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Leading Nature-Based Retreats

September 1, 2022 - September 3, 2022

FireLoch Folkschool is pleased to  host Heath Dawson, an experienced forest school and nature-based retreat leader from Dublin, Ireland. Heath will be travelling to NS in August for an international axe throwing competition and has offered to extend his travels to join us as a facilitator at FireLoch.

Together, Heath and the FireLoch team have been dreaming about a small group gathering that could connect a local community of folks keen to learn more about or deepen their practice of nature-based learning. This would be an offering for forest school leaders, mental health or nature based retreat convenors, outdoor adventure leaders and anyone curious about ways to offer impactful, safe, and engaging nature-based learning.

Taking what Heath has learned from leading bushcraft and outdoor leadership as a lead instructor of Ray Mears Woodlore school, and his freelance work with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, we see this as an opportunity to bring new skills to our region and to create a forum where existing skills can be shared in exchange as well (all attendees can be part of the facilitation team by making an offering of your own!)

Together we will learn from Heath about

* Unique dynamics of outdoor facilitation

* Peace building with nature based experiences

* Ideas for engaging nature based content: building nature based structures, teaching survival skills, outdoor games for all ages

We will also:

* Live together on the land, sharing meals (food provided) and camping or building structures together to sleep in

* Try our hand at new skill development : axe throwing, fire building, foraging, night orienteering, sharing the skills of those who gather

* Apply what we have learned by ending the gathering with an offering of programming as a half day workshop for the public to join in at FireLoch

This will be a three day gathering, one day to arrive and orient, build connections and begin our journey, one day to be in a learning community together, and one full day to share what we have learned and to spend time to close our circle together. The final day is an optional overnight where you can have family or friends join you at FireLoch for a campout since you’ll be all set up and have many new skills to show off 🙂


We will provide:

* food for three days

* paddleboard/canoe/kayaks for use during your visit

* wood burning pizza oven and forest sauna available for use

* outdoor shower and washroom facilities (outhouse/incinerating toilet)

Participants will need to bring:

* camping gear and associated clothing and gear for three days of outdoor living, * camping equipment will be available for loan but in limited amounts so please contact if this is required

* a swimsuit for the lake and/or sauna

*Bug spray, tick and sun protection and weather appropriate clothing (rain or shine event)

*Music, games, skills to share


Sliding Scale: You can select the rate most accessible to you – contact us for more information at firelochcentre@gmail.com to secure your spot!


September 1, 2022
September 3, 2022
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1442 Hwy 7
Lochaber, Nova Scotia B2G 2L3 Canada
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