Summertime Abundance: Yellowstone as Spiritual Inspiration

Summertime Abundance: Yellowstone as Spiritual Inspiration

$968 | Tuition & Lodging
Dates:
July 18 - 21
Location:
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
Meals Included?:
No
Instructors:
Barbara Coeyman, Ph.D., Sam Archibald, M.E.M.
Audience Type:
Adult
Program Type:
Field Seminars
Program Subject:
Cultural History

Humans have long found spiritual inspiration through Nature. John Muir explained Nature as “places to play in and pray in, places to heal and give strength to your body and soul.” Indeed, your connections with Nature’s abundant life forms and geography deepen your reflection on the interconnectedness of all life. Nature’s abundance is evident everywhere in Yellowstone. In this class, based on a program called “Geography of Grace” developed by the Center for Courage and Renewal, you will draw on Yellowstone’s summertime abundance as jumping-off points for spiritual deepening. Through classroom conversations called “Circles of Trust,” you will engage in stories, poetry, visual arts, music, and more to explore your own spiritual connections with Nature. Then, expanding “Geography of Grace’s” usual second-hand relationship in talking about Nature, you will enjoy first-hand connections with inspirational locations in the Park: thermals, lakes and waterfalls, wildlife and plants, geology and vistas, and much more. In your excursions on location, you will be invited to continue your classroom exploration of Nature as a spiritual expression. Visits to locations in the Park will be both roadside and through easy to moderate walks on trails.

About the Instructor

Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman is an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association, a liberal religion which, inspired by Unitarian naturalists such as Emerson and Thoreau, has long considered Nature an important spiritual source. As a credentialed facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal, founded on the writings of Parker Palmer, she incorporates the natural world into her ministry and will offer new overlays of spiritual experiences to the locations in Yellowstone included in this class. Yellowstone Park is one of her most visceral sources of spiritual renewal.

Sam Archibald is a Lead Field Educator for Yellowstone Forever. After completing his B.A. in history, Sam served with the US Peace Corps, working with an Ecuadorian nonprofit organization to develop outdoor leadership and environmental education programs for youth. Sam has continued to focus on outdoor education, joining the National Park Service as a Crew Leader for the Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps and earning his master’s degree in Environmental Management. Sam is grateful for every day he gets to spend out in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and looks forward to the continual discoveries offered by this wild and wonderful landscape.

We are continually updating and refining our COVID-19 mitigation measures to ensure the health and safety our guests, staff and volunteers. Read our COVID-19 guidelines for program participants.

SUMMER ACTIVITY LEVEL SCALE

  • Be prepared to hike up to 1 mile per day, comfortably, through relatively flat terrain on maintained trails.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 3 miles per day, comfortably, with elevation gains up to 600 feet. Some off-trail hiking possible.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 5 miles per day, comfortably, with occasional elevation gains up to 1000 feet in undulating terrain.
  • Be prepared to hike up to 8 miles per day, at a brisk pace, comfortably, with climbs up to 1500 feet on dirt trails. Loose rocks, uneven footing, and off-trail hiking are possible. Good coordination is recommended.
  • Be prepared for brisk aerobic, destination-oriented hiking up to 12 miles a day. You should be physically conditioned to do these hikes comfortably. Elevation changes up to 2000 feet on dirt trails or off-trail. Loose rock, uneven footing, steep hillside traverses, and stream crossings are possible. Good coordination is required.

WINTER ACTIVITY LEVEL SCALE

  • Leisurely hikes up to 1 mile per day through relatively flat terrain on maintained or snow-packed trails.
  • Hikes on snow-packed trails, or snowshoe or ski trips, up to 3 miles per day with climbs up to 250 feet.
  • Brisk hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing up to 5 miles per day with climbs up to 500 feet, including some trail-breaking in snow.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 8 miles per day with climbs up to 1000 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.
  • Brisk aerobic snowshoeing or skiing up to 12 miles per day with climbs up to 1500 feet; or steep, rugged, off-trail skiing or snowshoeing—including breaking trail in variable snow conditions.