Kindled Nature Program

Kindled Nature Program

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 Eve Bernhard, 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 Earh Walk in Plainfield, VT. He will be joined by amazing mentor, Eve Bernhard.


Eve is thrilled to teach, learn, and explore alongside the children and creatures of Willowell! Eve grew up romping in the forests of the Catskill Mountains and along the banks of the Hudson River, finding friends in the ecosystem. She is a certified img_3460Wilderness First Responder, and ongoing student of wilderness survival and natural history. Eve has also been a farmer, librarian, snowshoe guide, photographer, and cook. She has been most inspired by her work as a nature mentor and holistic educator, and is eager to continue nurturing deep connections to the natural world.





2016-2017 Program Details:

Download: Kindled 2016-17 Registration

Session One: First Saturday of each month from 9 AM -3 PM

*please note that the first date for session one will be the second saturday in October. This will be the only month that will not be the first Saturday of each month

Session Two: Third Saturday of each month from 9 AM-3PM

Ages 7-13

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)