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whole-life skills for a radically different future

Program Details for Wild Leaders Immersion

Dates:   Most Tuesdays September 12, 2017–June 5, 2018
Plus full weekend campouts in October and May

September 12, 19, 26
October 3, 10, 24, 27–30
November 7, 14, 28
December 5, 12, 19

January 9, 16, 23, 30
February 20, 27
March 6, 13, 27
April 3, 10, 24
May 1, 8, 15, 17–20, 22, 29
June 5

* The breaks on October 17, February 6 and 13, and April 17 are subject to change based on sister events that have not yet set final dates.

Location:  From our base camp in the greater Asheville area, we will venture out to explore a variety of beautiful forests and ecosystems throughout the year. The exact location of the base camp is yet to be determined.

Typical Daily Schedule:

9:00 am  Morning Circle:  Coming Together and Inspirations
10:00 am Hands-on Skills, Nature Studies, Connection Activities, and Leadership Tools
12:00 pm Lunch (Bring your own)
1:00 pm   Hands on Skills, Nature Studies, Connection Activities, and Leadership Tools
4:00 pm  Connection and Reflection
5:00 pm  Break
5:30 pm  Dinner (Provided)
7:00 pm  Evening Fire: Sacred Stories, Culture Design, and Odes to the Night
9:00 pm* Program End

*In the Fall and Spring, we will wrap up our day together at 9 pm.  In the winter, we will end a bit earlier at 8 pm.

A Day in the Life of a Wild Leader:

Each day, our group will dive deep into the genius of the natural world, engaging in powerful experiential activities and techniques carefully crafted for connection and growth. We will explore the land, as well as our hearts and minds, through hands-on activities, focused discussions, natural crafts, survival skills, intentional games, song and nature-inspired personal reflection.

Both at our base camp and out in numerous beautiful forested mountain habitats, we will wander, explore, and study the relationships of life in the world around us. Dropping into the natural rhythms for quest and rest, we will learn to listen to a world we may have never known was speaking to us.

In the evenings, we will feast together and gather around the hearth fire. We will share stories of inspiration, both personal and mythic, and discuss our community, the world, and leadership. We will laugh, cry, play games, give thanks, bring our voices together, and align our trajectories with life’s mysterious unfolding path.


Within the framework of Nature Connection, Culture Design, and Leadership, we will cover many topics during this program. The final curriculum will be determined by the needs and desires of the students, combined with the opportunities presented by the staff, guest instructors, the natural world, and synchronicity. We invite you to lean into the mystery with us.

Wild Food Foraging -  Feast from the land, creating a forest-to-table meal to enjoy with your friends and family.

Tulip Poplar Bark Basket-Making - Craft your own highly useful basket/container from the bark of a common local tree.

Animal Tracking - Dive down the rabbit hole of natural mystery and discover the hidden lives of our wild neighbors.

Art of Questioning - Asking the right question is far more valuable than knowing the right answer.

Indigenous Cultural Elements -  Identify what is true for intact indigenous cultures around the world and how to integrate that knowledge into your community life.

Uncovering our Gifts -  It can often be difficult to see your own gifts.  See yourself through the eyes of your peers and discover what you have to offer the world.

Brain Patterning and the Mentor -  Help others turn off autopilot and rewire your brain.

Inner Tracking - Discern the emotional and mental patterns that shape your inner landscape and learn how they affect your actions and decisions.

Lost-Proofing and Wandering -  Avoid getting lost and enjoy the freedom of letting your intuition guide you through the forest.

Sense Meditation -  Lose your mind and come to your senses.

Plant Identification -  Get on a first-name basis with many of the plants in our local ecosystem.

Ceremony, Rites of Passage, and the Human Lifecycle - Engage in and learn the value of ceremony for marking life transitions.

Friction-Fire Making -  Apprentice to the ancient art of making fire with the use of simple materials found in the forest, reclaiming one of the key skills of your ancestors.

Befriending the Dark - From fear of the unknown to comfort and safety in the shadow of the Earth.

Wood Carving:  Hands-on crafting of useful tools for your everyday life.

Peacemaking Practices -  Learn how to resolve conflict, help others connect and heal, and apply this knowledge in your relationships.

Mapping -  Take a bird’s-eye view of the landscape and see what you’ve been missing all along.

Anchoring -  Get the support you need to weather life’s storms and harvest nuggets of wisdom from your experiences.

Appalachian Ecology -  Explore the rich ecology of the Appalachian mountains, the oldest and most diverse mountain range in the world.

Nonviolent Communication and Intimacy Skills -  Shift your language and thought patterns to grease the wheels of communication, finding the truth behind words.

Bird Language -  Find out what your avian friends are telling you about your environment and yourself.

Mentoring Techniques -  Learn to help others break out of their own ruts and discover their innate genius.

The Hero’s Journey -  Take an active role in your life’s journey and claim the adventure awaiting you.

Giving and Receiving Feedback -  The nitty-gritty path to reshaping yourself into the person you want to be.

...and much, much more.

Read more about our Instructor Team.

 Program COST:

$3,000–$5,000 Sliding Scale
(Includes instruction, all materials, dinners, camping, and field trips).
Transportation is not included.

Diversity and need-based scholarships are available by request.

Application Process:

The program is currently accepting applications. We will begin announcing acceptances on April 4. Participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Early enrollment is encouraged; we expect the program to fill.

ACCEPTANCE: You will receive an acceptance decision within two weeks of application, starting on April 4. A $500 deposit is required within one week of acceptance to reserve your space.


FAQs: For more information, take a look at our FAQ page.

Crowdfunding and Fundraising: Check out our Crowdfunding and Fundraising page for creative ways to engage your community and launch a "Community Supported Education" campaign. This approach can help support your investment in yourself, your community, the planet, and future generations.

Experience a developing ecovillage for yourself!

Most of SOIL’s classes take place at Earthaven Ecovillage, giving participants a hands-on, skill-building immersion within an authentic community-based, village setting. Tours of Earthaven are also available on a monthly basis, a great way to dip your toe into this long-standing, intergenerational social experiment.

Learn More
COVID 19 Response: SOIL is publishing resources and deferring all programs to 2021.Read More
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