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A Gathering of Earth Skills Educators

When: March 3rd - 5th, 2023

Where: Shady Creek Outdoor School, Nevada City, CA


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Yip, yip, come one, come all...let’s circle up to create a strong community for the sake of keeping children connected to the outdoors. Join nature educators of all levels to enhance your skills and discuss important topics concerning our work. This 3 day, 2 night gathering will include hands-on workshops, skill shares, presentations by expert speakers and plenty of time for networking.


This is a conference for youth educators in the Earth Skills-Wilderness Survival / Nature Connection Field. All Instructional staff and directors of Nature Connection Organizations* are welcome.


It's more important than ever for us to become a resilient community of nature educators together


*This conference is open to all individuals who are interested in connecting children to
nature. For most of the educational organizations that are involved, curriculum is
based on knowing the elements of shelter, water, fire and food, and how to form a solid
relationship with the earth.

Conference Details

12pm, Fri, March 3rd - 3pm, Sun, March 5th, 2023

The conference will offer:

  • Workshops

  • Skill shares

  • “Council Meetings” and special guests that will offer talks to inspire us all

  • Open Space Time - participants are invited to share their wisdom and skills during the open space portions of the conference. During this time everyone can offer to teach about their topics of expertise or call together smaller circles on discussion topics of choice. 


Workshop topics:

  • Mentoring and teaching skills

  • Group management

  • Tracking, trailing and animal sign 

  • Best practices and standards for our work

  • Stealth and awareness

  • Sit spot techniques for kids

  • Bird language 

  • Teaching carving to kids

  • Ancestral skills

  • Working with children who have social and emotional challenges

  • Essentials of child development

  • Games, songs and stories

  • Gender and diversity

  • Hazards and Safety best practices

  • Program Development/Curriculumn 

  • And much more.

Tentative Schedule:

12:00-2:00pm  Arrival, set up 
2:00-3:00pm  Opening Circle and Opening Words with Don Ryberg 
3:00-5:00pm  Choice of: 1. Games share   2. Building curiosity tracking and getting to know our place wonder   3. Open choice

6-7am Sunrise ceremony 
7-8am Sit Area and debrief 
8-9am Breakfast 
9-9:15 am Morning Circle-Intro to Days Topics 
9:15-10:15 Panel-Teaching Earth Skills to Kids-Directors of Earth Skills programs 
10:30-12 Choice of: 1. Teaching tracking to kids, 2. Business and Risk Management for Wilderness Schools, 3. Cyber tracker, track cameras and tracking apps
12-1 Lunch 
1-2:30 Choice of: 1. Awareness and Games  2.Inclusion-working with neurodiverse and socially emotionally challenged children-facilitated share 3. Knife skills and projects for kids 4. Open for topic addition
2:30-4 Choice of: 1. Wilderness survival for kids  2. Early childhood techniques share 3. Tending the wild and fire ecology for kids 4. Open for topic addition
4-5:30 Choice of: 1. Skills projects and nature based crafts share 2.Open networking or meeting time
5:30-6:30 Dinner 
6:30-7 Fire making for kids share 
7-9 Evening circle, campfire games, stargazing wisdom, desserts on the fire, night games, sharing of nature connection stories 

6-7am Sunrise ceremony 
7-8am Bird sit and debrief, bird sits for kids 
8-9am Breakfast 
9-9:15am Morning Circle-Intro to Days Topics 
9:15-10:15 Panel on indigenous partnerships with Rick Berry (4EEE Director), Don Ryberg (Tribal Chairman), Juan and Jennifer Villareal and others 
10:30-12 Choice of: 1. Wild edibles and natural dyes for kids  2.Diversifying programs share 3. Motivation and psyche techniques share 4. Open for topic addition
12-1 Lunch 
1-1:30- Showcasing your program tables and networking time 

1:30-3 Closing circle and debrief share 


*optional Sunday after conference

4pm Tour of Burton 4EEE/ Pata Panka site

 *please let us know if you are interested




Conference Organizers:

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The price of the ticket includes simple, healthy meals and simple accommodations. Participants can choose to either camp or stay in a shared cabin.

We seek to limit barriers to access for all people and offer scholarships upon request

Individual Rates: choose your rate based on your own assesment of what is fair for your situation. Rate B is the true price. Rate A subsidizes Rate C. Rate C is a reduced subsidized rate for those who need it.


Rate A: $500

Rate B: $400

Rate C: $300


Group Rates:

You can purchase 5 tickets for your group for $1350.


Want to sponsor the conference?

For $200 you can have your school's or organizations logo added to this website and conference materials as a sponsor. You can also have a table at the event. This is also a way for you to support this important gathering even if you can not make it in person. This donation is also tax deductible via our 501c(3) status. 

Registration is CLOSED

Tap the button above to visit our online ticketing store, hosted by our friends at Vilda
(Your receipt will arrive from Vilda)

Please note: you will receive communications via email about the event - such as further event details and the opportunity to submit dietary restrictions. After purchasing tickets, you do not need to print tickets/receipts - your name will be on a list at the conference.

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