Monday, 23 July 2012

What is all the talk about the Art of Mentoring anyway?

Last August, I attending a week long nature immersion workshop that changed the way I teach, interact with my community and with my family.  I am now part of this movement across Ontario that is connected internationally to other regional groups. So I thought I would share the information below with you and perhaps you will understand a bit more of what I am talking about when I mention the Art of Mentoring written together by myself and my very good friend Kevin MacGregor.


Students rioting, elders alone across the country, adults struggling to achieve the economic dream, children committing suicide: are these the signs of a healthy community?  What does a healthy community even look and feel like?

Across Ontario there is a movement afoot to address these very questions.  People of all ages are throwing out their TV remotes and game consoles to head into the woods ready to discover what it feels like to be deeply connected to the natural world and to discover who they really are.  People are not going alone but bringing with them their children, their teenagers, and their seniors, to discover what community is like when everyone is a valued member of the ecosystem.

Art of Mentoring Ontario (AoM ON) is part of an international movement almost 30 years old that uses ancient methods to integrate nature education, community building, personal development and ecological stewardship into a five-day workshop August 20-25.  Through hands-on learning, adult participants will experience a nature-based village and gain the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to create a powerful culture of natural connection in the home, workplace and community. Concurrent children’s camps, teen’s camp and elder’s training program will be woven into the fabric of the adult experience with intergenerational programming and nightly sharing of stories.

Janice, a 2010 participant shares her experience “With out a doubt this is an exceptional workshop it combines the two most important tenets I strive to live by; being deeply connected to nature, and embracing the human spirit. I’m looking forward to next year.”
The Art of Mentoring movement in Ontario was organized by members of the P.I.N.E. Project in Toronto, various nature educators in Ontario and is supported by international visionaries such as Jon Young (8 Shields Institute, California) and Mark Morey (Institute for Natural Learning, Vermont

Another exciting part about this year’s program is Jon Young, co-founder of the Art of Mentoring, prolific author and storyteller will be part of the Ontario program.  Jon has been a leader in this field for thirty years and brings a very experienced, unique, and fun presence to this years program.

Join The P.I.N.E. Project, Mark Morey (Institute for Natural Learning), Saskia Veanderhoop (Sassafras Earth Education), Dan Gardoqui (White Pine Programs), Andrew McMartin (PINE Project), Chris Gilmour (PINE Project), Alexis Burnett (Earth Tracks), Skeet Sutherland (Sticks and Stones Wilderness School) and other nature educators from Ontario and New England for the 3rd annual Art of Mentoring, held at Mansfield Centre, ON for the week of August 20-25th.