Kindled Nature Program

Kindled Nature Program

October-June, every first Saturday, except the first month, October, is the third Saturday 9-3pm

Kindled Nature Program is a place to learn, come alive, and have your stories heard while discovering nature.  Hosted by Willowell on our 230 acres of land, Kindled is a monthly nature mentoring program.

Is there anything more important than giving children a magical, alive, and story-filled childhood? At Kindled, children connect to themselves, nature and other people by…

…Running and laughing and sneaking through the snow and fall forest leaves…

…Learning crafts, animal tracking, shelter building, Jedi Training…

…Seeing the changes that take place as we explore the land throughout the year….


The Day

Each day, we arrive, play games and look at nature mysteries in our ever-growing nature museum (a collection of nature artifacts that are meant to be touched and wondered about).

Once all our Nature Schoolers have arrived, the day begins.  We start our day as a large group with gratitude for what we have by each sharing something we are grateful for.  A mentor might share a short story or song to set the tone of the day.

Then, we are off on our adventures in small age groups.  In these groups, throughout the year, we’ll learn and grow by:

  • Discovering new places through wandering and mapping
  • Getting into our senses, and learning to track and be detectives
  • Learning skills and crafts
  • Making art will natural materials and rock paint
  • And, of course, playing giant games of sneaking and running

All our activities will encourage us to find our own interests in nature that call us out into the world, instead of retreating into the cave of our mind.

When the day is nearly over, we will come and celebrate the day with a big group game and sharing stories.  We will end with a folk tale or true story told by the mentors (Elders and Parents are welcome to come and listen if they want).

Then, we say our goodbyes.

Nature Mentoring

Kindled Nature Program practices Nature Mentoring, a model that represents the heart of Willowell’s mission to connect people with the arts, education, the environment, and each other.  It’s a simple model, but why does it work?  Learn more about the science and research behind Nature Mentoring at the website of 8 Shields Institute.  

led by Barry Wyman and Yard Salie, the program takes place on the first Saturday of each month.


Leader’s Bios:

Barry Wyman:

Barry has been teaching about birds, tracks, fire and fun for almost 15 years. He has a fierce love of nature and a calming and wonderful nature himself. He goimg_2408t a masters in education from Antioch University and many certifications under his belt but most importantly he has been a guest teacher at Kindled before, teaching about something called Atlatls (throwing spears) and the kids still talk about his visit. Barry is currently a mentor and instructor at Earth Walk in Plainfield, VT. He will be joined by amazing mentor, Yard Salie


Yard Salie:

Yard grew up in suburban New Jersey, where it seemed like the wild things lived off the interstate or on the edges of parking lots. A summer on a farm in the Champlain Islands broughtYard into a playful curiosity about the natural world. Yard has since spent time as an apprentice at Koviashuvik Local Living School, a counselor at Flying Cloud, and a mentor at EarthWalk Vermont. These days Yard likes to gatherwild food, count the leaves on wildflowers, and carve spruce burls into bowls.Yard is passionate about collecting folk tales from the around the world, reflect on our responsibilities to each other and the planet, and be a lil silly while doin’ it all. 



2017-2018 Program Details: October-June. Every 1st Saturday of the month, EXCEPT October (1st Saturday is October 21st) 9-3pm

Download: Kindled Registration 2017-18


Ages 6-18

Cost: $495 (scholarships available)

Optional overnight stays in the spring will cost extra.



Payment:  Pay by Check or PayPal (Please enter description: Kindled Nature Program)