Meet some of the team and contributors to Art of Mentoring Scotland 2014. They will be joined by a staff group of 60 people all involved in different parts of the all ages camp.
Chris Holland: Chris is a leading inspiration in the field of nature connection and environmental education for families and schools in the UK and increasingly worldwide. He is an author and award winning photographer. He has many things in his teaching bundle including a degree in environmental science and a natural talent for working with groups of people, telling stories, sharing bushcraft skills, foraging, creating environmental art and playing the didgeridoo. He wrote his first book, “I Love my World”, in 2009. He also loves swimming long distances and surfing his kayak in the sea. Chris is founder of Wholeland.
Margot Henderson: Margot is a Scots Irish Poet, Storyteller and Community Artist. Over the last 25 years she has worked with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds on co-creative projects and events. Much of her work is site-specific, drawing on the natural environment, and the culture and heritage of place. She has trained in Movement and Theatre, Integrative Arts Therapy and Ceremonial Tradition.
Mark Morey: Mark International Art of Mentoring Co-ordinator, is a creative artist, a visionary educator, a cultural engineer and consultant who designs regenerative holistic communities with timeless native principles. Since 1993 he has founded three transformational organizations: Deep Wilds Summer Camps, Vermont Wilderness School and currently, the Institute for Natural Learning. His history includes sparking a nature and community awareness movement in the Northeast impacting 7000 adults and children today. He has facilitated over 35 weeklong transformational passages for adults, initiating them into the Art of Mentoring. He has conducted the Sacred Fire rites of passage for boys for the last 6 years in collaboration with three wilderness schools in the northeast network and Paul Raphael Odawa Peacemaker, (Michigan). Mark is inspired by the heroes journey model and the oral history of his ancestors and native people around the world. “Our work at this time in history is to be extremely innovative and bold. Manifesting this kind of change will demand risk-taking of all kinds from people of all ages. It’s a great time to be alive.”
Margaret Bennett is a folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster. She was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father’s. School years were spent in Skye, Lewis and Shetland before studying in Glasgow. A prize-winning author, she has written ten books, contributed to over 40 others, featured on media productions and several musical collaborations with her son, Martyn Bennett (1971–2005). She was recently made an Honorary Professor of the Royal Scottish Academy in 2012, and she is widely regarded as ‘Scotland’s foremost folklorist’.
Miriam Dror: Miriam a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counsellor and a Certified Core Energetic Therapist, with over 40 years of experience as a therapist, group leader, programme designer and facilitator. She has facilitated workshops and training programmes in both the US and in the UK since 1973. Miriam was Director of Counselling at Marlboro College in Southern Vermont for 15 years where she came to understand, and attempt to address, the profound lack of elders and mentors in our culture. Miriam’s passions have always surrounded the issues of cultural diversity and human development and the interaction between the two. Her work is deeply influenced by her studies and years of work with Native American peoples and she has woven Indigenous Ways of Knowing into all facets of her work. Miriam has been involved as a facilitator with the Vermont Wilderness School since 1999, with the Art of Mentoring Programme, as The Elder Programme Coordinator (Vermont) since 2006 and, more recently, in the designing of an extensive programme for Elders within the Art of Mentoring – both in the US and in the UK. Miriam calls her work Human Development by Nature’s Design thus appreciating the patterns of human growth, evolution and healing, guided by the universal principles of nature that govern and balance all our relationships both inner and outer.
Alex Meffert: My journey home is one of smelling the soil, of touching the ground – of harvesting stories from places and people. I rediscovered my love for Nature when I started travelling wild places – curious, all senses alert. That is when I feel alive. And my soul gets tending. Through working with my hands I find my way back to the love I carry for people and for the knowledge that has been passed down to us. Nowadays I also find beauty in sitting with questions and waiting for answers. I feel blessed with the privilege to pass on what I have learned and experienced. I am part of Corvus Wildnisschule located at Bodensee in Southern Germany where we run programs for all ages in connecting people to the natural world around and within. I am passionate about acknowledging magic that happens every day. And I love music
Alastair McIntosh: Alastair is a Scottish writer, broadcaster and activist on social, environmental and spiritual issues, raised on the Isle of Lewis. A Fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology, a former Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, and an Honorary Fellow in the School of Divinity (New College) at Edinburgh University, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the College of Social Sciences at Glasgow University, he holds a BSc from the University of Aberdeen, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in liberation theology and land reform from the University of Ulster. His books include Hell & High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition on the cultural and spiritual dimensions of climate change, Rekindling Community on the spiritual basis of inter-relationship, and Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power on land reform and environmental protection – the latter described as “world changing” by George Monbiot, “life changing” by the Bishop of Liverpool and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. For the past 9 years he and his wife, Vérène Nicolas, have lived in Govan where he is a founding director of the GalGael Trust for the regeneration of people and place. A Quaker, he lectures around the world at institutions including WWF International, the World Council of Churches, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the UK Defence Academy (on nonviolence). His driving passion is to explore the deep roots of what it can mean to become fully human, and use such insights to address the pressing problems of our times.
Sophy Banks: Following a lifelong enquiry into how human systems work – and why they often don’t – Sophy currently supports the inner aspect of the Transition movement – a grassroots response to the ecological and social challenges of our time. She co-founded Transition training and has taught people around the world this model of starting a community initiative to relocalise and reconnect our way of living. She is still part of the Totnes project where the Transition experiment began. Sophy has worked as engineer, computer consultant, therapist, family constellator, holder of ritual space, facilitator and healer. She used to play a lot of football on Hackney marshes, but now spends time in gentler pursuits, tending her garden in Devon, walking on Dartmoor and cycling up and down Devon hills.
Dan Puplett: Dan has been a keen naturalist and outdoors enthusiast from a young age. He has been involved in a wide range of conservation projects and worked for Trees for Life for eleven years helping to restore native forests in the Highlands of Scotland. He has helped to lead lynx and wolf tracking surveys in Slovakia has a Level 3 Certificate in Track and Sign from Cybertracker Conservation. He also holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies and an MSc in Environmental Forestry. Dan is a freelance nature guide, bushcraft instructor and conservationist, and teaches tracking, bird language, and other wilderness skills. He is a mentor for the Kamana Naturalist Training Programme in the UK and Ireland and freelances for a range of organisations including Wild things! and Wild at Heart. He has a passion for exploring the ways in which nature connection can enhance the well-being of humans and our wild relatives. Dan lives in North East Scotland, and enjoys practicing internal martial arts, walking in the mountains with friends, playing on the slackline and performing (frankly, quite unusual) stand up and improv comedy.
Walker Korby : Inspired by the likes of Henry Thoreau, Walt Whitman, then Tom Brown Jr., Walker Korby realised that he had found his people we he discovered Wilderness Awareness School doing programs at his high school in New Jersey, USA in the mid nineties. He got involved through illustrating for the school and for the Kamana Naturalist Training program, and after college followed them out to Washington state to became the first Outreach Coordinator. He came back to the East Coast where he still resides, in Massachusetts, to teach children’s nature connection programs at several schools. Walker was also an Adult Expeditions Instructor for Wilderness Awareness School for their wolf tracking programs, and has been staffing the Art of Mentoring in the USA on and off since it’s inception. Most recently Walker has been coordinating the Teen Rendezvous at the Art of Mentoring in Vermont. His passion for peacemaking inspired by Chief Jake Swamp, a Mohawk peacemaker, has been fueled by his work in the Mankind Project and training in mediation. Walker brings with him the unique perspective of being immersed in the Art of Mentoring teachings for half of his life as well as his ability to integrate them into his own community.
Greg Sommers: Greg began learning the art of tracking, nature awareness and survival skills at a young age from Jon Young and the Wilderness Awareness School. Greg did a degree in Wildlife Studies, was lead instructor for the Native Eyes year programme at the Regenerative Design Institute, California and continues to integrate his deep love and knowledge of the natural world with the healthy inner work and living community models. Greg has taught in Britain, Ireland and Germany and currently studies Gaelic Language at the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig college on the Isle of Skye and is delighted to now be the ‘Art of Mentoring’ event manager for Nature Culture Scotland.
Miki Dedijer: Miki lives with his family on the west coast of Sweden, where they run a farm, tend the wild, practice permaculture and offer workshops through vildkultur.se. He is passionate about exploring ways that lead us all towards a life where we feel fully welcome and at home. As a parenting coach for raising resilient children, he blends his extensive experience mentoring nature awareness with timeless ways to weave ourselves back into community, towards an ever-deepening sense of belonging. www.naturaldads.com