Age 13-16

Journey Home:A Rite of Passage in Nature  for 13 to 16 yr Olds 

  • Journey Home  : A six month  Immersive  Journey in Nature for 13 to 16 year olds  : Nature Connection , Ancestral Skills, Forest Therapy.

This programme is aimed at emerging young adults  . It is aimed at those who feel the call of the wild or who enjoy  learning  new skills or are looking for something new!


A day in the woods Journey Home : A Rite of Passage in Nature 

Journey Home : A six month  Creative Journey in Nature : Ancestral Skills, Forest Therapy ,Creative Practice. 

Journey Home inspires participants to connect with nature and explore how we can  find a sense of belonging and home in nature.This 9 month journey runs from Imbolc to Samhain and  is designed to help participants to discover their gifts and  develop these potentials.  It aims to develop nature connection and learn   skills  ,  develop  community,  build confidence and resilience in the self and help participants develop the necessary skills of communication, leadership  and discipline to prepare for the next steps as they move forward on  life' s path. It will be a fun , exciting, empowering  and transformative experience.

Inspired by nature participants will connect with their creativity through a variety of engagement practices designed to encourage participants to connect with their local landscape and discover their personal creative potentials.The programme will be designed around 9 themes inspired by  nature which will foster a sense of place and belonging,  help us to understand our connection as humans to nature ,  create community and empower   young people to take positive  action in their community. Each session weaves together creative practices, forest therapy, nature connection practices ,  ancestral  skills and will focus on a different aspect of this creative journey using natural materials, based on the season, and interests of the group.


Participants will also have the experience of stepping into the mentor role. Each year Kilkenny Forest School offersparticipants the opportunity  to return as mentors  on our Weavers and Warriors Programme and our Small Worlds Programme . 

Participants will also be invited to act in two ecological restoration projects as part of their journey to becoming nature guardians . These include habitat  management ( Himalayan Balsam )  and community seedsaving for the Acorn Project.





Some of the Skills which we will Share :

  • Making Cordage from natural fibres such as nettles : bindings and knots
  • Weaving and Spinning using wool and plant fibres.
  • Whittling and Carving Projects
  • Willow Weaving : creating using willow, reeds  and other foraged materials.

Shelter Building : Debris Shelters and hanging tarps.

Friction Fire and tinder :Making Fire with Bow Drills and firesteels.



  • Clay Creations and Charcoal making: Mark Making 
  • Foraging : Identification skills, medicinal and edible properties of wild plants.Crafting wild medicines. 
  • Wild Cooking : Rediscover our ancient cooking traditions including clay cooking and hot stone cooking.
  • Animal Tracking and bird language: Inspiration for mark making.
  • Land navigation , with and without a compass. Map making in it s many forms.
  • Develop a connection  to their local place and within the web of inter being in nature.


JOURNEY : "Not All Who Wander are Lost"

New journeys   often offer opportunities to learn new skills and grow from the experience of overcoming challenges.They also provide creative inspiration.Sometimes we have to go away to experience a sense of coming home. A number of journeys will be built into the programme to offer participants this experience. We will travel over land and water. This journeys will offer a number of opportunities for putting our new  skills   into practice. We will craft objects such as baskets , cordage and journey sticks which will serve us on our way.. We will also learn to navigate our way across the land with and without maps and compasses.

Journeys will include                   

       - A   river trip with fully qualified and experienced instructors

  - A  18 km River Walk through the Nore Valley .


Homecoming Fires 

These journeys will mark significant thresholds on the programme and  offer opportunities to mark a Rite of Passage.  These journeys will be recorded and celebrated in beautiful ways.  The rite of passage will be marked in a way significant to the group  and celebrated with their community

Fires have long used by humans to honour homecomings  and mark significant times and events. Over the six month programme , individuals will learn to create and tend fire and through this experience we will begin to discover what is is within ourselves  that needs tending. We will discover the power of fire to transform, guide and warm us. The Rite of Passage will be marked by a personal fire ceremony . The Homecoming will be celebrated with community as participants create a wild  feast over the fire for their families and community.

Nature guardian and mentoring programme

Participants will also have the experience of stepping into the mentor role. Each year Kilkenny Forest School offers past participants the opportunity to return as mentors on our Weavers and Warriors programme and our Small Worlds programme. Participants on the Journey Home programme will also be offered the opportunity to step into this role as a mentor on the fledgling programmes.

Participants will also be invited to act in two conservation programmes as part of their journey to becoming nature guardians. These may include invasive species management ( Himalayan Balsam ) and gathering Acorns for the Acorn Project.


Journey Home : A Rite of Passage in Nature 

Inspired by nature, Journey Home emerged in 2017 in response to a call from  young people  and parents expressing a desire for a deeper more immersive experience in nature.

Journey Home is a collaboration between  nature guides Maura Brennan and Darach O Murchú. The programme is inspired by the story the landscape tells us through  the  turning of the seasons. It is motivated by a desire to share our nature connection , our stories and ancestral skills. 



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