Our Mission

The mission of the Cool Learning Experience is to foster the well-being of the whole child in healthy relationship with family, community and the natural world.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand
everything better.
— Albert Einstein

Our Inspiration

Cool Learning Experience is rooted in First Baptist Church’s long history of caring for children. Early in 2008, two First Baptist pastors noted how multiple factors combined to undermine healthy child development, forming all too familiar destructive patterns resistant to change. With one being a wilderness guide, the other an educator and former scientist, their shared insights led them to use a different approach to combat the dire future being faced by many children. 

Cool Learning Experience was founded that summer as a learning program which addressed the child as a whole; with specific consideration given to the entire life context in which a child was being raised. In our view, education is only complete when a child has developed a positive, harmonious relationship with self, peers, family, community and nature.


Together we


  • Academic excellence: STEM-focused
  • 80 hours of science over six weeks
  • Nature; our hands-on classroom
  • Fun learning: curiosity, creativity, imagination
  • Exposure to diverse career pathways


  • Sense of the Sacred: wonder, beauty, mystery
  • Nature: an occasion for reflection and serenity
  • Self-confidence boosted as each child is valued
  • Healthy lifestyle: encouraged, modeled
  • Fit Fridays: 100% participation in tennis classes, kids in the kitchen activities, afternoons at the beach


  • Relational skills for family harmony
  • Financial support for students
  • 44% of 2014 students received financial assistance
  • Family resources and referrals
  • Evening and weekend family events


  • Cultural, ethnic and social diversity
  • Sense of place: belonging to “my” community
  • Local environmental concerns
  • Intergenerational social interaction
  • 100% participation in service learning projects




  • Daily time in nature: enjoyment, respect, intimacy
  • Loving nature creates Planet Protectors
  • Promoting Eco-friendly practices
  • Exploring local environmental issues and strategies 
  • 50% of seventh and eight graders equipped to serve as Eco-ambassadors