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Do you feel the call of the wild but can't currently fit this into your life?  Financially support someone in need and stay connected to the program while empowering the next generation of Wild Leaders.

Wild Leaders


​​​What do I need to bring?
This list provides a rough overview of the essentials for participating in the Immersion program.

  • Notebook and/or sketch pad and pen/pencil
  • Shoes appropriate for light outdoor hiking(e.g. hiking sandals, sneakers, boots)
  • Proper clothing for the season, including rain jacket and hat (check weather for Asheville, NC)
  • Headlamp and batteries (LED lights are more efficient)
  • Water bottle
  • Natural insect repellent or long sleeves and pants to protect from biting insects
  • A hearty lunch
  • Daypack for containing and transporting all your things.
  • Knife (non-folding) and sheath (we have quality, inexpensive Mora knives for sale)
  • 8x42 binoculars for Bird Language Series [options under $130, we recommend the Atlas Radian]
  • Snacks (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Camp chair(optional)

Will we be out in all weather?                                                                                                                              Save for dangerous storms or natural disasters, we are an all-weather program and will be out in wind, rain and snow.  It will be essential to have appropriate rain and winter gear for this program.  On cold winter evenings we will have access to a heated indoor space.

Where is the program located?
The program home base will be located in the greater Asheville, NC area.  We are currently looking at several possible properties that might host us.  We will also be journeying out to beautiful forest habitats all around the Asheville area.

Are there bathrooms?   
There will be bathrooms at our primary location.  Our camp-outs and some of our field trips however will be away from bathroom facilities and we will discuss and utilize backcountry protocols when nature calls.

Are children welcome?
Inter-generational learning is a very important value of ours and we are committed to the long path of rebuilding our multi-generational culture...and we know that this will take time.  There is the possibility of a concurrent youth program occurring on the same property, but we’ll not know until closer to the start of the program.  Parent​ participants​ may also​ coordinate their own child care cooperative​ as they have in other Forest Floor Programs.  Additionally, ​Forest Floor youth staf​f may be available for hire during the program​ hours​.

Can I bring a dog? 
Pets are not allowed at the program. You’ll see more wildlife without them there, we promise. Certified service or therapy animals are permitted with advance notice.

Is camping an option?
Still to be determined.  We hope so.

How far do I have to drive?  
On a number of our program days we will travel to visit special  forest ecosystems in the greater Asheville area.  These field trips will range from 30 minutes to an hour each way.  Throughout the program we will highly encourage carpooling to both lessen our carbon footprint and to increase connection between our participants.   

Is the program physically demanding? ​(How far do I have to hi​ke?)​
​Through out the program we will regularly take part in brief hikes of 1 mile or less both on hiking trails and off trail.  On one or two field trips we may hike two to four miles on hiking trails.  Other physical program activities include: running games, chopping and/or sawing wood, gathering wood and leaves, and being sneaky.   Most of our activities are adaptable for a wide range of physical engagement, and all are optional.

If I am physically limited can I still participate?
Yes. We are committed to making the Immersion accessible to all who want to participate. Some activities, however, may be difficult or impossible for participants with specific physical conditions. Students spend extended periods of time moving across hilly, uneven terrain, working with the elements, and engaging as directly as possible with the landscape. If a planned activity is too physically difficult, we will do our best to work with you to create an adapted exercise that will allow you to fully participate in the learning village. Diverse experiences and abilities are part of what makes the Immersion a rich learning environment. To speak with our staff further about the physical nature of the Immersion, please contact us at wildleaders@gmail.com.

Do you offer payment plans?
Yes, please contact us at wildleaders@gmail.com to set up a customized payment plan.

Are there scholarships?
Diversity and need-based scholarships are available by request.
With a goal of creating connected, eco-literate  and powerfully diverse communities,  we offer partial scholarships to people who might otherwise not be able to participate in our programs.  Our hope is that empowered individuals may then spread these tools and skills into a greater diversity of communities.  

If you are interested, or know anyone who is interested, who might not have the resources or information needed to attend, or who might be inexperienced in the format of such a course, please be in touch.

Our  scholarships are especially geared towards: underserved communities, Black and Latino communities, refugee communities, folks who speak English as a second language (ESL communities),  single mothers, and Indigenous/First-Nations Peoples.  We greatly value diversity and welcome hearing what diversity you might add to our program.
Please contact us at wildleaders @gmail.com if you’re eligible and interested in a scholarship

Is there work trade?
We are considering​ two partial work trade positions.   ​We will​ ​likely​ ​need some support creating infrastructure during the summer before the program begins.  All work trade must be completed before the program begins. If you are interested please send us an email at wildleaders@gmail.com

Partial attendance?  
Due to the special nature of our program focus, the need for continuity, and in order to create and maintain a safe and unified container, we ask participants to commit to attending at least 85% of our program dates (e.g. being absent no more than 6 program days).  Being absent more than 6 days will prompt a conversation with staff to determine whether or not the program is a good fit for you.