Seasonal Assistants’ Reflections

bushcraft camp fire
WildWise is looking to recruit Seasonal Assistants to work with us in 2024.  But all the practicalities and job descriptors aside, what is it like to actually be a Seasonal Assistant? 

A few of our previous Seasonal Assistants have kindly been in touch to share reflections on their own experience:

Vanessa, Seasonal Assistant 2017

There were so many highlights of my year as a Seasonal Assistant with WildWise that it’s impossible to choose – partaking in the Call of the Wild programme was a gift that changed the course of my life and who I am, for the infinite better!  But the practical learning of being an assistant took the teaching to a much deeper level, as you work alongside a variety of experienced facilitators and get to see what makes it all work behind the scenes. 

Canoeing down the River Dart for a foraging day, cooking seaweed and molluscs on the beach, ambushing a bunch of teenagers at The Hunger Games – there was variety and richness in everything. But one moment stands out, which was in a way my worst experience. We had battled extreme wind, mud and rain setting up camp for a group of school children and were wet and exhausted. And then they arrived, and we gathered around the fire and they began to sing to us. Their voices and faces lit me up so much that I found my reason for doing this work. This is what this experience will do – take you to the edge of your comfort zone and then show you the beauty beyond.

 

Since being an SA I have moved to France and created my own event space in our woodland, built up a beautiful nature connected community around me and I facilitate forest school sessions for a local Montessori school every week. As well as teaching, my own personal path of learning from nature and other mentors will be a lifelong journey that keeps me excited and intrigued every day – I am so grateful for the way I now see the world with new eyes and I have a purpose that gives me hope in these challenging times.

 

If you want to make your soul sing, choose this path!

  

Louise, Seasonal Assistant 2016

I was Seasonal Assistant 7 years ago, which feels like so many lifetimes ago now! It still stands out as being a year that became, not a turning point as such, but a deepening, an expanding and a focusing point in my life.

I felt quite displaced in my life at that point, navigating tricky waves but being able to be a Seasonal Assistant gave me something to be inspired by. Something to dream into being and that dream has been breathed into life, 7 years on and I have just started working at the Nature Connection Project Coordinator at the Apricot Centre in Dartington. 

Being the Seasonal Assistant immersed me completely in a world of children and young people, of nature connection, camps, overnight solos and education and it helped me to clear the path and strive forward in what I knew I could offer to the world. It is still a work in progress but the ‘soul knowing’ that comes after being apart of Call of the Wild has never faded. 

It is hard to say a favourite bit and it is been so long now that I would probably just say ‘do it’ to anyone who asks! 

 

Tamsin, Seasonal Assistant 2019

Being a Seasonal Assistant meant I spent a lot of time out on camps and by the end of the season I felt bedded into that wild lifestyle. I was a part of some incredible events.

I will never forget going to Shaun Ellis’s place (the Wolf man) and sitting amongst real wolves! And being a part of Call of the Wild was pretty life changing; it guided me to begin to trust my gifts more. For me it was about unlocking my creativity. I think everyone comes out with their own unique nugget of wisdom.

 

Sam Kouzarides, 2014

I was the Seasonal Assistant for WildWise in 2014. The role offered a deep dive into the world of nature connection in many forms and the opportunity to experience a variety programmes and the diverse styles of a range of leaders and facilitators. In combination with the Call of the Wild course it was the perfect blend of exploring facilitation skills and activities and seeing them in action on the ground as well as the opportunity to offer some facilitation myself on programmes as the season progressed. 

The balance of the two felt very mutually supportive and what I gained from the whole experience felt far greater that the sum of its parts.

I finished the season feeling well equipped and went on to lead programmes myself for wildwise and other organisations the following year, as I still do today.

I would highly recommend this role to others!

 

Jenna, Seasonal Assistant 2021

To learn a language it’s best to immerse yourself in it- and the same is certainly true for nature-connection. Being a seasonal assistant was an incredible immersion. It enabled me to experience a variety of different camps and facilitation styles, and to put the skills I learnt from the Call of the Wild programme into practice.

I don’t think that my confidence and skills would have progressed in the way they did had I not also been a seasonal assistant.

I look back on this time with such fondness and gratitude. I’ve run several retreats and camps since, and I just don’t think this would have been the case had it not been for the immersive, intensive, hands-on learning experience.

 

WildWise are recruiting now for 2024.  We would love to hear from you! Read more here about current recruitment, the Seasonal Assistant role and how to apply.

Previous slide
Next slide

**SUMMER CAMP NEWS**

Our August Annual Family camp is full however we have places on our  Wild Child Weekend for Families in mid July; our Dangerous Weekend in early August and Forest Rangers for kids 8-12 yrs at the end of July (2 places left!)