at the San Diego Community College. They called it Outdoor Experiences and she envisioned parents and their young children exploring the wild areas, open spaces, beaches and canyons of our county. For Patti, teaching the outdoor parent/child class was such a joy. Each week brought new discoveries, a sense of connection with each other, new skills and abilities to try something that may have seemed too difficult before such as balancing on a log or crossing a creek on stones.

As a preschool teacher in local programs, Patti has taken children hiking and exploring the canyons and wild areas of San Diego. In nature she sees how children become connected to the plants, sounds, birds, insects and all living things around them. They so quickly feel “at home” in the outdoors, which is how she came to choose At Home in Nature as the name of this program.

Patti’s intention with At Home in Nature Outdoor Programs is to create opportunities to share nature with children and families. Providing a space away from all of the distractions of our modern lives, a place to enjoy being together and embracing all there is to gain from having a real connection to the natural world.