Vermont Wilderness School builds long-term mentoring relationships rooted in community, nature connection, and earth living skills. We are a non-profit 501(c)3, based in Brattleboro, VT and founded in 2000.  Explore our work and contact us to learn more.

Spring / Summer Programs for Adults, Youth, and Families 

The Vermont Art of Mentoring – Registration Now Open!   Early Bird Discount Deadline is JUNE 15.

Registration starts this month for the Vermont Art of Mentoring, a six-day experiential, nature-based training with concurrent programs for ages 3 to 99, August 29 – September 3, 2016.  The week is facilitated by a veteran leadership team, representing more than 90 years of collective experience in nature-based mentoring and culture design. We bring together additional instructors from throughout the Northeast and beyond to staff the concurrent programs that make up the Art of Mentoring.


Bird Language Workshop with Connor Stedman – Saturday, June 25, Easthampton, MA.

Join us as we learn the language of the forest.  This workshop is a great way for beginning birders to understand the messages sent between birds, without needing to know one species from another. Experienced birders can take their knowledge one step further toward understanding what the birds are talking about, and what their behavior says about you!  This workshop is led by our friend Connor Stedman, ecological designer and wilderness educator now livening in the Hudson Valley.  Connor is an expert in bird language, landscape awareness, and nature-based mentoring.

VWS is co-sponsoring this workshop, hosted the Kestrel Land Trust and Pascommuck Land Trust.

VWS Bird Language Club* New Program* – Next meeting is Sunday, August 21.  Brattleboro, VT.

Bird Language is an approach to studying the calls, postures, and other behaviors of birds that leads the attentive, trained observer to deduce the location of predators and other forces on the landscape. The VWS Bird Language Club is an open community of learning for birders and trackers of all experience levels and will take place during a series of meetings this year.

Summer Camp Registration is Open

Register early to get your preferred week! Scholarships are available for all VWS programs.

Otter Day Camp starts in just a few months!  We will spend an adventure-filled week in the woods and brooks of Ft. Dummer State Park, looking for frogs, catching crayfish, playing games, cooking on a rocky beach, and discovering the tracks, sounds and signs of the dozens of different animal species that call the Ft. Dummer woods home!
Registration is now online, and you can reserve your spot here.

3 sessions (M-F, 9am – 3pm)

  • Week 1: Jun 20 – Jun 24  FULL. To be added to the waitlist, complete a registration.
  • Week 2: Jun 27 – Jul 1  FULL. To be added to the waitlist, complete a registration. 
  • Week 3: Jul 4 – Jul 8  FULL. To be added to the waitlist, complete a registration.

Ages 7 – 12
Fort Dummer State Park, Brattleboro, VT

Cost: $215 – 290 (sliding scale). Scholarships are available; see registration form for information. Please note: the deadline to submit scholarship requests is May 1.

Shambhala Warrior and Nature Camp, a week of martial arts and nature awareness, will return June 27 to July 1, 2016.  For ages 9-15 (8 by permission).

Earthfriend Discovery Day Camp at the Manitou Project land in Williamsville, VT (20 minutes from downtown Brattleboro), will return this year. For ages 7-12.

  • August 1-5 (Camp Director: Amy Hyatt)
  • August 8-12. (Camp Director: Bob Etzweiler)

Camp Waubanong  We’re thrilled that this Brattleboro institution is re-opening this summer!  Last year VWS invited our friends Sean Ashcraft and Nancye Good to take over leadership of the camp, and they’ve done an incredible job upgrading the site and creating a new curriculum focused on nature connection and traditional skills.  If you like the camps VWS offers, we think you’ll love the new Camp Waubanong!

There are five camp weeks this summer (more in future years), starting July 10 and ending Aug 18.

Age groups: 3-5, 6-11, 8-11 (overnight optional), 8-13 (overnight), 14-15 (overnight). They are also looking for skilled Leaders-in-Training, ages 15-17.

School-Year 2016-17 Programs for Youth

Foxwalk Forest School – Open House 
Ages 5-7
Tuesday, June 7, 10 am – 2 pm. Putney, VT.

Guided by longtime VWS lead instructor Bob Etzweiler, Foxwalk meets Tuesdays from September to May (with an extended winter break). Kids explore the natural world, learn ancient wilderness living skills, and build self-confidence, teamwork, and knowledge of self, nature, and community.

The open house is a great way for you and your child to experience the program before committing to the series.  Parents do not stay the whole day, but are invited to join for part of the day and talk with Foxwalk instructors about the program.  To register for the open house, contact Bob at office@vermontwildernessschool.org.
Suggested donation $10.

Oyase Community School 
Ages 7-15
October through May (includes a Spring Equinox overnight). Thursdays, 9:00 am – 3:15 pm

Join us for another year of exploring, playing, and learning how to be at home in the woods taking care of ourselves and all the creatures and plants we live with from autumn to winter to spring. 

Full Moon Girls

  • Fridays weekly in Conway, MA (Ages 9-16)
  • Saturdays monthly in Montague, MA (Ages 7-16)

Delve into natural mysteries, seek out adventures, learn to build friction fires, and harvest wild edibles! Here we shape stone and bone, carve and weave, and explore empowerment and full aliveness with a community of girls guided by women mentors. Contact FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com to learn about joining the program this spring or in the fall.

SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL VWS PROGRAMS!  Thank you to our many donors for their support of VWS’s Great Blue Heron Fund for scholarships.

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