WHAT PARENTS SAY
“Far more daunting than navigating my own transition from adolescence to adulthood has been parenting a son doing the same. At this critical period when he needs to experience freedom to find his authentic self, his fledgling judgement is being learned by trial and error, peers' opinions rule supreme, male culture is portrayed in the media as mostly crude and superficial (at best) and a parent is demoted to consultant, that is when powerful role models for what a man can be is essential. W.I.L.D. was exactly what I hoped for but didn't imagine existed.
Beyond my hopes for my own kid, I felt a deep sadness that what it means to be a man - and by extension what it means to be a boy - had been lost, almost something to apologize for.
Since joining the first trip to Yosemite, Jesse and Eli have been profound role models for my son - as men. Through their example he experienced the power and beauty of aligning with one's authentic self, connecting with nature, respecting life, and owning one's gifts, fears, weaknesses, power and heartbreak. During the first group trip, and through his continued work as Jesse's mentee, my son is learning the source of truest strength - the courage to be open and to connect.”
-Jennifer, W.I.L.D. Parent
“I want to say how incredibly grateful I am for your deep, beautiful work with my son. He wrote about it in his college applications that he turned in yesterday. It’s the most important thing in his life.”
-Kacey, W.I.L.D. Parent
"Thank you so much for providing this tremendous opportunity for our boys. It was a leap of faith for us to send them across the country for this challenging and life changing experience and I believe it will have profound long term effects for them.My son already seems different...more calm...less anxious."
-Marianne, W.I.L.D. Parent
"I sent my son on this journey last year. His experience was transformative and deeply meaningful. We had full faith in Eli and Jesse as guides, and responsible men committed to providing an enduring and positive experience for our son. He came back overflowing with a new sense of himself - to envision new doors opening and confident that he could be a stronger advocate for himself. And he never missed his cell phone once! I highly recommend this journey. My son will be returning for his second trip this summer. I'm grateful to Eli and Jesse for providing this opportunity. It does require a village to raise a child. I have always encouraged my son to foster relationships with other men who could teach him to grow mentally, spiritually and physically. As a parent I can only do so much. The mindfulness adventure is perfect for him and it is helping him to build the confidence to move forward in his life."
-Lowell, W.I.L.D. Parent
"My son took part on his first Back To Earth wilderness retreat after he graduated from high school, prior to leaving for college. It was an introduction to a new passion for health, love of nature and the environment, and a new faith in his own capabilities. It was the best investment we could have made in him. He left a lovely boy and returned an amazing young man."
-Celina, W.I.L.D. Parent
"I cannot say enough about this program and the guys who run it. My son went on his first backpacking trip with them last summer and it was transformative in so many ways. Not only did he gain experience backpacking, he went through an incredible spiritual and emotional transformation as well. He came away with life long connections to amazing people and a belief in himself that he hadn't felt before."
-Sevgi, W.I.L.D. Parent