Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bug Poems Rock

So lovely.



Bear Suit

I’m a fairly avid knitter. This is a mostly wool bear suit costume that I knit without a pattern. I did knit a butt flap into it, which unfortunately does not line up when I’m sitting down. However, it is extremely warm and thick, and serves as a wonderful under layer. It took me 3 months to finish. I love to wear it in the woods, when I’m teaching, or just for shits and giggles.

(Photos taken by my wonderful community school students! miss you guys)

Let Your Kids Cry

I remember watching Alfie Kohn, a parenting coach, talk about the fact that we often ignore kids when they’re doing something to get “attention”. He reminded his audience that this is a human basic need, and that is indeed the case. However, there are positive, and negative ways to get attention. Whining and crying is often used by kids as a way to ensure that they are being payed attention to by their parents, and thankfully, this often works, ensuring that kids feel safe with mom and dad.

Mentors, on the other hand, play a different role in a child’s development. Indeed, it is important for us to push our students over their perceived edge of ability, in order to show them that they can do much more than they ever thought possible. I believe that this is also the case with whining and crying for attention.

In a group setting, it may not always be possible to attend to the child who is constantly having a meltdown. So, I often walk up to the child, and let them know that its okay to cry. I also attend to their basic needs; making sure that they are well fed, watered, and rested. If this is an isolated incident, I will try to figure out what is happening at home. Often times, crying about a game is really just a means to get out frustrations about dad going away on a business trip, or a new brother or sister coming into the world.

But sometimes, we find the case of chronic whiners. These may take time to work on, but with consistency, I’ve had amazing success. The steps are simple.

1. let them know that it is okay for them to cry/whine

2. remind them that you want to help them, but that the way they are asking for help is challenging to connect to

3. let them know that when they are done crying, they can come ask you for help in a good way

4. walk away. This is an important step. Providing a child with much attention for such a behaviour will not help the situation

5. If they are distracting the whole group, gently ask them to find a spot under a tree, a little distance away, where they can regroup

And there you have it! With time, the negative behaviour will subside, and you will find a more resilient, and confident child beneath, who knows how to ask for help in a good way.

Giving Thanks

Once, a few years ago, I dreamt I was a hired belly dancer/magician for my friend Pam’s wedding. My job was to make an evergreen tree grow. As the crowd made a circle around the tree, and I tried to make it grow, I failed over and over again. Then I remembered to give thanks. As I began to give thanks out loud in front of the whole group, the tree began to grow, its branches covering all those who surrounded the tree.

Giving thanks is an incredible mentoring technique. I use it with all the groups I teach. Even if my students never return to the woods, they might have gained an understanding as to how lucky they are to have a roof over their head and a bed to sleep on. Walking with a sense of thankfulness also helps me live in an upright way. How can I be upset or angry, when there’s so much abundance around?

So, in the spirit, I feel thankful for all the wonderful mentors in the world, for my ancestors, and for the future generations. I’m thankful for all the things, seen and unseen, that support me, and that great mystery that teaches me what questions to ask, everyday.

Crow Planet

Ever wonder how the best urban survivalist of us all, the crow, does it? Check out this book. Its full of uplifting personal stories by the author, who deals with a lot of issues concerning how to be fully alive and aware in an urban setting. Her observations of the crow, both energetically and literally, are incredibly fascinating, and entertaining.

check out Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness  by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Animal Tracks by Mountain Man

Song by a rad band called Mountain Man, introduced to me by Michelle. Great for lulls during tracking sessions, as well as to get kids jazzed up on singing. I sang this for a whole afternoon with my little buddy Jasper, and then we sang it for his mum and brother, who seemed to love it too. During a CyberTracker evaluation I participated in, half the group broke out into this song after a day identifying elk, beaver, and mole tracks. Sent shivers down my spine! Enjoy!

Click here for Animal Tracks by Mountain Man

sweet home birth article

This article outlines some incredibly interesting information. Statisticians that sought to prove that home births were dangerous have found the opposite. In fact, home births have less complications for both mother and child, proving that the less intervention during a birth, the better. Check out the article here.