We Stay Wild.
Passion. Awareness. Stillness.
These are the virtues we have found flowing forward through the practice of nature connection. We practice these ways because we see that they work. In doing so we build in this environmental revolution that seeks to redefine all our relations.
Wilderness Survival Training
At White Pine Wilderness Academy we model our curriculum on the universal culture of the hunter gatherer. Our ancestors had to problem solve and engage with their environment every day. We provide this experience. Students are mentored through the process of ‘re-evolution’, a process that re-builds the relationships with our environment that have been severed. We systematically repair the bond between each student and every species in their environment. In doing so, students find a sense of place, power, and purpose.
Youth Outdoor Education & Mentoring
We provide our youth with a full body, full sensory immersion into their environment. Students will be mentored through their fears and inhibitions to find their strengths and ‘medicine.' The education model we embrace was found throughout the planet. Our tradition IS the village itself. Through the arts of questioning and storytelling we meet students where they are, share in their passions, and move forward with challenges and inspiration.
Community building is a universal skill found throughout traditional cultures. Storytelling, gathering our minds in gratitude, rights of passage, ceremony, art, music, food, and mentoring, these are the skills of culture. This is where the bonds between people are made real, where the hard lessons of the day are assimilated into our bodies and minds. This is where our fears and accomplishments are received and reflected by our community.
The Wilderness Journal (An Interactive Field Guide For The Naturalist And Primitive Skills Practitioner) is published by White Pine Wilderness Academy. For those ready to dive into the technical aspects of their naturalist studies, this is the place. Whether you are a tracker, an herbalist, a survivalist, or a bird watcher, the Wilderness Journal will complement your research. A mentor to guide you and an invaluable resource for referencing past lessons, this binder is essential for anyone seeking to deepen their relationship with their environment.
Who We Are
Pathways in Traditional Societies
For traditional societies these Pathways were sacred guilds, filled with ceremony, sacrifice, and prohibition. This was not only essential for the preservation of information in an oral tradition, it also ensured the holistic integration of generations of hard earned knowledge.
A Search for Connection
A new therapy model proposes that “Sobriety is not the opposite of addiction, Connection is the opposite of addiction.” Many have forgotten how to connect, to each other, to the earth, to ourselves. We have found the gift of nature to be accepting beyond even what we can do for ourselves. Our elder Ingwe says, “Take off your shoes. Lay the back of your hand against the earth, feel the wind on your skin, take in the sights and smells, breathe all this in very deeply, take it all into you right down to your very gut, breathe in very slowly and very deeply and say ‘Help Me’ and you’ll get an answer.”
These are the deeper skills of nature connection, the simpler skills. The invitations to slow down, the reflections on your experience when you are calm. The euphoria of a butterfly landing on your shoulder, of an opossum walking by as you sit still in the night, and eventually a bird landing on your head while you are drinking your morning tea. These are the true rights of passage of nature connection.
The Community Model
We are creating a village here, like the villages of our ancestors throughout time, that can meet each child and adult with rapt attention. To share and celebrate when everyone else thinks you are mad. So that when you come in out of the cold rain after dark with muddy pants and say with elation, “There was a downy woodpecker feeding just inches from my face!” You will have a place to go and people to recognize your exceptional gift of stillness.