Wild Frontiers is a monthly offering for kids aged 12-17. This program is designed for kids who have previous experience in nature-based skills and long to go deeper. The program is divided into 5 Sunday sessions and 4 weekend overnight trips into the wilds of mid-Vancouver Island.
Drawing on skills that the youth have been developing over their years in nature schools, we will take these skills out into the wild and cultivate a practical experience of their value. We will strengthen their naturalists skills and balance them with core skills in bushcraft and basecamp management. As we work together, they will experience and incorporate a nature-connected community-minded culture, grounded in relationships of respect and reciprocity.
We will have the chance to explore some mythology together that delves into the mysteries of human growth, especially with regards to adolescence and the ancestral traditions surrounding initiation into adulthood. We will offer a separate program in the summer to provide a rite of passage to those youth who feel called and ready to honour this transition. Wild Frontiers will be the chance for a year of mentorship and preparation towards such a ceremony.
(Please note, only some youth will be ready for the summer rite of passage - the mentors, families and youth themselves will decide if they are ready.)
Sat 25/Sun 26 Sep. 2021
Sun 24 Oct. 2021
Sun 28 Nov. 2021
Sun 16 Jan. 2022
Sun 13 Feb. 2022
Sat 23/Sun 24 Apr. 2022
Sat 14/Sun 15 May 2022
Sat 11/Sun 12 Jun. 2022
Nature is our teacher, and throughout the year we will move with the seasons around the “wheel of development”, offering subtle guidance towards the lessons that bring us into deeper connection with our selves, each other, and the land. Kids will learn without even realising, and will discover emerging emotional qualities, social skills, self-awareness and self-confidence that seem as natural as the changing of the seasons. Through games, storytelling, songs, and guided exploration in small groups, they will find personal trails of intrigue and natural mysteries calling out to them and to their growth, their gifts.
The 8-shields “Coyote Mentoring” approach was developed by Jon Young at the Wilderness Awareness School, formalizing the child-led, experiential schooling methods apparent in nature-based cultures. This approach cultivates our children’s curiosity and innate wisdom, guiding them into personal and collective learning experiences that reveal their gifts and support their development towards healthy maturity and wholeness.
The 8-shields model has seen abounding success across the world as an alternative education option for home school communities, and as extra-curricular programming for kids in school. Both Steph and Kes have extensive experience designing and facilitating 8-shields programs at different nature schools in Canada.
Return to Youth Programs
Various locations across mid-island Vancouver Island
Day and Time:
Weekends: Saturday 9am - Sunday 3pm
Sundays only: 9am-3pm
Transport: we have transport arranged for these programs, and will do drop-off/pickup in the Courtenay/Nanaimo areas.