The Vermont Wilderness School is dedicated to restoring our relationships with nature, ourselves, and each other.
We envision a world where every person is able to cultivate a deep personal connection with the natural world. In fact, we believe it is essential to the long-term thriving of human cultures on this planet.
We believe this will only be possible by enabling the replacement of globally dominant systems of colonization, oppression, and extraction with equity, justice, and liberation. We ground our work in support of larger global movements that are bringing forth this shift.
Our programs are based in Abenaki homelands, the Connecticut River Valley bioregion of what is now known as southern Vermont.
Since 1999 we have offered nature-based mentoring programs for people of all ages, in southern Vermont and beyond.
Vermont Wilderness School youth programs provide immersive experiences in the natural world and build confidence, self-sufficiency, and aliveness in each child. Our adult programs train students experientially in nature awareness, wilderness skills, mentoring, and program design.
Scholarship funds are available for every VWS program. Each year hundreds of community members donate to help fill the Great Blue Heron Fund, allowing us to provide more than $30,000 annual in scholarships.
Our Mentoring Approach
Our mentoring approach is student-centric, curiosity-driven, and relationship-based. We emphasize:
- Deep sensory engagement with the natural world,
- Personal curiosity and passion,
- Embodied practice of ancestral skills,
- Healthy and appropriate edge experiences tailored to the unique learning journey of each student.
As instructors, we work to embody these principles and create a culture of continual learning and growth for everyone.
We hope you will join us!