Kelly Brown is guide of a bustling, inquisitive, nature-loving, and socially active group of students. In addition to practicing a Montessori philosophy, Kelly is invested in ameliorating early childhood education through nature therapy, social and environmental justice, and anti-racism work in schools. He received a B.S. in Human Development from the Ohio State University in 2013, a Master’s in Education from Loyola University Maryland, a diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute in 2014, and a certificate from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs in 2018.
The seeds that his teachers and trainers planted in him have now sprouted like roots and stems in the work with students in Montessori schools and summer programs of the Montgomery, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel counties of Maryland. A second life path under construction for Kelly comes in the field of Nature and Forest Therapy, one that matches well with his life and work at Butler Montessori School. A love of naturalism and guided walks at the USBG, National Arboretum, and Rock Creek Park inspired Kelly to complete training and forest therapy certification in 2018 in Sonoma County, California.
After this intense small group forest therapy experience and a six-month practicum of leading walks, Kelly is now spreading language and experiences called “forest bathing” with adults and families in the greater DC area. This follows years of patching together birdwatching clubs at local schools to round out students’ daily lives, bringing children calm and focus than they naturally find in a Montessori classroom. When forest bathing, participants are guided through sensorial, playful, and imaginative experiences with Kelly, combining a nature walk with group sharing, discussion, and tea ceremony. These experiences are intentionally designed stimulate interests, curiosity, and activity while balancing community in a beautiful natural setting and holding scientific discussion on the healing benefits of “vitamin-N”.
Recent studies of forest bathing experiences reveal benefits like a boosted immune system, reduced blood pressure, and improved sleep patterns. Research also shows that when children play in natural spaces, they’re far more likely to invent their own games than in more structured settings — a key factor in becoming self-directed and inventive as children and later in life. For your next nature experience you can find Kelly on Forestbathingfinder.com local in the DC Area including Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel counties and the Eastern Shore.