“From hatching quail eggs, building a coop, fermenting foods, farming and much more, children felt valuable, noticed and accomplished,” Colleen Paul-Hus says of the practical arts classes she offered at her family’s nature-based learning resort.

Colleen says she was motivated to create The Sebring Institute because of her students’ joy when they learned to make valuable and useful things for themselves, and repeatedly exclaimed, “This is my favorite class!” The institute has taken Colleen’s practical arts classes to the next level, offering “lost art” courses of metalsmithing, woodworking, leatherworking, cooking, fermentation, cheese making, regenerative farming, botanical first aid, wild food foraging and other practical skills—all taught by world-class teachers. 

“We curate programs that allow students of all ages to engage in classes like archery, except here, you learn to build the bow in the woodworking class and the arrow in the blacksmithing class before learning to shoot,” she says. “Our motto is ‘inspiring one family, one human and one child at a time.’ Courses provide opportunities for people to connect their hands, hearts and minds. It’s multisensory learning, where we embrace your whole being. What’s fun about learning these new skills is the presence of like-minded families.”

The Sebring Institute is on the property of Inn the Woods, which Colleen describes as “a magical playground for children and adults alike.” The more than 15-acre eco-resort offers tree cottages, an outdoor kitchen amongst ancient oak trees, a cob oven and fire pit gathering area, a pond with aquatic edible plants, a children’s playfield with hobbit houses, free-roaming chickens and turkeys, and much more.

The property also features a farm-to-table restaurant. Watch for the grand opening sometime in March.

For more information about the resort, institute or restaurant—or to book a class—visit thesebringinstitute.com.