The Forest Path aims to create full-body experiences of feeling alive and connected, to the wild, to within, with each other. We offer outdoor education programs and camps in Nelson BC Canada for children to get outside, learn nature skills and be mentored to grow wholesomely.
Malin Christensson started The Forest Path inspired by her friends Clelie Chevrier and Garliq Chevrier who introduced her to the coyote mentoring way. The first event was spring break camp in 2017, in Nelson BC, on the unceded homeland, xaʔxáʔ tumxʷulaʔxʷ, of the Sinixt nation. The Ktunaxa and Syilx peoples also are connected to this land.
We are inspired by nature and the wonder and happiness and aliveness we experience when being outdoors. We are influenced by other wild kids camps and groups, like the 8 shields and Art of Mentoring of Jon Young, Wisdom of the Earth at Saltspring Island and the forest kindergartens in Canada (for example in Victoria and Vancouver) as well where they originated in the 1950s in Sweden and 1960s in Germany. There are now over 1000 forest kindergartens in Germany. We are also drawing on wisdom of Awaken the Dreamer, deep ecology and Joanna Macy, of mindfulness, and traditional First Nations and shaman knowledge.
Our ambition is to nurture deeper relations between parents, children and our surroundings.
What do the kids do?
The Forest Path connects kids to our beautiful natural playground – to our birthright of smell, taste, touch and listening to the living land around us. Every program balances free nature play and facilitated games, art and crafts, adjusted to the age and interests of the kids. We playfully add mindfulness, yoga/animal forms, storytelling and music to the day. The children learn to watch for hazards. They are introduced to naturalist and survival skills.
When we deepen our nature skills, we will also deepen our community skills and our relationship with our own self. We see Nature as the best teacher that models values such as belonging, quiet mind, generosity, resilience, gratitude and vitality. The Forest Path mentors create safe attachments by co-regulation, sharing circles, and empathetic listening. We role-model kind and just relationships, decolonization and allyship.