Forest Educator Skills Retreat:
Games, Activities & Challenges for Middle Schoolers
A Four Day Residential Training May TBA, 2024
Hawk Circle Wilderness Education in Cherry Valley, NY
The Synergy of Leadership & Creativity
Infusing our Nature Based Approaches to foster confidence, passion and social connection.
For most modern children, going into the wild is a profoundly different experience than what we remember from our own childhood. There is a high likelihood that there will be a significant number of students who will be doing whatever activities you are doing for the very first time.
Entering the forest in this way is a revelatory experience that requires mentors and guides who can help children and teens find inner strength that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
In this program, we'll share time tested games, challenges, lessons and crafts that offer a variety of ways that we can support them and celebrate with them as they grow with us in the wild.
We will focus on leadership building challenges & activities, creative expression through nature crafts & social bonding experiences, to help you add to your 'Forest Tool Kit' in your own programs and presentations.
A Forest Retreat for Forest Educators
Join Ricardo Sierra as he shares all of the skills, tricks, tips and strategies that he's gathered and honed over his 35 years of wilderness education. You'll stay in cozy heated cabins and enjoy campfires, crafts, nature walks, tracking excursions and powerful discussions that will inform and inspire!
Get Activities, Games & Crafts You can Use!
Experience a 'Forest Adventure'
from the Inside!
No matter what kind of nature program you are operating or creating, the skills and first hand knowledge in this residential training can help build confidence and fill your 'Forest Bag of Tricks'.
We share skills, games and activities that work in schools, organizations, urban environments and also 'field programs' that have more natural areas and less restrictive safety guidelines (like allowing a campfire, etc).
You will leave with a working knowledge of how to recreate these with your own program, along with a renewed sense of purpose, excitement and inspiration to make positive impacts in your community.
Here's What You'll Learn
Learn to kindle a fire, build a shelter, tie knots, find wild foods, use a stone as a knife, understand animal tracks, learn your trees and more
Share and learn storytelling for Forest Educators around the campfire or dining table. Explore the ways that mythical archetypes inspire your students.
Create lesson plans and activity sessions that help students learn to de-stress, unwind, get creative and flow with their senses.
Make bark baskets, natural fiber rope, weave cattails, gather natural materials from the land, make a willow tray, felt with wool and much more.
Lodging & Food
Participants will stay in heated cabins or tents if preferred, and enjoy home cooked meals throughout the Intensive. (We can accommodate some dietary restrictions with advanced notice.)
We are located near Cooperstown in Central New York, and can arrange airport, bus or train pickup from Albany NY with advanced notice for an additional fee.
Get our directions address here if you are driving!
"If you are teaching 'forest skills' to children, it's vital that you know how these work from your own direct experience."
One of my Golden Rules of being a 'Forest Educator' is that I only teach skills or lead activities that I have actually done myself, so I understand what my students are going through as they try to weave a basket, or walk blindfolded, or build a shelter. Quite honestly, these can be frustrating, anxiety-producing events that can teach children how to manage their stress and find ways to accomplish their goals with our support and guidance. This program gives you this first-hand knowledge of multiple crafts, games, skills and activities, so you can return with everything you need in your own programs or school. -Ricardo Sierra