Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

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USA, Illinois – La Salle Manor Retreat Center

May 20 - May 24


Guide Training Immersion 4 days

USA, Illinois – La Salle Manor Retreat Center
May 20, 2024 to May 24, 2024 | Enrollment Open

An opportunity to connect with other guides from other cohorts and learn from the shared experiences.

If you have completed at least module 4 and submitted the corresponding assignments, of the six-month remote Forest Therapy Guide Training you’re eligible to apply. Completion of this immersion and the six-month training fulfills the requirements for full Certification. When space is available, ANFT-trained guides who have completed training in any past cohort can also participate. Please note that priority goes to students who need to take the immersion to get fully certified. Therefore, when you apply, you’ll be put on a waitlist until three weeks before the start of the immersion.

4 day in-person gathering, with 1 or 2 trainers, and people from different cohorts where you will have the opportunity to apply what you learned, experience in-person forest therapy walks and simply connect and share experiences and stories with other guides.

In this immersion, you will:

  • Get a hands on experience of what you learned
  • Get to know trainers personally
  • Get to know other guides and connect
  • Learn from shared experiences with other guides
  • Deepen into the practice
  • Get the opportunity to ask specific questions that might come up

Once you complete this four-day immersion, your certification will be moved from provisional to permanent. You have  two years after you complete the six month core training course to complete an immersion. It will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world.

About the Venue

La Salle Manor Retreat Center
12480 Galena Road Plano

La Salle Manor is a picturesque log cabin set among 47 acres of beautiful woodland in rural Plano, Illinois. The beautiful lodge with its stone fireplaces and cozy cabin feel, offers a variety of meeting and gathering rooms. (including a game room) Participants can follow paths through prairie, into the woods, around Lake Phillip, and along Big Rock Creek. There is a labyrinth, and canoes or kayaks to use on the lake. A fire pit is available near the lake. There is also a sand volleyball court, tennis courts, basketball court, and horseshoe pits.


All participants must stay on-site, no offsite lodging possible.

Private, dorm style room with sink (shared bathrooms) $680

Each attendee will have their own simply furnished, dorm style room with a sink, extra-long twin bed, desk, dresser, and fan. Bed linens and towels are provided. Shared communal restrooms and showers (with multiple single stall bathrooms and showers) are on each floor on the dorm building.


ALL meals starting with dinner on Monday and ending with lunch on Friday are included. Special dietary restrictions can be accommodated.


To Chicago: There are two airports, Midway (MDW) and O’Hare (ORD). Both are equal distance from the retreat, approximately an one hour drive. O’Hare (ORD) is larger and has more flights.

Participants can use the ride-sharing sheet to coordinate carpooling if they wish. Lyft or Uber 50-60 minutes is also an option.

Schedule Details


Check-in is between 5-6pm on Monday, May 20th, 2024. Dinner is at 6pm. Programming begins with an Orientation circle on Monday evening at 7 pm.


Programming ends by 1pm on Friday, May 24th, 2024. If you are booking flights, please make sure your departing flight leaves no earlier than 4pm to give yourself enough time to commute to airport without leaving the program early.

General Notes

Wifi is not strong in the dorm sleeping area, but strong and stable throughout the lodge.

46 days or more prior to the start of the immersion, you may request a full refund of your accommodations and meals minus a $50 administrative fee
45 days or less prior to the start of the immersion, refunds are no longer possible unless your rooming reservation is refilled, in which case you may request a refund minus a $100 administrative fee

COVID Policy
Participants will need to have a negative COVID test before entering the venue premises, within 24 hours of the start of the event. This can be an at-home-test and needs to be sent to the trainers. The training team will be in touch the month before the immersion to let you know what the specific COVID protocol will be during the immersion. The policy will likely mirror whatever the local policy is at the time of the event. Much of the immersion will take place outside and everyone will have the option to wear a mask whenever they wish to do so. Please be in touch directly with the trainers for this immersion if you have any additional questions.

Application for Immersion


The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495. Wait to pay until you are ready to register for a specific immersion. You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.

Immersion tuition does not include transportation, lodging or camping fees and food. These expenses are separate from the program costs for the four-day immersion and are the responsibility of the trainee.

IMPORTANT: Please wait until you receive enrollment confirmation before booking travel and lodging.

Tuition figures are current as of January 1 2021 and are subject to change.


Nadine Mazzola is a guide, trainer, mentor with ANFT and founder of New England Nature and Forest Therapy Consulting based in Acton, MA. She also wrote the book “Forest Bathing with Your Dog”, which won a bronze medal in the “Best First Book – Non-Fiction” category from the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The book combines the practice of forest therapy with our practice of walking our dogs and elevates the depth of both. Nadine has been guiding forest therapy walks since 2015. She has been featured on PBS Windows to the Wild, ABC’sChronicle and in the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. Nadine has a business and marketing background and was formerly a world professional pocket billiards player competing on the Women’s Professional Billiard Tour. Also, an artist, she facilitates expressive arts classes often incorporating elements of forest therapy throughout.



Tam Willey (they/them) is a certified forest therapy guide, trainer and mentor with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and founder of Toadstool Walks, a guiding practice based in Boston, Massachusetts. Tam trained with ANFT in 2017 as part of cohort 15 and began mentoring and training new guides shortly after. Tam is co-founder of Acorn Programs, a business and practice development program for guides seeking support in bridging the gap from training to building a guiding practice. Tam has been self-employed since 2005 and brings over 15 years of experience with marketing, promotion, website management, administrative organization, content creation, bookkeeping, tax-filing, and overall personal professionalism. Tam’s guiding practice is informed by their background as a local handy person, children’s woodworking instructor, custodian, skateboarder, musician, artist, mentor, and their queer and gender expansive lived experience, serving and uplifting LGBTQ Folks through BAGLY, The Theater Offensive’s True Colors, Black and Pink, and The Venture Out Project. Tam has guided forest therapy in collaboration with The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Mass Audubon, Peabody Essex Museum, Speak For The Trees, Boston Harbor Now and more.

Certification Pathway

6-month remote training
You will start with a 6-month remote training, covering the content on live calls with the support of your trainers, fellow students, a very user friendly learning platform, many self exploration and nature connection activities that are done outside. After completing this training you get a provisional certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. To view the available trainings scroll down.

4-day in-person immersion
After completing module 4 you can apply to attend a 4-day in-person immersion, for hands on forest therapy guiding experience with trainers and fellow students. You have two years time to complete this step. To view the available immersions click here.

Get your certification
After completing the 6-month remote training and the 4-day in- person immersion, you will receive your permanent certification as an ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guide and be part of the largest Forest Therapy Guide Community Worldwide. Click here to see the guide’s map.


Application for Immersion

Additional Questions?  Check our FAQ section

Get Started


May 20
May 24
Event Category:


La Salle Manor Retreat Center
12480 Galena Road Plano
Plano, IL 60545 United States
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