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Campfire Philosophy Outing/Field Seminar Program in Yellowstone — “Where the Wild Things Are: An Exploration of Our Relationship with the Wild”

August 24 - August 28

Poet Gary Synder once wrote in his book The Practice of the Wild, “Wilderness may temporarily dwindle, but wildness won’t go away.”

What does this mean?  What is it to be wild?  And where do we fit into all of this? 

This program is a playful invitation to think deeply about these and related questions through the lens of literature, philosophy, and science.  Through a combination of hikes and field excursions, conversations, hands-on activities, and reflection, we’ll spend our days exploring our relationship with the wild by tuning in, observing, and experiencing the wildness and beauty of Lamar Valley in conjunction with ideas like the sublime and beauty, a sense of place, the wisdom of nature, wonder, awe, and our duties to the natural world. 

Our evenings will be spent relaxing around a campfire sharing and reflecting on our adventures together. 

At its core, this program is an opportunity for inspiration, growth, and cultivation and is structured in ways that allow you time to follow your curiosities, broaden your perspectives and understanding, and deepen your connection to and with the wild.

Course Summary

This thought-provoking and interactive Yellowstone Forever Institute field seminar program & Merlin campfire philosophy outing explores our relationship with the wild through the lens of literature, philosophy & science. 

Led by Marisa Diaz-Waian & Thomas Baumeister, the 4-day program runs from August 24th – 28th 2020 and includes lodging at Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus in Yellowstone National Park

Every morning will begin with an “attuning the senses walk,” followed by a classroom (or outdoors) discussion and activities.  Afternoons will involve hikes in Lamar Valley, with ample time for exploration, play, and wildlife watching.  At the close of each day (after dinner), optional campfire socials will be offered for those who would like to relax, reflect, and share. 

More details & registration information (via Yellowstone Forever Institute) coming soon.

About Lamar Buffalo Ranch

“The Lamar Buffalo Ranch occupies a significant place in the history of American wildlife conservation and management. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.”

Today it is used by Expedition Yellowstone and Yellowstone Forever Institute as a basecamp for their educational field classes and seminars.  A secluded off-grid ranch that runs on solar power, the Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus offers comfortable lodging in the heart of Lamar Valley.  The unique campus features log cabins, a community kitchen,  bathrooms, a heated bathhouse with private showers, bunkhouse, and ample outdoor space to roam, relax, and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Learn more here!


Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus (Yellowstone National Park)
NE Entrance Road
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 United States


Marisa Diaz-Waian
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