A nine-month program meeting one weekend per month, September through May.
Fall 2017 dates coming soon!
For NYC residents, we provide a free shuttle to and from the Wassaic Metro-North station.
Connection. Challenge. Transformation.
“The wilderness holds all truth and knowledge.”
Reclaim Your Connection…
Come to know the goldfinches as they chatter in the evergreens, and learn to recognize their reactions to the hunting hawk. Learn to know the tracks and sign of the creatures that have passed by, and where to find the edible and healing plants in the forest. Discover ways to make a difference on the planet in small but powerful ways. Bask in community as you share your own gifts, stories, and creativity, within an intentional design of deepening connection.
Experience the Wild…
As the urbanized world expands and the natural world shrinks, there is an emerging longing to experience the wilderness around us and the wild within. Awakening Wild offers an ongoing experience of fun, exciting nature immersion to awaken our senses, bolster our sense of comfort and confidence in the woods, and strengthen our connection with the natural world. You'll be guided on a life-changing journey composed of four distinct yet intertwined educational pathways: nature connection, permaculture design, community building and wilderness skills.
Deepening our connection with nature is the foundation for all we experience and learn in this program. The Core Routines of Nature Connection will help us deeply sink our roots of awareness into our natural surroundings and foster a sense of natural belonging as we:
- Exercise fun, dynamic ways to expand the senses
- Develop fluency in the language of nature through listening for Bird Language
- Hone keen observation and interpretation skills through wildlife tracking
- Cultivate a sense of belonging through regular visits to one place in nature—your “sit spot.”
Wilderness Survival Skills
For countless millennia we humans have walked the earth with confidence, allowing our beloved land to provide us with all our needs of food, water, tools, shelter, medicine, fire and more. Awakening Wild develops competency in:
- Making fire, including fire by friction
- Constructing primitive shelter
- Identifying, harvesting, and preparing wild edible and medicinal plants
- Making brain-tanned buckskin
- Crafting bark pack baskets.
Like other social species in nature, human beings possess the power to work together toward a common goal. Unlike other species, however, this cooperative power is latent until activated by a safe, nurturing village atmosphere. Discover the spirit of cooperation and a feeling of belonging as together we:
- Give voice to authentic gratitude
- Approach projects, tasks and challenges with effort and laughter
- Share songs and storytelling around the fire
- Explore a nature-inspired, roles-based system of collaboration.
Permaculture is a creative design system that helps provide human needs while maintaining or increasing the health of the ecosystem. We will explore a set of intertwining permaculture principles as we:
- Observe (up close!) the interacting forces of decomposition, wind, sun, soil, water flow, topography, and human and animal activities
- Design and a create a wild edible foods garden.
How we’ll spend our days…
Our days are spent exploring the hundreds of acres of forests, fields, and streams, and our nights are spent in our woodstove-heated yurt. Our focus during a particular day or weekend will relate to what is happening on the landscape at that time, such as harvesting and processing acorns in the fall or tracking mammals in the winter. Each day will include stories, active routines, and reflection. In the evening, we’ll cook and eat together while telling our stories of the day, then gather around the fire for socializing, music, and celebration. Sunday mornings, we will practice our bird language routine—sitting together on the land to listen and observe, then regrouping to map what we’ve learned. Sunday afternoon might be dedicated to permaculture and ecology lessons on the land, which will eventually lead to the practice of design. Then we’ll circle up once more to check in and close the weekend.
What you’ll take back into the world…
Along with extensive wilderness and leadership skills that you can use in multiple settings, you will leave this program with a deeper awareness of all living things and of the world around you. Having gained an experiential understanding of the functioning connections on the land, you will be able to work more effectively toward healing our planet and ecosystem. You will also find yourself with a greatly enhanced ability to build and nurture community, wherever you are and whoever you are with. This program offers you the support and reflection you need to connect with your own gifts and take the next steps to enact your vision.
Payment Plan: An initial payment of $750 is made upon registration, followed by one of three options:
- Three payments of $500 each, with a $10 fee added to each payment (due November 15, January 15, and March 15)
- Two payments of $750 each, with a $10 fee added per payment (due November 15 and February 15)
- A second payment of $1,500, with a single $10 fee (due November 15).
Need financial assistance? Apply now.