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Learn how Sharing Nature activities differ from traditional outdoor programmes such as adventure activities, nature walks, survival training, outward bound learning, and finally, sustainability and conservation programmes.


Sharing Nature is a distinctly unique outdoor programme that focuses on feelings, it views Nature as alive and fosters in participants a sense of belonging to Nature. Traditional programmes view Nature as a separate object from the participant, one in which to seek thrill, observe, appreciate, or study. These experiences often give them a sense of domination of Nature and sometimes fear, but always instill a feeling of separation


All outdoor activities contribute towards the development of the individuals engaging in them. However, if we ask what kind of relationship do they foster with Nature the answer that we receive might surprise us.

Adventure activities

What are they?

White water rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, biking and trekking are some of the most common adventure activities.  They emphasise extreme sensory stimulation and their aim is to provide recreation and develop life skills by making participants overcome challenges in Nature.

How do they view Nature?

Adventure activities are like joyrides in a theme park, Nature here only serves as a venue for the ride or challenge. When one tackles the rapids or conquers the summit, there is a sense of accomplishment. In the excitement participants ignore that what has been “tackled” or “conquered” is mother Nature. Are we teaching children that dominating Nature is a lot of fun?

Our approach

Sharing Nature activities treat Nature as a living entity. In the ‘interview’ activity, for example, participants act as if a rock or the wind are alive and interview ‘them’ on what it’s like to be a rock or the wind. They then write down the answers that first come to their mind. Thus the question of expressing dominion over another living being does not arise. Such a feeling would be completely alien to their imagination.


“Sensitiveness to life is the highest product of education.”

– Liberty Hyde Bailey, co-founder, nature study movement


Walks and safaris

What are they?

Nature walks and safaris can be wonderful when conducted at the right place, at the right time, with the right guide. A common way of conducting them is the “walk-stop-talk” method. Walks and safaris emphasise observation and their purpose is appreciation of Nature.

How do they view Nature?

Observation being the primary activity, it is natural that the observer would consider herself separate from the observed. But Nature is an inherent part of humans as it fills our lungs as air and sustains us as food and water. It is this mistaken notion of separation that allows us to treat Nature for exploitation. Do these activities unintentionally enforce the idea of separation?

Our approach

Sharing Nature activities involve personal engagement with Nature. For example, when a participant stands firmly on ground and pretends to become a tree while imagining her roots going deep down and branches spreading out towards the sky, she is not observing the tree but is herself the tree.

Joseph Cornell leads a Sharing Nature workshop in Japan

Survival training

What is it?

Epitomised by Bear Grylls on National Geographic, survival training is fast emerging as a popular outdoor activity in India. It involves learning to understand and estimate the level of risk in wilderness conditions and developing skills to counter it. The purpose of such training is to train participants to be able to survive in the wild, if conditions demand.

How does it view Nature?

When an activity require us to view Nature as menacing, the value that we inadvertently associate with it is fear.  If a parent decides to send the child for survival training they must ask themselves whether it is desirable to instill fear in the child. A fear of the very thing that sustains us?

Our approach

In Sharing Nature training, we consider Nature to be a friendly place in which one can sense a benevolent presence around oneself. “When you approach Nature as a friend, you will witness miracles”, says Atulya Bingham, a single woman who, for several years, lived alone in a mud hut on a mountain adjoining a forest without any protection. “What you give is what you get with nature… [If] you enter a territory and become the savage hunter, then you will at some point become the hunted,” says Atulya.

Outward bound learning

What is it?

Outward bound or outbound learning is learning that takes place outdoors. It is usually organised in a natural environment involving adventure activities, walks, rides, crafts, ecosystem study, or it could be at historical places or involve farming. Large programmes involve a combination of all the above. It emphasises linking experience with learning. Its intended outcome is development of life skills, leadership skills, and achieving curriculum or training objectives.

How does it view Nature?

In ecosystem studies Nature is a topic to be studied and analysed, hardly different from an inanimate object – such as, a machine, or components of a system – that might be studied the same way.

Our approach

Sharing Nature focuses on emotions or feelings of the participant. All tasks or challenges in our games are designed to help adults and children deepen their relationship with Nature through unique ways of emotionally connecting with Nature. “If you want to motivate people, first touch their hearts, because it is their feelings that will inspire their thoughts and behavior,” said legendary naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

Sustainability and conservation programmes

What are they?

Conservation programmes aim at creating awareness about the need to conserve specific species of wildlife or biodiversity habitat. Sustainability programmes aim at educating participants about climate change, energy consumption, resource depletion, water, and agriculture. They range widely in their focus and approach. They could invlove long talks, presentations and discussions on these topics or hands-on activities related to “solutions”.

How do they view Nature?

Environmentalism was not always removed from spirituality. Today however, Nature is widely defined merely as a resource, one that is rapidly depleting. Conservationists promote drastic changes in consumption and policy in order to conserve Nature and to avoid harm to present and future generations, harm that could possibly be catastrophic to all existence. They are some of the most passionate individuals who are sincerely concerned about Nature. However, the change they seek and their approach towards it often leaves participants with a sense of alarm, feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, helplessness, and creates frightful images of future.

Our approach

At Sharing Nature we too care deeply about how we treat Nature. However, we view it as reflective of an affliction that ails humanity and consequently feel greater need to heal ourselves. Japanese conservationist Shōzō Tanaka once said, “The care of rivers is, not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.” While most proponents of conservation and sustainability call for human intervention into an external environment; in our workshops we emphasise looking inward and promote a personal connection with Nature. We focus on the universal purpose of experiencing joy through contemplation of Nature. We feel no need to spark fear and alarm into people’s hearts in order to change them. Rather we inspire them to develop a new deeper relationship with Nature though joyous experiences. This provides healing and also changes something within them by cultivating higher consciousness feelings of love, stewardship, and care for Nature.


“Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness.”

– Fritjof Capra, physicist, systems theorist and author of The Tao of Physics


In philosophy, Sharing Nature founder Joseph Cornell, its international director Greg Traymar, both of who live in a spiritual cooperative community, as well as the India coordinators subscribe to a world-view with a spiritual or metaphysical underpinning of reality. We believe that consciousness influences everything in the physical universe. We do not subscribe to scientific materialism (the notion that our world is merely physical and that reality is only something that can be scientifically measured and empirically tested). At the same time we do not feel the need to abandon science. In fact, ecological concepts are explored in some of our activities kinaesthetically.


Sharing Nature is Adaptable to Any Learning Environment

Unlike other outdoor programmes, such as, adventure camps, Sharing Nature activities can be repeated in a park, school ground or any outdoor environment. Our workshops will train participants in a teaching method that can be adapted to teach any subject using experiential learning even indoor in the classroom. It is essentially a sequence of activities discovered by Sharing Nature founder Joseph Cornell that accelerates flow of inspiration.

This highly effective outdoor learning strategy called Flow Learning™, was featured by the U.S. National Park Service as one of five recommended learning theories, along with the work of Maria Montessori, Howard Gardner, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Flow Learning is described in Deep Nature Play, Joseph Cornell’s new book, in greater detail.


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