Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Call Of The Wild 2020 - A year long foundation course in outdoor education leadership

Call Of The Wild 2020 - A year long foundation course in outdoor education leadership

Group canoeing down river
Key Info: 
  • Gain the skills and tools to be a mentor for nature and bring your leadership potential into focus
  • Created for those on a personal and/or professional development path
  • The programme will introduce deep ecology, earth education, fieldcraft & bushcraft and will include night walks, earth walks, naturalist study, canoe-trips, role-play, ceremony, storytelling and a medicine walk

With Chris Salisbury, WildWise and Schumacher College teachers

£ 3 495.00
Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, accommodation (camping) and most meals.
Accommodation is camping either in the grounds next to Schumacher College or on location on the WildWise site on Dartmoor. 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. For questions, please call Schumacher College administration on Tel: +44 (0) 1803 847237

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

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, or the deeper cultural need. 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, and seek ways to offer this connection to others.

An extraordinary syllabus is available to anyone open to spending time in nature, and our job as environmental/outdoor 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 a thrilling and soulful 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 into focus, supported by experienced professionals, a community of like-minded and inspired peers, and a deep connection with the natural world itself.

Through the programme you will develop a more grounded and effective approach to mentoring nature-connection, you will deepen your own connection with the natural world itself, and you will also be more connected to yourself and your aspirations.

Another profound and far-reaching aspect is the deep bond formed with your peer group, typically 24 in number, and who become an increasingly important part of this special journey.

Who is it suitable for?

The programme has been created for those on a personal and/or 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. It may well also be one of those intuitive leaps to find something not readily available in the everyday world.

In professional terms Call of the Wild offers skills-development, mentoring, professional training and precious field 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 affinity for, and which client-groups they are interested 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. We’ve also seen it fertilise a wide variety of corporate or professional settings via graduates inspired to bring it to their workplace.

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 educators, outdoor practitioners, rangers, artists, forest school leaders, play-workers, environmentalists, activists 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 April 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, fieldcraft & bushcraft and 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.

Structure of the programme

  • 6 Core Skills and Development weekends, April – November
  • 4 WildWise professional training courses
  • 5 -10 days fieldwork on WildWise camps and events, or a related external 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, Bushcraft, Woodcraft, Sensory Awareness, Naturalist Activity, Creative Interpretation, Storytelling, Nature Games. It is a pre-requisite that you are available for every module.

24 - 27 April Orientation: An introduction and induction to Schumacher College. Group-bulding, orientation and introduction to core routines. Meet mentors, take a night walk, get assignments and practices
12 - 15 June Bushcraft skills, bird language, night work, assignments and practices
17 - 20 July Sensory awareness, tracking skills, wildlife observation, night activity, intuition walk, assignments and practices
11 - 14 September Creative interpretation, nature games, Earth education, environmental storytelling, animating nature, narrative techniques, storymaking, nightpaddle, assignments and practices
2 - 5
Gaia theory, deep ecology, active hope, grief-tending, Council of all Beings, overnight solo, assignments and practices
6 - 9 November Leadership styles, eco-constellations, information and resources for environmental education, celebration







2. Professional Training 

Students choose 4 training courses from the 2019 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. There is also an option to work with compatible external organisations.  A minimum of 5 days is recommended. 

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…

There is a second year-programme for graduates of Call of the Wild. Graduates of either of these programmes will have the opportunity to apply for a role that helps the course leaders deliver the 2021 programme. These places are limited and are assessed on application.


Accoccodation is camping either in the grounds next to Schumacher College or on location on the WildWise site on Dartmoor. 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 any aspect of 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.

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

With Chris Salisbury, WildWise and Schumacher College teachers
Chris Salisbury

Chris Salisbury

Chris lives on the other side of the forest with his beloved wife, daughter and dog. He has a background in the theatre, a training in therapy and an ongoing career in environmental education.  Chris uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world. He is the course carrier for the year-long ‘Call of the Wild’ Foundation at Schumacher College, where he also facilitates some of the short course programmes.  

Chris founded WildWise ( in 1999 after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. He is a professional storyteller (aka 'Spindle Wayfarer'), and is Artistic Director for the Westcountry Storytelling Festival ( Chris is also trained as a Be the Change facilitator and offers symposiums for interested groups.


If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

Help & Enquiries

 Admission Enquiries
email us  
+ 44 (0) 1803 847212