What’s the Village Green?

A space for children (0-6, accompanied by an adult to care for them), teens 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 heart of the village, where capable 8 Shields mentors support guardians, young children and teens who will also be offered optional activities and a two night camp out.

Child's play village green

I’ve never felt closer to my son than this week of playing together within a village, sharing stories with other parents

A parent reflecting on the Village Green at a previous AoM camp

What Grows on the Village Green

Imagine having a week to play with your child. How might it feel to see your child grow in confidence and curiosity as they explore nature and connect with the people around them? Explore mysteries together and share the joy of your discoveries in the Village Green. 

Whether you’re a parent or family friend, being a guardian on camp will deepen your connection with the kids in your care. Together, guardians, teens and younger ones will have the chance to create a nurturing group connection.

Experienced 8 Shields mentors will be supporting the guardians with crafting, making music and whatever else they need. You’ll form a co-creative space for quality connection with your child, nature and with like-hearted guardians.

Is 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 attend camp with an adult who is on one of the adult programmes or in a staff role.

Setting Expectations

Joining the Village Green can be challenging for guardians on their 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.

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.

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

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’re either:
    • Supporting a friend or family member to participate in a programme 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, or teens aged 13-18, or an elder (60+)
  • No. of places: 40 people, so 20 family groups or the equivalent number of teenagers or elders (book early as we expect places to go quickly)
  • Arrival: 3 – 5 pm Sun 28 July
  • Cost: Adult and teens £325 and child £125 per person (little ones pre-walking go free)
Wild-Cats nature games village green
village green play
Children Barrow village green
kids village green
Victoria-child-tinder-bundle fire village green