Nature Retreat Leader Training

Open Dates

  • $1,695.00 – Tuition

Date and Time Details: Nature Retreat Leader Certification Program. This program is for both men and women who want to lead retreats and learn how to do so professionally. Learn the nuts and bolts of running a retreat business. 2023 will hopefully launch based on reduction in covid risks. Check back for dates or get on the notification list by emailing :

Location: Beulah, Colorado

Program Contact: Helene Van Manen.
Phone: 719-671-4181.


Due to Covid-19 all in-person Nature Retreat Leader Trainings are postponed until further notice. Check back for future dates.

And if now is the perfect time for you to begin to build a Nature Leader business, email us directly to design a customized training program to grow your skills and business.  Our virtual training will support you to grow your skills and get started now.




For People Who Offer Nature-based Retreats, Environmental Educators and Green Leaders Offering Programs to Adults and Children.

This comprehensive, in-person training program will grow your skills in leading retreats that focus on our connection to the natural world.

The training covers the many facets of running a successful Retreat Leader business, including the unique considerations and skills associated with leading retreats that emphasize Nature as a key component of the retreat experience.








The Nature Retreat Leader Training includes both a Colorado in person field experience plus will include distance learning to complete the certification. 


Included in this training (and as a requirement in order to receive proficiency for building your business and leadership skills) you will receive:

Become A Retreat Coach Homestudy Course ($429 value) This you will take at your own pace from the comfort of your home location.

2 private coaching sessions with Coach Helene ($300 value) (1 before the course and 1 after) to support you in the development of your retreat offerings (business and personal development)


You are responsible for your transportation to Beulah, lodging and meals for the 2 field study days. Info to come to you upon registration.

Lodging Options:

There are quite a few affordable Airbnb’s in Beulah see here

I recommend Squirrel Creek Guest House

Pueblo, Colorado is 26 miles away and offers hotels/motels.

Total course fee: $1695




Topics covered in this Certification Course include:

The nuts & bolts of running a retreat business: marketing, how to name & price a program, insurance, finding your niche, writing descriptive copy, cancellation policies, managing group dynamics and how to be profitable

Developing yourself as a Green Leader

Creating dynamic Nature retreats based on your passions, locations and expertise.

Environmental ethics based on the work of Aldo Leopold.

Learn “Leave No Trace” principles and how to use them in your programs.

Learn how to talk with your clients about climate change, public lands, and more. Study the work of deep ecologist Joanna Macy.

Fundamentals of selected outdoor skills e.g. animal tracking, plant / tree identification, basic birding

Creating and using a Nature journal to enhance our connection to Nature

Identifying community resources to enhance your program e.g. rafting, rock-climbing, challenge/ropes courses

Risk Management / Safety

Overview of literature and authors pertinent to being a Nature Retreat Leader

The need to connect children to Nature-Creating inter-generational experiences for groups

Nature games and activities

Developing and nurturing your own connection to Nature

The Art of Walking / Sauntering / Hiking

Tools and supplies to enhance your retreat leader skills

How to use mindfullness skills combined with Nature Awareness activities




Your training includes these additional bonuses:

  • Access to private Nature Retreat Leader on-line library with downloadable resources and activities you can use immediately with your groups. The library will be updated with new resources as they become available and will be a valuable support for your leading.
  • A comprehensive cache of resources to go home with (books, field guides, etc)
  • Course reading list to prepare for the training and to extend the learning
  • Logo to put at your website showing your professional status (Certified Nature Retreat Leader)
  • Listing at online “Nature Retreat Leader Directory” which gives you a strong internet presence.


Ursula NRL pano lab tree

The program will be based out of the Pueblo Mountain Park in Beulah Colorado.

The park is a 611-acre ideal outdoor classroom located in Colorado’s Wet Mountains, 70 miles from Colorado Springs. The park, which borders a 17,000-acre roadless area in the San Isabel National Forest, has several miles of hiking trails through conifer forests rich in native flora and fauna. Participants should be prepared to be outside in varying summer weather patterns, as many classes will take place out in Nature. Depending on weather and the moon cycle, evenings may include an outdoor experience.



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Click the box to see what others Nature Retreat Leaders are up to.


CERTIFIED RETREAT LEADER logo 225X225The Certified Nature Retreat Leader Designation is awarded by the premier training company Retreat Coaches, which began in 2003.

Up until 2014, the certification program was exclusively designed for women and over 400 women have received certification to date. Retreat Coaches is now proud to offer this comprehensive training for both women and men that combines business with Nature leadership training, all based on the coaching competencies as outlined by the International Coaching Federation.

This competency-based training provides Retreat Leaders a strong skill-set as a foundation for leading Nature Retreats. It includes gaining confidence in how to bring coaching conversations and facilitating group process into your leading style. Upon completion of the in-person training, you will be designated as a Certified Nature Retreat Leader, which can be used in your marketing and advertising.


Co-led by two respected and experienced leaders in the field of environmental education and leadership training:


helene van manenHelene Van Manen is the Founder and Director of Training at and holds a Master Certified Coach degree from the International Coaching Federation. On the faculty at Coach University, Helene is a seasoned teacher that designs and trains leaders to create retreats that are successful and profitable. Specializing in mentoring new coaches, Helene Van Manen has trained hundreds of students to lead retreats, workshops, trainings and other programs. Drawing upon her expertise as a Business Coach, Helene will give you direct support through coaching on developing your strengths in both your business and leadership during class time. Coach Helene leads retreats for leaders, professional women, self care retreats, staff and organization retreats. Helene brings her love of music and poetry to her work and leading style and empowers others to listen deeply to their creative selves. CoachHelene




dave van manen

Dave Van Manen (Ranger Dave) was the Founder and long-time Executive Director of the not-for-profit Mountain Park Environmental Center which he began in 1998. He has a passion for developing special projects and programs, and designed and launched the Earthkeeper Nature School in 2018. Ranger Dave has been working in the field of education, with both children and adults, for over forty years. His background includes being a nationally known children’s musician, performer, and recording artist with a specialty in environmental music and storytelling. He is the author of the field guide Plants of Pueblo Mountain Park. Dave is a recipient of the Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Dave has been a resident of the town of Beulah for 40+ years, where he and Helene raised their two children.  He is an avid hiker, has a passion for public lands and is a climate change activist. Together with Helene, he trains men and women to lead Nature Retreats and makes a difference in the world by helping people find ways to contribute to earthkeeping. Along with training Nature Leaders, Dave’s work today includes consulting in the field of Green Leadership along with Helene. Listen to his music and learn more at


Together Dave and Helene also offer GREEN COUPLE RETREATS – designed to support couples to grow healthy relationships based on earth-centered values. read more here.  It’s an example of the many possibilities you can create with your love of Nature and wish to inspire others.

dan“I love nature and grew up outside knowing a lot about the wildlife, trees and the natural places around me. Now I am excited to lead retreats and introduce people to the outdoors through my retreat business.

The Nature Retreat Leader Training put it all together for me; both with the business framework and environmental activities.

I am ready to go back home and make it happen. The training met all my expectations plus the take home resources were fabulous!” ~Daniel Watson – Rugged Hearts Retreats, Texas



walk by lake

“No matter how he may think himself accomplished, when he sets out to learn a new language, science or the bicycle, he has entered a new realm as truly as if he were a child newly born into the world.” — Frances Willard