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Working Towards Art of Mentoring in Ontario

  • The Guelph Outdoor School (map)

From the passion and commitment of a handful of people in the broader nature connection community of Ontario, an event called The Art of Mentoring ran for 7 years here in Ontario. During this time, many participants of this program became inspired by and turned onto nature connection.

Many also became staff for the experience and supported the journey for others.

While the Art of Mentoring in Ontario is taking a well needed hiatus for all to recover from burn-out and to re-imagine a more regenerative version, many of us are interested in keeping the dialogue going so that when we run it again, there is a support system in place.

 This workshop is for people who feel an interest in learning more about the objectives of an Art of Mentoring, why it is important to bring back to Ontario and to learn from Amy and Connor, who are facilitators at the Art of Mentoring in Vermont which has successfully run for 18 years.

Key Learnings from VT AoM that we are looking at sharing/facilitating around are:

• Natural Cycle Design, especially Design of Acorn Roles for sustainability and regeneration Nature Immersion Experience with a Reflection on the Learning

•"Peacemaking" agreements and conduct

•When is it time for someone to leave and how to communicate that

•Practices of Human Connection & Reciprocity (Diversity & Difference, Power & Privilege work we've been implementing at VT AoM - including navigating the Cultural Appropriation, Decolonization issues - not definitive but useful! Expect Non-closure).

•Building Unity in the Team with a commitment to Individual Sovereignty... All of these apply to both AoM workshop setting and long-term leadership in an organization working on AoM principles and practices.



Amy Hyatt

Amy moved to Vermont in August 2001 to participate in Vermont Wilderness School’s Instructor Apprenticeship Program, get trained and move back to her birth home bioregion of Southwestern Ohio to start a Wilderness School there. She quickly fell in love with Vermont, the work of Vermont Wilderness School, the children and families of Oyase and has been with us ever since. Amy completed the four-year Apprenticeship Program with VWS in 2005, coordinated and co-facilitated a year of the Apprenticeship Program, and has been an Oyase staff lead instructor since the 2003-2004 program year.

She has also been a lead instructor for Deep Wilds intro to wilderness survival overnight programs, and a camp director for Otter Day Camp and Earthfriend Discovery Day Camp. She has been on staff for 8+ east coast Art of Mentoring workshops and is currently a major organizer of the Vermont Art of Mentoring. Her specialty is working with children ages 7-11 and adults of all ages in areas of nature awareness, basic survival skills, creative expression, cultural facilitation and community building. She completed a Master of Arts in eco-literacy and place-based education in 2004 from Union Institute and University and a Bachelor’s of Philosophy in Cross-Cultural Communication through the Arts from Miami University in 1995. Additional, Amy has extensive experience in non-profit leadership, organizational development, and community organizing (that’s what she did before moving to Vermont)! Amy served as VWS’s Executive Director from 2009 to 2013.


Connor Stedman

Ecological designer; field naturalist; wilderness educator; leadership trainer and facilitator. Lead designer with AppleSeed Permaculture; organizer and advisor with Greenhorns and Agrarian Trust; facilitator with Vermont Wilderness School, Wild Earth, and other nature education organizations around the US. Based in the Hudson Valley of NY. B.Sc. in Integrative Eco-Social Design from Gaia University and M.S. in Ecological Planning from the University of Vermont.

Earlier Event: September 28
Games That Teach III | PD
Later Event: October 14
Women's Fire By Friction