Land Stewardship Camp

A Weekend Immersion with Connor Stedman

What does the land want? How do we know?  What forms of stewardship do these questions call for?

Join longtime VWS instructor and ecological designer Connor Stedman for a weekend exploring deep nature connection through ecological reciprocity and stewardship.

We often hear the call to steward Earth… but what can this look and feel like in our day-to-day lives? This practical hands-on workshop explores questions of how we can listen to the land and practice reciprocity with our living surroundings.  We will learn land care practices which take up an active role in creating conditions for the full diversity of life to thrive around us.

You will:

  • Engage with stories of deep land history and learn to listen for ecological and cultural memory on the land
  • Read the landscape for its plant communities and wildlife habitat resources
  • Practice a wide range of land stewardship skills, possibly including:
    • Forest management
    • Plant propagation
    • Coppicing & pruning
    • Landrace and wild gardening
    • Ethical and regenerative harvest
  • Explore interspecies communication and direct forms of knowing in nature
  • Engage with connections between cultural and ecological diversity
  • Enjoy camping, learning, playing, and swimming with old and new friends along the beautiful South River!

Between and around land stewardship lessons we’ll come together for meals, stories, exploration, and shared enjoyment of the long just-after-Solstice summer days.

Instructor:

We are thrilled to host Connor Stedman for this special weekend. Connor has been mentoring students in nature awareness and permaculture for 17 years, and his classes never fail to inspire wonder curiosity and deep learning.

Connor Stedman has been a designer and educator working at the intersection of ecological and social systems since 2005.  His design work focuses on developing pathways for climate solutions rooted in place and community, including consulting both for local community initiatives and for national/international organizations and companies.  As an educator, he speaks and teaches frequently on land stewardship, ecological design, knowledge of place, and how communities can collectively respond to the climate crisis.  Connor holds an M.S. in Ecological Planning from the University of Vermont and served as VWS’s Executive Director from 2013 to 2015.

Course information:

  • Enrollment: Registration opens Friday, April 19th at 7pm.
  • Dates:
    • June 29-30, 2024
    • 9 am on Saturday, June 29 to 4 pm on Sunday, June 30
    • Participants may sleep on-site at no extra charge or pay for their own off-site lodging. You are invited to arrive Friday night for an additional night of camping if that eases your travel.
  • Location: Conway, MA
  • Cost: $300 – $350 (sliding scale). True cost per participant is $325. Scholarships and Reparations Funds are available.
  • Ages: Adults. Motivated teens considered.
  • Accommodations: Tent camping (rustic) on site, or stay off site if you prefer.

Location:

This course will take place on the banks of the South River, in Conway, Massachusetts. The landscape ranges from the sand and clay banks of the river to a former pasture on flat riverbottom soil, to reforested hillsides. There are hundreds of acres of forest, miles of trails, and a river that can be easily explored by wading or tube-floating.

This is a rustic, but not remote, setting.  You may need to wade through the river (knee-high water) for parts of the workshop. Cell service is limited, but a land line is available just a few hundred yards away. There is a shelter we can use in case of rain.

What to bring:

  • Tent and sleeping gear.
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, one dinner, and snacks. Limited critter-proof storage space available on-site.
  • Water bottles. Fresh water is available on site for refilling.
  • We’ll provide a more detailed list 1-2 weeks before the workshop.

Registration

  • Complete the short form below. Check your email to make sure you received the registration confirmation message with the subject “[Your Name]’s Birding By Ear registration has been received”.
  • Payment is due upon registration. Your spot is secure once we receive it.
    • Make a secure online payment via the PayPal box in the righthand sidebar of this page OR;
    • Send a check payable to “Vermont Wilderness School” to: Vermont Wilderness School, P.O. Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303.

Questions? Read our scholarship and cancellation policies for more information. Send an email to office@vermontwildernessschool.org if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about.

To receive email notifications when the enrollment status of this program changes, complete this interest form.