Art of Mentoring - Austin, TX

For two decades the Art of Mentoring has been sweeping the world, providing life altering experiences for participants and transforming forever how they approach education.

Deep inside all of us are whispers of a time when our ancestors lived within vibrant regenerative communities held by a strong healthy culture, whispers of deep connections to the land, each other, and ourselves.

The Art of Mentoring is designed to remind us of the old ways and help us reconnect with each other, the land, and help heal our modern classrooms, communities, and selves.

This course is a six day experiential nature based training for teachers, mentors, environmental educators, parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents. 

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Course instructors and participants will come together to form a joyful engaged learning community where you will learn new mentoring techniques, regenerative community design, 8 shields 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 in the 8 Shields mentoring model.


As a participant you will also learn:

How to create effective and inspirational educational models based on natural learning cycles

Key tools to track student transformation, and development

Creating safe learning environments for people to grow

Storytelling as a powerful teaching tool

New games, activities, stories, and songs

Really useful new teaching styles that will aid you in creating diverse and exciting learning experiences

After a week of playing games, singing songs and sharing food and knowledge, I realized I had made life-long friends, rejuvenated my love of nature and gained a new perspective on how to connect children to the wondrously wild outdoors. - Michelle C. Art of Mentoring participant 2014

We are an APPROVED CPE Provider by the Texas Education Agency! 


Class Cost: $795 *food and camping included!

Class Dates: March 2019

Class Times: Class will begin at 4pm on March 13 and will end at 11am on the 18th

Class Location: Our campus in Bastrop, TX at 137 Woodview Lane, Bastrop, TX

**Transportation will be provided to and from the Austin airport on March 13 and 18. Participants should plan on arriving by 2pm on the 13th and leaving on flights scheduled to leave no earlier than 2pm on 18th.

Want to attend Art of Mentoring but need somewhere for your kids to be that week?

We can help! Earth Native will be running a parallel Spring Break camp during Art of Mentoring that your kids can attend during the day while you are at class. Click here for details...

Meet the 2017 Art of Mentoring Teaching Team:  

Chris Laliberte has been involved in transformative nature connection work for over twenty years, starting as a wilderness/backcountry expedition leader for teens, and then joining Wilderness Awareness School in 1997, where he founded the Community School program for teens, instructed and then ran the Anake Outdoor School, and was also Program Director before taking an extended leave in 2015 to spend for time with his family. He is a husband and father of twin 11 year old boys, an avid musician, and has pursued his interest in mythological studies and storytelling so far as to earn a Master's Degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. 

Dave Scott is the Executive Director, Founder, and Lead Instructor at Earth Native Wilderness School. Dave Scott can trace his deep love for nature and the outdoors back to his earliest childhood memories exploring the banks of Williamson creek as a child. After spending a childhood filled with outdoor recreation Dave became a member of a Search and Rescue team in Colorado where his passion for self-reliance and wilderness survival was kindled further through helping others in wilderness emergencies.

Dave has been involved in Environmental Education since 2003 and, in addition to Earth Native Wilderness School, has instructed at several wilderness schools across the country including the Wilderness Awareness School and Alderleaf Wilderness College.

Dave is currently certified as a Track and Sign Specialist through the Cybertracker Conservation evaluation system, an international standard for gauging and enhancing in-field knowledge of wildlife behavior and track and sign identification. He is one of only 20 individuals in North America to attain this level of certification.

Dave is the co-author of Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species. As an educator, Dave’s passion is to help his students establish strong lifelong bonds with nature and the outdoors through knowledge of wildlife behavior and track and sign, increased sensory awareness, wilderness survival skills, self-reliance, and the knowledge of place. Dave’s greatest love is spending time outdoors with his wife and kids. 


Kristen Gerhard is inspired about connection with youth, adults & whole families through nature immersion, social-emotional learning and community building. She works hard to foster opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth, inspiration, self-empowerment, and a greater awareness of sustainable living and land stewardship through Earth Native programs both for herself and others. Kristen holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Texas. Kristen was deeply moved by her experience in the Art of Mentoring training at Earth Native in 2015 and served on the facilitation team for AOM at the Wilderness Awareness School the summer of 2015.

She most recently comes from the Whole Life Learning Center, of which she is a co-founder and has served as Assistant Director for the last several years working to create an inspiring, empowering and engaging learning environment with a connected community of families as an alternative to traditional schooling. Previous work has included youth camp directorship and program coordination at El Ranchito, the Amala Foundation and Youth Advocacy. Other things Kristen loves are dancing, being playful & sneaky, the healing arts, travel & community sharing through food, music, ceremony & storytelling. 

Jessica Ennis was born and raised in the Great Lakes bioregion. After graduating from Calvin College with a degree in International Development, she spent two years working for a refugee resettlement agency, getting to  know people from all over the world, starting a craft business for clients, and matching community members with newly arrived refugees. 

She has always loved spending time outside, but many years ago she decided to pursue rewilding full-time. So she left the non-profit world, moved to the Pacific Northwest, and enrolled at Alderleaf Wilderness College, where she completed their 9-month Certification Program. 

At Alderleaf, Jessica began to learn more about the art of tracking, a subject which she wasn't particularly passionate about until she met some inspiring tracker women, whose excitement proved to be contagious.  She also deepened her knowledge of plants, learning more about ethnobotany and permaculture.  After struggling to find and keep one, going to her sit spot became one of her favorite activities.  Her passion is nature awareness, and she loves to see kids grow to feel at home in the outdoors.

Jessica took her first Art of Mentoring course at Earth Native in 2015 and served on the facilitation team for Art of Mentoring at Vermont Wilderness School in 2016. Jessica loves finding the wild in urban environments, and seeing the resilience of plants and animals taking over places abandoned by humans. She finds joy in riding her bike, watching the sky, brewing kombucha, and exploring the landscape.

Andy Held has been running around in the woods since he could walk. A strong desire to connect more closely with nature and community led him to leave a 25-year career in high-tech. A few years later he began a journey with Wilderness Awareness School and nature connection mentoring. Starting in 2010 Andy has worked at wilderness schools, taught nature studies at private elementary schools and mentored home school students. The last few years Andy has worked extensively with adults and mentors-in-training. He has been on the acorn for Art of Mentoring programs, weekend workshops, and advanced Art of Mentoring programs for experienced, incoming apprentices. He was the lead instructor on a once-a-month skills program for men. Last year Andy spent 5 weeks in the field supporting Wilderness Awareness School's Anake Outdoor School adult students. Andy lives next to the woods with his wife and two daughters.

Britt Luttrell is one of three instructors at Nature's Way Preschool, part of the Austin Nature & Science Center. His work focuses on play-based education, outdoor exploration, and developing the early stages of strong mental health and natural stewardship in young people. 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 help them with Art of Mentoring this year, a training he really believes in and completed in 2015. If you can't find Britt, he is probably off looking for bugs, taking photos of wildlife, or scribbling in his journal. 

Sarah Elledge grew up frolicking through the cool streams and beautiful mountaintops of the Appalachians. It was evident from an early age that happiness and peace was easiest to find when outside. Sarah loves sharing this passion for all things wild with everyone she meets, especially the young ones. 

Sarah has worked with children for over a decade. For the past three years, she was a mentor at Whole Life Learning Center where she mainly spent time with and learned so much from children ages 5-8. It was here that she first became aware of Coyote Mentoring and was instantly intrigued. She had the great pleasure of attending the first ever Texas Art of Mentoring course in 2015 and was truly transformed! Last year she apprenticed with the Weekly Youth Nature Program at ENWS, working primarily with the Wilder Teens. 

Sarah lived in the wilderness of Baja for three months backpacking, sailing, and sea kayaking with the National Outdoor Wilderness School. Here she received a recommendation to return as an instructor but chose an even wilder path: having her own family to adventure with! She has an eleven year old son, an eight year old daughter, and a fresh baby on the way. She loves loading up the whole family (plus dog) and hitting the road to explore National and State Parks and everything else wild and beautiful in between.

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