2nd Annual

Nature-Rooted Mini Conference

In Person: Friday through Sunday May 31st to June 2nd 2024
Location: Kingston Forest & Nature School

Mini Conference Registration Opens April 7th

Spaces are limited on a first come first serve basis.
Pre-registering will ensure that you receive email reminders about registration and will give you priority registration.
In Person: Friday through Sunday May 31st to June 2nd 2024
Location: Kingston Forest & Nature School

Mini Conference Registration Now Open!

Spaces are limited on a first come first serve basis.

Join us for a weekend of hands-on, engaging learning, connecting, playing & growing! There’s nothing quite like gathering ’round the fire for some inspiring, soul-fuelling skill-sharing & socializing!

This is a weekend-long mini conference co-hosted by Caylin Gans of Forest Schooled and Monica Miller of Kingston Forest & Nature School. We will be inviting guest workshop presenters and offering plenty of opportunities for knowledge & skill-sharing, networking, and outdoor fun!
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Mini-Conference Format

This is a Mini-conference which means it will be small, intimate, and very special...


+ Will be an informal educator gathering

+ Will include multiple outdoor workshops/learning sessions with skilled and knowledgeable facilitators

+ Will include skill-sharing & socializing around a campfire

+ Will include some light refreshments

+ May include cooking over fire and foraging

+ May leave you feeling energized, inspired, and deeply connected to others & the more-than-human


Please note to keep costs affordable meals will not be provided! We will have light refreshments like tea/coffee and ask you bring your own food/snacks with you for the weekend.
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Tentative Schedule:

Friday May 31st

4 - 7pm
Arrival & settle in

7 - 9pm
Campfire social with songs & stories

Saturday June 1st

9am - 4pm 
Group welcome, morning workshop, lunch, afternoon workshop

5:30 - 7:30pm
Fireside Potluck

8 - 10pm
Campfire social with songs & stories

Sunday June 2nd

9am - 1pm
Skills share
Networking
Closing - until next time!

Description:

The Nature-rooted Mini Conference will be a weekend of hands-on, engaging learning, connecting, playing & growing! There’s nothing quite like gathering ’round the fire for some inspiring, soul-fuelling skill-sharing & socializing!

This is a weekend-long mini conference co-hosted by Caylin Gans of Forest Schooled and Monica Miller of Kingston Forest & Nature School. We will be inviting guest workshop presenters and offering plenty of opportunities for knowledge & skill-sharing, networking, and outdoor fun!’

Come be with others who think alike, who want to change the world in the same ways you do, the kind of people who take photos of scat, get excited about tracks, enjoy lighting fires, talk to mushrooms, seek council among the trees, point out the moon, and always have a little mud on their boots.

It seems that no matter what the topic of a course or workshop I lead may be, more often than not the most savoured part about it for everyone is the chance to be together, outdoors, with others who share the same values.

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These are the core reasons why I love bringing what I call “Nature-rooted” Educators together. And it’s why I’ve partnered with Kingston Forest & Nature School to host a second annual Nature-rooted Mini Conference in Kingston on May 31st-June 2nd 2024. 

Because we know that the day-to-day work of a Nature-minded Educator can sometimes feel isolating. The values we hold dear and practices we work hard to implement can be misunderstood by our colleagues, parents, school administrators and many others in our communities. Many of us crave the company of others who just “get it” without the need for any explanation.

This gathering aims to offer a sense of renewal and inspiration as we bring together a group of like-minded educators to emulate what we offer to participants and students in our settings - learning together! One of the most powerful means of deepening our practice, expanding our knowledge, and stretching our minds and hearts is through peer-to-peer learning and social connection alongside the more-than-human world.

This is a Mini-conference which means it will be small, intimate, and very special. Spaces are limited so if you’d like to be the first to know when registration opens you can pre-register now.

I hope we, and the chickadees, may see you there!

Cost

We have planned this Mini-Conference with affordability as our top priority. 
  • Fees are offered with a sliding scale (see below).
  • Group rates will be available for 3 or more people.
  • Note: Accommodation and meals are NOT included


Please reach out if fees still are a barrier for you attending caylin@forestschooled.com

Community: $150

You pay slightly more than the true cost to support members of your community with access to these workshops.

Sustain: $130

You pay just enough to cover the true cost of the workshops.

Support: $110

You pay slightly less than the true cost and accept the gifts from your community to help you access these workshops.
We are working on camping options for those who will be traveling and want the full outdoor immersion and/or more affordable options for accommodation. Stay tuned!

Workshop Presenters

Meet Mandy Wilson
She/Her
Mandy Wilson is a woman of mixed ancestry; which includes Indigenous, Black and Irish descent. She is a member of Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation who grew up in Sharbot Lake Ontario. She is now living in Kingston Ontario where her work is fueled by a love for nature and a passion for language learning. She is devoted to learning the traditional values and principles that have influenced Indigenous land practices since time immemorial. She is extremely thankful to her family, aunties, and community for the teachings she has received throughout her life and hopes to honour those teachings by sharing the importance of creating a reciprocal relationship with Mother Earth.
Meet Lindsey Pilon
She/Her
Lindsey Pilon (she/her) is an urban Indigenous mixed-Ancestry Haudenosaunee woman (maternal line being Turtle clan, Oneida from Six Nations of the Grand River). Her passion is Inclusive Early Childhood Care and she believes a framework of decolonial pedagogy is crucial for community wellness. To dismantle systemic injustice across Turtle Island and around the world we must Educate, Elevate and Organize.
Meet Claire Beach - Forest Therapy
(She/Her)
Claire is a Certified Nature Therapy Guide, Mentor and creator of 'Among the Trees Forest Therapy'. She guides on the lands of Treaty 57 in Eastern Ontario. She spent many years searching for awe and wonder on wild adventures. With motherhood came a new sense of urgency to repair her relationship with the Earth, to rise rooted and strive for a brighter future. The practice of Forest Therapy is at the centre of her self care and community work.

Website: amongthetreesforesttherapy.com
Meet Hilbert Buist - Nature Journalling
(He/Him)
Hilbert Buist is a retired pastry chef and naturalist from Kingston, ON guiding hikes in Belle Island, Kingston and Wintergreen Studios. He has identified over 1200 species across all flora and fauna between Kingston and Ottawa. His main focuses are birds and fungi. Other interests include photography, writing, drawing and discovering how species connect with each other to create ecosystems. 
Meet Caylin
(She/Her)
Caylin is the creator of Forest Schooled, a business that supports and deepens learning and professional practice for Nature educators all over the world through mentorship, workshops, and professional learning communities. She’s the author of blog turned book, Forest Schooled, The Book, and collaborates with Antioch University, New England where she develops and delivers courses that are grounded in appreciation and respect for the natural world, and work towards ecological and social justice.

Website: forestschooled.com
More presenters to be confirmed soon!

What people are saying...  

"It was absolutely incredible to have had the opportunity to gather with others who have the same goals & are incredibly passionate about this work. It was validating to spend time amongst them & also exciting to bring back resources & new experiences learnt, to our programs going forward."
Stef, Your Healing Circle
“Being able to be outside with a likeminded group of people was so beautiful and inspiring”
Participant
"I liked how dynamic and connected the group felt together and how our different backgrounds helped give everyone at the conference different perspectives. I wish I lived closer to be able to attend more of these workshops! It was truly wonderful to share the space with everyone.”
Participant
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