Hearth – children (0-6) with an accompanying adult to care for them, teens aged 13-18 and elders

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 coming with their young 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.

The Village Hearth space is designed to enable family groups to come to the Art of Mentoring. So to take part in this space, at least one parent from your family group will be participating in another programme while the other parent, or a guardian, will be in the Hearth. Teenagers do not need a guardian with them, but they must have a adult with them who is on one of the adult programmes.

This is not a formal program, it is an informal co-creative space where guardians, young children and teens are at the centre of the village, surrounded by experienced 8 Shields mentors who will be supporting the guardians, and will be variously involved in crafting, making music, supporting adults in their processes, and whatever else is needed to support our temporary village. So don’t think of this as a nursery, more as a co-creative space in which to have quality nature connection and people connection time with your child and other like-hearted guardians.

We have designed this part to enable returning elders and participants with young children or teens to attend, and of course the young ones bring much light to the camp as a whole.  Together, the guardians, teens and the Hearth acorn 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 daytime (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 you 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!

Elders – The Hearth is also the space for the Elders who are an important and celebrated part of our Village for the week. If you have already taken a Ring 1 program and would like to come and participate in the Art of Mentoring as an Elder we would love to have you as part of the Hearth.

  • Prerequisite: To be supporting a friend or member of your family to participate in one of the other programmes by looking after their / your child or to be an Elder who has taken Ring 1 previously, or a teenager aged 13-18
  • Age: children 0-6 years old and an adult 18 or over, or teens aged 13-18, or an elder (60+)
  • Number of places: 20 individuals, so 10 family groups or the equivalent number of teenagers or elders (early booking is advised as we anticipate places going quickly)
  • Arrival: 3pm – 5pm Sunday 23rd July
  • Cost: £125 (per person)

*Additional children: please fill out a new booking form for every additional child.

Booking opening soon!