Shapers of tomorrow Are you a teacher that wishes to: · develop students with understandings of the key concepts of life on earth, · help students deepen feelings of respect, awe, kinship and love for the natural world, · provide opportunities for exploring and processing personal perspectives, · guide students towards practicing collaborative competence, · challenge and motivate students to undertake wiser personal environmental lifestyle changes, · empower students to become proactive participants within the community, and meet your curriculum needs, then…“Shapers of Tomorrow” helps develop environmentally responsible leaders for the future. The Shapers of Tomorrow 5 day program celebrates the transition that young people are making in their journey from childhood into adults. The “Shapers of Tomorrow” program looks at personal responsibility and environmental custodianship as key elements of effective future leaders in business, government and the community. As Joanna Rogers Macy, Ph.D work demonstrates, our interconnectedness in the web of life and our authority to take action on its behalf has helped many thousands around the globe find insight, solidarity, and courage to act, key elements in leadership. It is hoped that this grounding in understanding of our natural resources and how life on the planet works provides a springboard to further environmental education and leadership habits back at school and at home. As the “Economics of Happiness” a documentry released in 2010 produced by Helena Norberg-Hodge shows there is much evidence to suggest that getting in touch with the natural world also leads to happier and well rounded teenagers. This is seen as teens slowly came out of their shells and participate through exploring the natural world around them. In learning about the key concepts of life on earth students visit Anna Maria’s Pizza Parlor to discover the flow of sunlight energy and the hidden costs of our carbon fueled economy. They learn about interrelationships at the Connection Inspection site, and go to the Circus of Cycles and act out the cycles of air, water and soil, before taking the journey of a lifetime to experience change over time. Students then display their understandings by creating their own Model Planet. Regaining that sense of wonder of the natural world is a key focus of the Shapers program and our Magic Spots, Earthwalk and Viewing Party are designed to get our learners in touch with just how beautiful this blue planet is. Shapers of Tomorrow makes space for participants to be heard and express just where they are at. Through Work that Reconnects they are able to get in touch with their feelings in a supported workshops. Our Collaborative Competency workshop looks at group dynamics exploring relationships and diversity, the giving and receiving of feedback, understanding body language and a whole lot more. This 5 day program is aimed at empowering students to shape their lives as responsible individuals leading sustainable lifestyles, reinforces larger science concepts of how the planet works and supports living more lightly on the Earth. Shapers of Tomorrow meets many of the essential learnings for this age group and is a springboard to further education back at school. Wild Mountains caters for up to 40 students as we feel that smaller groups provide a superior experience with better learning outcomes.The best learning happens when students can have fun and wish to know more… and that’s the experience we provide. We enjoy making this program simply a fantastic experience for students; one they will never forget. “Shapers of Tomorrow” - Wild Mountains takes it up a level with Local High School! From our primary school program, Earthkeepers, to launching boldly into the future with the secondary school program “Shapers of Tomorrow” (Shapers) was a harrowing ride for me as we set off with the local Beaudesert high school on a 3 day adventure of discovery. After long negotiations between Petra Cameron and Beaudesert High, she was able to make room in the busy school calendar organize 15 students to attend for a leadership camp based on environmental custodianship and this 3 day program. The teens arrived for morning tea and an orientation that only a few were expecting. To my delight and surprise we had two returning Earthkeepers students from previous years (Shannon confessed that she had even given up a dance recital because she was so keen to come back to Wild Mountains). Although it took a little while for everyone to settle down into the work and the new experience at hand by the “Council of All Beings” (Based Joanna Macy’s work) activity everyone had come a long way. I was surprised to see some subtle and some drastic changes in the teens over such a short time, but I caught a number of “Ah hah” moments. My big highlights were playing the role of Banker in “Solarville” a great activity demonstrating the flow of sunlight energy and the hidden energy used in getting food to our table, as well as one of the last activities, “Visioning the Future”. We hope to introduce this powerful program to other high schools, if anyone has any ideas on which schools would really value this type of program please let us know!