Upcoming Courses, Workshops and Retreats

Community meeting at the Cabin

Chairing and Getting your Meeting Right – It’s an Art!

Dates and Times:

Online 7-9pm, Tuesday 14th March 2023

In-person 10am-4pm, Sunday 19th March 2023

Location: Online via Zoom and in-person in Berden, Herts/Essex border, UK.

Meetings aren’t easy, but they are so important for creating self-directed, consent-based education communities and spaces. The meeting is where you can bring your principles to life, establish your culture, and crucially – do the power sharing and co-creation that is central to this work. Strong meetings give self-directed, consent-based settings, that are so full of opportunity, freedom and emergent experience, a sense of security, groundedness, and accountability. This, as well as the explicit co-planning that happens in meetings, is key to people feeling safe, seen, and able to really make the most of the freedom and the opportunities that are available to them. Get your meeting right, and the rest will follow!

For more info and to book, click here.

The Stables, Bore Place

Soul Fire Writing Retreat

Dates: 14th-16th April 2023

Location: Bore Place, Edenbridge, Kent, UK

The Soul Fire writers meet again for another consent-based and self-directed writing retreat. Designed to nurture and inspire activists, is this the space you need to reconnect to your fire? This time we are exploring Story – personal stories and activist fictions, and their power to inspire and affect change.

For more info and to book, click here.

Looking Out: Rewilding Our Practice and Settings

3 day/2 night immersive camp with Rewilding Education

Dates and Times: Saturday 27 May 2023 @ 2pm – Monday 29 May 2023 @ 2pm

Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK.

You are an educator, a teacher, a facilitator. You are not convinced that the mainstream model of schooling is working. There must be another way, a better way. You want to be part of something that is wilder, freer, more grounded, and more consensual.

But how can we hold spaces for living and learning differently?

It is not always easy to see the alternatives. One of the biggest challenges in creating new ways of educating, teaching, or facilitating is that there are so few models, no clear blueprints. Every setting is different, and facilitators can feel like they are making it up as they go along. What can we each do, in our unique place?

This three-day camp is about developing sound practice. It is not about telling you exactly what to do as that would be impossible. Each setting and every educator is different. What we will do, however, is provide you with a framework so that you can work out, for yourself, what you want to do in your own context.

For more info and to book, click here.

Wild Power, Pride and Prejudice

Co-Led together with Max Hope, and Hosted by Circle of Life Rediscovery

Date: Saturday, 10th June

Location: near Laughton, East Sussex, UK

This day is about you. And me. And us. And them.

People. We are all so diverse and yet there is a deep human desire to connect, to belong, and to be together. We are social beings. We seek out attachments. We meet in groups. We look for community.

  • Have you ever been in a group where you have felt invisible to the facilitator, to your peers, or even to yourself?
  • Have you facilitated a group and worried that you have inadvertently excluded someone, or been concerned that your own social and cultural background limited your capacity to connect with others?
  • Have you ever been in a group where you’ve felt more influenced by group dynamics and peer pressure and facilitator expectations than your own inner knowing and needs?
  • Have you ever facilitated a group and in hindsight wondered about how consensual or ethical your practice was?

This day is for you.

We will start by discussing the underlying problem of how to effectively hold space for everyone within a group, which means diving into some issues connected to power, patriarchy and social injustice. We will not, however, spend too long marinading in the problem as we want to focus our attention on exploring some radical and transformative ways of positively disrupting the status quo. For this, we will turn our attention to the natural world.

Human beings are part of the natural world. Can we assume, therefore, that the way that we organise ourselves is also ‘natural’. Can we assume that the patriarchal, hierarchical, and competitive cultures that we have created are somehow mirroring the wild? We cannot.

These assumptions are biased and inaccurate. They are – in themselves – framed by the very people who cannot see the world in any other way. Penguins, seahorses, clown fish, scarab beetles, spider monkeys, deer, bats … these creatures all exhibit queer and gender non-conforming behaviour. In fact, there is evidence of same-sex behaviour, including co-parenting, in over 1000 species. Similarly, there is evidence of dozens of ways of leading and organising social and survival dynamics within the wild which are not hierarchical or male dominated. As queer facilitators, this is interesting to us and inspires us to find non-normative examples as ways of understanding the world differently.

What then, for you? What does this mean for who you are and how you see the world?

Gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, age, social class and background, health status, family constellation, identity … areas of life where we might feel alienated at one time or another. It does not have to be that way, and in our work in the wild we can influence this.

By using the wild world as a backdrop, we will explore some liberatory and inclusive ways of leading and facilitating groups. We will talk about consent-based practice as a way of overcoming patriarchal power dynamics and advancing social justice. We will ‘queer our work’ by looking to new networks of elders, teachers, and guides. We will find ways to counter our own fears and prejudices and to work from a place of pride in all that we are and all that we bring. We will invite you to bring your experiences from your own lives and work to these discussions.

To book on to Wild Power, Pride and Prejudice, click here.