“A long, long time ago, maybe two hundred thousand years ago, and in a few places still today, the native people who lived off their land schooled their children, but they did it invisibly. Our ancestors’ children didn’t go to school. School surrounded them. Nature was a living teacher. There were many relatives for every child and every relative was a mentor. Stories filled the air and ceremonies of gratitude filled mundane lives. Wouldn’t it brighten our horizons to see more of this kind of teaching in our suburbs and cities today?”
– Ellen Haas –
This is a training on wilderness skills, nature knowledge and mentoring. It is an experiential study of the ‘Art of Mentoring’ curriculum, a model of education that is inspired by the best-practices of healthy nature connected communities around the world. This model was founded by Jon Young and can be read about in the book: Coyote’s Guide to Connecting With Nature.
The toolkit of the nature mentor cultivates the unique genius in individuals. It builds community committed to respectful stewardship of the land, and connects people deeply with each other.
You will learn the fundamentals of safe camping techniques regarding fire, shelter and food. Being able to be outdoors and comfortable in any weather is essential if you are hoping to guide others. We will help you get there. The advanced wilderness living skills like friction fire and various craft projects like basket weaving take us into an empowering, ancient and meaningful world.
You will develop your ecological literacy and learn the routines of awareness that will help you pay better attention to the story of life around us- an ability which is essential for responsible stewardship of the land. You will gain skills to familiarize yourself with the local flora and fauna of your region and develop your sense of place. Feeling a kinship with the life around us comes through understanding, experience and relationship, and opens us up to the incredible stories and lessons they have to teach.
These take commitment and creativity! It takes a tuning-in to the needs of the moment and a letting go of your agenda. It’s the art of asking the right question to feed the flame of curiosity, it’s about finding the unique gifts in everyone, it’s the art of always looking for ways to stretch and deepen the learning experience. The toolkit of the mentor is a dynamic one, and involves many styles of teaching, not just didactic. Being intentional about the design of your culture is important to making the learning effortless, fun and inclusive. We will dive into these techniques and you will leave with a pile of inspirations to incorporate into your life and work.
Some of the practices and skills we will be exploring:
- Animal tracking
- Bird language
- The art of questioning
- Various wilderness survival skills
- Edible, medicinal and utilitarian plants
- Fire skills
- Mapping and orienteering
- Opening of senses
- Solo time in nature
- Songs and music
- Rites of passage
- Honoring gifts in ourselves and others
- Play in the dirt
- Partake in surprise challenges
- Bring your curiosities about nature
- Stretch yourself to sing
- Work hard at your outdoors living skills
- Take home some missions and projects
Steve Leckman, Kawisente Mcgregor, David McComber, and various other guest instructors.
Schedule & Location(s):
The program will take place on the following days from 10am to 4pm:
- March 11th: Sit spots, core routines, decolonizing nature connection (Kawisente’s backyard in Kahnawake)
- March 25th: Wildlife tracking, mentoring practices 1 (Parc-Nature de l’Anse-à-l’Orme)
- April 8th: Knife and Friction fire skills, mentoring practices 2 (location TBD)
- April 22nd: Ecology, plants and bird language (Angrignon park)
- May 6th: Working with ‘child passions’ and Storytelling (location TBD)
- June 3rd: Shelter skills, program synthesis, trip prep (location TBD)
- June 9th to 11th: Expedition (near Montebello)
*** Locations are subject to change
*** The topics presented here may change throughout the program
*** Coyote Programs will not provide transportation and participants are therefore responsible for getting on the various locations of the program.
$755 + tx
It is possible to pay in multiple installments through our registration platform.
We will send a welcome email with all the information 1 week before the program starts. We will also send you a link to organize carpooling.
”Taking the Nature Mentor Training course has greatly affected the way I interact with the world around me. Learning skills such as cordage, basket weaving, tracking and friction fire has not only helped me feel more connected to the natural world, but has also inspired and empowered me to be more creative. I now have a lot more hobbies and a lot less stress. There is something very special about using what nature offers in a respectful way and turning it into something beautiful.”
– Benoit, participant 2017
“Calming your mind, training your awareness, staying positive when facing challenges are life skills that are timeless. They are as much a necessity today as they were 20,000 years ago. The experience I had at Coyote has greatly enriched my life and I highly recommend it to anyone.“
– Faiyaz Hasan, participant 2019
“NMT enriched the way I play outdoors with my children. It gave me the confidence I needed to go outdoors more regularly with children, as a teacher, parent or neighbor. The program taught me how to have fun at the park in any weather, and now I can more easily transmit that enthusiasm to kids!“
– Muriel Bontemps, participant 2018
“Building a stronger connection with the natural world has had a tremendously positive impact on my mental health and well-being. As I learn about the many living things around me, and better understand my connection to them, I feel increasingly less isolated. If you’re looking for an extra push or motivation to get outdoors, and to challenge yourself, I can’t recommend Coyote Programs highly enough!”
– Anonymous participant, 2019