Upcoming In-person, Place-based Events

On-site Studio Sessions

with Dr. Jean Lomino

Two-day Immersions

June - December 2024

Chattanooga, Tennessee

More Details Here!

In-Person Forest School Director Training 

Three-day Intensive

July 24-26, 2024

Chattanooga, Tennessee

More Info Here!

 Save the Date

In-Person Forest School Teacher Training

October 16-18, 2024

Held at Johnston Woods, home of Woodsong Forest School Cleveland, Tennessee

More information coming soon. 

Forest School Director Training

July 24 - 26, 2024


Join us in Chattanooga Tennessee for the first-ever, In-Person Director Certificate Training!  Our journey will begin at Lookout Lake Farm, the birthplace of Wauhatchie Forest School. Each day we will explore forest schools in the region that were inspired by this small beginning. Training will provide firsthand knowledge and skills to help you plan, develop and manage programs, as we meet with Forest School founders, directors, and teachers as well as community leaders who currently partner with Forest Schools. And perhaps the greatest benefit will be sweet communion with a cohort of like-minded people from around the country.

Participant Benefits:

  • 24 hours of training which includes presentations, discussions, and individual consultations
  • Certificate of Completion for Forest School Director Course of Study
  • Follow-up Zoom Meeting to share Synthesis Projects and collaborate
  • Online collection of templates for Forest School Management and many other resources
  • This event is limited to only 12 participants.


Woodsong Forest School with Founder and Director Bonnie Cretton, Cleveland, Tennessee

Wauhatchie Forest School with Founder Jean Lomino and Head of School Amanda Martin, Chattanooga, Tennessee 

Red Bank Elementary School, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Nature Kin Farm & Forest School at Crabtree Farms with Founder and Director Jean Lomino and Assistant Director Stephanie Lomino, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Optional Group Activity: Friday, July 26 @3PM "See Chattanooga from the beautiful Tennessee River. The best sightseeing tour in all of Chattanooga." Purchase tickets here: The Southern Belle Riverboat

TUITION: $950 Includes all sessions and the evening meal on 7/25. 

Meals and Lodging: Participants are responsible for all lodging and meals (except for evening meal 7/25). Rooms are available at our main site, Lookout Lake Farm, 3408 Elder Mountain Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee. For rates and to reserve accommodations please mail: [email protected]

Other lodging is close by https://www.travelocity.com/Tiftonia-Hotels.d56001.Travel-Guide-Hotels

Payment in FULL is due at the time of registration. Your registration will be confirmed only after payment has been received. Full refunds are offered if requested two weeks prior to the session. Upon receipt of registration fee, participants will receive a welcome letter with more training details including a detailed schedule, supply and gear list and more.

Questions regarding payment and/or the enrollment process should be directed to [email protected].¬†All other questions should be directed to [email protected].¬†¬†

Thank you!

Forest School Director Training Application 

Forest School Studio Sessions

In-person with Dr. Jean Lomino

in Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • How do I expand my forest school program to older children?
  • What are the best ways to document and present the benefits of FS for parents, donors and community?
  • How can FS be integrated into a public school setting?
  • How can I build greater awareness of forest school in my community?
  • What site or program enhancements could I add to my forest school?
  • Should I consider expanding the reach of my forest school with multiple locations?¬†
  • What are the pros and cons of using sites on public land, private land?

If these are some of the questions you have been asking, consider joining Dr. Jean Lomino for a Forest School Studio Session in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Explorations and conversations highlight these personal and transformative experiences all set in the place where Jean started her own forest school journey.  As you walk the scenic acres of Lookout Lake, where Wauhatchie School was born, she will share the story about how this little school influenced nature-based learning throughout the Chattanooga area and beyond. You will gain inspiration and a renewed sense of purpose visiting public and private Forest Preschools, Kindergartens and programs for older students along with meeting school founders, principals and teachers. 

Tuition:  $989 individual | $949 group rate per participant (2 or more)

Timeframe: 2 full days

Group Size:  Each session capped at 6 participants

Tuition also includes one of the following options:

  • Online Introduction to Forest School Course of Study
  • Two online Forest School Teacher or Director classes
  • Two hours individual zoom consultation(s) with Jean Lomino

January - December 2024

2024 Tentative Schedule (other dates may be considered for groups of 3-6 from the same school or organization)

June 6-7  BOOKED!

July 18-19 - 10% Summer Savings discount

August 29-30 - 10% Summer Savings discount

September 12-13

October 10-11

November 7-8

December 19-20

Email Dr. Jean Lomino to Attend

Custom-designed experiences -- professional development, certification training, consulting, site development, travel-studies, and retreats!

  • Professional Development: Established private schools and traditional public schools in California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee have networked with FSTI for whole staff training experiences in a variety of formats -- in-person, virtual, one-week intensives, and monthly sessions over the course of a school year. Reach out to us if we can help you solve a problem or better realize your vision. 
  • In-person Certification Opportunities: Regional, site-based teacher and director certificate courses are offered for individuals, schools and communities. FSTI will come to your neighborhood!
  • Consulting Services: Our diverse and experienced team of thought-leaders are available as consultants (by the hour or the project) on topics such as: budget management, site development, fund-raising, forming community partnerships, curriculum frameworks, multi-age learning environments, accessibility for diverse learners, overcoming bias, integrating academic standards, social-emotional wellness, staff training, vision-casting, child development, Montessori immersion, naturalist training, nature journaling, and school management.
  • Site Development: We call it Leave-No-Trace Playscapes™. Some people ask, 'what if we don't have a forest?' Forest school principles are not dependent upon the number of trees you have on your campus, but instead on allowing children to engage authentically in their space. We are helping a fifty-year-old, church-based preschool build a native prairie for children to explore. We are helping a public preschool redesign a playground. We are helping a Montessori school discover how nature is both a provocation and an extension of indoor prepared environments. We are helping a homeschool parent design learning centers on her family farm. Let us know if we can collaborate with you for ideas and locally sourced options for your location!
  • Travel Studies: Our most recent trip (Spring 2022) to study forest schools in England opened eyes, deepened understandings, and built friendships. We are planning more to other destinations. Requests have come forward for Scotland, South Korea, Colorado, Scandinavia, and Canada. Watch our site or follow our Facebook page for upcoming opportunities. 
  • Retreats: We call it sweet communion -- seasonal retreats with kindred spirits in beautiful places. Let us know if you are interested in hosting a retreat in your neck of the woods! Our next retreat will be in a spectacular place in Northern Minnesota, October 2022. 

Browse Our Archive of Recent Past Events


 Forest School Teacher Institute
in collaboration with Mind Body Nature Counseling

Creative Writing and Nature Therapy Workshop:

Writing Your Wilderness -- Finding Self in Nature

May 4, 2024 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

LIVE, On-line Virtual Event for only $35

Join in sweet communion as we experience the connection between creative writing and personal wellness. This session is designed for adults.

For as long as humans have been writing, nature has been a source of inspiration. Humans are beings of nature with our own cycles and seasons and growth and interdependencies. Culture's digital obsession can disconnect us from what comes natural and result in feelings dissociation and dysregulation. 

Too often, when we find ourselves disconnected and our thoughts can become stuck or fatalistic.

In this hands-on workshop, we will demonstrate how to creatively interact with the natural world as a raw, ready, and real resource that can help you process emotions, untangle thoughts, and generate whole-body wellness.

Join us to learn strategies to weave nature-based creative writing experiences into therapeutic practices that can reconnect you to the natural world, to yourselves, and to the beautiful wilderness that lives inside us all.


Author Emma Hudelson leads the Butler MFA Writing for Wellness initiative. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati, and her research areas include narrative medicine, expressive writing, and critical autoethnography. At the intersection of these fields lies creative writing for wellness, and Emma loves harnessing the therapeutic power of creative writing with her students. Since 2017, she's led Writing for Wellness workshops in the Indianapolis community and beyond. Her first book, Sky Watch, will be released in March 2024 with the University Press of Kentucky. Emma lives on the east bank of the White River with her husband and daughter, and she will forever be a horse girl.  

Therapist Bailey Sims holds a MA in clinical mental health counseling from Christian Theological Seminary and a BA in cross cultural community development. She is also a registered yoga teacher. She works as a mental health counselor in Indiana, holding space for transformation and incorporating mindfulness, body and nature-based modalities into her work. Cultivating experiences for people that instill love, compassion, and comfort is her life's work. 


 Forest School Teacher Institute in Partnership with 

East Tennessee State University - Degree Programs, Tuition, Financial Aid

Department of Early Childhood Education



and Level I Forest School Naturalist Certificate

March 25-28, 2024 

Camp at Buffalo Mountain, 201 Methodist Camp Road, Jonesborough, Tennessee

Join Dr. Jean Lomino (Founder/President of the Forest School Teacher Institute) and professors Dr. Jane Broderick and Dr. Pam Evanshen (ETSU Dept. of Early Childhood Education) for this four-day intensive. Practical and place-based, hands-on learning will include:

  • observation and assessment strategies
  • mindful site tours of students at Seedkeepers Forest School and Fauna Forest Farm
  • practice of emergent learning techniques
  • place-based activities including naturalist skills, nature journaling, comtemplative practices, learning frameworks


  • Introduction to Forest School online course FREE WITH THIS REGISTRATION;¬†should be completed before the March training.
  • Purchase optional Training Supplies: ¬†FSTI Naturalist Tool Kit, $30 ($60 value) and FSTI Nature Journaler‚Äôs Kit, $20 ($40 value). Must be ordered at time of registration.¬†
  • Network and gain inspiration during our EVENING MEAL with GUEST SPEAKER (TBA), March 25

Forest School Teacher Training is conducted in partnership and endorsed by the Early Childhood Education Department of East Tennessee State University.

Certification training is open to anyone who works with children.



Forest School Teacher Certificate 

with Additional Certificate: 

Nature's Therapy for Children's Mental Well-Being 

March 7-10, 2024 

At Paradise Canyon, Rio Medina, Texas

Join Dr. Jean Lomino, President and Founder of Forest School Teacher Institute and Sloyd & Croft for a one-of-a-kind, four-day intensive training and retreat designed for Forest School Facilitators thriving in unique environments like cactus-filled landscapes, caliche, and road runners. Embrace the beauty of nature even in arid settings!

ūüĆĶūüćÉUnique Environment, Unique Certification: Designed for Forest School in arid and alternative landscapes. Tailor made for the Cactus School Teacher.

ūüĒ• Beat the Heat with Siesta Sessions: Embrace the Texas sun and lifestyle. Courses run from 8 am to 8 pm daily, with built-in siesta time during the hottest part of the day. Learn how to adapt teaching strategies to hot, dry climates and create an enriching experience for you and your learners.

ūüŹěÔłŹ Paradise Found in Rio Medina: Nestled in the Paradise Canyon, on the far west side of San Antonio, enjoy the perfect backdrop for a transformative training experience. Immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings of the canyon and it‚Äôs distinctive semi-arid and desert landscape in one location. Explore the challenges and opportunities unique to these climates through field observations and hands-on activities.


Dr. Jean Lomino, PhD: Meet the requirements for a Forest School Teacher Certificate through the Forest School Teacher Institute. Dive into emergent learning, flow learning, observation and assessment, inquiry learning strategies, nature journaling, integrating cultural and heritage themes, and sit spots, rituals and schedules. Training also includes daily Nature Field Observations and a Naturalist-led session. Participate in small group and individual mentoring opportunities.

Dr. Wanda Hillard DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, and Tracy Ziomek, RN, BSN:  Nature’s Therapy Certificate, Enhancing Mental Well-Being in Children in the Forest School setting. Gain practical experience in sensory exploration, stress relief, teamwork, and creative expression, relaxation techniques and positive affirmations taking ques from the environment.  Take home 15 outdoor wellness experiences you can implement immediately. Enjoy small group coaching opportunities to get answers to questions for your unique setting and situation.


Delaney Ziomek of NEW Ember Winds Forest School

  • Trained in Montessori, Waldorf-Steiner Educator, Forest School and Spiritual Storytelling

Kevin Cooley of Drumming Around

Therapeutic Drumming-Heart Rhythms

Amy Sterner and her therapy poodles of Hill Country Therapy Tales 

  • Emotional Benefits of Forest Bathing with Dogs

Sloyd & Croft, the Boat Brothers

  • Wellness through Woodcraft


Northeast Indiana Workshop: Exploring the Nature of Forest Schools

February 21-23, 2024

Location: Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, Albion, Indiana

Join Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center and the Forest School Teacher Institute (FSTI) for a two-day immersion into nature-based learning. At the core of this professional development opportunity will be multiple nature-based site visits to observe preschool and elementary children along with their teachers.

Conversations and deep dives into relevant topics including: 

  • What does observation and assessment look like in the forest?
  • What is the teacher‚Äôs role in outdoor classrooms?
  • How does free play contribute to academic success?
  • What is it about nature‚Äôs classroom that engages children so deeply?
  • What does the research say about the worth of this type of experience for children in today‚Äôs world?
  • Do I have to be a naturalist to take children into nature?
  • How might this look in my neck of the woods?¬†¬†

Opportunities will include:

  • Self-selected site visits (3): public school, Montessori school, homeschool, community garden, nature center, backyard, and church-affiliated.
  • Real-time application of observation and assessment strategies.
  • Networking and dialogue with school founders and nature-based practitioners.
  • Learning extensions on these topics: naturalist studies, forest teacher certification, curriculum resources, emergent learning, risk/benefit analysis, child development benefits, and defining principles of nature-based learning.


 Forest School Teacher Institute's

 In-Person Forest Teacher Certificate Training

September 8-10, 2022 

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Join Dr. Jean Lomino on the beaches of northeast Florida for a three-day teacher intensive. Activities include observing children doing ‚Äúforest school‚ÄĚ in the sand and surf and in coastal wetlands, learning together about emergent curriculum, introducing cultural themes into forest school, practicing mindfulness, journaling, and naturalist training. This in-person session is limited to 15 participants (first come, first serve).


Participants will:

  • Practice observation and assessment strategies
  • Learn to use questioning for creating on-the-spot activities that enrich/extend children‚Äôs discoveries
  • Understand backwards-lesson planning and create learning frameworks
  • Learn how to incorporate heritage and cultural studies in a forest school setting
  • Engage in mindfulness practices including sit spots and nature journaling
  • Receive a FSTI Certificate of Completion for 22 hours of Forest School Teacher Training

 SCHEDULE (Sessions run 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, daily.)

Day One:  Observation of students and teachers at Wild Oak Explorers Forest School . Observations will be followed by a debrief session. Class topics will include:  Observation and Assessment, Integrating Cultural Themes and Activities (presentation by a museum educator about the history of the Timucua Native Americans and Black History at America Beach) and viewing Developing Rituals, Schedules and Mindfulness, a recorded FSTI session with Windsong Forest School founder Bonnie Cretton. Live discussion will follow.

Day Two:  Observation of students at Playgarden on Jacksonville Beach, followed by a debrief session.  Classes will include Emergent Learning Frameworks for students pre-school through grade 8, and Nature Journaling.

Day Three:  Naturalist training in the morning at Fernandina Beach with a professional naturalist followed by Nature Journaling incorporating interdisciplinary and STEM connections, and a course synthesis project.


Forest School Teacher Institute's

June 2022 Chattanooga Workshop

Forest Schools: Creating Emergent Learning Frameworks Pre K-5

Join Dr. Jean Lomino at Lookout Lake, the birthplace of Wauhatchie Forest School and the new Nature Kin Farm and Forest School. This training is designed for both experienced forest school practitioners and those who wish to implement emergent learning in their individual teaching practice.  Workshop limited to 24 participants.

Location: Nature Kin Farm & Forest School, 3708 Elder Mountain Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Participants will:

  • Practice observation strategies to uncover children‚Äôs areas of interest during exploratory play
  • Learn to use questioning for creating on-the-spot activities that enrich/extend children‚Äôs discoveries
  • Understand backwards-lesson planning and create learning frameworks
  • Discover how to incorporate emergent learning in STEM/STEAM programs
  • Take home a seasonal learning framework to use in their individual teaching venues
  • Receive a FSTI Certificate of Completion for 14 hours of training (2 days) and 21 hours (3 days)

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (Daily sessions run 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Day One -- Thursday, June 23: Observation of PreK-5 students and teachers in forest school summer camps. Observations will be followed by debrief sessions to uncover themes of interest arising from the children's explorations. The day will conclude with a presentation on the subject of emergent learning foundations and strategies and a discussion with local forest school teachers and leaders.

Day Two -- Friday, June 24:  Participants, working in grade/age groups, will create emergent learning seasonal frameworks, processing through the steps of: 1) studying the children to discover the themes of interest, 2) developing a general outline of follow-up enrichment and lesson extensions, 3) creating lessons and activities and/or finding resources for lessons and activities, and 4) connecting lessons and activities to academic standards.

Day Three -- Saturday, June 25:  Naturalist training at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center guided by a professional naturalist and nature journaling with Jean Lomino.

REGISTRATION FEES:  3-Day Workshop (Thursday-Saturday) $300; 2-Day Workshop (Thursday-Friday) $200


Forest School Teacher Institute's

June 2022 Jonesborough, Tennessee Workshop

Forest Schools: Children Learning in Nature

Join Dr. Jean Lomino at The Camp at Buffalo Mountain, the home of Seedkeepers Forest School.  Experience three days of sweet communion, nature-inspiration and focused professional growth. The training is designed for both experienced forest school practitioners and those who wish to learn about the philosophy and practice of forest school education. There will be time to explore over one-hundred scenic acres onsite with creek, pond, gentle trails, plus easy access to numerous public trails and waterfalls in the area, including part of the Appalachian Trail and the Nolichucky River.  This workshop is conducted in partnership with, and endorsed by, the Early Childhood Education Department of East Tennessee State University.  Limited to 15 participants.  


The Camp at Buffalo Mountain (and Seedkeepers Forest School), 201 Methodist Camp Road, Jonesborough, Tennessee

For more details about the location and lodging:  www.thecampatbuffalo.com

For more details about Seedkeepers Forest School:  www.seedkeepersforestschool.org

Included in the workshop:

  • Multiple Forest School training sessions
  • Observation of students and debrief at Seedkeepers Forest School
  • Conversations with FS leaders and teachers in the field
  • Nature Journaling, sit spots, and naturalist training
  • Personal consultations with Dr. Jean Lomino
  • Certificate of Completion for 18 hours of training, endorsed by FSTI and ETSU Department of Early Childhood Education


The Director’s House includes 5 bedrooms with accommodations for up to 12 guests with 3.5 bathrooms. Additional cabin space is available if needed. Porches and decks overlook beautiful views of the mountains and forest.  Meals are included with lodging fee (continental breakfast, sandwich lunches and catered evening meals) Thursday-Saturday. 

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (More details coming soon!)

Day One -- Thursday, June 16

Nature Inspiration: Journaling and Sit Spots

Foundations of Forest School: Philosophy, Key Features, and Benefits

Day Two -- Friday, June 17

 Visit Seedkeeper's Forest School: Observations and Debrief

Teaching/Learning Strategies: Place-based Education, Emergent Learning, Inquiry-based Learning, and STEM

Day Three -- Saturday, June 18

Nature Inspiration: Naturalist Training

Developing Emergent Learning Frameworks: Learning Standards, Seasonal Themes, Backwards Lesson Planning


 Natural Start Alliance

 Nature-Based Early Learning Conference July 27-30, 2022 

Cincinnati, Ohio

Jean and Joe will be presenting at the Natural Start Alliance Annual Conference in Cincinnati on July 28.

This is a conference of kindred spirits that will inspire and inform your work. Consider joining us for this interactive session! 

Bushwhacking: Untethered and Holistic Learning for Children 6-12

How does nature-based learning work for elementary-age children? How does child-directed learning correlate with academic skill development? These are leading questions as schools expand the use of outdoor learning spaces. Discover how emergent learning integrates seamlessly with academic subjects.

April 2022 SPRING Tour:

Forest Schools in England

Join Dr. Jean Lomino for an inspiring Forest School Learning Odyssey to the South of England.¬†¬†After three days in London, we will lodge in Canterbury and visit surrounding villages for a taste of authentic English living. We will tour forest school programs in various settings in Kent‚ÄĒon the seashore, at a farm, in city centers and in the forest. Our host, Clair Stevens, is a leading forest school global advocate based in England, an author, speaker and a professor of Early Learning at Canterbury Christ Church University.¬†She¬†opened an award-winning nursery school, Manor House Nursery and Forest School, in 2008. Jean and Clair will co-facilitate class sessions designed for trip participants.¬†¬†

Location: Kent County in Southeast England. Historic Canterbury will be our "base-camp"!

Forest School Site Visits:


Wednesday, April 27 ~ Fly overnight to London

Thursday, April 28 ~ Transfer by public transport to London Hotel. Orientation walk in the hotel's neighborhood.

Friday, April 29 ~ London - group and individual options include Changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, Walks in Regent's Park, British Museum, Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Training overview with Jean.

Saturday, April 30 ~ London - group and individual options include National Gallery, Greenwich Observatory, Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral. Group discussion with Jean and guest. 

Sunday, May 1 ~ Travel to Canterbury by train or rental van. Orientation walk and individual/group explorations. Dinner and panel discussion with local forest school leaders: Clair Stevens, Toni Buchan, and Stuart Welby.

Monday, May 2 ~ Tiny Tribe Forest School site visit and conversation with the founder. Lunch over the open fire. Afternoon trip to Quex House Museum and Outdoor Kindergarten and Farm  where we will meet  founder Clair Stevens. Topic: Site development and engagement with local schools. Evening Forest School debrief.

Tuesday, May 3 ~ Forest School Principles and Practice session with well-known forest school trainer Stuart Welby on the eastern shoreline.  visit. Tour Broadstairs Harbor and Bleak House. Evening debrief.

Wednesday, May 4 ~ Meet with director Dr. Alison Body who will lead us in a Conservation study for children and families at the Lead by Wild site.  Afternoon visit to Dover Kearnsey Abbey Forest School. Tour Dover Gardens and see White Cliffs of Dover. Visit and collect fossils at Warren County Park.

Thursday, May 5 ~ Naturalist training and Nature Journaling at Larkey Valley Nature Preserve and the Great Stour Way Trail. Return to London Heathrow airport hotel for the night before flying home next day.

6 May ~ Fly back to the USA




 Forest School Teacher Institute's

 Louisville Forest School Summer Day Visit

July 27, 2022 

Louisville, Kentucky

Enjoy a day-long sojourn observing, conversing, and communing with a network of forest schools. 

Jean and Joe will be presenting at the Natural Start Alliance Conference in Cincinnati July 28-30.

We plan to spend the day before in Louisville doing some site visits, reflection, and visioning. Would you like to join us?   


 Forest School Teacher Institute's

Gateways to Emergent Learning 

 In-person, January 14 - 15, 2023


Fernandina Beach, Florida

Join Jean Lomino along with Dr. Carl Swafford and other forest school colleagues to take a deep dive into using nature journaling as means to connect with the natural world. We will engage in teaching strategies and activities for interdisciplinary, multi-age learning in nature, while exploring the many social and emotional benefits of nature journaling for children. These benefits include 1) learning how reflection and silence helps us connect with our own bodies and minds, 2) discovering a bigger view of the world, its ‚Äúwholeness,‚ÄĚ interconnections and our place in it all, and 3) respecting the ordinary‚ÄĒwhich leads us to understand that all things are extraordinary! In these ways children learn about hope and how they can¬†live in a peaceful community with their nature kin. Teachers will leave the training with a seasonal framework using nature journaling to integrate multiple topics and subject areas (and meeting academic standards, if needed.) ¬†¬†

Participants will receive a FSTI CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION for Developing Emergent Learning Frameworks (16 hours).

Overview of Events:

Saturday, January 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. -- Location: Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida

  • Greeting and Introductions with guides Jean Lomino and Carl Swafford
  • Foundations for Emergent Learning Curriculum
  • Drawing and Water Color Techniques
  • Tools of a Naturalist -- Beach Ecology and Observation Strategies
  • Evening Campfire and¬†Conversation

Sunday, January 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  -- Location: Egan's Creek Park, 2201 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida

  • Wetland Ecology
  • Poetry and Creative Writing in Nature
  • Creating Season Frameworks -- Location: Lindisfarne Hall, 1830 Lake Park Drive, Fernandina, Florida
  • Reflections and Farewells

BONUS DAY for Early Arrivals on Friday, January 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Location: Dee Dee Bartel's Nature Pavilion, 97177 Pogey Place, Fernandina Beach, Florida

  • Observation with debrief of forest school in action, click this link¬†for more¬†information about¬†Wild Oak Explorers
  • Naturalist Study with Dr. Carl Swafford



 Forest School Teacher Institute

Spring 2023 Retreat: Living the Forest School Way

 March 31 - April 2, 2023


Location: Camp at Buffalo Mountain, 201 Methodist Camp Road

Jonesborough, Tennessee

Join Forest School friends, fans, and colleagues for a weekend of sweet communion at Camp at Buffalo Mountain Retreat Center. We promise to nurture your body, mind, and soul as we uncover how Forest School ethos can be a way of life. A series of workshops and conversations will address "living the forest school way." Session highlights include:

Friday, March 31 (begins 8:00 a.m.)

Saturday, April 1

  • Sunrise Yoga with Bonnie Cretton (founder of Woodsong Forest School)
  • Morning Workshops
    • Journaling Strategies to Form Connections to Nature with Jean Lomino -- Being still, opens the mind to awe and wonder of a place and time. Jean will share some of her methods of accessing nature with a pen and paintbrush.  
    • Walking Toward the Sunset:The Melungeons of Appalachia -- Local historian and author Wayne Winkler will share the history of this place and the forgotten people of Appalachia known as the Melungeons . . .  who may be part of your own lineage. 
  • Afternoon Workshops (choose two):
    • Basket Weaving with Susan Rines -- Local resident Susan Rines will give you all you need (materials, direction, and encouragement) to learn a skill passed down for generations. You will craft a beautiful basket of your own. 
    • Music and Storytelling in the Forest --    Speaker TBA
    • Mindfulness Practices with Bonnie Cretton
    • Bird Walk and Watch with Carl Swafford
    • Storytelling and Music with Children in the Forest with Erin Dalton
    • Dreaming Poetry in the Forest with Jean Lomino
    • Nature Discovery Hike with Taylor Malone
  • Bonus Evening Session:
    • Nature Stroll at Eventide with Carl Swafford 

Sunday, April 2 (ends 11:30 a.m.)

  • Sunrise yoga with Bonnie Cretton
  • Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) with Bonnie Cretton
  • Farewells

Fee: $545 (all meals and sessions included); Single-day pass $195

Limited number of on-site lodging options will be available.  First Come, First Serve capacity of 30. Shared rooms. A number of hotels and Airbnbs are available in the Jonesborough area. Attendees are responsible for off-site arrangements. 

Questions regarding the sessions, payment, and/or the enrollment process should be directed to [email protected].



 Forest School Teacher Institute in Partnership with 
East Tennessee State University - Degree Programs, Tuition, Financial Aid

Department of Early Childhood Education

Forest School Teacher Certification

March 28-30, 2023 

REGISTRATION is CLOSED (January 24, 2023) -- Fee: $429

Camp at Buffalo Mountain, 201 Methodist Camp Road, Jonesborough, Tennessee
Certification is open to anyone who works with children. College credits available.

Join Dr. Jean Lomino (Founder/President of the Forest School Teacher Institute)  and professors Dr. Jane Broderick and Dr. Pam Evanshen (ETSU Dept. of Early Childhood Education) at Seedkeepers Forest School and the newly opened Fauna Forest Farm for this three-day intensive. Practical and place-based, hands-on learning will include:

  • observation and assessment strategies
  • mindful site tours of intentional outdoor learning environments
  • practice of emergent learning techniques
  • place-based activities including naturalist skills, nature journaling, comtemplative practices, learning frameworks

All participants will earn a Forest School Teacher Institute Training Certificate (Fee: $429) with the option of additional college credit from ETSU. 

DATES: March 28-30, 2023


Tuesday, March 28, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

  • Forest School Key Features and Benefits
  • Observation Strategies and Assessments
  • Site Visit and Observation: Seedkeepers
  • Debrief and Lunch with founders of Seedkeepers
  • Rituals, Schedules, and Mindfulness
  • Integration of Cultural Themes and Activities¬†

Wednesday, March 29, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

  • Emergent Learning and Building a Curriculum
  • Site Visit and Observation: Fauna Forest Farm
  • Debrief and Lunch with founders of Fauna Forest Farm
  • Permaculture and Farming in Forest Schools
  • Deep Dive into Creating Emergent Learning Seasonal Frameworks¬†

Thursday, March 30, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

  • Naturalist Studies and Best Practices
  • Authentic Engagement and Flow Learning
  • Course Synthesis and Final Stories


Lodging: Update January 20 -- Onsite lodging is fully booked. Nearby hotel lodging is available in Jonesborough.  

Payment in FULL is due at the time of registration. Full refunds are offered if requested two weeks prior to the session. 

Questions regarding the sessions, payment, and/or the enrollment process should be directed
to¬†[email protected].

Thank you!