Very excited to launch our 2021 Forest School Leader training courses for next year very soon. So privileged to do this work, especially with this amazing team, Lucy Bell of Growing Wild, Lucy O’Hagan of Wild Awake and me, Ciara Hinksman of Forest School Ireland.
We are associate trainers with the amazing Circle of Life Rediscovery, steered by our friend and lead-trainer, Marina Robb who’s incredible work has changed many lives for the better, from Mexico to China and these western isles. So grateful to help root this work into Irish soil with good folks.
I’m here to share what I can from my Forest School journey, however that evolves as the inspiration takes me. Since 2008 I’ve traveled around the world to learn from mentors in the nature connection movement and would be honoured to share some of what I discovered in this blog.
I am delighted to be able to say that twelve years later, the island of Ireland has a thriving FS and nature connection movement which is connected to similar work around the world.
I’ve just been on a ‘re-storying’ online call with my good friends from the Nature Culture Network, which organises the Art of Mentoring workshops across the UK and Ireland. It was through the Art of Mentoring network that I first heard about Forest School, many of the nature connection mentors I met there also trained as FS leaders to be certified and linked in with a solid, well-respected movement, that responded really well to the world we live in. (Meaning, I can still have a lot of wholehearted fun in the woods and know I have all my risk assessments in place to protect me and the people in my care.)
The re-storying is important now more than ever with the urgency around advocating for social justice, diversity, whole-hearted living and to keep our natural world alive and thriving along with our shared human experiences, given real context in our lives.
For me, it’s about being with the kids at Forest School in a good way, having a culture of nature connection in our schools, parents and adult carers given time to be held by a village, elders and youngers know they are an intrinsic part of the wisdom of any culture where everyone knows their gift is seen and valued; it is holding with love the common human story and maybe then we can really heal the world.
This is a my first blog post and a vulnerable moment for me but I think I’ll opt to be brave and a bit messy, over being safe and silent.
Thanks for reading and I hope to connect with you in a good way again sometime.