WONDER→ DISCOVER→ CONNECT
Experiential Nature-based, Outdoor, Environmental Education Programs in the Greater Cincinnati Area
OH! Wild Wonder, LLC is a social venture dedicated to enhancing the lives of area youth
by deepening their connection with the natural world.
Our goal is to offer accessible youth-oriented nature immersion programs for children of all ages in diverse natural landscapes within a 50 mile radius of Cincinnati.
OH! Wild Wonder offers seasonal day camps, after-school clubs and special events!
Why Nature Immersion?
Discover the benefits
Attention and Focus
Even a 20 minute walk in nature has been shown to promote focus and memory support. "Green" activities have better attention-related results than any other indoor activity used to increase focus in children. In fact, researchers have found that a "dose of nature" works just as well as a "dose of medicine" for children with ADHD.
Nature provides a comprehensive sensory experience which pediatric occupational therapists assert underline a host of vestibular balance issues and related challenges. Building forts, walking on logs, making mud pies, swinging on vines, feeling cold creek water, and stepping on pebbles and clay engage a wide array of senses.
Strength, Agility, Coordination
Development Coordination Disorder, an impairment in age-appropriate motor skills, is highly comorbid with other developmental disorders, most commonly ADHD. Studies have found that movement exercises done outside have better results than the same movements in a gym or urban setting in acquiring and executing developmental skills in coordination and balance. The natural movements of "wilderness play" facilitate healthy motor skills in a fun, low-pressure way.
By developing a connection with nature, children grow into adults who innately revere the natural world and are drawn to ecological efforts by way of meaningful experiences. The philosophy of OH! Wild Wonder believes that lessons must be born of experiential connection before intellect-based environmental education can be effective.
Growing research indicates that nature immersion is the antidote for stress in children and adults. This movement, called eco-therapy, asserts that nature "baths" reduce blood pressure and heart rate and increase the immune system, promoting feelings of calm and relaxation.
Sense of Self and Place
A sense of place comes from a feeling of connectedness to a specific geographic area. Through interactions with the environment and each other, children develop geo-literacy skills, become empowered, and see themselves as capable social beings.
Programs & Events
Our WILD Leaders
Vivian Melody has been the founder and educator at OH! Wild Wonder, LLC in Cincinnati, OH since 2014. She has a Masters in Education and Waldorf Grades Teacher Certification, and expects to complete her Masters in Environmental Studies and Sustainability in March 2022. She has been a Waldorf grades teacher since 2014 and leading a variety of nature-based programs since 2006. She is currently the Sustainability and Stewardship Coordinator at the Society of the Transfiguration and leads environmental and sustainability initiatives for Bethany School. Vivian's life passion is connecting youth and communities with nature, spreading ecological awareness, and helping others become life-long stewards of the earth. She resides in a rehabbed cottage in Covington with her two kids, two dogs, and too many houseplants.
Anabel Villanueva has been assisting nature camps with OH! Wild Wonder since 2016. She is a graduate of Walnut Hills High School (2020) and Cincinnati Waldorf School (2016). She now attends Drexel University in Philadelphia majoring in Fashion Design and Environmental Sciences. She has been a camp counselor since 2015, assisting at Homemeadow Song Camp, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, and OH Wild Wonder. Inspired by the nourishing beauty of nature, Anabel shares her love of the outdoors and re-experiences the wonder of nature through the eyes of eager explorers. She resides in Northside, Cincinnati with her family and cats, and will transition to Philly during the academic school-year starting Fall 2021.