Natural Mentors Retreat:
Deep Nature Community Immersion
Deep inside all of us are whispers of a time when our ancestors lived within vibrant regenerative communities held by a strong healthy culture that had deep connections to the land, each other, and themselves.
As we face the continuous, complex challenges of the 21st century, what tools are available to help us face adversity and build resilience within ourselves and our communities? The Natural Mentors Retreat is an opportunity to reflect on ancient human concepts and explore methodologies that can help us to reconnect with each other, the natural world, and begin healing our modern classrooms, communities, and selves.
Some of the key concepts we will explore and discover include:
Rewilding ourselves and our kids
Our primal brain, mind, and nature and how to access them in modern times
The power of nature for learning, growing, and healing
Ways to utilize inspiration as fuel that leads to successful learning experiences
Facilitating natural play and learning effortlessly through “invisible school” models
An introduction to core ancestral skills including fire-making, survival skills, tracking, bird language, ethnobotany and more
Designing, developing, and facilitating a learning community where everyone plays the role of teacher, learner, and mentor simultaneously
Using natural cycles to track student development and transformation
We are an approved CPE provider by the Texas Education Agency!
The Natural Mentors Retreat is an all inclusive immersive experience that will teach you a ton about yourself and your community, rejuvenate and inspire you, and give you a lot of new games, activities, songs, and other tools for future success!
During the course, participants are invited to camp at our beautiful 58 acre campus (the spring weather should be amazing) and share some excellent nutritious meals. Clean restrooms and showers (with hot water) are available on-site as well as a spring fed creek for any who feel inspired to take a dip.
Local participants can choose to either camp out at our campus during the retreat or go home in the evenings. In order to get the most complete and rich experience we highly recommend camping on site. If you have never camped before, the Earth Native staff will happily help you set up and orient you. Earth Native has a limited amount of rental camping gear (6 and 2 person tents, sleeping mats, and sleeping bags) for anyone who needs supplemental gear.
Learn incredible skills passed on through generations of teachers, mentors, and storytellers from around the world. How do we unlock our children's natural gifts and passions? How do we develop independent motivated self-learners? How did past societies transmit encyclopedic levels of knowledge about plants, animals, trees, and the environment from generation to generation without books, computers, or cell phones? Join us as we unlock these powerful teaching and mentoring tools for your family, your community, your students and yourself!
This six-day immersive retreat is for everyone! While educators, mentors, coaches, naturalists and parents will find it particularly helpful, everyone is welcome and will get a lot out of the course.
The course instructors bring decades of experience successfully utilizing natural cyclical models for education, inspiration, and life. Participants will come together to form a joyful, engaged learning community where they will learn new mentoring techniques, regenerative community design, an 8-direction based learning map for curriculum design and facilitation, core routines for deep nature connection, and gain an amplified passion for learning.
This course is taught through a combination of experiential learning exercises, nature games, storytelling, and immersion within an incredible natural mentoring model that will forever change the way you view learning and personal growth.
Tuition: $995 *food and camping included!
Partial scholarships are available for lower income participants
Dates: March 12-17, 2023
Times: Participants will arrive at 2:00pm on Sunday. The retreat will end around 1:00pm on Friday
Location: Earth Native Main Campus in Bastrop, TX at 137 Woodview Lane, Bastrop, TX
*Transportation will be provided to and from the Austin airport on Sunday and Friday if flying in for the retreat. Participants who are flying in should ideally plan on arriving no later than 1pm on Sunday March 12th and leave on flights scheduled no earlier than 4pm on Friday.
SPRING BREAK CAMP
Have kiddos? No problem! We will be offering a Spring Break Camp for the kids of those attending the Natural Mentors Retreat. While you are engaged in daytime programming, your kids will explore our beautiful property, have some grand adventures and learn a lot about nature in the process. Available for kids ages 6-12.
**For kids who are camping with a program participant: Some evenings the kids will be welcome to join the Natural Mentors group for evening activities and other evenings we will have a separate activity for them planned and led by one of our Earth Native instructors.
Spring Break Camp fees:
Day camp plus meals and evening activities (For kids who are camping with a Natural Mentors participant)
Meet the 2023 Teaching Team
Nate Summers has been a survival skills instructor for over 20 years with a background in Anthropology, Asian Studies, and Natural Medicine. He taught and directed at the Wilderness Awareness School for over 15 years, and has served as faculty for the Desert Institute of Healing Arts, the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, and as adjunct faculty for Prescott College. Nate's passions include ethnobotany, natural mentoring, hunter-gatherer childhoods, natural movement, herbal medicine, internal martial arts, He is the author of Primal (2019) and Awakening Fire (2021).
Julia Cosgrove has been formally practicing the art of mentoring for the last decade, although in hindsight has been fascinated by and experimenting with what makes a thriving learning community since their adolescence. Julia has taught and mentored undergraduate students at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, where they also studied at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. As the Director of Programs at Earth Native Wilderness School, Julia is dedicated to using natural cycles, and specifically Jon Young’s 8 Shields Model, to facilitate deep nature connection for people of all ages. Julia is particularly passionate about wildlife tracking, bugs and creepy crawlies (the “weirder” the better), singing, living in community, and spending as much time in the dirt as possible.
Britt Luttrell is the Preschool Director at Wild Life Forest Preschool at Earth Native. His work focuses on play-based education, story-telling, and developing the early stages of strong mental health and natural stewardship in young people. Britt takes inspiration from work experience with Bev Bos, Tom Shea (Internation Play Iceland), Bonnie Cook (Nature's Way Preschool), and Teacher Tom Hobson, amongst others. Britt noticed a long time ago how his own mental health is tied to the natural world. He wants to provide a resource for children and families to make the same discovery. Schools like Earth Native are great partners in this quest. Britt feels lucky to be able to be a part of the teaching team at the Natural Mentors Retreat this year, a training he really believes in and completed both as a student and instructor. If you can't find Britt, he is probably somewhere hard to get to. He is stopping for bugs, writing poems, or finding some cool wood to build with.
Purchase an Earth Native Klean Kanteen Bottle
Available to buy during registration - pick up at class!
27 oz, Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Sports Top $25
16 oz, TKWide Insulated Hot/Cold Beverage Bottle with Leak-Proof Cafe Cap $25
32 oz, Insulated Wide Mouth Water Bottle with Chug Cap $45