Get a Weekly Dose of Wonder from Tremont

Get a Weekly Dose of Wonder from Tremont

By John DiDiego, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Education Director

Psychology research continues to find that experiences of wonder and awe are associated with a host of positive emotions and outcomes—from physical and mental wellbeing, to healing, to what are known as ‘prosocial behaviors.’

As educators, we also know that experiences of wonder and awe in nature lead us to laughter, deeper relationships, and a sense of wellbeing, while they lead us away from stress, anxiety, antisocial behaviors, and dis-ease.  

As lovers of the Smokies, you knew that already. But for a large swath of the population out there right now—think parents, teachers, kids—the negative emotions have the upper hand, and wonder and awe seem far away...

Many people right now are facing a lack of any space and possibility of escaping to the healing power of nature. No chance of getting that rush of discovery that comes when we allow ourselves to slow down, be curious, and discover something new about the natural world. 

So, we created a new platform and discovery space called Weekly Wonder to engage with parents, families, and teachers across the country who could use a little awe in their lives. An overriding goal of this program is for each participant to discover something new to them each week, opening up their worlds as places of mystery and awe.  

The program has three parts:

  • Monday Video invitation - Every Monday, we post a video by our talented Teacher Naturalists that leads you into a world right outside your door, a world of beauty and unanswered questions, waiting for you to explore. We pose a challenge or series of challenges designed to guide your explorations, and then let the adventure begin! As your week unfolds, we encourage you to share with us your journal pages, writings, and other artifacts you create.  
  • Insert Your Adventure HERE – You (individuals, families, teachers, and students) tackle the challenge in your home environment and share it with us via journal pages, video, or audio file.
  • Friday Live Stream - Every Friday, we host a live video space where we can come together virtually to share some of the investigations and fun you all sent us during the week. We use this time to laugh, connect, and build our own insights into living with curiosity and wonder. This brings together a band of people who, like you, value natural connection, curiosity, and creativity with loved ones. The live stream can be a time of fun and surprising moments! 

Sign up for your weekly dose of wonder at Tremont Weekly Wonder, or cut and paste the link into your browser:

And get ready for your world to expand...This project is free for the remainder of this year, and we hope to continue it into the future with your support. Please share this with your family and friends, and we’ll see you next week!


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