© 2019 Well Wilderness Kids

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ABOUT

Well Wilderness Kids Therapeutic Nature Center offers inclusive programs for children of all ages & abilities with the mission of supporting child development through sensory & social emotional experiences in a nature-based setting.  We are committed to serving as guardians of play for all children.

 

The program is staffed by a team of pediatric professionals including Early Childhood Educators, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, & Music Therapists.

 

Programs include Parent Tot Playgroups, Private Therapies, Seasonal Camps, Mindfulness Programs,

Field Trips, Birthday Parties, After-School NaturePlay, Parent/Child Workshops, Professional Seminars & Open Nature Play Hour.  

Our Early Childhood Therapeutic NaturePlay Programs run Sept – May rain or shine!

nature TEAM

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Stephanie Novacek

PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL THERAPIST & MINDFULNESS ALLY

DIRECTOR OF NATUREPLAY
Nature Element: Feathers

Stephanie graduated from Creighton University Physical Therapy Program in May 2001 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Her experience in pediatrics has ranged from many pediatric settings including Early Intervention, schools, & outpatient hospital services.  In 2015, she shifted to private therapy practice to focus on incorporation of holistic wellness care for mamas & children. The opening of Well Wilderness Kids Therapeutic Nature Center shortly followed as her vision to create a space for children of all ages & abilities in a nature-based setting came to light. She has studied the science behind the benefits of nature on the sensory system, immune system & overall brain development in children which has fueled her passion to create an inclusive nature center for families & her community.

“Birds of a feather flock together. Feathers come in all shapes, sizes & colors. They identify each bird as part of a group yet also differentiate them as individuals. When feathers are found on the ground, they are often approached with a sense of wonder & kept as a treasure to its finder. There is a story that comes along with each feather…a journey that takes them to the place where the feather landed. And most importantly, feathers serve a vital purpose in providing insulation, protection & flight. Like feathers, each child has an identity that provides them a sense of belonging to a group yet makes them each unique. Every child has a story, a journey that they can be guided on by Learning Allies who support & nurture them along the way. Children provide us with warmth, strength & navigation throughout life.  If only we approach them with a sense of wonder, we will come to see their value like that of a treasured feather."

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Carri Kasick

EARLY INTERVENTIONIST/SPECIAL EDUCATOR & MINDFULNESS ALLY

LEAD TODDLER & PRESCHOOLPLAY ALLY
Nature Element: lEAVES

Carri studied at Iowa State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) teaching license. She continued in Early Intervention (EI) as an Early Childhood Special Educator,Infant/Toddler Home Interventionist, Early Interventionist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, ECSE/Home-bound Educator, and ECSE Autism Educator. She gained an additional knowledge with a Master’s in Special Education/Autism. She dedicated her profession in the direction of Autism as ECSE/Autism Educator and currently has focused on her private business, CarriKasick,LLC (CKLLC). She is Responding Early for All Children (REACH) and Families with early development & learning.

 

"Leaves come to fruition through strong bonds & roots. My early intervention is based upon the connections I develop with the whole family. My journey is naturally occurring, intentionally observing, and simply put, alive and present…the leaves begin to appear.
My therapeutic approaches guide and foster strength in the most delicate times of changes. As the seasons change….the leaves are evolving, understanding the elements, and are dedicated to successfully being present at the end of each branch. The dynamic relationship between mother nature and the success of a bountiful view of leaves embodies my early intervention philosophy with families. I am dedicated to this similar journey with families. I listen to families and diligently focus on how I can rhythmically move children through with confidence and engagement with their environment."​

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Kate Robson

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR & MINDFULNESS ALLY

LEAD PRE-K & KINDERPLAY ALLY
Nature Element: Roots

Kate has been working with children for 15 years in many diverse settings. She received a certification in Early Years Practices from Northampton College, England, in 2008. While working at a Pre-Preparatory School, she earned a degree in Early Years and Education, as well as a certification as a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator. Since moving to the United States, Kate has extended her knowledge in Children’s Mindfulness Yoga practices. Kate teaches Yoga and Meditation to children with Emotional Behavior Disorders to alleviate stress and help with anxiety.


“I have a fascination with old tree roots because to me they signify life. From the moment a child is born, they are growing and developing, anchoring their roots and laying down the foundations for their future. I feel passionate about a child’s happiness and emotional well being. Just like a tree, if we help nurture the roots the tree will grow and succeed.”


“Trust the magic of new beginnings” – Meister Eckhart

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Kati Dreiman

PEDIATRIC SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST & MINDFULNESS ALLY

LEAD ENRICHMENT PROGRAM ALLY
Nature Element: SKY

Kati is a native of Springfield, MO, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communication Disorders from Truman State University, and is a speech-language pathologist certified by the American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). During her career, Kati has worked in school-based early childhood special education programs in both Missouri and Kansas, and she has worked with families and children from birth-age 5 by providing in-home and community based therapy services.  She is currently completing her children’s yoga teacher certification training.  Mindfulness and yoga practice are an important part of Kati’s life, and she is excited to share this passion and her experience with families to help their children become compassionate and confident communicators.  Nature-based settings provide a unique opportunity to inspire creativity, build relationships, and foster a wide variety of important developmental and communication skills for children.


Kati is a yoga enthusiast, a baseball fan, an aspiring gardener, a lake lover and avid reader. Kati, her husband, Jeff, and their two sons enjoy traveling and taking part in mission and outreach opportunities, both here and abroad.

"The sky is an open and infinite expanse of possibilities.  The night sky brings us the phases of the moon and the changing constellations of the seasons.  A bright sunny calm of a blue sky day can transform to the unpredictable energy of an impending spring storm.  From rainbows to snowstorms, sunrises to sunsets – what we see in each sky is unique and constantly changing.  I look forward to joining children and families on their journey and to support them in appreciation and celebration for each moment along the way." 

 

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky” ~ Rumi

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Michelle Sindorf

PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST & MINDFULNESS ALLY

LEAD ENRICHMENT PROGRAM ALLY
Nature Element: WIND

Michelle has been an occupational therapist for over 15 years and enjoys working with children of all ages and with various needs.  She has extensive training in Sensory Integration and is certified to administer the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test.  She is very comfortable working with children with Autism and is very grateful to have the experience of working at the Children’s Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies, founded by Lorna Jean King, one of the pioneers in the field of occupational therapy and sensory integration.  

Having worked in outpatient, home and school setting, she believes it is important to learn many therapeutic techniques in order to address the needs of all children.  She has training in Therapeutic Listening, Neurodevelopmental Treatment, Chronologically Controlled Developmental Therapy, Kinesiotaping, Brain Gym, and Therapeutic Children’s Yoga & Mindfulness.  

 

Witnessing her own boys thrive, learn, and grow when they are outside in nature has allowed her to connect more with nature herself and has opened her eyes to the amazing benefits.  Finding Well Wilderness Therapeutic Center has been a great fit for her and her family.  She finds it so exciting to work with children and families in such as sensory-rich natural setting, learning and growing right beside them.

 

“I am drawn to the power and unpredictability of wind.  Wind has the power to move, help with the natural process of growth and change one’s path.  Wind can bring relief on a hot, sticky day or force you to stay grounded against a raging force.  Many people, including me, are sometimes nervous with unpredictability. Growth can come from facing what the wind brings and knowing that the wind that brought hardship is also the wind that helps flowers and trees to blossom.”     

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Kristi Hanson

BOARD-CERTIFIED MUSIC THERAPIST

LEAD ENRICHMENT PROGRAM ALLY
Nature Element: TREE TRUNKS

Kristi is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and creator of Stepping Stones KC. Kristi graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in Music Therapy, and an emphasis in early childhood development. While at KU, she worked as a preschool teacher and also received a minor in Psychology, and Certifications in Research and Service Learning! Kristi has worked with young children in home, classroom, and community settings and has over 10 years of experience working with children of all ages with a wide variety of different needs! She has experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, Emotional/ Behavioral Disorders, Attachment Disorders, and more.

 

"I am passionate about helping children reach their goals and supporting families, without boundaries!  I feel at-home in nature and love to share that passion for adventure and exploration! I love climbing trees to gain a different perspective and listening to the music that the wind and the trees create. Tree trunks represent stability, adventure, and, most importantly, growth. This is a perspective that I carry into my music sessions, allowing children to experiment, grow, and explore music naturally!"

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Theresa Vidmar

PHYSICAL THERAPIST 

EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSISTANT LEARNING ALLY
Nature Element: WATER

Theresa Vidmar earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 2013. She began her career practicing in the hospital & outpatient pediatric settings. There she worked with children and adults with orthopedic & neurologic conditions. She is intrigued how nature provides the perfect environment for healthy gross motor skill development for young children. 

Theresa is a proud mom to an active 18-month old son. A native of eastern North Dakota, she and her husband like to travel to visit family and friends. Theresa also enjoys being outdoors all seasons of the year but especially going to the lake in the summer months. She is passionate about providing quality care within a holistic model that serves families & children of all ages.

"Whether it be snow, ice, rain, puddles, or lakes, I have been always fascinated by the extraordinary element of water. Growing up in eastern North Dakota and Minnesota, an abundance of lakes were present. Some of my happiest memories involve spending time with my family at the lakes in the summer and snow activities in the winter. Water is truly unique in its ability to be three separate and distinct forms on our planet. Each child, parent and family is also beautifully unique with their own abilities, gifts, and stories. As a therapist, I enjoy working with individuals and families to meet their distinct goals."

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Katie Madl

EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSISTANT LEARNING ALLY
Nature Element: WHEAT

Katie is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri receving a Bachelors Degree in Merchandising.  She also studied courses on Special Education and Speech Pathology.  Katie has had diverse experience working with children in various settings. She is currently an English as a Second Language teacher in which she is VIPKID TESOL certified. She also currently volunteers with a foster care program ranging from babies to teenagers while raising her two young children. 

"I am God's wheat & shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ's pure bread. The man who sows wrong thoughts and deeds and prays that God will bless him is in the position of a farmer who, having sown tares, asks God to bring forth for him a harvest of wheat. Faith is like a kernel of wheat. 

"When wheat is ripening properly, when the wind is blowing across the field, you can hear the beards of the wheat rubbing together. They sound like the pine needles in a forest. It is a sweet, whispering music that once you hear, you never forget.”

-Norman Borlaug 

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Amanda Wilson

PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSISTANT LEARNING ALLY 
Nature Element: SEASONS

Amanda Wilson is a graduate from the University of Kansas Occupational Therapy Program in with a Master in Occupational Therapy.  She has experience in pediatric outpatient therapy & school-based therapy. She has experience working with children ages 3-14 on developing fine motor skills, life skills, and sensory processing. In 2017, she paused her work to stay home with her son.  

 

After observing her son interact in nature & seeing the natural sensory inputs and confidence he gained, it helped her realize how enriching nature is for all ages.  She was delighted to find Well Wilderness Therapeutic Center & has loved seeing her son thrive.  

 

"I look forward to the changing of each season.  Each season brings its own new exciting experiences.  We all experience many changes throughout our lives, and we can often be reluctant to changes.  Just as each new season brings new things, changes in our lives can also bring new and good experiences."

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Maddie Krowe

SEASONAL INTERN & EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSISTANT LEARNING ALLY
Nature Element: PAWS

 Maddie Krowe is currently a student at Johnson County Community College studying Sustainable Agriculture and Early Childhood Education. Maddie first found an interest in working with children while coaching at a rock climbing gym. At the rock climbing gym they focused on building confidence in each child's life. The individualized coaching each child received sparked an interest in child psychology for Maddie. Finding Well Wilderness Kids was a surprise blessing in Maddie’s life. Here she has gained incredible knowledge from the professionals and children she works with. She is so thankful to have found Well Wilderness Kids at the very beginning of her journey, and is excited to see where her new knowledge and interests take her. She hopes to be able to continue helping children and families in an outdoor setting. 

 

“My love for all creatures started from a very early age. The first word I ever spoke was dog. Since then, I have had a special connection with dogs. I love taking my dog Basil on hikes and other outdoor adventures. Seeing how he experiences the world enhances my experience out in nature more than anything. We have had the best adventures together and I will always cherish those memories outside together.”

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Moe Edmonds

LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER 

MINDFULNESS ALLY FOR PRE-TEENS/TEENS & PARENTS
Nature Element: SUNSHINE

Moe Edmonds is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, having served in many capacities, including within the foster care system, an early childhood education and social services center, a pediatric hospital and currently as a high school social worker. She is passionate about holistic mental wellness, advocacy and the empowerment of children and families. 

 

Alongside her work as a social worker, Moe is a 200-HR Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor. Over ten years ago, she was drawn to this ancient practice for its ability to guide her in grounding and providing space for connecting to her mind, body and spirit. Moe is a dedicated yogi, committed to self-inquiry, study, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), karmic action and asana (yogic postures and movement). 

 

By combining these modalities, Moe offers an inviting, trauma-informed, healing approach to getting to know oneself and connecting with the world around you.

"Every day the sun rises and sets. One constant in a sea change. It provides reassurance on days that might not go as planned, that we can close the chapter on one day and rise with the sun, a new day and new opportunities the next. Some days, the sun is covered in clouds, but yet still there, still persisting through. Some days, the sun shines bright, vibrant and powerful, a symbol of light and strength. The sunshine resonates with the light that we each carry within ourselves."

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Amy Zoe Schonhoff

MINDFULNESS ALLY FOR PARENTS & PROFESSIONALS
Nature Element: earth

Amy Zoe Schonhoff is the founder of Mindfulness in the Heartland, a venture dedicated to providing training and education in the practices and principles of mindfulness. She has been a mindfulness practitioner for over 25 years, is a qualified teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through UMass Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness. She is also a trained Mindfulness Educator for grades K-12 through Mindful Schools. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Iowa & has worked for many years as a nonprofit professional. It is her intention to inspire others to live as if every moment matters.

"Earth is mother; the life-giver and sustainer. When we attend to her wisdom, life grows and flourishes. Much like the element of earth, mindfulness can provide us with fertile ground to anchor our roots—a perpetual source of strength, stability, and peace that resides within each of us."