June 12th to June 16th, 2023


This Immersion welcomes and is open to all trained Forest Therapy Guides as well as Forest Therapy enthusiasts. It is a unique opportunity for experienced guides to deepen their practice and renew their inspiration about this work and for newly trained guides to consolidate their skills and learn from other guides. For Forest Therapy enthusiasts it is an opportunity to immerse yourselves in this practice and the philosophy it offers. 


Are you looking to spend time in nature with a group of like-minded and like-hearted human beings immersing yourself in the practice of Forest Therapy? Then, this Professional Development Immersion is for you!



This professional development immersion takes inspiration from the philosophy and practice of forest therapy itself. In our time together, we will be slowing way down. No cars, no computers, no rush. In this slowness, we’ll be exploring the essence of Forest Therapy through our lived experience as well as connecting with each other in a heart-centered space. 

Our program is designed to take guides deeper into their own practice and refine their skills and techniques. We’ll be spending a good amount of our time swimming in the Language of Invitation, honing our abilities to catch and craft invitations, as well as how to apply it more adeptly in Pleasures of Presence. We’ll also have several experiential learning sessions related to embodiment, the heart sense and spontaneity, and a business workshop where you’ll learn from the wisdom of the community what has worked best in bringing their practice to the world.

For those who are not Forest Therapy Guides, we will offer alternative programs focused on embodiment and creativity in nature during the guide-specific sessions. See the schedule for details. 


Program
 

Forest Therapy Walks with ANFT Trainers

Story Weaving: Bringing hearts together

Language of Invitation: Reimagining the Possibilities

Pleasures of Presence Workshop

Exploring the Heart Sense

Embracing Spontaneity in Guiding

The Business of Forest Therapy

Summertime Dinner Picnic Party & Talent Show


DETAILED SCHEDULE



Ben, Jackie, and Manuela will create and hold a container in partnership with the More-than-Human world of Nature, so that you have the freedom and inspiration to expand your head and heart space. There will be workshops, experiential sessions, play, celebration, and much more.


About Buckhorn Springs

A 124-acre inholding of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in the Ashland Mountains in Ashland OR. An enchanting place where one feels connected to the land beginning with Indigenous People who gathered on this ground for peace and healing centuries ago. Buckhorn Springs provides a unique environment nestled in its own small valley with a creek, old oaks, ponderosa pines, tall aromatic cedars, and open meadows.




Where to stay 
Retreat Accommodations include 4 nights of lodging and the celebration dinner on the evening of day 3

Option 1
Private room / shared bathrooms inside the house US$ 560 per person

Option 2
Private room / shared bathroom in bathhouse US$395 per person  

Option 3
Shared room bunk beds / shared bathroom in bathhouse US$285 per person  

Once you have received the confirmation from ANFT, please contact Ben [email protected] for the reservation of your accommodations.


Meals

Each cabin or house has a fridge and either a kitchen or a kitchenette.

Participants are responsible for cooking and buying their own food. We will have a 2-hour lunch break for enough spaciousness. 

Celebration dinner on the evening of day 3 is included in the lodging rates.


Transportation

Buckhorn Springs is a 25-minute drive from Ashland. 

The closest airport to Ashland is Rogue Valley International Medford Airport 

From this airport, it will take you 35 minutes to get to Buckhorn Springs.


Facilitators

Ben Page

Ben Page is a Forest Therapy Guide, global advocate for the practice and the author of Healing Trees: A Pocket Guide to Forest Bathing. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and Integral Forest Bathing and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2015. During his tenure as a trainer and mentor of guides, Ben has trained hundreds of guides around the world. From 2017-2020, he also served as the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, specializing in curriculum and pedagogical design and was the main designer of the ANFT Forest Therapy Guide Training on Thinkific. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.

Mentor, Trainer

Jackie Kuang

Jackie is a trainer and business manager with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and has been guiding regularly in her communities ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding and training guides is witnessing the transformative impact on participants’ well-being on so many levels. She has co-led over 10 guide trainings worldwide as of 2022 and created a professional development course called Guiding Business Success for trained guides.

Mentor, Trainer

Manuela Siegfried

Manuela Siegfried was born and raised in this beautiful, bio diverse country called Costa Rica. Having a biologist as a father, Manuela experienced contact with nature as an intrinsic part of her life. This passion led her to work as a naturalist tourism guide and in the tourism industry for 15 over years. She came across the concept of Shinrin-Yoku and the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and immediately felt inspired and related to it. Manuela was trained and certified in 2018 and has been guiding very actively since then. As a trainer she has trained and mentored people from all over the world. She served as one of the main trainers for the first bilingual training in Puerto Rico. She has been the main promoter of trainings in Spanish, making this practice accessible to all Spanish-speaking countries. Currently she is the training coordinator for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.

FAQ

  • Do I have to be certified by the ANFT in order to attend this gathering?

    No, we welcome any certified forest therapy guide, certified by the ANFT or any other school as well as anyone who simply enjoys forest therapy

  • Does attending this gathering replace the required 4-day in-person immersion to become fully certified as a guide?

    No, this is not a certification immersion. This annual event welcomes forest therapy guides for a 4-day adventure of exploration, learning, and community building. Perfect for seasoned guides looking to renew their inspiration or recent graduates looking to deepen their practice.

  • Can I participate in this Immersion if I am not a trained Forest Therapy Guide?

    Yes. This immersion is open to trained Forest Therapy guides and to Forest therapy enthusiasts.

  • What can I expect from this gathering?

    This gathering is a combination of learning, fun, relaxing time and lots of connection with humans and more than humans

  • Am I required to stay onsite?

    Yes. The container for this work is stronger if we all stay together and don't have people coming and going.

  • Is this event catered?

    No. Every option of accommodation has access to a kitchen facility. Participants are responsible for cooking their own food. We strongly encourage participants to plan meals together. The celebration dinner on the evening of day 3 will be catered and is included in the price of accommodations.

Pricing options