The Art of Mentoring was the beginning of what turned out to be one of the most significant and life-changing weeks of my life. Looking back, I’m not sure who ended up benefiting more from my time there: my students or me.
– Camie Velin, Art of Mentoring student & high school teacher
Wilderness Awareness School has been providing transformational learning experiences in nature for youth and adults for over thirty years. In this highly experiential workshop you will cultivate deep connections with nature in the same hands-on way we train our award-winning staff. You will experience some of our favorite activities and games, hear stories, and learn tools to integrate these activities and techniques into your educational or parenting settings.
- Learn models for creating effective educational experiences based on the cycles of nature
- Practice games, activities, and songs which draw people, young and old, into nature
- Explore how storytelling can be used in nature connection and draw out your own stories for mentoring youth and inspiring and teaching others!
- Profile the path of development and transformation of people as they travel toward greater awareness and appreciation of the natural world.
- Discuss the pitfalls and walls that mentors face in working towards a greater connection between individuals, community, and nature.
- Create safe environments for students to grow, experiment, and make mistakes.
Connect with Community and Nature
- Immerse yourself in core routines designed to increase the awareness of yourself and your students.
- Enjoy a learning community of people dedicated to connecting with, teaching about, and honoring the earth.
Meet Your Instructors
Laura was fortunate enough to grow up on the coast of Maryland, thus falling in love with the ocean at an early age. After graduating from Tufts University, and completing a semester course with National Outdoor Leadership School, she headed west, trading a life near the coast for a home in the Rocky Mountains. There, she followed her curiosity and passion for environmental education, working in several different settings, including on the ski slopes in Colorado, backpacking in Utah red rock desert, and on snow shoes as a graduate student at Teton Science School. She came to Washington in 2001 to attend Wilderness Awareness School's 9-month immersion for adults (now called Anake Outdoor School). Through good fortune, Laura was then hired as a Youth Instructor at Wilderness Awareness School in 2002 and hasn't left yet.
Currently, Laura is an instructor at Anake Outdoor School. Here, she follows her passions for rites of passage, modern day initiations, and creating circumstances for humans to thrive. Laura is also a guide at Animas Valley Institute where she has the privilege of supporting participants in exploring the mysteries of nature and psyche. Laura lives in the forest along the shore of a small lake where she shares her home with her husband. Here, she enjoys tending honey bees, wandering the trails, and hearing the sounds of wild ones at night.
Watch Laura's video bio.
Sol Marie Doran
Sol Marie Doran has been working with children since 1995 and has been mentoring with the Wilderness Awareness School methodology since 2002. She came to the school in 2004 from CA, where she worked with a sister school, ran an early childhood outdoor program, and earned a B.S. in Ecology. She is a 2-time Tracking Intensive graduate. Since 2008, she has been mentored by Kim Scanlon in various arts, including leadership, griefwork, and ritual. She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Somatic Psychology and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Sol has been in various forms of movement training from an early age and practices embodied leadership.
Andy grew up in Ohio, where he spent his summer weekends at his grandparent's cabin by the lake. He caught frogs and turtles with his brother and sisters and went fishing with his grandpa. Later, he worked at a state park in Ohio for a couple of years as the Park Naturalist, where he was able to share his passion for nature with visitors and explore the park day and night. In 2004, Andy moved to Washington to attend Wilderness Awareness School's Anake Outdoor School. Since then he has completed his Bachelor's degree at the Evergreen State College with a project of exploring history and researching his ancestors. He is particularly passionate about planting trees to create diverse landscapes, which makes his position as Land Steward quite enjoyable. He also thoroughly enjoys tracking, trailing and watching birds, especially in the company of children. He is madly in love with his wife Shari and daughter Samara.