contributed by Sarah Hubbard
People often ask me what it is that we ‘DO’ at Wild Intelligence. What can you expect in one of your programs?
I usually laugh when I get this question because it is a very difficult answer to give in the time most people want to allow me to explain.
My answer is usually, ‘It depends on who I am talking to’.
You see, every program we offer is specifically catered to the people we are working with by the people who are mentoring in it. We design everything we do based on what we call ‘Meeting them where they are at.” This means we strive to do what it takes to show our participants how awesome Earth is while also helping them see how awesome they are.
Sounds kind of cheesy right?
But, it is the truth and it is what we ‘Do‘.
We believe Earth is pretty dang amazing.
We believe the better we get to know her the more awesome she becomes.
We also believe that every person we work with comes to us with their own life story, experiences, talents, and needs – no matter the age.
The more attention we pay to our participants needs the quicker we close the gap of disconnection.
Some adults need to sit around a fire with good friends while sharing stories, singing songs, and looking to slow down. Some adults need to connect through hard skills like fire making, hearth cooking, building timber framed homes, or hunting skills. Some adults want to wander the woods in search of beautiful plants, mushrooms, and birds. Every adult is different and what they need is different.
Then, there are the kids.
Their needs vary like the weather. They have typical patterns for different seasons of life AND they are all different like the days throughout a year. They are somewhat predictable, but you never know what each will be like.
At Wild Intelligence we accept the challenge of getting to know our participants through the scope of a program. We talk to them, provide opportunities for opening up. We watch closely paying attention to fears and passions. We take into consideration the dynamic of the group we have and what its needs are. Our goal is to carry our programs in a way where our participants not only become connected to Nature, but to each other as well AND to their mentors.
Our programs are ever changing because the needs of every group is different.
We put a lot of time and energy into creating great experiences. Our goal is to make it easy for our participants to see just how incredibly cool Earth/ Nature really is.
We play with friction fire a lot. We build and tend a lot of fires – except in the summer when we spend our time exploring the creek. We make salves, ropes. We make a lot of bows out of privet and race bamboo boats down the ‘river’. We carve things and build forts out of debris. We do a lot of wandering in the woods. We follow the tracks of animals, looking at plants and trees, bugs, birds, and mushrooms. We play games. We tell stories. Some days all we do is pick up sticks. We build fairy houses, make tea over the fire, dance in the rain, and make funny faces. Sometimes we just lie down on a hillside to watch the sun set through the beech trees on a fall day.
We seldom promise we will cover everything we could potentially do because every mentor is different – just like our participants – and we all have different ways we go about being outside and connecting to Earth.
What we do promise is an experience that will make your desire to have a great relationship with nature stronger – because it’s just so awesome we don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want it. Our passion for it is contagious.
Our mission is to connect people to Nature, Community and Self.
Which is really all wrapped up into the great wander we like to call ‘Life’.
We believe that when we connect with Nature the rest comes along for the ride. We’re here to help you or your children figure out what works best for you to get there. Then, we support you in that journey.
If you want the short answer… well… I will do my best to explain it by saying “We provide Environmental Education Experiences. Remember when you were a kid and played outside. When the world was your oyster and anything was possible. We give that to our participants’.
Honestly, I don’t really like that answer…