Essentials of Resilient Community: Mentoring and Nature Connection

NEW Online Format Coming for 2020-2021 Series

Enroll in all 7 Weekends or Sign up for Individual Weekends

You’ve heard how it takes a village to raise a child.  What does it take to raise a village?

For over 30 years, the Art of Mentoring network of schools and practitioners has been learning and sharing what it takes to cultivate healthy communities and healthy children.  This experience feels even more important in our times when the world socially and environmentally is topsy-turvy.  We know from long experience that deep nature connection lies at the core of health and capacity to navigate in rough waters.  Conscious mentoring and cultural design are our most powerful tools for facilitating that connection.  Since the late 1990s, the week-long Art of Mentoring training has been developed to provide an embodied experience of deep nature connection and community-based learning.

The Essentials of Resilient Community program, offered by Vermont Wilderness School and Amy Hyatt, takes you deeper into the practices and teachings of the Art of Mentoring, supporting you to grow as a mentor, leader, cultural creative, and designer of regenerative, resilient community – whether on a family, neighborhood, or regional scale.

This intensive program is limited to 10 participants per weekend so that we can go on a deep, personal learning journey together.  Read below to learn about the program’s curriculum for each of the 7 weekends.

Program Cost: $1250 (7 weekends total) – $100 discount if paying in full by October 1, 2019.

OR Single Weekends: $215 each.

Financial Aid Available.

Please contact Amy directly at with questions or for financial aid application.

Location: Brattleboro, VT area

Times: 9am-5pm ET Saturdays, 9am-4:30pm ET Sundays  (Note: Online version is three calls each day.  Each call is 90-100 minutes.  Activities exploring the topic will be given to do in between the calls).

Click Here to Inquire & Get on the Email List Announcing Registration!   Or contact Amy Hyatt –– with any questions about the program or to indicate interest in signing up for individual weekend(s).

(Note: Whether signing up for the full series or for one weekend, the fee does not include meals or housing).

November 2020: Mentoring, Learning and Human Development

Mentoring with awareness of both the learning journey and human development is a very powerful combination.  During this weekend we will be exploring human development through stages of life, and natural cycles of learning and skill building that occur throughout all stages of life.  We will take a particular focus on stages of development in youth, to support our ability to mentor children and also understand our own life’s journey more deeply.   We’ll then use these perspectives to build our mentoring toolbox, including refining our ability to track and profile our students, and understanding what we as mentors can do to support transitions into new stages of learning and life.

December 2020: Transforming Grief, Connecting with Ancestry and Tapping Our Creativity


In all of our backgrounds, we can find ancestors who lived in land-based communities, deeply connected to the natural world and to their cultural traditions.  Threads of these ancestral traditions have survived to the present day all over the world, offering us gifts that can help guide us in living our lives today.  Those gifts can give us access to powerful new creativity for living fully as mentors, community members, and citizens of the world.  Tied in with those gifts is also the accumulation of ancestral losses and wounds that we are called to help heal and transform.  Over this weekend we will honor our ancestors, connect with our gifts and creativity, and work with the grief that often arises in reclaiming our ancestry and deepening our connection with the Natural World.

January 2021: Aliveness & Embodiment in Mentoring & Leadership

Through long-term mentoring in nature connection, powerful qualities can emerge in children and adults – childlike happiness, empathy, capacity to be truly helpful, and much more.  These are qualities that the late Lakota elder Gilbert Walking Bull told us, “My grandfather told me to look for these qualities in people.  They are the signs of leaders.  I see these qualities in these young people spending all this time out here in the woods with you all.”  In this weekend, we will be looking at these embodied qualities, the precursor indicators to their emergence, and how we can use these as measures and indicators of our work as mentors…and for our own journeys as Human Beings.

February 2021: Renewal of Creative Path

The hibernation of winter is an ideal time for reflecting on the past and present and dreaming the future.   Renewal of Creative Path is a powerful practice of assessing our past and present and looking to our future – setting intentions for what we want to cultivate in our lives and what the world is calling us to do and be.  The Renewal of Creative Path process was developed by Jon Young and the 8 Shields Institute based on winter practices of reflection and renewal from many different cultures around the world.  This weekend will guide participants through a Renewal of Creative Path process for our personal lives, and also look at using this critical practice for renewal  and regeneration of projects, programs, and workplaces.

March 2021: Designing with Natural Cycles for Creativity & Community

Attuning ourselves to the natural cycles of life builds vitality and resiliency in ourselves and our communities.  We can also deliberately design how we work, play, and learn together based on cycles found in the natural world we are embedded in.  Over this weekend we will be exploring how to use natural cycles as a guide for designing aspects of our community and work lives.  We will especially pay attention to what we have each noticed about how community and work life goes awry when we neglect certain aspects of Natural Cycles – and look at how to bring the neglected aspects back into our lives.

April 2021: Practices for Peacemaking and Restorative Relationships

Conflict and dissonance are a natural part of ecosystems and human life…and very widespread in our world today.  Creativity and new solutions can emerge out of these conflicts when the system around them is healthy.  We are all familiar with the results of unhealthy conflict – the hurt, disconnection, and violence that can be found in the news and throughout the world.  Over this weekend, we will be looking at different cultural practices for peacemaking and restoring relationships when conflict results in disconnection, as well as practices that can help guide conflict towards greater health, creativity, and connection.

May 2021: Core Routines for Being Fully Alive & Nature Connected

Just as drinking water, eating, and sleeping support our health and well-being, the Core Routines of Nature Connection foster day-to-day health and aliveness.  Numerous studies over the past 30+ years have documented how daily time in nature enhances our learning and healing capacities, reduces stress, and can provide insight and creativity in whatever we are doing in our lives.  For the final weekend of Essentials of Resilient Community, we will delve into many of the Core Routines of Nature Connection, how we can foster these routines in our daily lives, and how we can mentor and inspire others in these practices.  Spring is one of the best times to explore and strengthen these routines when it’s warm outside and life is bursting forth!

Presenter & Facilitator

Amy Hyatt

Amy_HyattIn 1998, Amy was gifted a stone by a Maori friend and was told “the name of this stone is Piki Te Ora. It means ‘Arise to Life.’” That moment crystallized for Amy a mission to find ways for all of us to journey into deeper, fuller relationship with ourselves, with nature, and with communities that support transformative learning and healing.  Amy found a home for this work at the Art of Mentoring where she experienced a cultural basket weaving together many of these life-affirming practices – a teaching bundle that is continually growing and evolving. Amy has been working with VWS in many capacities since 2001 from youth instructor to adult instructor, from Office Assistant to Executive Director.  She is a presenter and trainer at the Art of Mentoring workshop in Vermont and other locations since 2006, and a facilitator with the 8 Shields Institute since 2011.

Her background is varied and includes undergraduate studies in cross-cultural communication through the arts; graduate studies in “Facilitating native Sense of Self & Place in Children”; graduate of the VWS Instructor Apprenticeship Program with Mark Morey; Kamana Naturalist Program graduate; Level 2 Tracking Apprenticeship Graduate with White Pine Programs; Nidan (2nd Dan Black Belt) in Aikido (USAF); graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance; and certified in Wilderness First Aid.  Amy has been working professionally in community building and empowerment projects since 1998.

Registration Information

Program Cost: $1190 (7 weekends total) – $100 discount if paying in full by October 1, 2020.

$180/Individual Weekend Online

Location: Brattleboro, VT area

Times: 9am-5pm Saturdays, 9am-3pm Sundays

Click Here to Inquire & Get on the Email List Announcing RegistrationOr contact Amy Hyatt – – with any questions about the program.