W.I.L.D. Mentoring circles
Our Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development summer program has brought nearly one hundred young men to the mountains over the past four years. Our trips are fun, rewarding and life-changing, and they combine hard-skills training with accessible practices for tending the heart and soul. The young men who complete W.I.L.D. trips say they feel more self-love, clarity and a vivid sense of gratitude for their lives and their families. When we're out there, the group becomes a temporary community, and in the safety of that close-knit bubble, achieving personal growth amidst the monumental beauty of the mountains is the easy part. This September we are launching Mentoring Circles to integrate the work of W.I.L.D. into our busy city lives where the rubber meets the road.
This integration happens through a combination of group outings and solo mentoring sessions between September and May. All of our meetings take place at the beautiful open spaces, mountains and coastlines that the Bay Area has to offer. This gives participants regular pauses from the fast pace of school and screens in order to connect with self and nature. Group outings are opportunities to take deeper dives into valuable practices and skill sets, including:
Fire-making and tending, orienteering, herbal medicine-making, plant identification, natural history, mindfulness, qigong, archery, creating ritual, the way of council, mythology and storytelling, song, woodworking, thanksgiving, knots and traditional crafts.
Mentoring Circles also include time with earth-based ceremonies to allow participants to connect with their own vitality and their transition towards adulthood. In the face of mammoth challenges in the world around us, this program is our piece of the puzzle of cultural regeneration, healing the human family.
We are picking up the responsibility of renewing rites of passage for youth. The program will support them in hearing their inner truths, finding their voices, and witnessing their gifts so they can walk forward into adulthood as loving leaders with grateful hearts and peaceful minds. We also value and support boys in engaging the gifts of the family in that process. In the course of the year, we hope to weave strong bonds with everyone involved - amongst the boys and the families as well as with the mentors. In this village model, parents are invited to participate in gatherings and ceremonies that deepen our connection and capacity to support the youth.