Shambhala Warrior and Nature Day Camp

2017SWNJTCGirls Enrollment: FULL. Please use form below to register for the WAITLIST.

When: 9am –  3pm, June 24 -28 (Mon-Fri), 2024

Ages: 9 – 15 (other ages by permission).

Where: The Manitou Project land in Williamsville, VT (20 minutes from downtown Brattleboro).

Cost: $340 – 445 (sliding scale). The true cost per camper is $385. Scholarship and Reparations Funds available.

Program Overview

Join us for a week of Martial Arts & Nature Awareness training & play outside!

Amy Hyatt and other staff are offering a summer program of aikido training (a traditional Japanese Martial art, translates as “way of harmony”) and nature awareness in the woods designed for youth ages 9-15 years old. Aikido, like most martial arts, began in nature and was guided by observing animals, birds, rocks, wind, rivers, trees and becoming attuned with the energies of life. We will also work on our scout skills – our ability to move through the woods quietly and to sneak up on each other, maybe even a Grey Fox! (We saw two grey foxes several times in 2019!!) As Shambhala Warriors, we will train for compassion and insight into Life – and have fun, joy, and wonder as we explore nature and the martial arts. Amy has been training in aikido since 1998, holds the rank of nidan (2nd level black belt) and has been sanctioned by her Sensei (Teacher) to teach aikido. She has been teaching nature awareness & survival skills since 2002.  Amy will be joined by other staff and volunteers, to create an awesome week of summer camp!!

Camp activities include:

  • Aikido Training
  • Art of Invisibility
  • Moving Silently
  • Imitating & Learning from the Animals and Nature
  • Scout Games and Challenges
  • Stories from the martial arts and nature
  • Using Staffs & Bokkens
  • Learning to Fall Safely
  • Hazard Awareness
  • Earning Bandanna Levels!  (Many martial arts have belt ranks to acknowledge increasing skill levels.  At Shambhala Camp, we have Bandanna Levels recognizing skills being developed by the campers)

The Shambhala Warriors are ones who train in and use the “weapons” of compassion and insight to go into the halls of power and dismantle the weapons of destruction. The Kingdom of Shambhala comes from a Tibetan prophecy over 1200 years old. This interpretation is comes via Joanna Macy who spent time with a group of Tibetan monks in the 1970s and early 1980s. The roots of aikido and the nature awareness skills that will be shared in this camp are very much rooted in developing compassion and insight in caring for Life. The founder of Aikido, O-Sensei Morehei Ueshiba, was known to say “If you have injured your opponent, you have injured yourself.”

Registration Instructions

1. Complete the Registration form below (or Interest form if registration is not yet open). Be sure to click SUBMIT at the end. Check your email inbox for the automated confirmation email with the subject “[Child Name]’s Shambhala Warrior and Nature Day Camp Registration has been received.” Save your confirmation email as proof-of-registration.

2. When you register, pay a $75 per child per week deposit to secure your spot(s). You may also pay in full when you register. Any remaining balance is due June 1st (or upon registration, for those registering after June 1st). If you have requested a scholarship or opted in to the BIPOC Reparations Fund, payment instructions are in the registration form below.

Note: If you withdraw from any weeks of camp, the deposit for the week you withdraw from will be retained (and potentially more of your payment for that week – view our full cancellation and refund policy here).

To pay:

      • Make a secure online payment by credit card or via PayPal in the box on the righthand side of this page, OR;
      • Send a check payable to “Vermont Wilderness School” to: VWS, PO Box 2585, Brattleboro, VT 05303.

3. Complete the VWS Medical Form using the tab at the bottom of this page.

Looking for a scholarship? Complete the registration form below, indicating your scholarship request. Read our scholarship and cancellation policies for more information.

Questions? Email

To receive email notifications about Summer 2024 (save-the-dates, opening of registration, etc.), complete this interest form.