Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Call of the Wild 2018

Call of the Wild 2018

Course dates: 
Friday, 9 March, 2018 to Monday, 29 October, 2018
This course is full.

A year long foundation course in outdoor education leadership with WildWise in association with Schumacher College

Location: Based at Schumacher College and locations on Dartmoor and the River Dart

This course is full, but please sign up for our waiting list here.

We are living life in a time of tremendous global change. Many of us are sensing the shifts both without, and within us, and we feel called to act. It is clear that the current paradigms of the industrial growth model are both unsustainable and not meeting the needs of its citizens living within the system.

The formal education system is creaking under the strain of the national curriculum and our children are receiving instruction rather than a true education, within a context of reaching goals and targets that fail to address the body/mind/spirit potential within each child.

 One of the most effective ways to inspire and enrich ourselves, our communities and each other, is to find our way back to engaging wholeheartedly with the natural world.

An extraordinary syllabus is available to anyone open to spending time in nature, and our job as environmental educators is to cultivate this ‘nature connection’ in helpful and meaningful ways. Therefore, we invite you to become one of the new generation of change-makers through the Call of the Wild programme.

Call of the Wild Journey

The process of developing our capacity to be a mentor for nature connection is an adventure that’s full of potential opportunities, challenges and possibilities.

This programme will give you the skills and tools to navigate this journey and bring your leadership potential out into the world, supported by experienced professionals, a community of like-minded students and a connection with the natural world itself.

Through the programme you will become a more grounded and effective educator, be more connected with the natural world and be more connected to yourself and your aspirations.

Who is it suitable for?

The programme has been created for those on a personal and professional development path. It may be at the point of a career change or after graduating that the need for practical experience and mentoring in the field is required.

In professional terms Call of the Wild offers skills-development, mentoring, professional training and precious contact time with a variety of client-groups. 

Over the duration of the programme we expect students to pick up a broad base of skills and experience, to clarify which areas of outdoor education they have a particular interest and talent for, and which client-groups they would like to work with. This becomes the ideal platform from which to pursue a vocation in, for example, forest school, bushcraft, earth education, outdoor pursuits or the more formal environmental education sector. It will also substantially enrich the skills base for teachers and educators in formal education settings.

In more personal terms the programme aims to align you with your goals, connect you deeply with nature, and offer you tools and experiences that will translate effectively into everyday life.

The programme is geared toward teachers, educators, outdoor instructors, rangers, forest school leaders, play-workers, and in more general terms, those who are change-agents, community leaders, people in personal or professional transition and people who long for more fulfillment in their lives and a deeper impact in the world.

What happens on the programme?

This is primarily a hands-on, experiential course and is based on 6 skills-development weekends taking place between March and November from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Students will also be recommended to complete 5-10 days of fieldwork on WildWise’s calendar of events/courses or with a related nature-connection project. This will be to gain experience with varying client-groups, to be part of a staff team and to expand their teaching expectations.

 The programme will introduce deep ecology, earth education and the work of Joseph Cornell and Jon Young. The journey will include night walks, earth walks, naturalist study, canoe-trips, role-play, ceremony, storytelling and a medicine walk. In addition, participants can choose four courses from a selection of WildWise’s professional training programme to focus and develop their skills further.

 There will also be an opportunity to attend short courses from the inspiring programme run by Schumacher College.

NB. Attendance of these will be subject to availability and offered to students of the programme at a 10% discount from the stated course fee.

Structure of the programme

  • 6 Core Skills and Development weekends, March – October
  • 4 WildWise professional training courses
  • 5 -10 days fieldwork on WildWise camps and events, or a related project
  • 5 mentoring sessions
  • Various assignments and practices associated with developing nature connection and integrated learning
  • Online peer group

What will you learn?

As part of the Call of the Wild programme you will:

  • Learn and/or develop new skills, tools and techniques to become a more effective educator
  • Gain experience with a range of client-groups
  • Discover more of your gifts, passions and vision
  • Move yourself closer to your professional aspirations, and toward your dreams for yourself and the world
  • Receive coaching, mentoring and support
  • Adopt routines that connect you with nature and can facilitate others connection to nature
  • Be introduced to new ideas and new practices
  • Foundation Programme Outline


1. Core Skills and Development weekends

The weekends will focus on building your core skills and knowledge in the following areas: Nature Awareness, Campcraft, Firecraft, Shelter Building, Wild Food, Sensory Awareness, Naturalist Activity, Creative Interpretation, Storytelling, Nature Games, Woodcraft.

9 - 12 March – Orientation

Introduction and induction to Schumacher college. Group-building. Orientation. Campcraft skills. Firecraft. Introduction to core routines. Meeting the mentors. Night walk. Assignments and practices.

20 - 23 April – Hands

Bushcraft skills – firecraft, shelter-building, cutting tools, coppicing, woodcraft, wild foods, campfire cookery. Night work. Assignments and practices.

1 - 4 June – Imagination

Creative interpretation. Nature games. Earth Education. Environmental storytelling. Animating nature. Narrative techniques. Storymaking. 
Nightpaddle. Assignments and practices


6 - 9 July – Awareness

Sensory awareness. Tracking skills. Wildlife observation. Bird language. Night activity. 
Medicine walk. Assignments and practices.

14 - 17 September – Heart

Gaia theory. Deep ecology. Active Hope. Council of All Beings.
 Overnight solo. Assignments and practices


26 - 29 October – Leadership

Leadership styles. Eco Constellations. 
Information and resources for Environmental Education. Celebration!

2. Professional Training 

Students choose 4 training courses from the 2018 WildWise professional training programme to develop particular areas of interest.

3. Fieldwork

Students work with WildWise staff to gain experience assisting on WildWise courses and camps, choosing between a wide-range of events and client-groups. By negotiation there is an option to work with similar external organisations.  A minimum of 5 days is required. 

4. Mentoring

5 sessions of one-to-one focused enquiry to support the participant in how they reflect on the course, develop their emotional literacy, their professional and personal aspirations and clarify next steps.

And beyond…
Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to apply to become part of the facilitation path team that helps the course leaders deliver the 2019 programme. These places are limited and are assessed on application.

Course Fees
: £2495 

Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, and some meals.

Accommodation (included in the price) is camping in the grounds next to Schumacher College. Although there is access to a compost loo and showers, facilities are relatively basic. This way of living, including camping together in the forest and cooking over open fires, is an integral component of the course.

Teaching Venues

Teaching will occur across the following venues: The Craft Education Centre at Schumacher College, Dartington Estate Woodlands, the River Dart, and camp locations on Dartmoor. For more information about the course content please contact Joanna (link sends e-mail) at WildWise.

What Past Participants Had To Say:

Thank you for everything you bring to the Call to the Wild programme. I expect you hear this a lot (you should!), but I don't think it ever hurts to hear it.  The quality and standard of your facilitation is outstanding and the team you have brought together are a reflection of the work you do/have done. I'm being constantly inspired and challenged and I'm learning a huge amount.

I cannot put into words the way my heart, my body, my soul feel having embarked on this adventure with you. C’est juste…MAGIQUE !

I wanted to say thank you for sharing this beautiful weekend!

It is great to know I made the right and perfect choice, sharing all this new knowledge with such inspiring people as you!

Thank you and your team once again for the life changing weekend. A very precious time.

£ 2 495.00
Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, and some meals. Please contact our Short Course Administrator to discuss payment options. Tel: +44 (0)1803 865934