Teen Shomrim Program

Check back this summer for information about our 2017–2018 Shomrim Program



Wilderness Torah is overjoyed to begin the second season of our Teen Shomrim (guardian) program. In response to our growing number of B’naiture graduates and the successful teen programs run at our land-based festivals, we have a series of offerings for our 2016-2017 season!

Teens play a unique role in the village: they are intermediaries between youth and adults. They are still in touch with the magic of childhood, and are beginning to step into responsibility for the mizvot (Jewish teachings on how to live responsibly and compassionately). Wilderness Torah honors them as Shomrim because of their unique ability to relate to, connect with, and tend to the village and its many inhabitants.

Our offerings reflect this bridge-building role. Some of them ask the teens to step up as mentors and fill support roles for our programs (such as our B’hootz and B’naiture Teen Apprentice Mentors) and others invite teens to continue on as participants in programs held by our adult mentors, such as our Shomrim Gatherings and festival teen programs.

While most of our Teen Shomrim programs are geared towards youth who have completed B’naiture, our teen programs at Sukkot on the Farm and Passover in the Desert are open to all.

For clarification on eligibility for various options, or to discuss any of this further, please contact us.

Special Programs

Festival Teen Programs

These programs, offered at Sukkot on the Farm and Passover in the Desert, are eligible to teens grade 6+.

Sample programming:

  • Make a special teen pilgrimage away from the village during an all-day hike at Sukkot on the Farm
  • Camp in a desert oasis at Passover in the Desert
  • L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation): apprentice with a village leader and pair up with an elder at Sukkot on the Farm
  • Learn new crafts and practice favorite skills, from basketry to carving to fire building
  • Participate in our Sukkot on the Farm Harvest fair and/or make matzah over a fire at Passover in the Desert

Shomrim Gatherings for B’naiture Grads

Three Wednesday evenings are held throughout the year to come together, reconnect, work on skills, play games, tend fires. Experience the best of the best of B’naiture with new challenges and skills aimed at cultivating shomrim (guardians) committed to living in connection with themselves, this earth, and Jewish tradition and community.

This year’s gatherings will be November 15, January 25, and March 29, 5–8 PM in Berkeley.

B’hootz Teen Apprentice Mentor

Our teen Shomrim are invited to begin their journeys as mentors through an apprenticeship with our B’hootz program. Each teen apprentice is paired with an experienced adult mentor and helps lead a group of kids grades K–5.

This marks an exciting transition, and involves a significant time commitment spanning the school year. Teen apprentices attend our staff trainings, special teen meetings weekend, and two trainings throughout the year, in addition to each day of B’hootz.

As an apprentice mentor for B’hootz, you are given the opportunity to build upon the skills and knowledge you gained in B’naiture. This happens through mentorship from the B’hootz staff and Youth Programs Manager and experience serving as a mentor to B’hootz kids.

Interested teens are asked to fill out a short application and come in for an interview, as spaces are limited. Applications are closed for the 2016-2017 season. If you are interested in future opportunities, please contact us.

B’naiture Shomer

Please read the Youth Programs Refund policy.

B’naiture Shomrim: Spring Camping Trip

B’naiture graduates are invited as Shomrim on our B’naiture spring rite-of-passage camping trip.


  • Attend three B’naiture Shomrim Gatherings (mandatory) to prepare you for this new role: Tuesday, November 15, Wednesday, January 25, and Wednesday, March 29 from 5–8 PM in the East Bay.
  • Attend the spring trip: Friday, May 5 — Sunday, May 7

When you return to B’naiture as a Shomer (male) or Shomeret (female) teen, you are in an honored role of someone who has completed the program and is returning as a role model. Your participation is important in building the community basket that holds the kids going through their rite of passage. We will have some programming geared toward our Shomrim, and will also call upon the Shomrim to assist the mentors throughout the weekend.

From helping out in the kitchen and with site prep and clean up to supporting the nesharim (eagles/second years) before their fires and the tzvi’im (first years/deer) on their challenge, Shomrim get a taste of what it takes to make the B’naiture magic happen, and get their head, heart, and hands in on the action.


You guys are maintaining channels of authentic living for my children. In the face of the social media onslaught, I often feel powerless to help my children connect to life in the real world. B’Naiture planted some important seeds, but without Shomrim tending the garden, I fear the lessons they learned would dry up from tumblr and snapchat. Thanks for keeping the garden growing – they trust you guys so much!
Jennifer Bean Miller, Teen Shomrim Parent