Looking for a guide on your nature-connection journey?

Are you a teacher, school administrator, parent, outdoor educator, group of families, or a curious individual or community member?

We are instructors at the Vermont Wilderness School, and we’d be happy to help you!

For 20 years VWS has been helping people of all ages connect to nature through joyful inquiry, immersive experience, and community building.


All of these options can happen in-person or remotely:

  • Personal Mentoring 

One-on-one mentoring  (Examples: naturalist development, mentoring skills, support working with specific populations.)

  • Training

Workshops and other professional development opportunities are available for your team, group, or school.

  • Advising

We can help you develop a new project and find resources. (Examples: schools shifting to more outdoor curriculum, organizations looking for funding, families considering lifestyle changes.)

  • Custom Programs

Is there a program you’d like to see VWS offer? Recurring or one-time-only programs are both possible. Let’s talk! Email us at office@vermontwildernessschool.org.


“Your training came at a time when we were needing support: your wealth and depth of experience with outdoor learning was in evidence throughout the training you provided. You helped our teachers make the leap to full-time outdoor learning. Thank VWS, for sharing your knowledge and creativity with our team!”

— School Principal


  • Amy Hyatt – Amy has been teaching and mentoring in the nature connection field for over 20 years. Her specialties are one-on-one mentoring, training and workshop leadership, and supporting others in nature connection program development and design.
  • Ani Schaeffer – Ani has been a classroom teacher for over 15 years and is also an outdoor educator. Her specialty is helping educators create nature-connected curriculum and better integrate outdoor learning into their schools.

  • Bob Etzweiler – Bob is a master naturalist, lifelong outdoorsman, and ethical hunter who leads educational programs for all ages.

Amy, Ani, & Bob are our three main consultants, and each is a seasoned VWS program director.  In some cases they might also bring in other VWS staff members, whose bios are available on request.


  • Ani Schaeffer (in collaboration with Mikaela Simms) provided free training to over 120 Windham Southeast Supervisory Union school teachers and administrators on Diversity and Equity in Outdoor Education and COVID-safe outdoor learning.

  • Amy Hyatt led a two day online training for the 12-person teaching staff at Juniper Hill Outdoor School.

  • Ani Schaeffer led a series of remote and in-person trainings with the Early Childhood staff at the Winston Prouty Center.

  • Bob Etzweiler, Ani Schaeffer, Ash Young, and Jeannie McGartland provided the Greenfield Center School with training on transitioning to full-time outdoor learning.

  • Ani Schaeffer and Amy Hyatt are working with kindergarten teachers at the Garland School to develop a robust forest kindergarten with seasonal and local outdoor curriculum.

  • VWS staff led a 2020-21 school-year program partnership with Marlboro Elementary School.

  • Ongoing advising with Coyote Programs.

  • Ongoing mentorship and consulting relationships with individuals.