Learn a Guided Discovery Approach by Doing!
Wilderness + Arts & Crafts + Role-Play

Looking for an innovative
and creative way to engage children in Nature?

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Testimonials

“As the principal and the teacher, I was too busy, but was curious about Wild Craft Play and wanted to provide the Wild Craft Play experience for my students. It ended up making the whole experience in our class much more engaging. Through role-playing, arts and crafts in the wilderness we met core curriculum objectives and over-came conflicts, solved problems, made great decisions, and developed basic life-skills. I could check off all of the Core Competencies required for BC Curriculum and it was a great deal of fun!”

~ Annette Nobles –
Principal of Departure Bay Eco School
Licensed Wild Craft Play Facilitator

Wild Craft Play, The Game, is a fun and engaging way to connect children with the Earth and their surroundings.  The children say that

“It’s like a video-game in real-life.” ~ Anonymous student

APPROPRIATE FOR AGES 8 AND UP

This game requires dexterity, capacity to think for yourself, experiment with autonomy, cooperation, collaboration, guiding others, coaching, experimentation itself.  Sometimes I find that if a child is younger than 8 years old, the concepts of a bank account, quests, entrepreneurship and independence is too much for young ones to handle, and therefore become very hard for adults to cater to the needs of the group as a whole.

Sometimes I find that age 13 – 16 become “too cool for school” and they don’t want to PLAY anymore, THEN, when people are age 17 and older, they REALLY WANT TO PLAY… funny huh? To me, it’s hilarious. So if you can convince a 14 year old to play, GOOD ON YA!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. Appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Expect to run in The Nature.
  2. Eventually you will hand-craft a Pouch, an Journal and a fancy Pencil, but if you happen to have your own, bring it along!
  3. You need a good lunch with extra snacks and a water bottle (or two).
  4. To close your eyes and keep your mind WIDE OPEN. Bring your whole self and your wildest imagination.
  5. This game brings out our best super hero and sometimes the worst of our shadow selves, but through Guided Discovery Learning and other gentle facilitation tools, tonnes of practice and a big heart when it comes to LEARNING by DOING, we can help you through anything (or your money back).

INFORMATION FOR ADULTS

If you are a Parent, Teacher, Program Leader or student, this information is for anyone intending on working with or supporting children through this adventure.

Wild Craft Play is more than an experience, it is a model designed to help children hone their life skills, fall in-love with the Earth, with the hopes to take care of it. We have discovered that it conveniently meets core competencies within the BC Curriculum, and can work as a game-like approach to helping teachers teach core curriculum, making learning more interesting.  Specific curriculum and specific topics such as: Social Studies, Business structures (Entrepreneurship, Business, Social Enterprises, Not-For Profits), Marketing, English, Math (Financial Literacy), Environmental Science, Economics, Consumerism, Chemistry, Botany, Herbalism.

Understand that it isn’t about telling them to love the Earth, it’s about being a bit of a trickster, like Raven or Coyote, and bringing the video-game outside. The following is just a small list of what happens during a program:

  • GUIDED DISCOVERY LEARNING: Children are guided by the facilitator using a very particular approach that takes Guided Discovery Learning – an approach that was initially generated by John Dewey in the early 1900’s, progressed through the years with experimentation demonstrated by Maria Montessori called (Discovery Learning – unguided), and where I have added my own twist, using more of a Hummingbird Approach (opposed to a Helicopter Approach) to leadership.  According to Brown & Campione who championed Guided Discovery Learning, suggested that it is the middle ground
    between a more didactic (or receptive approach) and a discovery approach, like Montessori.  SEE MORE HERE.
  • VIDEO-GAME-LIKE PLAY: When playing video games such as Mine-craft and World-of-Warcraft, there are aspects of those games that really hook a player.  These aspects have been incorporated to a more un-structured outdoor experience, where children lead the game.
  • CHILD-LEAD LEARNING & INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING are both phrases that are becoming a catchy, that somewhat means the experience is lead by the children, yet I offer a bit of a twist on this theory.  Based on my understanding, these two concepts mean slightly different things. Child-led learning means that the child makes the decisions, which goes hand-in-hand with the approach of using questions (Inquiry), to guide children to their own discovery. The difference between this and Guided Discovery Learning is the amount of effort, preparation and guidance training that the teacher (or Guide) requires in order to provide a holistic experience for the children.
  • WILDERNESS  COMMON SENSE In addition to play that includes archery, swordplay, quests and expeditions, I believe that children need more training and experience to develop a Nature-Based COMMON SENSE. Based on a life-time of experience, it is my understanding that it takes experience to develop common sense, and we need to provide somewhat safe experiences, with perceived risk, in order for children to stretch their comfort zones and hone those skills.
  • EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: relying on group cohesion, we dive into experiential activities that can be as simple as a time in a forested area, or more complex strategic role-play with quests, characters, challenges and swords. Other adventurous activities can be offered such as Mountain Biking, Caving, Kayaking, Trekking, Indoor Rock Climbing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow-Showing and Snow shelter building, Adventure Questing and beyond. It all depends on what neck of the woods you are in, who your guide is and where you want to go!
  • CONNECTION WITH NATURE is an integral experience within all of our programs that has been practiced for decades. I grew up in Nature, and have been an outdoor guide for over 20 years. I believes that time in nature is what prevents ADHD, dis-ease, and it brings joy, magic, listening to our intuition, building self confidence and much more. We have integrated theories and practices of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by John Young, following the 8 shields model at www.8shields.com since 2009.
  • A SPIRITUAL COMPONENT I believe that you can’t have a physical experience, using your mind and body, without having some emotional needs creep up, that force us to tap into our own personal spiritual practice to help guide, shape and mold our experience. At Wild Craft Play we are non-denominational, we do not preach any particular religion, allow space and time for people to use their own individual practices to help shape their experience.  Some universal approaches include – time in Nature, quiet time, journaling, guided visualizations.
  • ALL INCLUSIVE GENDER IDENTITIES AND ABILITIES All are welcome.  Even under age 8 (just know that it might be a bit over their heads, and you will have to support them).  One intention for this experience is to build capacity, build community, and support an understanding of diverse abilities and cultures, with the hopes that by learning to be more accepting of people, that we can work together to take care of the Earth.
  • HANDS-OFF GUIDANCE Because this is a more of a child-led adventure, and it is facilitated in a way that children need to think for themselves, if your child needs direct instruction, you will need to provide an aid.  There are many practices we use to ensure that each child has the best experience possible, we recognize that this game is not for everyone.  Although we have many, there are only so many adaptations and mindfulness techniques that we can use to ensure that everyone feels welcome and safe. So come with an open mind, and feel free to let us know if you need more support. We use techniques such as box breathing,
  • CREATIVE STORYTELLING Whether it be poetic rhyme, story crafting, singing, acting, dancing, stage crafting, our approach to appreciative inquiry is usually more along the lines of “That’s for me to know and for you to find out, for without a doubt, I was destined to meet you, and I know what you must do…”

“It’s amazing, it’s the best of ALL worlds! It’s like a videogame mixed with playing with my friends mixed with being in The Nature! How did you come up with this?”

~ Engaged 11 year old participant during Thesis Research Study 2017.

Learning Opportunities
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Click on the + for drop-down menus

Become acquainted with the art of Nature-based programming, integrating theatrical role-play using props and resources in Nature, and remember the art of play.  This is an introductory experience intended to open your mind and deepen your senses. 

Come prepared to learn-y-doing, having fun with a purpose and engage in a conversation about a slightly different approach.  Take what you know about child-led learning, discovery learning and basic facilitation skills, and add a more specific approach called Guided Discovery Learning (derived from John Dewey and others). 

Show up where you are at.  Everyone has a different walk of life. Maybe you have never taking your children outdoors, maybe you are just learning the art of how to keep paper dry in the train.  Maybe you have been running outdoor programs for years, and you are looking for something with a fun and engaging twist to take your game play to the next level.  This training meets many objectives.

Before registering, be sure to check in with us to determine if this is the right fit for you.

…………

  • Learn the basics of how to take your class outside by participating in fun and enticing adventure questing, an old pass-time similar to Geo-caching, without leaving a trace in the wilderness. 
  • Meet outside and experience the Guided Discovery approach to absorb the tricks, tips and tools designed to engage children.
  • Explore the fundamentals of Questing, guided risk assessments, lesson plans and activities integrated into your experience, while exploring your local environment.
  • Learn from a Master of Adventure. Jamie Black has an MA in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University.  Learn from her as she role-models her approach to risk management strategies, communication and leadership.
  • Role-play your worst-case scenario and harness your ability to thrive in the the moment with your children.
  • This program is designed to help teachers develop confidence in the wilderness, focusing on group dynamic management,  using what we call a Hummingbird Approach, incorporating other models such as the 8 shields model, integrating fun and intentional nature-games that will help you enhance your curriculum.

TOOLS INCLUDE:

  • 8 Hours of in-person training with Jamie Black MA.
  • A How to resource on how to play Wild Craft Play as a 1 Day event
  • Reference Books filled with games and helpful resources,
  • Unlimited access to the online Wild Craft Play ‘sCool community.

Inquire about on-going Wilderness First Aid Scenarios in your neck of the woods!

The vision of The Wild Craft Play Game Apprenticeship Program will reach thousands of adults around the globe who wish to ignite children’s engagement and their affinity for themselves, the Earth and others through wildly crafted play. 
  • Wild Craft Play was designed with and for children and revised while playing with children since 2008.  Jamie Black, the Founder, sponsored years of research in this theory of engagement and generated a Masters Thesis while playing this game at Salt Spring Centre School in 2015. CLICK HERE for her research
  • Think of Wild Craft Play as a process model (a game-board for real-live play) that  helps children guide the adults on what they want, engaging adults in more of a Hummingbird approach to leadership that reaches children at their level of capacity in this era
  • This game model builds a foundation and structure of learning that works for children, some even call it magical! It feeds children’s affinity for the Earth and willingness to care of it.
  • All you need is a willingness to fully play, try on new things and fly from the comfort zone of your current nest.

 

This is a 12-week practicum program that requires you to:

  1. Have your own group of children (ages 8-12) ready to play.
  2. You will need approximately 1.5 – 4 hours per session per week with the children, for the duration of the 12 weeks. 
  3. You will be provided with physical tools, online videos, a training manual, and online support through email, Skype calls and group conference calls.
  4. This experience is intended to leverage your current situation and take it to a whole new world of imaginative, creative play.
  5. It is suggested that you have a minimum 6 participants required to run.

TOOLS INCLUDED:

  • Online Community Collaboration as well as 1-on-1 Coaching. Designed as a practicum which requires you to have your own group of children to be able to learn-by-doing.
  • Wild Craft Play Game Manual (PDF & Word Format) – Includes editable and printable game resources that include: rules, how to’s, tools, lesson plans and more.
  • Minimum of 1.5 hours/day to play is essential for maximum benefits
  • Private Online Training Videos: including the parts of the game, how to play it and some facilitation techniques that have proven to engage children, connect them to the Earth and inspire future leaders.
  • Readings and Resources available for purchase, shared on the private website.
  • License for you to run The Wild Craft Play Game at 1 venue as long as you would like.
  • Annual communications, support and membership.
  • Acknowledgment of you and your students on the Earth Advocates Wall of Fame, our Facebook public page, and our private Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wildcraftplayscool/

*** BOOK A TRAINING NEAR YOU (Minimum 6 to run)

Training like this is best taught in-person with real, live, role-play scenarios and direct personal feedback among your peers.  You can expect pre-readings and online communications prior to an in-person 6 hour training at your location (travel costs are extra, please inquire).

  • Inquire about Expansion Packages – $100-$200 options including Travelling Trade Post, The Snail Shop, The Market Place, Wild Craft Nation and more… see below.
  • More workshops and courses available on The Hummingbird Approach, Taking The Game to the next level, Power of Peacemaking, Wild Craft Play-style Field Games, Game theories behind Wild Craft Play, How to write Quests, Adventure Questing, Archery & Sword Play, Wilderness Survival Practice, and more (just ask).
 
Have a look at the Wild Craft Play Apprenticeship Program and now imagine all of these features extended over the span of the entire school year.  You will receive all of what you see with an additional:

  • On-going 1-on-1 guidance and support
  • Weekly access to live Guided Discovery learning from Jamie Black
  • Self-Discovery and personal experience guidance in your own outdoor exploration, wilderness first-aid scenarios and guided exploration
  • 2 different 2-Day Rejuvenating and Re-energizing Retreats held on Beautiful Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada – 1 in August, 1 in June
  • Play the game in-person, front-loaded, immersive play, “pause game” and pull apart the aspects of the game, then dive deep through experiential debriefing techniques, group process and independent practice.
  • Walk through the Wild Craft Play Game Manual 
  • Receive a 2-4 Hour Game Play Model Manual
  • Receive a 4-8 Hour Game Play Model
  • Private Training Videos: including the parts of the game, how to play it and some facilitation techniques that have proven to work.
  • License for you to run Wild Craft Play the Game at any venue as long as you would like.
  • Acknowledgement of you and your students on the Earth Advocates Wall of Fame web page and our Facebook page and Facebook group.
  • Expansion Package of your choice, See options below
  • Wild Craft Play – Mini Games – perfect for 1-2 hours or small events
  • Wild Craft Play – ASD version – specially designed for children with Autism
  • Full game experience with all of the props, resources and training available
  • Free access to Free-cycled materials
  • Resources and support to hosting and marketing your own event
  • Media Kit
  • 2 hour virtual meeting with Jamie: meet with a Master of Adventure, one-on-one, and be guided through your own discovery of what is possible
  • Wild Craft Play in-person training – up to 4 hours.

Most suitable for groups (cost may vary depending on numbers and location)

Inquire about:

The Hummingbird Approach, Taking The Game to the next level, Power of Peacemaking, Wild Craft Play-style Field Games, Game theories behind Wild Craft Play, How to write Quests, Adventure Questing, Archery & Sword Play, and Wilderness Survival Practice.

The summer is always the most fun time, in the Northern Hemisphere, to fully play outside.  Our Summer Camp experiences on Vancouver Island are a great place to come, learn with the community and grow as a person who wishes to work with children.  This summer camp is more of training program for children to ignite their passions and connect them to the Earth.   

By participating as an adult during either one of our own, OR your own Wild Craft Play Summer Program, you get to dive into all of the aspects of the game on a daily basis in a way that really makes the game come alive.

First it takes 1 week to be trained, time to read the resources, and at least 1 coaching call, then you should be ready.

Once you have the framework of Wild Craft Play, and you have been trained on the basics of how to run it,  expanding to the following packages will elevate your game even more. (See Wild Craft Play Apprenticeship Program for details).

……….

Expansion Pack I – Travelling Trade Post – an original set-up for enticing children to learn about consumerism, what is good for the environment, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Expansion Pack II – Snail Shop – bring your wood working or carving shop to The Nature. Children love using hand-tools, and they can use them outside.

Expansion Pack III – The Market Place [requires the Snail Shop & Travelling Trade Post training] – Children learn Eco-Friendly Social-Purpose Business ethics and more.

Expansion Pack IV—Wild Craft Nation – Social engagement that takes capture-the-flag to a whole new level, with roles, responsibilities, a story-line, and the best part is that it shifts their context from competitiveness to collaboration and cooperation without them even knowing!

Expansion Pack V – Archery and Sword Play – this requires the tools and direct coaching. Ask for details.

**The Expansion Packs above Require you to have already learned the basics of Wild Craft Play, The Game
All Costs – Depends on group size and resources required.
Want to know more? Email Jamie@wildcraftplay.com
Also Inquire About Workshops and 1-on-1 Coaching in:

How to lead using a Hummingbird Approach, Taking Your Game to the next level, Power of Peacemaking, Wild Craft Play-style Field Games, Game theories behind Wild Craft Play, How to write Quests, Adventure Questing, Archery & Sword Play, and Wilderness Survival Practice.

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