Philosophy Workshops & Outings

Our philosophy workshops are designed to encourage rigorous philosophical thinking and exploration.

No background or prior experience in philosophy necessary. All ages welcome.

2021 Fall & Winter Schedule

Community Workshop: "The Art of Meaningful Conversation"

Saturday, September 18th
2pm-3:15pm MT
w/ Montana Poet Laureate Lowell Jaeger
101 Reeder’s Alley (Caretaker’s Lawn)
~ Please bring your own low-profile camping chair ~

**We will will have fold out chairs on-site for anyone who would prefer to use those**

(A Humanities Montana Sponsored Gathering)

Visit our Merlin Workshop Archive page to access resources & photos from our previous workshops. 

Philosophy Summer Camp

A collaborative day camp venture with Cottonwood Agile Learning Center and Helena community youth. 

This week-long nature-based philosophy summer camp is designed to help youth experience the joy of thinking together outdoors & the power, beauty, and importance of perspectival shifts to critical, creative thinking and community. 

With nature as our guide, we’ll explore three different kinds of shifts, which can be thought of in terms of micromeso, and macro thinking and translate these into ways of coming together as a community:

  • micro – how we relate with and understand ourselves, and our ideas and beliefs, within our local, social, and ecological community;
  • meso – how we relate with and understand one another in our local, social, and ecological community
  • macro – how we relate with and understand others beyond our local, social, and ecological  community

Each of these relationships are intertwined & will be explored in ways that foster and facilitate philosophical reflection, application, and meaningful conversation.  

Our Camp Leaders

Our daily outdoors activities will be structured to help youth:

  • experience philosophical ideas and evaluate them through exploration & experience
  • remember, carry and apply philosophical ideas in their daily lives
  • express and address the questions they hold
  • develop philosophical approaches to their lives
  • explore how philosophical ideas might help them live better lives & make intentional, considered choices
  • practice inquiring within a community
  • think more expansively, broaden perspectives and shift points of view
  • focus attention in unfamiliar and intentional ways
  • understand their relationships to other people and nature
  • explore how philosophical ideas might help them create dialogic, multi-vocal experiences
  • cultivate, engage, and support community

These design principles are in line with our more general organizational goals which aim to help people of all ages discover and explore the wonder and joy of philosophy, the value (and fun) of doing philosophy together & the transformative power of philosophy to enrich lives and strengthen our communities and environment.

They are also aligned with Cottonwood’s organizational goals of supporting the growth of community members in a manner that respects each individual’s autonomy and of letting participant’s natural curiosity guide their activities and engagement with the world. 

Geared for youth ranging in age from 10-17 years old, Thinking in the Wild summer camp is open to the community.  Register through CottonwoodLimited partial and full scholarships will be offered through Merlin for those in need.

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