EarthWalk Nature Mentoring: A "Natural" Pathway to Vermont's Transferable Skills

Course Number: EDU 5627 C02 (graduate), EDU 4710 CFS2 (undergraduate)
Instructor: Angella Gibbons & Barry Wyman
Location: EarthWalk Vermont, Plainfield
Dates and Times: August 7 - 11, 2017 from 8 am - 4 pm
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $1,175 (includes 3 credits, instruction and Nature Mentoring Foundations Packet)

Note: Please register directly with EarthWalk. If you wish to take the course for credit, please notify EarthWalk, who will give you the link to Castleton's registration form. Payment is payable and due to EarthWalk Vermont.

Course Description

This 5-day outdoor field course is for adult learners who want to experience a dynamic approach and methodology in community and nature-based education. Gain skills used in mentoring children in nature, guided by principles grounded in care for one another and the Earth. Adult learners can strengthen their own personal nature-connection; develop earth skills; practice powerful techniques in mentoring to create a joyful learning community. Experience hands-on activities, games, stories and songs that can tap into children’s innate sense of curiosity and wonder. Some opportunities provided throughout week to engage directly with, and learn from, children and mentors at concurrent EarthWalk Summer Camp. This course is appropriate for classroom teachers as well as non-traditional educators who want to learn, and/or go deeper in Nature Mentoring and are ready to bring more learning outside! Note for classroom teachers: this course and the aligned goals, objectives, assignments, and projects were developed with a consideration for Vermont’s Education Quality Standards, Transferable Skills and Recommended Performance Indicators. Those include communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation, inquiry and problem-solving.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to analyze, evaluate, create, as well as apply:
1. new and different approaches and methods for deepening relationships with the natural world.
2. new learned practices of Nature Mentoring utilizing the Core Routines of Nature Connection*. These routines include: Sit Spot, gratitude, sensory awareness activities, Art of Questioning; nature-journaling and storytelling.
3. new and different approaches and methods needed to create and implement learning activities for children based on natural and seasonal cycles. Guiding principles are: Nature-connection, Outdoor Living Skills, Community and Stewardship.
4. new naturalist knowledge and skills (local phenology) needed to guide activities, including local edible and medicinal plants; wildlife track and sign and bird language.
5. new knowledge and outdoor living skills needed to be safe and dry in all seasons, including; trailside first aid, fire-making, natural shelters, wild foraging, cooking and making crafts.
6. new knowledge and skills needed to build strong relationships, through mentoring "The Three-Cares"; care for self, others and the earth; group building games and activities; singing songs and sharing stories.
7. new knowledge and skills needed to share with intercultural competence, traditions and practices for inter-generational community to flourish, such as; acknowledging cultural influence and origin of songs and stories and honoring elders.
8. new knowledge and skills needed for guiding values of stewardship, including: nature-connection and awareness, storytelling, ethical harvesting, trail restoration, and service projects.
9. new knowledge and skills related to Vermont’s Education Quality Standards and Transferable Skills and Recommended Performance Indicators.
*Core Routines of Nature Connection are natural learning habits documented in Coyotes Guide to Connecting to Nature, by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGowan.

For additional course and registration information

Angella Gibbons
(802) 454-8500

Barry Wyman
(802) 454-8500

Register online now!