Greetings!
Each year, the beautiful land of Wild! Heart Refuge in Vermont welcomes participants of all ages for programs in mindfulness, nonviolence, and interdependent living. Today, the water of Fairy Creek is rushing and singing its spring melody. Multitudes of green are arriving on the trees, in the gardens, and in the rolling field.  Like the land itself, the Play in the Wild! team is getting ready to welcome all the new growth, learning, and creativity in its upcoming programs.

In this email, we wanted to share with you a way that mindfulness informs our work practice on the land and also how you can support youth to have this experience.  
  Day of Mindful Hearts and Helping Hands with local college students
Last month, we enjoyed hosting Sterling College students for a day of mindful work on the land, preparing Wild! Heart Refuge's organic gardens for this year’s plantings. One of our practices as we worked together was to stop for six breaths each time a mindfulness bell was rung. Just enough time to feel the wind on our cheeks, to hear the singing birds in the distance, to give thanks to all beings, and to observe our own thoughts. Then back to work! Practicing mindfulness can be as simple as that. We, of course, treated the students to a delicious lunch, Wild! Style, with all farm fresh organic ingredients.
 
Big gratitude to the group of students from the program Working Hands, Working Mind for giving us a great start to our organic gardens which will be feeding all the students, families, and team in the coming months at Wild! Heart Refuge.

Sponsor a Refugee Youth to attend Play in the Wild! 
Over the years, Play in the Wild! has worked with immigrated refugee youth to the US from Bhutan, the Congo, Iraq, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, and Syria. These students join others from all over the world and build a community based in empathy and the principles of nonviolence. They also learn some incredibly powerful tools to develop their own leadership and ability to transform conflict, and a practical understanding of how to live sustainably, including preparing meals from an organic garden and living interdependently with nature. This experience is particularly meaningful for these youth, as it gives them a greater sense of mattering, belonging, and empowerment than they typically find as a new immigrant to the U.S. and as a youth in the public school system.

If you can't fully sponsor a youth, consider inviting a group of friends or family members to sponsor a youth together. Or, simply make a smaller donation. Every little bit will help these youth be able to attend. We are grateful for whatever help you can offer. Thank you. 
For more information about our upcoming programs please visit  playinthewild.org


Peace All Ways,

Catherine, Jesse,  and The Play in the Wild! Animator Team

P.S. There are still spots available for youth in both our 2017 Wild! Kids programs and our Canoe Quest! Sign up and more info online at playinthewild.org.
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