First Nature Notes
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Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
We’ve launched! We are really excited to share that we have started hosting in-person programs at First Nature Ranch. Our first event was the hosting of Harmony’s Conservation Café in April, for which we had Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge as our speaker, with a couple of animal ambassadors, including a young native Gopher Tortoise and a Green Iguana, an invasive species. It was well-attended and well-received and yes, we spaced out to social distance.
On May 10 we launched our Horseplay for Leaders introductory program, designed for newer leaders. In this program we partner with the horses to teach about some core leadership concepts and more specifically about communication and how to overcome barriers to good communication. We will offer this program again soon and are currently developing a more advanced version of the program that focuses on emotional intelligence for leaders.
Our PASOS (Parents and Spouses of Suicide) Grief Support Group continues to be scheduled for the first and third Wednesday of each month via Zoom. Perhaps in June or July, we can welcome participants to the ranch for meetings, though we may continue our virtual meetings as they can serve people all over the country, not just in Central Florida. If you know someone who has been struggling as a parent or spouse of someone who took their own life, please pass along this information to them: https://www.firstnaturefoundation.org/pasos-parents-and-spouses-of-suicid
Two additional programs have been scheduled and are coming up soon:
Conflict as a Path to Collaboration scheduled for Saturday, June 19 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, it’s about how to recognize the deeper patterns at play so you can get unstuck from a painful situation, play with techniques to immediately defuse or reduce conflict when it begins, and learn methods to stay more centered and grounded so there is less to regret when you get caught in a conflict situation. You’ll also get tips to shift your perspective and recognize the benefit of conflict for better relationships and more productive, happier outcomes at home and at work.
Revealing Your Strengths…with Horses! is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. The objectives of this program are to increase your internal voice of wisdom and creativity while defanging your inner critic, become more skilled at recognizing and using your strengths in everyday situations, appreciate the diversity and value of yours and others’ strengths for better outcomes at home and work. You’ll find out how to recognize the deeper forces at work behind stress and overwhelm, and how your strengths both feed them and resolve them. You’ll also have fun with horses and with each other!
We are in the process of scheduling our Leading for Change for Teens program, this one for teen girls aged 15 – 17 in the Harmony area. The program is designed to help these young women develop their self-leadership and shared-leadership skills so they can experience more satisfaction, success, and developmental growth as they navigate toward adulthood. We have a limit of 8 spots. Ask us for more information if you’re interested in learning more.
Our new horses, Max and Buster, continue to come along in their journey of becoming trusted and well-mannered members of our herd. We have had our initial rides on them and continue to improve their trust and respect, as well as their ground skills. We had a trust setback with both horses after an experience with an impatient farrier but have worked to regain the trust that got damaged, and they are coming along very well.
We’re still offering private tours of the ranch, and if you haven’t been here in a while, you may want to see what’s new and improved. Art is now hung (on a picture rail!) in the gallery, the herb and flower gardens are thriving, and our triangle garden plants are finally recovering well from last winter’s frosts. Some additional fencing has been installed, too.
Our model is to work with “experts” who consult with or coach or provide services to specific audiences (for example to veterans or autistic folks or executives in the healthcare industry) who are excited to bring these leadership skill-building opportunities with horses and nature to their clients. Together, we would collaborate on designing and delivering programs for their particular audiences. Come see what the facility has to offer in case there is any collaboration potential. Or maybe you know any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two or hold an event there, especially now that we are starting to actually schedule them. We are willing to consider hosting events at the ranch, as long as there is alignment with our mission. I’d be happy to give you a private, individual, socially distanced tours. Please contact me at kerul@firstnaturefoundation or instant message me on Facebook to set up a time.
Take care and stay healthy!
Kerul and crew