Programs offer opportunity for teens to experience nature

Nature has the potential to stimulate curiosity, spark imagination and a taste for adventure, open up new avenues for discovery, and also create a connection to the spirit and self. Two programs for teens will provide opportunities for a venture into the natural world to find many of these life-changing experiences.

Mindfulness Connections, presented by South Burlington Wellness and Resiliency Program in collaboration with Shelburne Farms, will offer a week-long mindful teen program from Monday to Friday, July 30 to Aug. 3.

This program, from 9 am to 3 pm daily, will support teens’ connections to self and to the environment while building inner resiliency. Teens are invited to come for the week to connect with the land and with themselves through a community experience of movement, stillness, and sensory exercises.

The 2012-2013 Aspiring Naturalists program (known as the ANTS program) is offered on the second Thursday of each month from September through May with weekend overnight nature programs in September, March, and June.

The program, led by Educator Margaret Burke and Educator and Naturalist Teage O’Connor, uses the seasons as a window to understand nature. Teens practice naturalist skills through observation and exploring seasonal changes around Shelburne Farms. They track predators, build fires by friction, make rope, learn bird songs, forage for wild edibles, and make new friends.

The monthly programs are from 4:30 to 6:30 pm and are designed for teens ages 13 to 17.

For information about Mindfulness Connections or the Aspiring Naturalists, call Margaret Burke at (802) 985-0327 or email her at

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