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What is Francis and Friends?


Parents are increasingly concerned that their children are disconnected from the world around them.  Research has shown that time spent in nature has multiple physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.  And it is one of the best ways to create family bonding time. Francis and Friends was created to help you reconnect your kids with the natural world, provide easy activities for your entire family, all while teaching children about the loving, peaceful, non-judgmental values embodied by St. Francis of Assisi and his friends St. Clare.


What does the program include?

Francis and Friends is a series of five videos that introduce the program and the four elements of the "Great Commandment" that we should love God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength.  Each video features an animal puppet, a cartoon of Francis and Clare, and Rich Nelson, creator of the Following the Way® faith formation programs.  After watching one of the videos with your child, you will find 10+ downloadable activity sheets to help you take the lesson you just learned out into the world to experience and explore God's wonderful creation.  Once your family completes at least 5 of the 10 activities for each area, you can tell Francis and Clare you have completed the Heart, Soul, Mind or Strength unit and receive a completion certificate. 


Can we do this with other families?

Absolutely!  In fact, a leader's guide is available with all the tools and tips you need to be able to experience Francis and Friends with other families in your neighborhood, church, school, or community club.  You can access the Group Curriculum here.


Is the website safe for children?

We have designed the Francis and Friends Clubhouse to be completely safe for children and to work on computers, tablets and phones.  All of the resources are behind a password protected site and no personal information is ever required beyond the information you provide at registration.  We will never sell or share your contact information with anyone.


Who created Francis and Friends?

This program is created by Rev. Rich Nelson (an Episcopal priest, former school chaplain, and dad) and a group of amazing contributors who work in outdoor education and faith formation.  Rich is the creator and animator of the Following the Way® series of discipleship resources.  Each of these resources is centered around helping individuals and small groups explore and apply the meaning of the Great Commandment in their lives.  For more information or to contact Rich, visit his personal website.

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