Towards Elderhood

Building Community – Celebrating the Place of the Elder

1-Page Art of Mentoring Enrollment Form Here

Early Bird Price Deadline June 15th!  Mail with deposit to:

PO Box 2585
Brattleboro, VT 05303

About Towards Elderhood

Cost: $750 including meals and lodging.

Ages: For Returning Older Adults (50+) VWS10ElderStoryteller

Prerequisite: Attendance as a first time participant at the Vermont Art of Mentoring or another affiliated Art of Mentoring workshop (United Kingdom, Ontario / PINE Project, Washington / Wilderness Awareness School, California / 8 Shields Institute, North Carolina / Piedmont Wildlife Center, or Idaho / Twin Eagles).

Facilitators: The Towards Elderhood program is led by Miriam Dror with support from experienced AoM staff elders.

The Art of Mentoring (AoM) is an experiment in the modern-day design of a healthy, regenerative mentoring culture.  A study of traditional societies reveals that successful mentoring cultures are made up of complex networks of relationships. These relationships exist over time, extend across generations, and include principles of mentoring and peacemaking. In these communities all generations are part of the weaving, and the elder generation holds its own unique place of both value and responsibility.

As AoM strives to model and embody a holistic mentoring culture, it requires a core group and a growing number of fully developed elders.  What does that mean?  What does it mean to hold the role of an elder, both within the AoM training and in our broader lives and communities?  In the Ring 2 Towards Elderhood program we will explore many diverse answers to these questions.

Part of the process is “re-membering” that which our personal lives and the distortions of culture and oppression have caused us to forget.  Part of the process is developing well-honed tools that help to build relationships and communities.  Part of the process demands knowledge of self, both of our personal gifts and of the resistances we may have put in place that block the expression of our gifts.  Part of the process is in studying life-sustaining cultural elements practiced by many indigenous communities over long periods of time, and the place of the elders in those cultural practices.  Part of the process is apprenticing with others that have been experimenting with stepping into elder roles both within and outside of the Art of Mentoring training.  Most of all, this journey requires the sincere desire to give back to a world that has sustained us until now and, in the process, to build strong communities that will nurture the future generations.

If you have already completed the first-time adult program at any week-long AoM around the world and feel yourself to be in this stage of life, if you have already begun to step into the practice of some of this in your own community and want to go further, the Towards Elderhood program may be for you.  During the mornings of the AoM week there will be a rich experiential training facilitated by Miriam Dror, including introductions to human development, rites of passage, the role of elders in ceremony, community skill development, cultural competency and diversity, and more.  During the afternoons you will be matched with staff elders for apprenticeship experiences in the larger AoM village.  Expect as much play as depth and a profoundly rewarding engagement with all ages and stages of life.

“In my community we can tell the difference between an older and an elder. The elder is the one that the young ones turn to.” –Paul Raphael, Odawa elder & peacemaker (Grand Traverse Band)

Towards Elderhood might be right for you if:

* You have been a participant at a week-long Art of Mentoring training in Vermont or another location.  (This is a prerequisite)
* You are 50 years of age or older.
* You have a love of and a relationship with nature.
* You desire to become more effective and more deeply involved in an elder role in your community.
* You already have found yourself drawn to mentoring and supporting “youngers” in your life, and you also find that they are drawn to you.
* You have an attraction to and appreciation of the 8 Shields model of mentoring and culture design.
* You have developed an inner “witness” and are willing to do inner tracking to know yourself better and to show up more fully.  (There is a strong emphasis on Inner Tracking, personal growth, and accountability in the Towards Elderhood program)
* You are a good listener and can appreciate the meaning of service to others in a “giveaway” spirit at this stage of life.
* You can laugh at yourself!
* You are willing and able to learn and support others in a group setting.

AoM Staff Elders

Miriam Dror: Lead Elder Facilitator
Other staff elders for 2014 TBA soon!