Nature Awareness Study Group

Dates: Weekly for 1.5 hrs. Starting in late February (see below for details).
Location: Brattleboro, VT area.
Cost: $50-$70, plus program materials (see below).
Ages: Adults 18+. Motivated teenagers considered.

Building a Wilderness Awareness Practice

Quick, can you name twenty tree species in Vermont? How about the five most common birdsongs in Southern Vermont? Best local tinder material? If you can’t— would you like to be able to?

Group of people looking at nature

The Vermont Wilderness School is starting a nature study group to do just that. We will focus on offering a structure for a group of adults to build a practice connecting with the rest of the natural world. We’ll begin with simple awareness tools that will help you expand your senses and follow with field exercises that can help you understand what you see in your backyard, the local park, or the deep woods.

This group will use as it’s touchstone the Kamana Naturalist Training Program independent study course materials. This experiential home or group study course provides the foundation for wildlife tracking, bird language, survival skills, traditional herbalism, naturalist mentoring, and more.

Wait, can’t I just do this by myself?

Yes! But it helps to have a group to study with, led by an experienced facilitator. In a group setting it can be so much easier to make your naturalist studies stick, and it allows you to get to know like-minded people.


Starting in late February the group will meet weekly for 1-1.5 hours in the Brattleboro VT area for six weeks. The specific time and day of the week will be decided by the group after registration. Between meetings there will be field exercises, small group wanders, and awareness games. At the end of the six weeks there will be an option to continue the group study.


Program materials:Kamana One book and and the accompanying 8-disc audiobook. Cost: $40 if purchased through VWS or $94 if purchased through To provide your own you can click on the preceding links or to purchase through VWS indicate your interest on the registration form below. If you have these materials already no purchase required!

Program fee: sliding scale $50-$70 (true cost per study group member: $60) Scholarship funds available.


Photo of Ash Young

Evan “Ash” Young is a wilderness enthusiast, community builder, and player of infinite games. He received a master’s degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University and is a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake program. Currently he works for the Vermont Wilderness School as an instructor, outreach coordinator, and administrator. His passions include wildlife tracking, edible plant identification, and transformative play.


How to Register

  • Complete the registration form below and click SUBMIT
  • Make a payment
  • You will receive a confirmation email noting the receipt of your registration form
  • Once we have received your registration form AND a complete payment your spot will be reserved
  • Make a payment (see our scholarships and cancellation policies page for more information about payment) either:
    • Online via credit card or Paypal by filling out the box to the right.
    • Send a check payable to “Vermont Wilderness School” to: VWS, PO Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303