Apprenticeship & Teacher Training

Apprenticeship & Teacher Training
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Space is limited

Meeting One Weekend Each Month:

  • One Saturday & Sunday per month
  • Saturdays from 9am-5pm
  • Sundays from 9am-3:30pm
  • Camping may be available for those needing overnight accommodations


A team of Wild Earth instructors, staff and special out of town guests.


Wild Earth’s New Home in Kerhonkson and the Wild Earth Office in High Falls, NY.

Sliding Scale:

$1,960 – $2,960, payment plans available

2019-2020 Dates:

September 21 & 22:
Opening Weekend and Orientation

Intro to Mentoring and deep nature connection practices

October 26 & 27:
Shelter Overnight

November 23 & 24:
The Art of Fire; Making your own Bow Drill Friction Fire Kit; Childhood Development

December 21 & 22:
Make a Twined Bag; Working with Plant & Animal Fibers; Creating Natural Art Supplies, Wildcrafting and Core Routines of Nature Connection

January 4 & 5:
Make Your Own Black Ash Pack Basket

February 15 & 16:
Wildlife Tracking & 8-Shields Applied

March 21 & 22:
Outdoor Cooking, Storytelling & Cultural Mentoring

April 17 (evening only), 18 (all day), & 19 (dawn sit, day ends at 1:30pm):
Bird Language, Games, and Solo Prep

May 30 & 31:
Solo Overnight

June 13:
Closing Celebration

Hazardous Weather Make-Up Day:
May 16

Past year (Sept 2018 – June 2019) Syllabus & Dates [PDF]

Apprenticeship Testimonials

“I entered the program with high hopes and have only had them met and exceeded. The range of activities, lessons, modeling of teaching and depth of knowledge of all the instructors astounds me. It’s also been flexible enough to fit into an adult’s schedule.”

“I know I can and will use elements of this in my future work, and again, I am left with a hunger and thirst to understand and practice as much as I can.”

“The program has exceeded my expectations in many ways. The things that have become of particular interest are the concepts of gratitude and stewardship that permeate the entire Wild Earth program.”

“I have taken something away from every session. There is always an opportunity to learn something!”

“You guys are awesome! Intelligent, skilled, compassionate, humorous, and thoughtful. Amazing mentors!”

“This program has exceeded my expectations by fastening me to a committed and lifelong relationship with the wild, indigenous soul. It has given me language, living representations, power in community. I continue to be surprised by my hunger for deeper experience and integration.”

“This program has given me the resources I need, filling my belly with starting points, leaving it up to me where I take them. There has been so much material covered, all in a topical manner, and I appreciate the generosity of Wild Earth instructors in fluidly giving of their knowledge. I think this generosity comes from their own experience that this knowledge means nothing unless adored, practiced, intimately studied. The apprenticeship program really leaves room for the individual to make it what they want it to be, as fully or as sparingly as fits. I expected adventure and got it, not in a hardcore repeat-after-me way, but as a gentle, nurturing, truly perceptive invitation to personal action.”

“The skills that I am learning are being taught in a very easy to understand way, and I am very thankful for that.”

“I was able to learn about personal growth, our inherent connection to nature, as well as cultivating positivity.”

“The greatest gift I received was learning how to mentor and communicate with others in gratitude and respect.”

Additional Questions?

Drop us an email or give us a call and we'll be happy to answer your questions.
(845) 256-9830

Apprenticeship & Teacher Training

An in-depth experiential training focused on powerful nature mentoring, wilderness living skills, and creating deeply connective experiences in nature.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” — Albert Einstein

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” — Jim Henson

Join the Wild Earth Apprenticeship Program and embark upon three tracks of learning:

Essential Wilderness Toolkit for Deep Nature Connection:

Deepen your nature connection and knowledge of place through first-hand experience. Key areas of learning include sensory awareness practices and naturalist training.

Wilderness Living Skills & Earth-Based Handcrafts:

Make your own black ash pack basket, sleep in a hand-made natural shelter, carve your own bow-drill kit, make healing plant salves, create functional rope, and more.

Teacher Training & Practical Facilitation Skills:

Learn the core principles that inform Wild Earth’s pedagogy of ‘invisible teaching’ and gain capacity in the practical “how to”s of wilderness program instruction.

Experience In The Field (optional):

Join us out in the field at one or more of our youth programs. Apply what you’re learning first-hand and support youth in transformative experiences in nature.

All over the Earth, our ancestors lived in a time before school buildings and lesson plans – a time when children learned how to provide food, stay safe from danger, and become contributing members of their communities without ever being formally ‘taught’ or attending school.

At Wild Earth, we believe that the greatest teachers throughout time have retained and practiced this ancient way of mentoring. We aim to teach ‘invisibly’ in our programs, so that our students are so engaged in their learning that it feels as natural as exploration and play.

1. Essential Wilderness Toolkit for Deep Nature Connection

We believe that a great outdoor educator is not only a person with excellent group leadership tools and knowledge of nature, but also a capable person with tangible skills that young people naturally wish to emulate.

Expand your Nature Awareness through the Wild Earth Apprenticeship’s Naturalist Training:

Birds language and ID

Decipher the songs and sounds of birds and gain awareness of hundreds of sentries.

Tracking and trailing animals

Use tracks and sign in order to better understand wildlife, their movements in the landscape, and their ecological stories.

Expanded awareness

Learn tools to greatly expand your sensory abilities, to notice more of what’s happening around you whether outdoors or in the city.

Edge experiences

Play with fire, cold, dark and more. Expand yourself beyond your comfort-zone.


Disguise your movement, scent and shape. Become invisible in the woods.

2. Learn Wilderness Living Skills and Natural Handcrafts through Wild Earth Apprenticeship’s Hands-On Skill Training:

Shelter building

Stay warm with or without your sleeping bag, in a shelter made of leaves.

Fire-making and fire by friction

Learn ancient methods of lighting fire with your muscles and natural materials.

Tools and crafts

Coal-burn and carve wooden spoons, friction fire kits, and more.

Outdoor cooking

Learn how to create and manage a cooking fire, learn a variety of methods for cooking over a campfire, use bark containers and rocks for boiling, create wildly delicious meals.

Edibles, medicinals, and plant ID

Learn which plants are food and medicine sources, and how to distinguish them from poisonous look-alikes.

Basketry and fiber processing

Learn to create beautiful, functional vessels from natural materials as well as how to create strong rope from wild-harvested fibers.

3. Teacher Training & Practical Facilitation Skills

By cultivating curiosity, passion, and confidence within students, instructors can create a culture of learning, discovery, and investigation. When education is self-motivated and well supported, the learning process unfolds naturally and invisibly.

Apprentices learn the core principles behind Wild Earth’s invisible learning pedagogy as well as practical tips and tricks for planning an invisible learning curriculum. For first year Apprentices, much of the following will be taught through modeling within the program.

Core Principles of Invisible Teaching–

Cultivate curiosity

Plant the seeds of curiosity in your students ahead of time so that when it’s time to teach something, students are already hungry to receive it – or perhaps they even come up with your idea as their very own!

Beginning to understand our responsibility

Acknowledging that the land, as well as many of the practices that we draw from in our programming, have been forcefully taken from First Nations peoples, many at Wild Earth are engaging in conversation about restorative, reparative practices.

Leverage the space and the environment

Let the environment and physical set-up of an activity do some of the teaching for you.

Tailor your curriculum to your students

Gauge the level of challenge your students are ready for and tailor your curriculum accordingly.

Model what you teach

Children naturally imitate adults, embody what you are teaching and students are more likely to follow your lead.

Meet developmental archetypes & yearnings within your students

Understand developmental archetypes and stages of learning and design your lessons to help students to fulfill life-stage appropriate goals.

Foster constructive peer pressure

Employ the support of other students by creating a culture of supportive peer pressure and encouraging healthy risk-taking.

Nurture the emerging leadership qualities in your students

Positive reinforcement can go a long way in building confidence and emphasizing strengths.

Track students’ frustration

Paying attention to your students’ healthy frustration can be your greatest tool as you are assessing and charting ongoing curricula.

Expect failure and success

Both are essential elements of healthy learning. Use questions to tease out especially important insights.

Practical Facilitation Skills–

Camp Skills

Learn to build tarp-shelters, manage cooking fires, and generally keep your campers happy and cared-for in all seasons, including winter!

Songs and Celebration

Learn songs and how to lead them in an engaging way


Discover how to teach through storytelling and practical ways to apply stories. Embrace your inner storyteller.


Games are incredible teachers! Fill your bag of tricks to the brim with games for a wide variety of learning goals, group dispositions, times of day, types of weather, and more.


Learn great activities and strategies for profiling your students, forging group agreements and resolving conflicts.

4. Experience In The Field (optional)

Apprentices are invited to visit Wild Earth’s year round programs as volunteers. Weekend programs for tots, children, tweens and teens are available for apprentices to volunteer at. Check out some of our upcoming and ongoing programs to learn more here about the programs you could visit.

Michaela Himelfarb

Dustin Lamberta

Esperanza Gonzalez

Jonathan Gonzalez

Alisha Mai McNamara

Connor Stedman

Katie Grove

Andy Paonessa

Register now and reserve your space in Apprenticeship & Teacher Training today. Space is limited.

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