The Way of the Nature-Led Practitioner - Certification
Registration is closed for the August 2021 cohort.
We are now taking applications for the March 2022 cohort.
Program cost is 3548.00 until November 4, 2021
Contact kathleen@rxoutside for group rates. (or to bring this training to your community)
The program consists of:
- Two separate five-day in-person workshops.
- Nine-month distance program.
- A Culminating Project.
During our nine months together, we will move through eight sensory systems using strategies and techniques that drive neurological development in the context of nature - Wiring and rewiring the brain and body outdoors for full potential.
Click the "add to cart" button below to pay in one payment.
To pay in 9 monthly installments CLICK HERE. (A $15/month service charge is added.)
To pay in 3 installments CLICK HERE (A $15/month service charge is added.)
After payment is received, you will receive a call or an email with instructions for our online platform.
The Way of the Nature-Led Practitioner — Certification Course.
The Nature-Led Approach teaches participants more than just how to support children and others in nature. By enrolling in The Way of the Nature-Led practitioner, you embark on a personal and professional journey to reintegrate yourself and others with nature.
Knowing is in the doing.
This mentorship nourishes and replenishes while teaching the art and science of nature connection practices. Set yourself on a lifelong journey to begin or deepen your understanding and connection with nature— so that you can draw from your own well to heal and support others.
Our approach shifts away from the modern perspective of using nature as a tool or giving dogmatic instructions and moves people towards an interactive relationship with the natural world. Through our built-in sensory interface, we learn to Awaken, Engage, and Integrate with nature’s ongoing invitation to become the best version of ourselves and help others become their best selves.
With the Nature-Led Approach Certification, you are guided to your own connection with the natural world while gaining an understanding and perspective of the developmental and rehabilitative opportunities right outside the door.
Over the nine months, we will guide you to engage through a nature-led approach for optimal developmental and rehabilitative potentials.
AS you rebuild or deepen your connection, a new understanding will emerge. At times it may feel like you are recapitulating your own developmental experience, backtracking of sorts to reclaim pieces you may have left behind. Through guided experiences, you will gain a greater understanding of your habits, styles of communication, skills, and challenges, and have a path to health and wellness— because children are astute observers, and they learn by watching what the adults in their world are doing.
Through your reconnection, greater ease in guiding others will become your new reality.
There are four main goals in the Nature-Led Approach:
- First, developing your own more profound relationship with nature, yourself, and others through core routines of nature connection.
- To become competent facilitating others to build a solid *developmental foundation by engaging with nature from birth onward.
- To gain understanding and develop skills to remediate and rehabilitate under-development in those who have a shaky foundation.
- To create ripples of reconnection and learn to support others to rebuild the interactive human-nature relationship.
The program consists of:
- Two separate five-day in-person workshops.
- Nine-month distance program.
- A Culminating Project.
Strategic-developmental and rehabilitative tools within the Nature-Led Approach:
1. Sensory-Scaping in the natural environment for development, recapitulation, and rehabilitation.
2. Core Routines to integrate with nature.
3. Call and Response - An interactive and reciprocal relationship-building process with self, nature, and community (Companion Calling).
4. Curiosity-based positive behavior building.
5. Inner and outer tracking of underlying skill strengths and deficits - teaching you how to gain insight into each individual's needs in the context of nature.
6. Meaningful and contextual activity in nature.
7. Designing programs supported by ancient wisdom (evolutionary and emergent neurological needs) and creating modern brilliance (Honoring evolved needs to support the modern experience).
Our Next Cohort Begins-- August 16-20 *** If you are interested in a cohort beginning September 26- October 1st, contact Kathleen@rxoutside.com
Ends-- June 5-10th
New This Year!! — Opportunities for an extended on-site apprenticeship at one of our K-8 programs.
Included with your investment—
- Camping at our group site.
- Lunch each day, coffee/tea, and snacks daily.
- San Luis Obispo Airport pick-up and drop-off.
- Transportation to and from our two locations for those who are arriving by plane.
- Coolers for food storage at our campsite.
- A propane cookstove.
- Tables (and chairs for those flying in)
- All activities during our on-site workshops.
Not Included — Hotel accommodations, Breakfast, and dinner.
There may be some limited camping space available for your family at our group site—email Kathleen for more information.
Links above for payment options.
Words from past participants about the Nature-Led Way Certification Course
"Thanks to this course, I can do what I do better.
Through the Nature-Led Approach Certification program I am now able to design my programs with greater confidence, deliver a more effective and transformative experience for the young people I serve, as well as communicate my methods more readily to parents, teachers, therapists, and the public.
The Nature-Led Approach has helped me develop an understanding of the science and showed me how to apply it in a way accessible to myself, my staff, parents, and the public."
Christopher Green, Co-Owner of the Guelph Outdoor School, Ontario, Canada
"As an occupational therapist and nature connection mentor working with kids, the Nature-Led Approach training is the most meaningful learning I have done to inform my practice. Kathleen’s integration of current scientific evidence, human development, deep nature connection, and healthy cultural practices is comprehensive and visionary. This is precisely the knowledge and skillset that any professional working with kids (or people, really) needs to meet the demands of this societal and environmental moment and to create a hopeful, healthy future."
Megan Barrow, MOTR/L, Nature Connection Mentor, and Owner at Thriving Wild, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
"This course of study has changed me and the manner that I will perform occupational therapy, in a profound way. Kathleen has distilled together the essence of nature connection and the wisdom of years as a pediatric occupational therapist into a work of art. I highly recommend this course."
Mary Ann Hull - School based occupational therapist of 25 years, New Mexico.
The Nature-Led Approach is informing me on how to be more human.
Robyn - Musician, music teacher, and outdoor mentor, California.
"I have very much enjoyed and learned so much from participating in this course! I am most grateful for the new perspective I have gained regarding how we can better provide meaningful and relevant support to the children we work with. Each session builds on information that is extremely valuable and applicable to our daily interactions with our students and nature."
Marcela Ponce, Small business owner and nature connection mentor, Cambria California.
What will I learn in this certification?
- Human Development - backed by the most recent research, you learn how nature shaped every human body system and how to support optimal development.
- gross motor, fine motor, attention, focus, emotional regulation, visual and auditory processing, spatial processing, conflict resolution,
- Sensory development - What it is. How and why it is essential, and how to facilitate it in nature.
- Effective techniques for facilitating group dynamics.
- Emotional and physical regulation techniques outside.
- How to translate "nature connection" into a language that others value.
- Core routines, strategies, and activities of developmental and therapeutic nature connection.
- How to re-language, re-frame, and create healthy behavioral patterns for yourself and others.
- The natural learning cycle - structuring a program to capitalize on the human's innate intelligence with nature.
- How the neurological system is designed by nature, and what can be done in any setting to support this connection.
- Hazards, risk, and safety.
- Healthy boundaries - freedom and sovereignty are built on trust and connection.
- And so much more.
Where is it happening? Morro Bay, California, and another location in San Luis Obispo County (location to be shared with enrolled participants).
What is the Investment: Until July 17th, a discounted rate of $35480.00 (payment plans available) After July 17th, 3748.00
What are the Online Distance Mentorship Class Dates? One Saturday and One Wednesday a month. We meet for 1.5 hours on zoom on the first Saturday of every month, beginning with the month directly following the immersion and ending eight months later. On the third Wednesday of every month, we meet for an hour. In addition, there are assignments such as readings, videos, integrative homework, and personal and professional reflections between the classes. The program is completed after demonstrating competency through assignments, quizzes, and a final project (to be determined at participants’ first of four 1:1 mentoring sessions.)
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Who is this program/certification for?
A: If you work with children in any capacity, this is for you—Occupational Therapists, Counselors, Teachers, Outdoor educators, Behaviorists, administrators.
Q: How is this different than, say, Forest School training or other therapeutic training programs and franchises?
A: One could say that many of the forest school trainings and outdoor franchise programs give you a recipe, while the Nature-Led Approach teaches you how to cook. Getting kids excited to play outside is the first step. The second is understanding how the outdoors supports human development and therapeutic opportunities, which is often where those trainings end. The third step is developing a reciprocal relationship with the forms, patterns, and rhythms of the natural world in a way that fulfills our original neurological design.
Our program takes you on a journey through our original design. This design is nature’s intelligence weaved into our humanity.
Other trainings end when you leave the workshop. I’ve designed this training to support your entire first-year journey after the workshop. After the first year, you remain a part of an international community of Nature-Led Practitioners and our (private, non-facebook) online community platform. The ongoing mentorship also teaches about communication, group dynamics, behavior, and physical and socio-emotional learning.
Q: What does my investment include?
A: Two separate weeks of in-person training. The program begins with one initial onsite training to kick off our year and ends with a culminating week of in-person training (camping, lunch each day, all activities), a workbook, a resource library, a nine-month mentorship, and a lifetime membership in our Nature-Led Community.
Q: Do I have to develop my own curriculum?
A: Yes and no. You will not be alone, but because this is a “connection” program and is by design Nature-Led, meaning nature takes the lead, you will learn to work with the landscape of your specific local. You will have the option to be part of a membership site with a community where there is ongoing support, content with suggestions, handouts, and continuous resources, as well as live pop-up Q&A sessions. The ultimate goal is to teach you “how to cook” so that you can be deeply connected to your landscape, thus modeling this connection and supporting others to develop this foundational need.
Q: Will I need to get insurance to run a program?
A: If you plan to start and run an outdoor program with other people's children, then yes, you will need general liability insurance, and we will share resources and point you in the right direction. It’s not as scary as it sounds!
Q: Will I be competing with other Nature-Led Approach Certified providers?
A: There are almost 8 billion people globally, and we need all hands on deck. We operate from an abundance mindset and believe the need for nature-led practitioners is abundant, with no shortage of kids or adults to sign up for your program. We create a supportive environment where graduates of the program support each other and the work each person is bringing into the world.
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” Shakespeare
Q: I am an occupational therapist. How will this training help me?
A: Aaaah. I am so excited about sharing this with other occupational therapists- our profession is poised to be the nature connection specialists of the future - helping childhood reclaim its true potential! This program will help you in more ways than I can list, but most obviously, it can serve as a conceptual model of practice, one that is deeply meaningful for both you and your clients. Finding meaningful, functional activity for our clients is essential, and there is nothing more meaningful than facilitating a therapy session using a nature-led approach.
Q: After participating in this retreat/workshop/certification, can I advertise that I use the Nature-Led approach?
A: Not yet, but close. Because we intend this as a game-changing, life-force giving, paradigm-shifting approach, we want to ensure that you are supported and practiced in its implementation. Therefore, you will need to complete the 9-month distance mentorship with fun, task-oriented, integrative lessons to use in your current setting.
Q: I work in a traditional school setting. Is this an appropriate workshop for me?
A: Yes. Our Nature-Led Approach is not just about re-learning to connect with nature. It’s a lifestyle reset, redesign, and a therapeutic approach to teaching, interacting, sensory processing, social-emotional regulation, communication—and a generally more meaningful and functional way of approaching the way you interact with children. You will never see the world the same again!
Q: I already work with kids in nature. Will I learn anything new in this workshop?
A: Yes. We hope so. If you don’t, we will give you your money back and probably beg you to work with us! We intend to show you ‘kids in nature’ in a profoundly different and more integrated way than you have seen it before, one that will bring greater value, more inspiration, deeper insight, and a renewed passion for what you do.
Q: Do I need to bring my own camping gear?
A: Yes and No. It is preferable that you have your own camping equipment, but if you don’t, we still want you to participate so, let us know, and we can set you up for an additional fee.
Q: Will there be someone to help set up my tent?
A: If camping is not your typical thing, that’s OK! We’ve got your back. You will have help when you arrive- We are all in this together. :)
Q: Do I realllllllly have to camp?
A: Perhaps a physical limitation makes sleeping on the ground difficult, or you are bringing children and another family member. If this is your reality, please contact us to hear alternatives.
You just don’t see yourself as a camper?
We want to stretch your comfort zone but not throw you off a cliff! If you can’t stand the thought of laying on the ground outside, we can supply you with a list of great lodging options- and we pinky-swear promise to love you the same as the campers :)
Q: What if I come and don’t love it?
A: We highly doubt that will happen, but if you are not sure yet, feel free to go to our scheduling app HERE and sign up for a free15 minute consultation slot. We can chat about your interest and concerns and determine if we are a good fit. We want everyone to leave happier than when they arrived sooooo, if at the end of the five days, you are not in LOVE with all that you have experienced and learned, we will refund your $$ less our costs of providing food, camping, and gear (if applicable).
Q: After attending this retreat workshop and completing the 9-month mentorship, then what? Am I on my own?
A: Nope. There are three ways you will continue to receive support:
- You are now part of a larger community of parents and professionals who use the Nature-Led Approach and will have lifetime access to a private online community forum.
- For two months post-program end, you will have access to a once-a-month conference call to ask questions, share stories and celebrate successes. In addition, after two months, you have the option of participating in live video pop-up sessions, resources including seasonal ideas, community and parent handouts, forms, activity sharing, and much more.
- You will receive discounts for two years on all other courses, workshops, 1:1 mentoring and periodically get ‘free stuff’ offered only to past participants.