Custom Group Encounters
We'd love to design and guide a custom wilderness encounter for your group or organization. Our goal is to facilitate trips that leave participants refreshed so they can return to their important work in the world with the energy to keep on caring.
Our custom encounters are highly intentional and intentionally simple. We focus our expertise as wilderness guides on creating safe space for profound encounters to occur. As facilitators we prompt reflection and conversation, exploring intersections of spiritual and professional sustainability. We always create opportunities for rest and for building resilience; opportunities for solitude and for building solidarity.
Examples of custom encounters we've designed and led include:
Packages of walks for a local health organization--each two hours in duration spread over the course of 6 weeks
Partnerships with local colleges/universities for class projects surrounding public engagement, including encounters with open public space
A 6-day canoe trip for faith leaders needing to reconnect with their spiritual base
A 3-day backpacking trip for community members craving solidarity with others and a connection to the outdoors
Spectrum of Renewal
Our base of operations is Portland Maine, with lots of proximity to hiking, paddling and camping. We can design short walks or multi-day backcountry immersions in and around Maine, but also anywhere in the country that best fit the needs of your group or organization. Whether we rendezvous somewhere wild near us or somewhere west of our base - if we can find a place to go for a walk, to paddle a canoe, to set up camp - then we'll make space for renewal.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that underscores the benefits of even short exposure to the outdoors. 15 minutes in the woods can reduce stress levels and 45 minutes in the woods leads to improvements in cognitive functioning. A few days in the wilderness increases attention span, lessens aggression, and improves creativity (Williams, The Nature Fix). We bring together the proven benefits of nature, along with space for intentional spiritual and professional reflection.
We can partner with your organization; whether you are a corporate health organization with employees exhibiting the effects of burn-out or a social justice organization looking for group cohesion and renewal. The encounters we design span a spectrum of duration and degree of immersion into the wilderness. We can design packages of close-proximity walks that break up the work day or multi-day backcountry immersions. Each custom encounter is designed to accommodate your particular organizational needs.
With some imagination wilderness will become apparent in parks, nature preserves, and even sidewalks with proximity to urban areas. These are less immersive, more brief explorations of the wilderness at hand. We practice wilderness by making the familiar strange.
These are multi-day immersions into the elements and rhythms of life away from our usual distractions. They provide more time to get grounded and ample space for rest and challenge, for personal reflection and creative collaboration. We engage wilderness as spiritual practice.
Partners in Renewal
When we partner with you - way before we pack our packs - we will explore the particular needs and hopes of your group. Where necessary we’ll help temper your intentions to fit the pace of renewal, while also weaving your goals in with our simple and flexible intentions to: Show up. Pay attention. Make space. Listen. Be curious. Open up. Re-sensitize. Ponder. Discuss. Stay put. Break bread. Keep moving. Be honest. Wonder. And come back ready to impact the world with spirits of compassion.
We are seeking groups and organizations of care providers, justice workers, and faith leaders to partner with in sustaining cultures of compassion. We want to support the longevity of your work by bringing renewal into the lives of your workers.
As a nonprofit organization our development goals are strategically aligned with our mission, which hinges on making encounters with wilderness accessible to care providers, justice-workers, and faith leaders. Our success in achieving our mission is bolstered by the generosity of donors and sponsors. If you or an organization you represent have the capacity to help us help the helpers, please do.