Earth Guide Apprenticeship

When additional Earth Guides are needed for the Center, we offer an Earth Guide Apprenticeship program. Center Earth Guides are required to take either the "Inner Life of the Child in Nature: Presence and Practice" program or the "Being, Beholding, Belonging: Eco-Contemplative practices for Children and Young Adults" program either before or during the Apprenticeship year as a foundation for becoming an Earth Guide. Center Earth Guides commit to working during our fall and spring season of dates at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary in Whitsett, NC. If you are interested in becoming a Center Earth Guide, please contact us at

At the Center, we take great care in our approach to leading children into meaningful experiences with the natural world. Qualities of centeredness, loving attention, wonder, respect and reverence must be embodied by our Earth Guides before they can be imparted to the children.

In the autumn of the year, we offer an Earth Guide Apprenticeship Program for new Center Earth Guides who will be leading children on Earth Walks during our Awakening to Nature Programs. We take a twofold approach to this apprenticeship. First, we offer a one-day training that includes a consideration of the inner gesture of the Earth Guide, an introduction to the Center’s practices, an opportunity to practice the practices on the trails, and a review of the rhythm of the day for the Awakening to Nature Program. In the second phase of the apprenticeship, each new Earth Guide is given one or more opportunities to shadow an experienced Earth Guide before taking a group of children on an Earth Walk. Throughout the year, the Director of Children’s Programs and our Earth Guides meet together after each Awakening to Nature program to share experiences from the day in order to deepen our understanding of all that is involved in bringing the child into being, beholding and belonging to the natural world. It is also an expectation that our Earth Guides practice the practices in their daily lives between programs.

“Silence is the bountiful source of our sensing our self and all creation with newfound clarity and intimacy.”

Robert Sardello, Silence