Tracking at the Oregon Sand Dunes

Water is a Tracker’s Best Friend

I pulled my nose a bit closer to the bone dry, deeply fissured clay and squinted slightly in an attempt to get a better look at the tracks that lay before me as the sun reflected off the clay into my eyes. Jonah Evans, a veteran wildlife tracker and biologist with the Texas Parks and […]

Posted in Wildlife and TrackingTagged , ,

Founding the Coyote Club

Sometimes the impact of what we learn and do in life is like a rock thrown into a small pond: a big splash before the water settles. Other times, it’s like a tsunami: a foundational shift that spawns a quiet wave swelling slowly on the horizon, which grows as it progresses. Nature Instructor Training was […]

Posted in Stories of GratitudeTagged , ,
Patrick in the wild

Tracking Wolves, Finding Myself

I began my journey with Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) by boarding a plane, alone for the first time, to track wolves in the Idaho backcountry. I was a freshman with a fascination for wolves and that first true wilderness experience was transformational. I went from liking nature to considering nature to be an essential part […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program StoriesTagged , , ,
Travis Bitters

The School That Ties Everything Together

Like most of you, I have spent a lot of time in all types of classrooms.  At university, I studied literary theory, plant taxonomy, ethnobotany, and even how to ride a horse. In the Army, I went through jump school, language school, and how-to-soldier school. However, the most significant school for my career as a […]

Posted in Stories of GratitudeTagged , , ,

Gap Year Students at Anake Outdoor School

My adventures with Wilderness Awareness School started as a volunteer with summer camps. I got so wrapped up in the world of summer camps that I once walked into my orthodontist’s office with a face completely covered in charcoal without realizing it. It wasn’t until I started volunteering at overnight camps that I began to […]

Posted in Anake Stories, Stories of GratitudeTagged , ,
Leo sitting on vine maple

Cultivating a New Generation of Leaders

Fifteen years ago I had the opportunity and honor to plant a Tree of Peace with Chief Jake Swamp at Linne Doran. The tree is a Thuja plicata, Western Red Cedar, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Western Red Cedars grow with what’s called a central leader. A couple of years ago I […]

Posted in Stories of Gratitude, Youth Program StoriesTagged , , , ,
the prettiest Sit Spot

Cultivating Powerful Routines

As a nature connection mentor, my role is often similar to that of a trainer in dance, music, or martial arts. Much of the time, I’m not “teaching” my students anything. Instead, I’m creating conditions where they can easily learn through their own experiences and giving them coaching in their routines and practices so that […]

Posted in Core Routines, KamanaTagged , , ,