Welcome, Journalers!

The Champlain Valley Nature Journal Club is a monthly meetup for folks to collaboratively learn and journal in local natural areas throughout the Lake Champlain Basin. Meetups will be organized and taught by science teacher Caitlin Kurnit.
Dates: First Saturday of every month from 10am-12pm- First meeting- May
Suggested donation: $10-20 per person
Who: ALL are welcome! Nature journaling is family friendly but might not be appropriate for pre-literate children or children who struggle with sitting still. Ages: Children under age 14 must attend with a responsible adult.
Locations: Tentative schedule and locations are listed below. We will plan our locations around any accommodations that our club members might need.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can discuss how I can support you. If money is an issue, reach out and I will help set you up with a starter nature journal kit, and I encourage you to attend all our meetings free of charge.

No registration necessary, but an RSVP would help us prepare! Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get Nature Journaling Club announcements.

Flow of a day

Required: Paper and clipboard or a notebook, writing utensils, weather appropriate clothing, bag for carrying supplies

Optional: Pen with waterproof ink, watercolors and water brush, colored pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener that holds shavings, binoculars, folding chair, field guides, measuring tools

Search Youtube for “nature journal kit” to see what other people include in their kit.

Field Trip Schedule
  • May 15, 2024: Intro to nature journaling and vernal pools @ ADL School Woods, Essex Junction

  • June 1, 2024: How to nature journal birds @ Wheeler Nature Park, South Burlington

  • July 6, 2024: Stream ecology @ East Woods Natural Area, South Burlington

  • August 3, 2024: Garden Journaling @ Community Garden at Ethan Allen Homestead

  • September 7, 2024: Floodplain journaling @ Burlington Intervale
  • October 5, 2024: Fall colors, mushrooms, and maybe some raptor migration sightings @ Mount Philo State Park, Charlotte

Caitlin Kurnit: Your Guide
Caitlin Kurnit

Caitlin Kurnit

My name is Caitlin Kurnit and I am the “founder” of this nature club. At least at first, I’ll be planning and running all our meetups.

I’m a middle school science teacher with 16 years of teaching experience. I currently teach 7th and 8th grade science at ADL Middle School in Essex Junction. I’ve had an interest in nature ever since going on nature walks and playing in the woods as a child. I have been sharing my love of nature with my students through nature journaling on our weekly nature walks, and I’m now looking to find a group of like-minded adults who are also interested in exploring with me. In my free time I spend a lot of time taking local hikes with my 3 year old, and I am also an active participant in Hearthlight and the Society for Creative Anachronism, including being a member in their foresters’ guild.

I have been nature journaling extensively for the past three years, so while I’m far from an expert, I have learned so much along the way. I approach the topic of nature journaling as a scientist: I emphasize detailed and concrete observations and data. I am using my nature journals to chronicle and deepen my learning about our native forests here in Vermont.

That said, there is plenty of room for every skillset in our group. Some people love the art aspect of nature journaling, and delight in a pretty picture. Some become wrapped up in the prose of their feelings and experiences. Some might feel intimidated by the whole process and would like support. All are welcome and I’ll tailor our meetups to the interests of the group. I have several ideas for trips, but I’m open to any and all suggestions or changes, and I’m more than willing to share the floor with others who would like to lead. I look forward to learning from you!

If you’d like to see some of my nature journal pages and some photos from my nature walks, check out my Instagram at: @vikingnaturalist