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I had the pleasure to spend time at Oyase Community School, a vital experiential learning program offering by the Vermont Wilderness School in southern Vermont. Each Thursday during the school year, local youths and adult mentors spend a day in the local wilds connecting with nature and each other. 

They join as community in the morning around a fire to express gratitude, sing songs and storytell. They then breakout into “tribes” to build fires, learn about and track local critters, forage for edible plants, play games and explore. Every day is different, exciting and enriching beyond what any traditional classroom can deliver.

I fell in love with the children and was inspired by the devotion and passion of the mentors. Spending time in nature with them learning and exploring was absolutely enchanting. My wish is that all children and adults can experience this.

I discovered Vermont Wilderness School through the work of Richard Louv and the Children & Nature Network. This past year I was fortunate to take part in VWS’s adult learning program, Essentials of Resilient Communities.