Wilderness Awareness School

  1. Scholarship recipients from Wilderness Awareness School say thank you to our generous supporters.

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  2. Spotlight on: NatureSkills Weeklong Program at Wilderness Awareness School gives you an insiders peek into what a week with us might be like.

    Spend a week exploring the natural world and learning outdoor survival skills with Wilderness Awareness School’s most experienced instructors.

    Classroom instruction will be paired with mentored dirt time in the field where we take theory into practice tracking, birding, studying plants, and exploring the natural world. It’s a wonderful mix of nature awareness, outdoor survival skills and wilderness survival skills training.

    A full day will be spent exploring each of the following areas:

    Field Observation: Refine your physical observation skills and learn to integrate intuitive awareness into your study of nature. Chris Laliberte weaves stories, current research on human perception and brain patterning in with concrete practices for learning to see and hear more in nature, while expanding both your awareness and ability to retain new learning!

    Wildlife Tracking: Practice track and sign location, identification, interpretation, aging, ecological tracking, and trailing. A mix of technical skills training and dirt time provides the opportunity to both build skills and work through challenging mysteries with a mentor looking over your shoulder to guide you.

    Edible and Medicinal Plants: Develop your identification skills and learn to use plants for food and medicine. Collection and processing techniques are covered. John Gallagher guides you down the path towards a deeper relationship with wild plants.

    Wilderness Survival & Outdoor Living Skills: A skilled naturalist must be comfortable traveling and living in the natural world. Learn shelter construction, fire making, crafts for primitive outdoor living and other wilderness survival training basics with Dan Corcoran.

    Bird Language Interpretation: As the master tracker Olaus Murie wrote "One should always listen to the warnings of the birds." Learn to recognize the different calls and alarms of the birds and a whole new world of awareness opens up to you. A day in the field with Alexia Stevens will transform your awareness of what’s going on in the forest around you.

    Although class will be held in the beautiful forests of the Pacific Northwest, you will leave with a set of invaluable core routines you can take anywhere. This class covers indispensable skills for naturalists!

    For more information go to: http://www.wildernessawareness.org/adult/workshops_natureskills_weeklong.html

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  3. From Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington, Ellen Haas, co-author of "Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature," brings up the question, What are we really teaching?" Ellen reminisces about the early days of Wilderness Awareness School with Jon Young, as they reflected upon that big question themselves.

    Ellen shares her views on:
    * Is it "what" or "how" we are teaching that counts?
    * Is "teaching" the right word?
    * Coyote mentors, as they elicit, draw out, and pull the DNA of the seed of knowledge.

    Enjoy this candid peek into the world of Ellen Haas and moments from Wilderness Awareness School.

    In this video, Ellen mentions her newsletter. If you'd like to sign up to receive her monthly mentoring newsletter, please look for the sign up box on the home page of Wilderness Awareness School at http://www.WildernessAwareness.org

    Join us in fun with The Great Debate that Ellen mentions! The question being talked about is "Should we call what we do 'teaching' or 'mentoring' or something else?" To add your voice to the discussion, or just read others' log in to http://www.wildernessawareness.ning.com/group/teaching_apprenticeship and look for The Great Debate in the "Art of Mentoring" Tribe.

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  4. Discussion of the art of mentoring, coyote mentoring, nature education, No Child Left Inside and Richard Louv, how to draw out a student's natural intelligences, how to create an "invisible school," how to nourish oneself as mentor and teacher and renew the passion for teaching others. Also, information on the mentoring programs at Wilderness Awareness School. This CoyoteTV web tv special features interviews with Warren Moon, Executive Director, and John Chilkotowsky, Program Director from Wilderness Awareness School, along with Ellen Haas, co-author of "Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature." 33 minutes.

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Wilderness Awareness School

Wilderness Awareness School



Wilderness Awareness School is a national not-for-profit environmental education organization established in 1983 and based in Duvall, Washington.


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Wilderness Awareness School is a national not-for-profit environmental education organization established in 1983 and based in Duvall, Washington.

We are dedicated to caring for the earth and our children by fostering understanding and appreciation of nature, community and self.

Our dynamic wilderness education courses combine ancient and modern ecological wisdom, and empower people of all ages to become stewards, mentors and leaders. Over the past two decades, Wilderness Awareness School has grown from a small group of visionary individuals to a leading national organization impacting the course of nature education, and inspiring many schools and individuals across the country and the world to share our teachings and curriculum.

Our mentoring approach honors individuality, encourages self-sufficiency in learning, and awakens a kinship with nature as it trains youth and adults to blend the awareness of a native tracker with the knowledge of a wildlife biologist. Our wilderness education courses draw on traditions from indigenous cultures world-wide, emphasizing nature as teacher, routines to enhance awareness, storytelling, self-motivated learning, and tracking as an interpretive tool.

Wilderness Awareness School's ongoing intensive mentoring courses for youth and adults as well as our home-study naturalist training courses provide opportunities for ongoing study of the natural world that allow nature education to be a part of daily life, rather than an isolated event.

Our vision is to reach out with our teachings until there's a related nature awareness school in every region, a mentor in every neighborhood, a naturalist in every family and compassion for each other and the earth in every heart.

Wilderness Awareness School conducts business and educates students rooted in these core values:

In all our interactions, we strive to begin with thanksgiving, to cultivate peace in ourselves, to appreciate what others share, and to communicate honestly and clearly. When we act through peace and appreciation, we can come together to make decisions with the strength of unity for the good of our communities. In this way, we steward the earth and our children toward peace and well-being of body, mind, and spirit.

Connecting with nature awakens a health and vitality that helps us discover our own gifts and talents. As mentors we cultivate this personal relationship with nature, appreciate and empower discovery of these gifts, and nurture their expression. When we use our gifts in service to community, we are filled with passionate aliveness—a sparkle in the eye that is visible to everyone.

We use "Coyote Mentoring" and "The Eight Shields Model" to engage people in place-based education to deepen their relationship with nature. Our curriculum includes naturalist and survival skills, animal tracking, edible and medicinal plants, and interpreting bird language. Our students are immersed in nature, utilizing all of their senses in all seasons and weather. We maintain a low student to teacher ratio to facilitate individual mentoring. By asking skillful questions, we empower students to find their own answers. Nature Mentoring develops stewards, mentors, and leaders who will foster sustainability for both humanity and the earth.

We nurture an ever-deepening awareness of the vital interdependence of nature, community, and self. With this awareness, we learn to honor and appreciate the richness that a diversity of life experiences, ideas, backgrounds, and gifts bring to the whole community. We encourage genuine relationships, work-life balance, service to community, and living in rhythm with nature.



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