What’s the Village Green?

A space for children (0-6, accompanied by an adult to care for them), teens aged 13-18 and returning elders. The Village Green is designed to enable family groups to attend the Art of Mentoring. This is not a formal programme; it’s a co-creative space at the centre of the village, where guardians, young children and teens are surrounded by experienced 8 Shields mentors.

The Village

What Grows on the Village Green

Imagine having a whole week to play with your child. How might feel to see your child grow in confidence and curiosity in natural surroundings? Explore mysteries together and share the joy of your discoveries in the Village Green.

That’s our vision for parents and guardians bringing young children to the Art of Mentoring. Whether you’re a parent or a close family friend, being a guardian on camp will deepen your connection with your children. Together, guardians, teens and the younger ones have the chance to create a nurturing group connection and camp experience.

Experienced 8 Shields mentors will be supporting the guardians with crafting, making music and whatever else is needed. The Village Green will form a co-creative space for quality connection time with your child, with nature and with other like-hearted guardians.

Is the Village Green for You?

To take part in this space, at least one parent from your family group must be participating in another programme or holding a staff role, with the other parent or guardian in the Village Green. While they don’t need a guardian with them, teenagers must be attending camp with an adult who is on one of the adult programmes or holding a staff role.

Joining the Village Green can be challenging for guardians on there first Art of Mentoring, as they’re not involved in the main AoM activities during the day (except for meal times). Instead, they’re responsible for being with and taking care of their children at all times throughout the day.

To some, this role of service may feel frustrating with programmes going on all around or when in camp alone while participants are out in the field. Discussing and managing expectations around these constraints beforehand may result in a smoother camp for guardians and family groups.

Art of Mentoring dinner

Advice for Family Groups

In the evenings, guardians are welcome to join in activities and workshops. Children will still need looking after, so family groups must balance guardians’ needs for time not in sole charge of the children, with the needs of parents/guardians taking part in the adult programmes. While many evening activities are family friendly, some will inevitably be adult focused. Please read the advice for family groups page for further guidance.

Come in the spirit of service to your friend/partner and see this as a chance to nurture the connection with the child in your care, and you’ll have a fabulous time!

One guardian on a previous AoM camp reflected: “I’ve never felt closer to my son than [in] this week of playing together within a village, sharing our stories with other parents”.

An Adventure Away for Teens

If you’re after a more formal adventure for teenagers, there’s an 8 Shields based teen’s event in Scotland this June. The Hebridean Adventure Camp is led by Rhyddian Knight, who has held teen programmes at previous UK AoMs, and has participated in Mark Morey‘s Coyote Camps in the US.

Adventure Camp Bay

A Space for Elders Returning

The Village Green is also the space for the Elders who are an important and celebrated part of our Village for the week. If you’ve already taken a Ring 1 programme and would like to participate in the Art of Mentoring as an Elder we’d love you to be part of the Village Green.

Essential info

  • Prerequisite: You must be either:
    • Supporting a friend or family member to participate in one of the programmes or to hold a staff role, by looking after their / your child,
    • An elder who has taken the Ring 1 programme previously
    • A teenager aged 13-18
  • Ages: children 0-6 years + an adult 18 or over, or teens aged 13-18, or an elder (60+)
  • No. of places: 20 individuals, so 10 family groups or the equivalent number of teenagers or elders (early booking is advised as we anticipate places going quickly)
  • Arrival: 3 – 5 pm Sunday 23 July
  • Cost: £125 per person, adult or child – little ones pre-walking go free)