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Forest Dwellers Cowichan – RIVER OTTER Clan

February 23 - June 16

The Forest Dwellers Cowichan Program provides youth ages 8-12 with an exciting, safe and meaningful way to explore and engage in the natural world.

Register Here

Join us in our new Cowichan Program and learn how the animals live every day in the wild, finding all their food, medicine, shelter, and water.  Learn the old skills that have allowed kids all over the world to thrive in nature.  We will play games, go on wild adventures, make crafts, and cultivate a deeper sense of our place in the natural world.  Through activities, challenges, and song, youth will discover greater self-confidence, learn cooperation and teamwork, and gain a sense of environmental care taking.

Each week will be a new adventure on the land: playing games, hearing nature-based stories, building fire, carving primitive tools, weaving baskets, foraging for food and medicine, journaling nature mysteries, learning bird language, expanding our senses, exploring the pond, tracking wild animals and more!

My daughter’s confidence has really grown in the past few years in this program. It has really helped her socially, in part because of the multi-age environment. Her knowledge of the outdoors becomes deeper each year, and her ability to express it and teach others is so amazing! This program let’s her be her wild self, without school teachers or parents. I really value the style of mentoring and the guidance it gives while still maintaining each individual’s needs and ideas.”

– Thriving Roots parent

What makes Thriving Roots Youth Programs different?

Thriving Roots Wilderness School uses the 8-Shields Mentoring Model – an educational approach that is based on natural cycles and ancient mentoring practices that:

  • Encourage creative thinking rather than providing answers,
  • Help students develop problem-solving skills and self-sufficiency,
  • Take learning to a deeper, embodied & contextual level.

We prioritize small group learning and one-on-one mentoring to really get to know your child and bring forth their natural passion and curiosity for learning while ultimately drawing out their own unique gifts. Driven by inquiry and connection, we will create a group experience that time and time again has demonstrated increased confidence and self-expression, compassion and understanding and a deep love for self and the natural world.

Our instructors bring a variety of skills, personal experience and compassion. They have all been trained in 8-Shields mentoring, Wilderness First Aid and CPR. Read more about them on our Staff Page.

Whether you’re new to Thriving Roots or have done our classes before, we will be learning all sorts of exciting skills together and having lots of fun!

Read more about our Youth Program Mentoring Philosophy and Curriculum.


Program Details:

Register Here

Ages: 8-12

Dates: Fridays 10am – 4pm.  Feb. 23 – June 8 & 9. (16 sessions.) The last day of class is an overnight camp-out with dinner and snacks included.  (No class during Spring Break: Mar 23)

Cost: $795.  Payment is available with a bi-monthly “3 installment option” that you can choose upon registering. First payment is due upon registration. Subsequent payments will be charged automatically every two months. All details on registration form.

No one turned away due to lack of funds.  Apply for Program Scholarship here.

Registration is limited to 8 students and will be closed when it’s full.

Instructor: Serena Turner and a Youth Programs Apprentice

Location: OUR Eco Village. 1565 Baldy Mountain Rd, Shawnigan Lake, BC

Cancellation and Refund Policy



February 23
June 16
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