council of all beings teacher retreat

Council of All Beings         Phone toll free: 800 953-EDGE 

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Council of All Beings Professional Learning Summer Institute for Ontario Teachers

Council of All Beings - an experiential education retreat for teachers
with Martha & Todd Lucier at
tba 2005, subscribe at left for email notification when program dates announced.
$397/p (all inclusive - accommodation, meals, retreat program)
Custom writing services

Council of All Beings Connects us all

Many teachers are longing for a deeper connection to nature.   This retreat is an opportunity to connect us with new sources of joy, commitment and inspiration in our professional lives.  In Algonquin Park, participants are introduced to a variety of ways to connect with nature. Using nature as our mirrors, we merge with the wind, water, earth, and fire, learning of their strength; sharing their wisdom. We learn how to communicate with the trees, plants and rocks that we sit upon, coming to know of their ancient ways. Experience what it feels like to be in harmony with ourselves and the natural world.

Council of All Beings Themes

After preliminaries to introduce ourselves to each other and build up trust, we begin with a mourning ritual. It is only to the extent that we will allow ourselves to feel the pain of the Earth, that we can be effective in Her healing.  The workshop serves as a safe place where this pain can be acknowledged, plumbed, released. Often it arises as a deep sense of loss over what is slipping away - ancient forests and clean rivers, birdsong and breathable air. It is appropriate then to mourn - for once at least, to speak our sorrow and, when appropriate, to say goodbye to what is disappearing from our lives. As participants let this happen, in the whole group or in small clusters, there is hopelessness expressed.  The sense of numbness and paralysis evaporates and we prepare for action born out of passionate caring.

Then we move on to exercises which assist the remembering of our rootedness in nature. For instance in the evolutionary remembering, we use guided visualisation and movement/dance to recapitulate our entire evolutionary journey and release the memories locked in our DNA. We invite the experience that every cell in our body is descended in an unbroken chain from the first cell that appeared on the Earth 4 billion years ago, through fish that learned to walk the land, reptiles who's scales turned to fur and became mammals, evolving through to the present.

Council of All Beings Ceremony

We further extend our sense of identity in the Council of All Beings itself where, after finding an ally in the natural world and making a mask to represent that ally, we discover that we can indeed give voice to the voiceless ones. In Council, we lend our voices to the animals and plants and features of the landscape and are shocked at the very different view of the world that emerges from their dialogue. Creative suggestions for human actions emerge and we invoke the powers and knowledge of these other life-forms to empower us in our lives.

The Council also provides tools for practicing our deep ecology in our schools. Alignment with our larger identity clarifies, dignifies and heals our personal conflicts. We see that the pain of the Earth is our own pain and the fate of the Earth is our own fate. The Council of All Beings empowers communities to act on behalf of the Earth and gives us clarity and direction for making a difference.  In the same fashion it clarifies and orders our patterns of consumption, our needs for intimacy and support, our priorities for action.

Canoeing, hiking, and outdoor activities take us into nature for memorable rendezvous with the natural world.

For more information call 800 953-EDGE or

Underpinnings of the Council of All Beings
Experiential Education Retreat:

Participate in this multi-day retreat to fosters a deepening of knowledge associated with sustainable development and the environment across curriculum.  It also leads to enhanced understanding of teaching and learning, a thorough appreciation of students' needs, and the will to change and the capacity to manage change. 

The course provides an experience that has the potential to transform a school environment, its community and its mission and values fostering a commitment to students and student learning, professional knowledge, teaching practice, leadership and community and ongoing professional learning. 

The course evaluation includes reflections of learning completed over time, enabling the participants to apply directly what they have learned to improve teaching and learning, and provide the kind of feedback that has the potential to transform the participant's practice. 

The specific theory-practice connections of this course have the potential to make a direct and/or immediate impact on the contribution to student achievement by  enabling participants to apply directly what they have learned to improve teaching and learning.

Principal Facilitator

Todd Lucier, co-founder of Northern Edge Algonquin and facilitator of Experiential Education Experiences for teachers was an Ontario schoolteacher from 1987-1995.  His experiences teaching at the elementary and secondary levels and as guest lecturer and instructor at the University of Windsor have acquainted him with both the challenges and rewards of teaching.   His presentations inspire teachers to rediscover for themselves a sense of excitement and hope about teaching by tapping into the energy of the soul to inspire themselves and their students. Teachers return to the classroom with the resources to sustain their new-found energy and enthusiasm.   In addition to scheduled programs Todd shares his passion as part of in-service teacher training courses, additional qualification courses, workshops and professional development seminars and keynote addresses for principals and teachers.  Many Ontario High Schools, College and University programs visit Todd's home the Edge, a naturally inspiring beyond-the-walls campus.

Types of Experiential Education Events offered

Experiential Education programs for teachers take many forms and are offered for teachers, principals, school councils, school staffs and teachers-in-training:

- Teacher retreats enhance the foundations of professional practice to enhance student learning according to the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession in Ontario.

- professional development seminars teach about the power behind symbols, ceremony and words.

- full day staff retreats integrate community and personal missions and visions.

- workshop sessions identify and acknowledge the importance of our work

- keynote addresses energize and inspire attention to the things that matter most.

Past Programs:

Ontario Ecotourism Conference: Annually since 2001
Nature-based Learning Experiences

WTO/UN International Year of Ecotourism Conference: August /01 Cuiaba, Brasil

Council of Outdoor Educators: September 2001
Standing Stones: Even a Stone can be a teacher

Almaguin-Nippissing Social Services - South River, ON: Dec 6, 2000 Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

York University, Environmental Literacy Education Conference:
September 30, 2000 Earn as Many Sustainability Points as you can

Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, Soul in Education:
October 21-26, 2000
Symbols, Rituals, and Words: Conversing in the Language of Soul 
A Teachers Rite of Passage: Roundtable and Closing Ritual Facilitator

LOGIC Conference for Gifted Learners, Centre for Excellence, London:
May 5, 2000:

York University, Teacher In-Service Seminar: April 25, 2000
Chicken Soup for the Teachers Soul

Queens University, Seminars for a variety of A. Q. Courses : 
Teaching: Passion and Challenge

York University, Environmental Literacy Conference: 
Crafting a Soulful Teaching Environment

University of Windsor, 
Principals Course (2 part seminar): 1998
Establishing a School Vision