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Wild Time: A Wilderness Adventure for Teenage Girls

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Motivated by a desire to explore and connect with people and wild places, Israh Goodall is a qualified Mountain Leader and trained in Outdoor Environmental Education, and has led expeditions and programmes worldwide. With her interests in Rites of Passage work, Israh is running Wild Time for Girls a nature-based mentoring programme for teenage girls in the UK and provides an overview of the programme in this blog post.

“Sleeping outside, tending to the fire, swimming in the river, and sitting down by yourself for a while, all helped me find different ways of connecting to nature and myself”  –  Wild Time Participant

As we tentatively emerge from lockdown, Wild Time for Girls is offering a wilderness adventure for teenage girls aged 13-16 years in August, based in the beautiful wilderness of the Dart valley in Devon.

Mental health concerns have rocketed for young people over the past months, who face a complex tapestry of issues including lack of personal space, health anxiety, social isolation, fear for future prospects, and even a loss of personal purpose and direction. Wild Time offers young women the opportunity to discover more about themselves, to let go of some of the stresses they have been experiencing, to play, to have fun and find creative and meaningful ways to navigate this unprecedented time

The Wild Time programme guides a group of teenage girls through inspiring physical outdoor challenges, bush-craft and survival skills, woven together with activities exploring self-reliance, body image, wellbeing, resilience, leadership and group dynamics.  The programme led by experienced outdoors women, and is enriched with ancient traditions of Rites of Passage – carefully crafted to enliven and empower young women to confidently step into the next stage of their lives.

“As we face the reality of how global crises such as coronavirus will impact every part of our lives, the thought can be completely overwhelming. We can learn many of the answers we need, how resilient we are, how connected we are, from the natural world. Nature can be a guide, and offer support during times of change”  

The programme is led by Bristol Green Capital Partnership member Israh Goodall, who has spent years supporting women through important life transitions both in the UK and abroad in her role as a midwife and as a wilderness guide and mountain leader. The programme runs in partnership with WildWise Enterprises CIC based on the Dartington Estate in Devon.

Even if you are not a teenage girl, developing your sense of connection to nature offers a power opportunity to build our personal resilience and confidence. You can try these practices wherever you are:

  1. Wherever you live it is possible to find a sit spot – this can be in your garden, a park or even by a plant pot.  Choose a special place you can return to regularly, to be quiet, and undisturbed.  Get curious about the world that is around you and see what changes day to day.  This practice over time builds a sense of connection to nature and offers a place to witness the changes in nature that so often mirror our own.
  2. Walk barefoot as much as possible in nature … and slow down!  These simple actions can do wonders in terms of our sense of connection and grounding.
  3. Develop your nature awareness by noticing the edges of where a town meets the wild.  What animals, plants and insects live on the fringes?  How does the wild live in your area?  The more you observe, the greater the sense of awareness and connection you will experience.

For more information about Wild Time for Girls, contact Israh, 07899 843 100, email israhgoodall@gmail.com or visit www.israhgoodall.com.

You can hear directly from participants of Wild Time 2018 about their experiences here: https://vimeo.com/313814296

 “My relationship with nature has changed because now I realise how important it is to look after our planet and our future generations”  –  Wild Time Participant

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