Nature Connection for Adults
The Wilderness Youth Project (WYP) Apprentice Program will train you in nature connection and mentoring to provide a foundation for working at WYP or a similar organization. You will be steeped in our core routines of mentoring while having the opportunity to use these routines on a WYP school-year program. In addition, you will be mentored by WYP staff in naturalist and primitive skills such as fire by friction, tracking, bird language and wilderness survival.
The apprentice program meets every Friday, from 9-1 and combines solo experiences, group adventures and program time facilitated by WYP staff. We ask that you commit to volunteering for one of our weekly programs to put mentoring skills and WYP culture into practice.
Consistent meeting in nature, results in a level of self exploration which can propel you to discover your natural gifts and lead you to a life with more purpose.
Structure: The Apprentice Program runs September through May, with 3 components:
- Apprenticing in one (or more) of WYP’s weekly morning or after-school programs throughout the school year (see schedule here)
- Attending the Friday apprentice training from 9-1. Each month this includes:
First Friday- Part experiental and part discussion of nature connection, culture and mentoring with WYP’s directors.
Second Friday- Group adventure. As a group you are sent out on a mission designed to further your mentoring, skill or comfort in nature.
Third Friday- Primitive skills with WYP staff.
Fourth Friday- Long sit spot. While you will be going to your sit spot every week for at least 30 minutes, once a month you have a longer sit.
- Finding a spot in nature to sit for 30 minutes-1 hour a week, followed by journaling and mapping.
The Apprentice Program will:
- Help you deepen your own connection with the natural world by:
- Introducing you to beautiful areas of Santa Barbara county
- Introducing you to the rich natural history of our area
- Introducing you to the core routines of nature awareness and connection
- Provide a foundation for the broad skills of nature-based mentoring:
- Basics of Group Facilitation: People skills are the most crucial aspect of our work. Rapport building, games, talking circles, participant engagement, group unity, peacemaking, and many more.
- Risk Management: Participants will be introduced to all the relevant outdoor hazards in our area and how they are managed.
- Mentoring Tools: WYP is an affiliate of 8 Shields, a network with a long and rich lineage of creating culture that connects people to nature, self and others. This lineage comprises routines, strategy, assessment, activities, and cultural elements to foster these connections.
Who is the Apprentice Program for?
- Environmental & outdoor education enthusiasts and professionals
- After-school & camp counselors
- Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles
- Naturalists & docents
- Anyone in service to the next generation’s relationship with the natural world
- For adults age 18 and over
Cost: The cost of the nine month program is $480 per semester for two semesters. Email Sharon@wyp.org to discuss a payment plan if needed.
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