A short description of specialisation course European Wilderness Mentor (EWM)

Getting connected to yourself and the animate world by first hand experiential learning and passing that connection on to children and youths needs aware mentors. Developing those mentor qualities within future childcare practitioners and youth workers in training is the main objective of European Wilderness Mentor specialisation course. In 4 modules participants experience the energies of the natural cycle of learning (Jon Young) when observing children, planning learning arrangements and projects outdoors for them or when practising archetypes of communication that go back to the talking circle (council).

During the course of the seasons we are outside in contact with the elements. Nature is our teacher. In winter the tipi is set up as a common learning place, wood is chopped and the tent oven is heated. Everybody does not only care for themselves but for others as well. Teaching is embedded in rituals like a common check in talking circle to start the day and a check out to finish it off with various elements in between: moments of silence, vivid games to be close to our animal kins, activities to boost our senses, shared stories and reflections after practicing core routines, singing of mother earth songs. Practicing core routines of nature connection, as for example sitspot routine, will raise sensual awareness, challenges the questioning mind (our tracker instincts) and finally leads to connection to our internal wilderness as well as to the place. Hence a new kind of reconnection and consciousness will arise that we are part of nature. It is all about affirmation, appreciation and maintaining of all living in its interconnectivity, because we only maintain what we know and what we love, where we feel a connection. That experience course participants already pass on in multiplicator events during their training.

For several years now the course has had experience with European mobilities in cooperation with providers of different outdoor learning concepts in Sweden, Romania and the UK.

European Wilderness Mentor is a UNESCO registered player in Education for Sustainable Development.

In 2020 the course was awarded 2nd prize out of 41 project applications in the competition Sichtbar evangelisch – elementares Lernen in einer verdichteten Zukunft (Visibly Protestant – elementary learning in a condensed future).