Nature and Forest Therapy Guides

Guide Training Immersion 4 days

USA, Tennessee - Well Being Retreat Center September 2024

Cohort

September 25, 2024
to
September 29, 2024

Enrollment Open

An opportunity to connect with other guides from other cohorts and learn from the shared experiences.
If you have completed at least module 4 and submitted the corresponding assignments, of the six-month remote Forest Therapy Guide Training you're eligible to apply. Completion of this immersion and the six-month training fulfills the requirements for full Certification. When space is available, ANFT-trained guides who have completed training in any past cohort can also participate. Please note that priority goes to students who need to take the immersion to get fully certified. Therefore, when you apply, you'll be put on a waitlist until three weeks before the start of the immersion.
Duration
6 months training +
4 day immersion
Hybrid Format
Remote Live Calls +
In Person Immersion
US$ 2495.00 +
US$495 (Travel expenses, lodging and meals not incl.)
Duration
6 months training +
4 day immersion
Hybrid Format
Remote Live Calls +
In Person Immersion
US$ 3350.00
‍US$495 (Travel expenses, lodging and meals not incl.)

A 4 day in-person gathering, with 1 or 2 trainers, and people from different cohorts where you will have the opportunity to apply what you learned, experience in-person forest therapy walks and simply connect and share experiences and stories with other guides.


In this immersion, you will:

Get a hands on experience of what you learned
Get to know trainers personally
Get to know other guides and connect
Learn from shared experiences with other guides
Deepen into the practice
Get the opportunity to ask specific questions that might come up

Once you complete this four-day immersion, your certification will be moved from provisional to permanent. You have  two years after you complete the six month core training course to complete an immersion. It will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world.

This is an ASL video by Deaf certified ANFT guide, Summer Crider, explaining the details of this retreat, including some video clips of the Aspen Camp location.

Schedule for Live Events

What is Included in the Training? 

14 modules, over
120 lessons
Over 14 live calls with your trainers and cohort
Small group discussion calls with trainers
Downloadable manual
30+ short videos, recorded by different trainers
40+ assignments/ self exploration activities
20+ nature connection activities
Access to research papers and studies
Fun Facts and Reflections
Remote Forest Therapy walks guided by trainers
Guide your own walks and debrief them
Access to the largest forest therapy guide's community worldwide

About the Venue:
VENUE
Well Being Retreat Center 2024
557 Narrows Road, Tazewell
37879
Tennessee
USA
https://www.wellbeingretreatcenter.org/
Patty@WellBeingCC.org or at 423-626-9000 for more information

Well Being Retreat Center is nestled on 160 acres of land boarded by 2 miles of the Powell River in eastern Tennessee. The mission of the Well Being Foundation is to promote harmony with nature, wellness of the body, and peace of mind. This is a place where the sights and sounds of nature prevail and can be explored on a network of gravel roads, trails, or by just meandering on the land. It offers places to be down by the river’s edge, in among a vast diversity of trees and other beings, or up at the top of the hill with views of the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky.

All the buildings are built in a way that is light on the land and blends with the surroundings - cabins are built into the hillsides, some are earth-sheltered, and others were designed around standing trees. The open-air, covered pavilion, where we will gather and share meals, is at the river’s edge. The cabins, a fire pit, a labyrinth, and other facilities are spread out across this hilly landscape. There is a labyrinth up at the top of the property.  You can explore the land along a network of gravel roads, trails, or by wandering on the land.

LODGING

Retreat Accommodation Fee includes lodging and all meals for the length of the immersion.  All participants must stay on-site. No off-site lodging available.

This is a per-person fee that is in addition to the tuition paid to ANFT.

Lodging available includes shared and private cabins, cabinettes with shared bathrooms/showers, and camping.  

The accommodations fee includes lodging and meals and ranges from $475-880 for the four-night period.  

Retreat Center Cabins

There are eleven cabins and tiny houses. The cabins vary in size and are priced based on size and single or double occupancy. The tiny houses are priced as private cabins.

Cabinettes

There are six cabinettes. Full bathrooms with showers are a very short walk away in the Conference Building.

Camping

Camping is also available on a 1/4 mile of mowed (almost) level pasture directly on the banks of the scenic Powell River. Climate controlled bathrooms with showers are a short walk away at the Powell River Pavilion.

Per Person Accommodation fee (includes lodging/meals)

Camping $475
Cabinettes (single occupancy) $600
Shared Cabin (double occupancy bedroom) $615
Shared Cabin (single occupancy bedroom) $750
Private Cabin (double occupancy) $720
Private Cabin (single occupancy) $880

MEALS

Meals are Included with accommodation costs.  Full-Service vegetarian meals with  vegan options will be prepared and served fresh from Well Being's licensed commercial kitchen. Assorted herbal and other teas, coffee, water, and snacks are available throughout the day.  Some of the lodging options include their own small kitchen.

TRANSPORTATION

Located in Tazewell, Tennessee in the Cumberland Mountains in northeastern Tennessee - 50 miles north of Knoxville; about 1 1/2 hours from Knoxville, about 2¼ hours west of Asheville, NC, two hours southeast of Lexington, KY, three hours north of Chattanooga, TN and about 4 hours east of Nashville.

SCHEDULE DETAILS

Start 3 pm, Wednesday, September 25

End 2 pm, Sunday, September 29

GENERAL NOTES

All attendees are required to stay on-site and book their meals and accommodations through the Well Being Retreat Center.  Pets, alcohol, illicit drugs, and firearms are not permitted on the premises.

Well Being Retreat Center can offer a full refund at least one month before, full refund minus $50 processing fee.

Cell phone coverage is spotty on the land.  Verizon is the most reliable cell phone coverage with the strongest signal at the top of the hill near the Tiny Houses. At the top of the hill there is also a zoom room where wifi can be accessed through cellphone hotspot.

COVID VACCINE POLICY

All participants must test negative for COVID within 24 hours before entering the venue premises.  Antigen at-home test kits are fine. We will not be collecting proof.

Tuition

The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495. Wait to pay until you are ready to register for a specific immersion. You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.

Immersion tuition does not include transportation, lodging or camping fees and food. These expenses are separate from the program costs for the four-day immersion and are the responsibility of the trainee.

IMPORTANT: Please wait until you receive enrollment confirmation before booking travel and lodging.

Tuition figures are current as of January 1 2021 and are subject to change.

Trainers

Entrenadores

Tam Willey (they/them) is a certified forest therapy guide, trainer and mentor with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and founder of Toadstool Walks, a guiding practice based in Boston, Massachusetts. Tam trained with ANFT in 2017 as part of cohort 15 and began mentoring and training new guides shortly after. Tam is co-founder of Acorn Programs, a business and practice development program for guides seeking support in bridging the gap from training to building a guiding practice. Tam has been self-employed since 2005 and brings over 15 years of experience with marketing, promotion, website management, administrative organization, content creation, bookkeeping, tax-filing, and overall personal professionalism. Tam’s guiding practice is informed by their background as a local handy person, children’s woodworking instructor, custodian, skateboarder, musician, artist, mentor, and their queer and gender expansive lived experience, serving and uplifting LGBTQ Folks through BAGLY, The Theater Offensive’s True Colors, Black and Pink, and The Venture Out Project. Tam has guided forest therapy in collaboration with The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Mass Audubon, Peabody Essex Museum, Speak For The Trees, Boston Harbor Now and more.

Christine Hoyer is a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide based in Tennessee. She grew up exploring nature and national parks throughout the United States which lead to a career in wilderness management and over 17 years of trail experience. She was drawn to Nature and Forest Therapy as a way to deepen her own authentic connection to the natural world and holding that space for others to openly experience nature's gifts and benefits has become just as important. She stepped into the role as the advisor of the Trail Certification program for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy to support the expansion of the network of trails and trail experiences.  She has been an active guide since 2019 and she also serves as a coach and apprentice trainer for guides in training.  Her passion lies in the belief that everyone has the capacity to awaken, re-awaken, explore, and expand their own connection with the more-than-human-world by simply being present and tuning in to what is being offered.

Advisors

Entrenadores

Dr. Qing Li

Dr, Qing Li (MD, PhD) graduated from Shanxi Medical University in China and got a PhD degree from Kagoshima University in Japan. He has studied at Stanford University School of Medicine.

He is a clinical professor at Nippon Medical School, President of the Japanese Society of ForestMedicine, Director of the Forest Therapy Society, Vice-President and Secretary General of International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM) (https://www.infom.org).

Prof. Li is the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine and immunology. He has received Society ward from the Japanese Society for Hygiene in Forest Medicine in 2022 and University Award from Nippon Medical School in Forest Medicine in 2011 (https://researchmap.jp/read0045249?lang=en)

Some people study medicine. Some people study forest. Dr. Li studies forest medicine to find out all the ways in which walking in the forest can improve our well-being. He started the forest medicine research (Shinrin-yoku/Forest bathing/Forest therapy) from 2004 and has published many articles in scientific journals and books in forest medicine.

His book: Shinrin-yoku (https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308285/shinrin-yoku/9780241984857.html) has been translated into 26 languages.

His book: Forest bathing (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/579709/forest-bathing-by-dr-qing-li/) was ranked in the bestseller list in the US in 2018.

Dr. Susan Abookire

Susan Abookire, BSEE, MD, MPH, FACP, is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, a practicing Internist, and a senior executive with 20 years’ experience leading healthcare organizations. She has served as Chief Medical Officer, System Chief Quality Officer, and Chair of Quality and Patient Safety. Dr. Abookire began her career as an electrical engineer in aviation systems. She has taught nationally and internationally on patient safety, high reliability, systems design, and the health benefits of nature. Dr. Abookire also enjoys being a Forest Therapy guide and incorporates Forest Therapy into medical curricula.

Dr. Robert Zarr

Dr. Robert Zarr is a physician researcher and public health pediatrician based at Unity Health Care, Inc. and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada. He has provided medical care to minority and immigrant populations for more than 20 years.

A longtime advocate for Medicare for All, Dr. Zarr served as PNHP president from 2015 through 2016. He founded and was the first medical director of Park Rx America, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families to prevent and treat chronic disease and promote wellness. A certified nature and forest therapy guide by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, Dr. Zarr previously served as the Park Rx Advisor to the National Park Service in his national advocacy to connect patients to parks.

Dr. Zarr earned his medical degree at Baylor University and his MPH at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and completed residency in pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor.

Advisor

Entrenadores

Summer , as a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide, works in partnership with Nature to provide opportunities to help humans re-connect with the Earth and themselves. Born and raised in the cypress swamp of North Florida, Summer has navigated through various life experiences as a human being who happens to be deaf. After getting their degrees in Expressive Art Therapy and Deaf Cultural Studies, and certified in American Sign Language, Summer taught ASL, Spanish, and Deaf Culture in various high schools and colleges/universities for 15+ years. They also established a media consulting business, making educational films accessible to the sign language community.After they experienced some challenges with severe anxiety, Summer found Mother Nature calling them back home. Summer decided to study Nature and Forest Therapy through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and eventually found a new purpose- assisting humans from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages to rediscover their connection with the Natural world through the healing practice of forest bathing.

Summer , as a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide, works in partnership with Nature to provide opportunities to help humans re-connect with the Earth and themselves. Born and raised in the cypress swamp of North Florida, Summer has navigated through various life experiences as a human being who happens to be deaf. After getting their degrees in Expressive Art Therapy and Deaf Cultural Studies, and certified in American Sign Language, Summer taught ASL, Spanish, and Deaf Culture in various high schools and colleges/universities for 15+ years. They also established a media consulting business, making educational films accessible to the sign language community.After they experienced some challenges with severe anxiety, Summer found Mother Nature calling them back home. Summer decided to study Nature and Forest Therapy through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and eventually found a new purpose- assisting humans from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages to rediscover their connection with the Natural world through the healing practice of forest bathing.

Advisor

Summer Crider

Summer , as a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide, works in partnership with Nature to provide opportunities to help humans re-connect with the Earth and themselves.

Born and raised in the cypress swamp of North Florida, Summer has navigated through various life experiences as a human being who happens to be deaf. After getting their degrees in Expressive Art Therapy and Deaf Cultural Studies, and certified in American Sign Language, Summer taught ASL, Spanish, and Deaf Culture in various high schools and colleges/universities for 15+ years. They also established a media consulting business, making educational films accessible to the sign language community.

After they experienced some challenges with severe anxiety, Summer found Mother Nature calling them back home. Summer decided to study Nature and Forest Therapy through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and eventually found a new purpose- assisting humans from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and languages to rediscover their connection with the Natural world through the healing practice of forest bathing.

Advisors

Tamberly Kerr - Conway - PhD
Tamberly serves as an ANFT Certified Guide and ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trail Consultant. Tamberly holds an MS and PhD in Forestry, with a focus upon Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, focusing upon diversity engagement, health and nature connections, forest health/human health relationships, and community empowerment in conservation.

Tahia Devischer - PhD
Tahia is a research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD in ecosystems science from the University of Oxford, and is a certified forest therapy guide with ANFT. She works at the nexus of urban forests, human well-being and climate resilience.


Certification Pathway

STEP 1
6-month remote training
STEP 2
4-day in-person immersion
STEP 3
Get your certification
STEP 1
You will start with a 6-month remote training, covering the content on live calls with the support of your trainers, fellow students, a very user friendly learning platform, many self exploration and nature connection activities that are done outside. After completing this training you get a provisional certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. To view the available trainings scroll down
STEP 2
After completing module 4 you can apply to attend a 4-day in-person immersion, for hands on forest therapy guiding experience with trainers and fellow students. You have two years time to complete this step. To view the available immersions click here
STEP 3
After completing the 6-month remote training and the 4-day in- person immersion, you will receive your permanent certification as an ANFT Certified
Forest Therapy Guide
and be part of the largest Forest Therapy
Guide Community Worldwide. Click here to see the guide´s map.
IMPORTANT: Before you send out your application, please make sure that the
schedule for the calls works for you and your time zone. Check the detailed Schedule HERE
Additional Questions?  Check our FAQ section

Advisors

Tamberly Kerr - Conway - PhD
Tamberly serves as an ANFT Certified Guide and ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trail Consultant. Tamberly holds an MS and PhD in Forestry, with a focus upon Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, focusing upon diversity engagement, health and nature connections, forest health/human health relationships, and community empowerment in conservation.

Tahia Devischer - PhD
Tahia is a research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD in ecosystems science from the University of Oxford, and is a certified forest therapy guide with ANFT. She works at the nexus of urban forests, human well-being and climate resilience.


Advisors

Tamberly Kerr - Conway - PhD
Tamberly serves as an ANFT Certified Guide and ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trail Consultant. Tamberly holds an MS and PhD in Forestry, with a focus upon Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, focusing upon diversity engagement, health and nature connections, forest health/human health relationships, and community empowerment in conservation.

Tahia Devischer - PhD
Tahia is a research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD in ecosystems science from the University of Oxford, and is a certified forest therapy guide with ANFT. She works at the nexus of urban forests, human well-being and climate resilience.


Advisors

Tamberly Kerr - Conway - PhD
Tamberly serves as an ANFT Certified Guide and ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Trail Consultant. Tamberly holds an MS and PhD in Forestry, with a focus upon Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, focusing upon diversity engagement, health and nature connections, forest health/human health relationships, and community empowerment in conservation.

Tahia Devischer - PhD
Tahia is a research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. She holds a PhD in ecosystems science from the University of Oxford, and is a certified forest therapy guide with ANFT. She works at the nexus of urban forests, human well-being and climate resilience.