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Halloween Hayride-Philosophy Walk for Youth

October 30, 2022 @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm MDT

Hayride-Walk Details

***UPDATE: We have officially reached maximum capacity for our Halloween Hayride Walk.  There are no more seats available.***
Woo-Hoo! It’s back!! Our October Halloween-Hayride Walk for youth will take place on Sunday, October 30th from 10:30am – 1:30pm on Merlin Nature Preserve. Wear your Halloween costumes & get ready for fun!
Have you heard the tale of the White Wolf of Merlin? On this walk you will…AND you’ll play a role in the story!
Led by community philosophers Mitch Conway and Marisa Diaz-Waian, this walk will involve exploration, thinky-stuff, games, imagination, and all sorts of fun storytelling. Plus…a hayride, hot apple cider, baked goodies & more!

What Else?

Attendance by adults/parents/grandparents/siblings etc. is encouraged/welcome.  FREE ($10 suggested donation per child). Bring a sack lunch and/or snack.  Due to nature preserve logistics, registration and/or confirmation of attendance for our Halloween-Hayride Walk is required.  Space is limited.  

When & Where

This hayride-walk led by philosophers Mitch Conway and Marisa Diaz-Waian will take place on Merlin Nature Preserve on Sunday, October 30th 2022. Wear your costumes!  

Walk Details

Date: Sunday, October 30th
Time: 10:30am – 1:30pm MT (please arrive by 10:15am)
Location: Merlin Nature Preserve (See Directions Below)


Registration Info

RSVP: Scroll down to RSVP
Cost: Free (Suggested Donation $10 per child)
Other:  Wear your costumes, bring comfortable walking shoes, a blanket/warm gear, water & a snack

Directions to Merlin Nature Preserve:  Our group will meeting in the Silver City Saloon parking lot located at 6042 Lincoln Road West.  From there we will take a hayride to Merlin Nature Preserve (approx. 3.5 miles from the SCS parking lot).  To reach the Silver City Saloon parking lot from Helena, take either the 15, N. Montana Ave. or Green Meadow Drive to Lincoln Rd.  Turn left onto Lincoln Road & head west (toward Marysville/Canyon Creek).  Drive roughly 6.5 miles.  Silver City Saloon will be on your right hand side.  Click here for google maps directions.  Please plan on arriving approx. 15 minutes before hike/walk start time. For more information about the meandering, please contact Marisa at #406-439-5788 or e-mail [email protected]. 

Hayride-Walk Guide

Mitch Conway is a Community Philosopher at Merlin CCC and a branch facilitator/educator at Cottonwood ALC.  A student of philosophy, a theater maker, and a teacher who cares ardently about empowering young learners, his work has often been an interweaving of education, story, and inquiry. At the BIRD Theatre in Tottori, Japan, among other productions, he collaborated with Korean group TUIDA to create The Poetry Class about the colonial period and Pacific war; he also directed students at Kei Ai High School in Romeo & Juliet. Using applied theater, he performed with Village Playback Theatre creating improvisations from audience members’ personal stories, and for a three month residency he taught embodied methods of community dialogue through the Colombo Americano in Medellin, Colombia. He has also taught theater to elementary school students at 82nd St. Academics and middle school students at Summer Institute for the Gifted.


For a year, he taught at the English Immersion Program in Umphium Mai refugee camp on the Thailand-Myanmar border using a curriculum based in literature and critical thinking. With the New York Foundling at Queens College, Mitch supervised the academic component of The Dorm Project, a program supporting youth in foster care through college.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Theater from Skidmore College and a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Mitch has recently presented at the North Eastern Philosophy of Education Society (NEPES) and Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) conferences. He also relishes walking in the forest. 

Mitch helps facilitate several of our philosophy in the community programs and helps to design/oversee some of our programs for youth.

Marisa Diaz-Waian is community philosopher, educator and Founder & Director of Merlin CCC.  An NEH scholar, she has an M.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University, serves on the academic advisory board for The Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization, and is a speaker for Humanities Montana.

A generalist by nature, training, and practice, Marisa happily hangs her hat at Merlin Nature Preserve where she lives and serves as its trustee and steward. She has a special interest in ethics, ancient philosophy, existentialism, humor, and “fuzzy” topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology.  (She also really loves wolves, the ocean, art, jazz, basketball, dancing, laughing, reggae, and doing things outside of the box).  

Her work focuses on philosophy in the community, frequently with an interdisciplinary, environmental, and intergenerational bent.  


***UPDATE:  We have officially reached maximum capacity for our Halloween Hayride Walk.  There are no more seats available.***

You will receive a confirmation of your RSVP shortly after you register via e-mail.  As the walk date approaches, we will contact you with any additional relevant information.  If you do NOT receive an e-mail shortly after registering, please contact [email protected].

For those who have not been on our Halloween-Hayride walks before, you can get a feel for our walks and what they’re all about by visiting our walk archive page.  In the meantime, here is a logistical snapshot.

Here is  a general overview of what you can expect on this walk:

  • Free to the Public ($10 suggested donation welcome/appreciated)
  • 3 hours round-trip (hayride for good portion & approx. 1.5 mile total flat surface walking)
  • Outdoor classroom alongside a pond and old homestead 
  • Approx. 17-19 people maximum (due to trailer logistics)
  • Ample opportunity to enjoy nature casually

To get the most out of your experience with us and enjoy a healthy & safe walk, please bring with you on the day of the walk/hike:

  • Wear your costumes (adults too!!)
  • Water & Snack (we will have fresh baked goodies & hot apple cider for everyone)
  • Weather appropriate attire & a blanket
  • A walking stick/Trekking poles
  • Comfortable Shoes/Hiking Boots

Make a Donation Here

Donations help to cover walk guide honorariums, implementation, resource archiving, and more! Because our Halloween walks involve goodie bags and snacks for youth, they also help us provide for those!  You can make a donation by clicking here or on the button above.  For those facing more challenging financial circumstances, we ask that you please try to “pay it forward” with acts of kindness for your neighbors and community. 


October 30, 2022
10:30 am - 1:30 pm MDT
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Merlin Nature Preserve
1 Little Falcon Drive
Marysville, MT 59602 United States
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Marisa Diaz-Waian
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