As the practice of Forest Therapy Grows, more trainers are needed. We are looking for people who have strong leadership qualities, who have a mastery of the Forest Therapy Guide framework as it is taught by the Association, and who have a deep love of the practice. We anticipate adding four to eight new trainers per year. The steps on the trainer's path include:
- Complete the training and practicum, earning your certification
- Demonstrate a love of the practice by organizing and guiding Forest Therapy walks for various groups and settings
- Apply to become a trainer (contact staff). If invited:
- Assist at a training; this is not a training role, but is a repetition of the training curriculum with participation in planning and meetings of the training team. Assistant tasks are assigned; for example, an assistant may manage the camp kitchen.
- Serve as mentor to several Guides-in-Training during their practicums, and participate with the mentoring team.
- Apprentice at a training: this is a co-trainer experience with a senior guide who serves as mentor to the apprentice, giving feedback and either recommending the candidate advance to Trainer status, or suggesting additional steps to take.
- Trainers operate as independent contractors who conduct trainings organized and approved by the Association, using the Association's curriculum and instructional methods.
Organizing a Chapter
As the Association grows new chapters are beginning to appear in places around the world. Chapters are defined in part by specific geographic regions in which they work to promote the practice of Forest Therapy. Part of the work of each chapter is to find ways to adapt the Association's training model and Forest Therapy Guide practice to the local cultures in which the chapter works, while also maintaining fidelity to the Association's standards. Chapter heads participate in an advisory role to help guide the ongoing development of the Association and the practice of Forest Therapy. General guidelines for forming a chapter:
- Anyone who has completed their practicum and been certified may apply to begin a provisional chapter in their region, provided one does not already exist. All guides are encouraged to affiliate with local chapters when they do exist.
- To move beyond provisional status, the chapter must include someone who has completed the trainer's path in a leadership role, and have at least four members within its geographic boundaries.
- The Association has developed detailed policies governing the operation of chapters. Becoming a chapter is a legal agreement with terms and conditions that form the Chapter Charter document. More information about chapter policies is provided early in the chapter development process.