Sisters of the Forest and Mama Bear Circle

The Program

Sisters of the Forest is a year-long journey of nature-based communal learning and exploration for girl identified people ages 8-13. It is designed to facilitate wandering and exploration of inner and outer landscapes, and to deepen our connection to ourselves, each other, and the land within the container of a community.

The core routines of this program include:

  • Gathering in circles
  • Sharing observations, reflections, and gratitude
  • Adventuring in and around the woods, meadows, and bodies of water
  • Solo sit spots
  • Journaling
  • Fire building
  • Singing
  • Crafting
  • Cooking
  • …and other wilderness skills!

Our activities also include a wide variety of team-building games, which require girls to flex their decision-making muscles, voice their ideas, and cultivate a plethora of leadership capacities, including awareness and sensory acuteness, self-care and care of others, quiet mind and patience, cooperation, empathy and embracing differences, puzzle solving, detecting patterns and tracking changes, and healthy assertiveness. 

This structure provides an environment where girls are able to express their full selves, share their gifts and be appreciated by a group of peers, mentors, and mothers who help them develop healthy, long standing, and continually growing relationships with one another.

The Mama Bear Circle is a gathering of mothers, aunties, and grandmothers that meets from 4pm-6pm on the same day, near the drop off/pick up spot for the sister’s program. We share in the connection with the land, enjoy each other’s company, and welcome the young women and their stories back from their adventures.   

Sisters of the Forest (previously known as Women of the Forest) began in 2003. Our graduates are all over the world doing wonderful things and many of them have kept in touch with friends that they made in this program.  (and will be guest mentors during the program, throughout the year!) Simone and Julie are so excited to continue this Earth Arts Girls Program this year, and excited to welcome Sophia Hutnik to the team!


We will meet in a variety of locations within 20 minutes from downtown Ithaca. We will also have a home base at Frosty Hollow in Slaterville Springs where we’ll meet for overnights, in intolerable weather and during hunting season.

2021 Dates

The following Saturdays, 12pm-6pm:

  • September 18
  • October 15-16 (overnight)
  • November 13
  • December 18
  • January 8
  • February 12
  • March 19
  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 3-4 (overnight)

Overnights run Friday evening to Saturday morning.

Program Fee

The package: 10 sessions with 2 overnights
Early Bird price (before August 5): $550
Registrations postmarked after August 5: $575-$625 (sliding scale)

The Mama Bear program: Free if daughter is in program, otherwise $25/session.

Payment plans available, just ask.
Sign up with a sibling or a friend and each qualifies for 10% discount.

Payments made to paypal, is ideal, or send check to:
Earth Arts, PO Box 596, Ithaca, NY 14851

Note: Any payment made above the minimum payment goes directly into our scholarship fund.

A Note about COVID-19

This program will be limited to 12 children, with 2 instructors, and will follow the current NYS COVID guidelines.


Lead Mentors will be Simone Lackey and Julie Nichols Kulik. Click here to learn more about Simone and Julie. A variety of other mentors will be joining us including alumni girls and Mama Bears.


It was a chance to create and shape a community for ourselves that valued each other and the world around us in ways that can be hard to find out in the world.