Nature and Forest Therapy Guides

Guide Training Immersion 4 days

Australia, Canberra - Birrigai Outdoor School

Cohort

September 27, 2023
to
October 1, 2023

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 9 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
Birrigai Outdoor School
164 Tidbinbilla Road, (Canberra)
Tharwa ACT 2620
Canberra
Australia
https://www.cityservices.act.gov.au/birrigai

Birrigai is located in the beautiful Ngunnawal Country adjacent to the Tidbinbilla and Namadgi National Park.  Birrigai is an easy 40 minute drive from the Canberra airport and city centre and is set amongst a beautiful natural landscape surrounded by mountain peaks, natural woodland and sheltered streams where native wildlife is in abundance. Being spring in Australia, it is highly likely that joey (baby) kangaroos will be curious onlookers for parts of the immersion.  

Birrigai’ s granite tors and rock formations include Canberra’s most significant Aboriginal sacred site – the Birrigai rock shelter which has been archaeologically dated to having hosted continuous human occupation for the last 25,000 years.
Birrigai is a place of significance in the culture and heritage of the Ngunnawal Peoples, traditional custodians of the lands on which Birrigai is situated.

Directly behind Birrigai is the stunning Gibraltar Peak, the 8km hike to the peak is listed amongst the top 10 Australian hikes by the team at Australian Hiker.

Next door to Birrigai is Canberra’s premier Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve which is home to a wide range of wildlife including, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, platypus, potoroos, bandicoots, wallaroos, echidnas, emus, lyrebirds as well as many other birds and reptiles.

This immersion also coincides with Canberra’s Internationally renowned Floriade festival.  Floriade  is a celebration of spring.  Along with flowers, Floriade presents an exciting entertainment program throughout the four weeks. Floriade features visiting and local performing artists, exhibitions, activities for the kids and more! Canberra's Floriade is now the largest event of this nature in the southern hemisphere. Over 1 million bulbs and annuals are used for the event every year.

LODGING

Prices are listed in Australian dollars, and the estimated equivalent in USD (based on current conversion rates at the time of publishing). Visit www.xe.com for the latest conversion rates.

Accommodation fees are in addition to the tuition paid to ANFT.

Onsite Accommodation

The School provides dormitory style accommodation onsite in cabins that hold between 8 – 12 people each in bunk beds, with shared bathroom facilities. The onsite accommodation fee per person for the entire immersion is approx. AUD330 (USD220)

There are limited twin-share en suite rooms available at the same rate, on a first-come first-served basis.

Onsite options are suitable for those who prefer to keep costs low and reduce commuting between the School and offsite accommodation.

Camping with nearby bathroom facilities are available onsite or within walking distance for a fee of approx AUD15 (USD10) per night.

Once your registration is confirmed, you will receive more information on how to reserve your onsite accommodation.

Offsite Accommodation

A good range of offsite accommodation including hotels and Airbnbs are available within 20 mins’ drive. You can find a list of accommodations below.

Alpha Hotel Canberra https://alphahotelcanberra.com.au/
Abode Tuggeranonghttps://abodehotels.com.au/hotels/tuggeranong/
Nearby Airbnbs (search for Greenway, Australia) https://www.airbnb.com.au/s/Greenway--Australia/homes?adults=1&place_id=ChIJxeP3oTnLF2sRIFppp27qAAU&refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes

Please refer to the Cancellation Policies of this immersion below when you book your offsite accommodation.

MEALS

An optional Meal Package is available for 4 lunches and two dinners (6 meals in total) at approx AUD175 (USD117), details of which will be provided later.

Note that the first dinner is already included in the Day Charge, and dinner on last night will be a Celebration Dinner offsite at additional cost.  

The Meal Package will begin with lunch on 28 September, and end with lunch on 1 October.  

Two fully qualified chefs are onsite to prepare our meals. Vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request.  

You can also self-cater for these 5 meals by using the kitchenette onsite. Fees for using the kitchenette are already included in the Day Charge.

The closest grocery store is a 20-minute drive at Lanyon Market Place, where the petrol station, newsagent, chemist and some restaurants are located.  

TRANSPORTATION

Nearest airport: Canberra Airport

Getting to Birrigai:

Shuttle
A shuttle bus will run at scheduled times for day time arrivals at the Canberra Airport, the cost of which is included in the Day Charge.

By car
Birrigai is located on Tidbinbilla Road, approximately 40-45 minutes from Canberra's CBD. There are two access points from Canberra, Cotter Road or via Point Hut Crossing. From Sydney, Birrigai is a 4-5 hour drive away. Fill your car with fuel before you begin your journey. The closest petrol station is located at Lanyon Market Place. If using a GPS for directions, just enter “Birrigai” to get the most accurate directions. Please remember that mobile reception may be limited on the drive. Watch out for wildlife. Native wildlife is abundant and many species are most active at dawn and dusk. Take extra care when driving at these times.

Uber
If you hire an Uber from the airport, the cost is estimated to be around AUD80 (USD52) per ride. Parking is available onsite. Follow the signs to the public car parking area as you head up the Birrigai driveway. It is recommended that large buses travel via Point Hut Crossing.

More information on shuttles and ride-sharing will be sent to you once your registration is confirmed, including a map of the area.

SCHEDULE DETAILS

Arrival and registration: 27 September 2023, between 2-4pm
Welcome circle: 27 September 2023, begins at 4pm
Closing and check out: 1 October 2023, by 3 pm.

GENERAL NOTES

Venue Charge
Each participant - whether staying onsite or offsite - will be asked to pay a Venue Charge of approximately AUD320 (USD215) per person for the entire immersion.
The Venue Charge is in addition to the tuition paid to ANFT and covers group dinner on the first night of the immersion, venue hire, cleaning fees, coffee, tea/herbal infusions; shuttle transfers and other necessary onsite costs.

WIFI and Connectivity]
Free and fast WiFi internet in and around the buildings (good for video conferencing / streaming videos / skype calls etc).Mobile network is not available at the date of publication.

Venue Policies
No smoking.
No pets allowed.
Fire is permitted on designated campfire and BBQ sites.

COVID Policy
Participants will need to have a negative COVID test before entering the venue premises, within 24 hours of the start of the event. This can be an at-home-test and needs to be sent to the trainers. The training team will be in touch the month before the immersion to let you know what the specific COVID protocol will be during the immersion. The policy will likely mirror whatever the local policy is at the time of the event. Much of the immersion will take place outside and everyone will have the option to wear a mask whenever they wish to do so. Please be in touch directly with the trainers for this immersion if you have any additional questions.

Additional costs to consider
Breakfasts are not included in the Day Charge. Please prepare your own breakfast. Kitchenette is available for use onsite.
Car rental if you intend to drive during the immersion. Please obtain your own travel insurance

Ride-sharing and accommodation sharing options
For anyone interested in ride-sharing and/or accommodation sharing, you will have the option to provide your travel details and contact information in order to connect with others who are registered for the immersion.

Payments
For onsite accommodation and the Venue Charge, payment can be made  through credit card to Birrigai directly.

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

Vicky Kyan is the first ANFT Certified Guide, Mentor and Trainer in the Southern Hemisphere. She is a strong advocate for the practice of Nature and Forest Therapy, and for the promotion of trainings in the South Pacific. She is largely inspired by her local ocean beach, seashore and estuary ecosystems, where she has pioneered this work since her Guide Training with ANFT in North California in May 2015.

Vicky operates a small Homestay holiday retreat, where she offers ‘Wellbeing Wanders’ Nature and Forest Therapy guided experiences. When she is not travelling she uses her Pacific Island home as a base for mentoring ANFT trainee guides and building network with nature connection contacts both nationally and around the world. She is also an active member of the ANFT International Training Team and travels to trainings around the world.

Amanda’s deep connection with nature has supported her through life’s many challenges, including multiple career transitions and critical illness. She felt called to be of service to the earth in 2006, but it took her many years and a winding path before encountering Forest Therapy, a practice that deeply resonated with her calling. Having trained as part of Cohort 18, Amanda has been an ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide since 2017, when she founded Shinrin-Yoku Hong Kong, through which she has offered more than 200 forest therapy and nature connection experiences, on- and off-line, to support busy urbanites on bodyful and soulful journeys of homecoming through reconnecting with nature. Amanda is particularly called to support people in transition and those facing chronic stress, and she collaborates extensively with the corporate sector, environmental and conservation organizations, the social service sector and educational institutions. Amanda is honoured to be a mentor for guides-in-training, and the first Asia-based ANFT trainer. She is also an International Coach Federation Certified Professional Coach for Transformation and long-time yoga, mindfulness and tai chi practitioner.

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 month 4 you can 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.