Mentor Program at Wiston Lodge – Scotland – SEP 2018

Hello My Friends,

For the first time in the 12 annual Scotland Playshop programs that we have held at the old Wiston Hunting Lodge in Scotland, we are here in the late summer instead of the late fall. The weather is warmer with more sunny days, less misty days. The woods that surround us in the Clyde Valley are painted a thousand different colors of green. With the only city near us being the little village of Bigger, there is no light to obscure the night sky, and the bright blue day sky turns into a starry light show at night.

We did have a tremendous windy rain storm come through yesterday. A falling tree knocked down a power line, and we spent the evening late-night session in a wonderfully mysterious candle lit drum circle. Oh, what fun we had. The listening was deeper and the volume lower with the participants experiment in how to facilitate a drum circle in low light. The rhythms played were more like songs than grooves. I think that we will instigate a “Lights Out” candlelit late night at every future 6-day playshop.

The group Spirit has arrived early this year, and it is taking us on another great adventure at the Wiston Lodge.

With our Scotland Mentor and Basic Playshop once again sold out for the 12th time, our attendees have come from all over the world… 14 countries to be exact… Dubai, Greece, Bulgaria, Check Republic, Australia, Portugal, Holland, America, UK (Scotland - England - Northern Ireland), Germany, Italy, and Spain.

The Playshop participants just keep coming back for more, so this particular Scotland Playshop has 25 first time basics and 25 returnee VMC graduate Challenge people. Among our Challenge group is 11 world class Mentor trainers who have accumulated years of DC and community building experience and facilitation knowledge. Jim Boneau is, as usual, guiding the Mentors on a leadership-Elder in Training experience that will not only improve and enhance the communities that they will go back to, but is having a powerfully positive effect on the basic attendees in this particular Playshop.

Jim and I have been working on, and fine-tuning, our co-facilitation/training skills during the many 10-day Mentor and 6-day Basic Playshop events that we have done over the 20 years that we have been working together. But for the first time in VMC’s history, whenever we do a Mentor + 6-Day Playshop together, we now have the opportunity to co-train programs with members our 16 VMC-Certified Global Trainers team that are scattered around the world in 11 countries. At this particular Playshop, we have a solid team of four trainers: Jim Boneau, Paul Dear, Dr. Jane Bentley and myself. This lightens up my load considerably and makes the training more fun for everyone involved. Jim - Dr. Jane - Paul and I are having a ball, along with everyone else.

Every Playshop we do is an experiment on how to present drum circle facilitation technology and concepts most effectively within the limited time that we have. As Jim and I have fine-tuned this process, we have been able to make more room for more experiential activities that give our attendees over 60 hours of drum circle experience and practice. Now with four trainers facilitating the Scotland Playshop instead of just one, we have created even more time for Free Form Jump Time experimentation and Rhythmical Alchemy drum circle games. It feels like a global family reunion of DCFacilitators gathering together to network and learn from each other, rather than just attending a training.

I’m loving it, and we are only halfway through... More to come...

Share your Spirit   Arthur