Programme Options

Art of Mentoring runs from 20th-26th July 2014 and will be held at the Falkland Centre for Stewardship. Arrival times differ for some programmes so please read each description carefully.

Here are the different programmes that make up Art of Mentoring. These programmes run side-by-side, share meals, a hearth and some evening workshops. In this way, we live as a village for the duration of the camp.

  • Ring 1 – first time adult participants
  • Ring 2 Nature Immersion – returning adult participants (of all ages)
  • Ring 2 Towards Elderhood – returning adult participants (50+)
  • Kestrels – teenagers (13-17)
  • Foxes – children (7-12)
  • Squirrels and thier Guardians – children (0-6) with an accompanying adult

For general advice about coming as a family group, please click here

Please note that prices include all food and camping

Click here for information about bursaries

Ring 1 – First time adult participants

The Ring 1 programme is an immersion into a living, learning culture of nature and self-awareness. Guided by an international team of experienced facilitators, participants come together for lectures, workshops, storytelling and outdoor group experiential activities – while drawing inspiration from the rest of nature. Here you will both learn about and be immersed in the 8 shields model that actively deepens connection to the rest of nature, others people and self.

Family groups: See general family group advice

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Age: all ages and life stages 18 or over are welcome
  • Number of places: 72
  • Arrival: 3pm – 5pm Sunday 20th July
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £550
  • April 1st onwards: £600

Book on!

Ring 2

Ring 2 Nature Immersion – returning adult participants

Are you ready to take a deep nature connection journey as a returning participant? Do you want to immerse yourself in bird language, tracking, ancient crafts and living, playing, being in the woods? The Ring 2 experience takes your experience of the living world to greater depths – and is great fun! Ring 2 have their own programme throughout the week, but re-join the rest of the village for most meals and certain key events. Falkland is a treasure trove of old trees, waterfalls and hills – a perfect place for walking on the wild side!

Family groups: The Ring 2 programme can be workable for parents who have children in the Foxes as you will be back at camp for dinnertime each day with the exception of one optional overnight away from camp. However for most parents this has been a stretch if they have no other adult on the camp able to help with childcare. See general family group advice

  • Prerequisite: you have done Ring 1 (first time participant) on an Art of Mentoring
  • Age: all ages and life stages 18 or over are welcome
  • Number of places: 16 (early booking is advised)
  • Arrival: 11am – 12noon on Sunday 2oth July (a few hours earlier than most other programmes, you will join our staff for lunch)
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £450
  • April 1st onwards: £500

Book on!

Ring 2 Towards Elderhood – returning adult participants (50+)

Building Community – Celebrating the Place of the Elder

The Art of Mentoring (AoM) is an experiment in the design of a healthy, sustaining and regenerative community.  A study of healthy communities reveals that they are made up of extended community relationships. These relationships extend across generations, generally exist over time and include mentoring principles as we have come to understand them.  In these communities all generations are part of the weaving and the elder generation holds its own unique place of both value and responsibility.  As AoM strives to be a model  that embodies such a community, as well as a teaching ground, it demands a core group and a growing number of fully developed elders.  What does that mean?

In the Ring 2 Towards Elderhood programme we will endeavour to explore the answer to that question.  Part of the process is one of “re-membering” that which personal lives and distortions of culture have caused us to forget.  Part of the process is developing tools that have been honed and that help to build relationships and communities.  Part of the process demands a knowing of self, of personal gifts and of resistances we might have put in place that block the expression of these.  Part of the process is understanding cultural elements practiced by many indigenous cultures that sustained both individuals and communities over long periods of time and the place of the elders in these.  Part of the process is apprenticing with others that have been experimenting with stepping into this place both within and outside of the Art of Mentoring.  Most of all, it requires the sincere desire to give back to a world that has sustained us until now and, in the process, to build strong communities.

Elders

If you have already done the Ring 1 programme at AoM and feel yourself fully in this stage of life, if you have already begun to step into the practice of some of this in your own community and want to go further, the Ring 2 Towards Elderhood programme may be for you.  During the mornings of the week of AoM there will be rich experiential learning to include an introduction to human development, rites of passage, the role of elders in ceremony, skill training and practice, cultural competency and diversity, and more.  During the afternoons you will be matched up with Staff Elders for apprenticeship experiences in the larger AoM community.  Expect as much play as depth and a profoundly rewarding engagement with all ages of the AoM village.

The Towards Elderhood programme will be facilitated by Miriam Dror, with support from Hana Jones and Adele Clarke.  Biographies can be found under AoM Team. We have limited spaces from which we hope to form a group that will encompass a good balance of men and women from a variety of regions within the UK and Ireland.  Your application will help us to ensure that the places are allocated in alignment with this, so please apply early by April 1st (if spaces are not filled in the first round, later applications will be considered). You will hear from us by mid April.

Some criteria to help you access your readiness:

  • You have participated in Ring 1 (first time participant) on Art of Mentoring (in the UK or abroad)
  • You are rooted in your life and know who your community are.
  • You are already holding some form of ‘service’ role in your community, whether explicit or undefined.
  • You have done some inner work and personal healing already and are drawn to further your understanding of being an elder in community.
  • You feel connected to nature, and draw support and insight from the natural world.
  • You have gone on a deep nature connection journey either in your life or have participated in an Art of Mentoring Ring 2 Nature Immersion, or some other programme or experience with a similar approach.
  • Ideally you are 55+, but anyone who is 50 or over is welcome to apply.

Hearing the call?

In a well-established community this role would naturally emerge through others calling you forth and we understand that it may feel challenging to put yourself forward for this programme as it goes against our natural cultural humility to do so. However, we feel that it is essential for us all to step out and forwards at this time, even when it feels uncomfortable, to ensure the generations coming behind us know that there really is something joyous to live for. So if you have a quiet but insistent voice deep inside you that is calling you towards this programme, please apply.

Family Groups: See general family group advice

  • Prerequisite: Ring 1 (first time participant) on Art of Mentoring (in the UK or abroad) and the criteria above
  • Age: Ideally 55+ but anyone 50+ is welcome to apply
  • Number of places: 8 (with application process, so please apply early)
  • Arrival: 11am – 12noon on Sunday 20th July (a few hours earlier than most other programmes)
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £450
  • April 1stonwards: £500

Book on!

Squirrels and Guardians – children (0-6) with an accompanying adult to care for them

If you could dream of a week together with your child, what would it look like? Would you spend lots of time playing? Would you explore nature together? Would you watch as your child grew comfortable in and familiar with natural surroundings? Would you explore mysteries together and share elation and wonderment at your new discoveries?

That’s the vision we hold for parents and guardians who are signing up with their children to join us at the Art of Mentoring. Whether you are a parent or a close family friend, being a guardian on this programme will no doubt deepen your connection between yourself and your children.

This programme is designed to enable family groups to come to the Art of Mentoring. So to take part in this programme, at least one parent from your family group will be participating in another programme while the other parent, or a guardian, will be taking care of your squirrels (0-6 year old children).

This group will be guided by nature mentors following the 8 shields rhythms and is also guardian led. So don’t think of this as a nursery, more as a held space in which to have quality nature connection time with your child and other like-hearted guardians.

We have designed this programme to enable participants with young children to attend, and of course the young ones bring much light to the camp as a whole.  Together, the  guardians and staff have the opportunity of creating a lovely group connection and camp experience. It’s worth knowing that sometimes it can be hard for guardians who have never done an Art of Mentoring before, as they are not involved in the main AoM activities during the day time (except for meal times). Instead they are responsible for being with and taking care of their children at all times throughout the day. It can be frustrating to be in this role of service to the community, rather than receiving a particular course, when you can see it going on all around you or may be in camp alone while participants are out in the field.

Family groups: In the evenings, guardians are welcome to join in activities and workshops. Of course the children will still need to be tended so family groups will need to balance both the needs of the guardians to have some time when they are not in sole charge of the children and the needs of the parents/guardians taking part in the adult programmes. While many evening activities are family friendly, some will inevitably be adult focused. See general family group advice

Come in the spirit of service to your friend or partner and really choosing to make this an opportunity for your connection with your child to flourish, and you will have a fabulous time!

One Guardian said “I have never felt closer to my son than this week of playing together within a village, sharing our stories with other parents”.  So we are on track!

  • Prerequisite: To be supporting a friend or member of your family in one of the other programmes by looking after their / your child.
  • Age: children 0-6 years old and an adult 18 or over
  • Number of places: 20 family groups (early booking is advised)
  • Arrival: 3pm – 5pm Sunday 20th July
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £200 (for 1 Squirrel and 1 Guardian)
  • April 1stonwards: £250 (for 1 Squirrel and 1 Guardian)
  • Additional Squirrels: £50 each* (little ones who cannot walk yet come for free).

*Additional Squirrels: please fill out a new Squirrel and Guardian application form for every additional Squirrel. You will be able to select an option on the application form that means you will only be charged £50 for this extra Squirrel.

Book On!

Foxes – children (7-12)

We will be running a facilitated nature connection programme for 7-12 year olds, to enable their parents to participate in the adult Art of Mentoring programmes.  Children will be encouraged to play and follow their passions and curiosity, with gentle guidance and lots of inspiration from our trained mentors.

Family Groups: Please be aware that all Foxes will need to be looked after by their parents or guardians during all meal times, evenings and night times. In the evenings, there will be activities and workshops scheduled. While many evening activities are family friendly, some will inevitably be adult focused. Of course the children will still need to be tended to so family groups will need to balance both the needs of the parents/guardians taking part in the adult programmes and the needs of the guardians to have some time when they are not in sole charge of the children. Therefore it is possible that at least one parent or guardian may not be able to participate when evening workshop sessions are scheduled. See general family group advice

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Age: children 7-12 years old
  • Number of places: 20 (early booking is advised)
  • Arrival: 3pm – 5pm Sunday 21st July
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £200
  • April 1st onwards: £250

Kestrels – teenagers (13-17 )

The Kestrels programme is open to teenagers who are hungry to be intensively mentored in nature awareness, and wish to connect with peers from all over Britain to affirm their love of being in nature. The programme is designed to immerse teenagers in a nature connection and a personal growth adventure. They will have interactions with a community of elders, aunts, uncles and children that form the Art of Mentoring village, making it more than an ‘overnight camp’.

Family Groups: For most of the camp, the Kestrels will be off on their own adventure. So while parents and guardians will see their Kestrels at the start and the end of the camp, for most of the time they will be sleeping in their own camp and have full days off as a pack together. When the Kestrels are back at the hearth, parents and guardian are asked to take care of their teenagers. See general family group advice

  • Prerequisite: teenagers who’ve had some previous experience of camping and the outdoors
  • Age: teenagers 13-17 years old
  • Number of places: 14 (early booking is advised)
  • Arrival: 3pm – 5pm Sunday 20th July
  • Early Bird Offer (before April 1st): £250
  • April 1st onwards: £300

Older teenagers with relevant experience may be eligible to be volunteer apprentice staff for this programme. Please email info@natureculturescotland.org for more info.

Book on!

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