Vision and Philosophy
I see a world where people are deeply in-touch with their primary, primal ancestral longings and have discovered a way to bring these things alive in their day-to-day lives. My hope is that this reconnection with what is ancient and primal in side of us will allow us to co-create a rejuvenated and regenerated planet and culture that benefits both the human and non-human world in a way that creates a planet the future generations will thrive on.
Teaching Approach and Philosophy:
Having studied with a number of amazing teachers and mentors over the years (including Jon Young, Harrison Moretz, Gilbert Walking Bull, Mick Dodge, and Sarah MacClean Bicknell), my approach is a blend and mix of the lineages of which I am apart. Ultimately, my goal in my writing, teaching, and mentoring is to help people discover their own truths and ways with the guidance and wisdom handed down through the ages and through many powerful lineages. I hope to empower people in their lives, to help them discover ease, peace and confidence, and to be lit up inside with their own primal passion, vitality, and power. I aim to do this through storytelling, inspiration, role modeling, deep listening and sharing, and ultimately through sharing tried and true techniques that reflect deep, universal principles of connection.
Meet Nate Summers
I grew up in the midwest of America in a small university town running barefoot and exploring a nearby pond. While I didn’t grow up with a lot of nature (there were corn and soybean fields in all directions outside of my hometown), my friends and I made the most of an early childhood in suburban setting with access to pond, open fields, and a little bit of forest. We caught fish, frogs, crawdads, and turtles and learned a natural way of playing with and connecting to nature.
As a teenager this all changed in a big way based off two major events. The first was getting to go and spend time each summer at the Ancient Lifeways Institute. My time spent at ALI in a stone-age immersion living camp is documented in my book Primal: Why We Long to Be Wild and Free. Some of my friends and I were taken there each summer by a truly amazing history teacher named Chris Butler from University High School. The camp was run by a man named John White of Cherokee and Shawnee descent. Assisted by his sons Jonah, Watie, and Mark and supported by his wife Ela, John took us on an ancestral journey to ancient roots. We learned to flintknap, make pottery from clay gathered straight from the earth, played with atl-atls, forged knives and spear, made cordage, and slept in traditional long-house style lodging. This immersive experience changed me forever and shaped hugely where I would go and who I would become.
Also as a teenager, my family and I took our first journey to the majestic mountain west in Montana. We started to spend summers there every year trout fishing, hiking, and exploring the epic natural history of the greater Yellowstone ecosytem including regularly seeing black and grizzly bears, visits to Yellowstone park, trout fishing anywhere we could, and gradually learning the flora and fauna of this epic beautiful part of the world. One of our regular journeys was on the Beartooth highway from Red Lodge over to Silver Gate, the northeast entrance to Yellowstone. This drive goes through the Top of the World and is one of the most pristine, alpine and subalpine views one can get in the lower 48 state. This is very close to the area in which wolves were first introduced to Yellowstone and the surrounding area.
During my college years, I dove deeply into two of my core passions: Asian Studies and Anthropology. Since that time, these two twin immense areas of study and exploration have continued to shape my life. When I was 19, I made my first journey to the Pacific Northwest and spent that summer working on Vashon Island just outside of Seattle in the Salish Sea. There I discovered the wonder of old-growth trees, backpacking in mountains, and the joys of playing with children outside. This would influence my work choices down the road. I also studied abroad in Japan during this time, and deepened my studies of marital arts and began studying East Asian healing modalities.
After college, my first job was at the Pocono Environmental Education Center working with kids from urban areas taking them on naturalist adventures in the Pocono hills and forests. I would meet people at PEEC who would direct me towards the Wilderness Awareness School as they realized my interest in tracking, nature awareness, and survival skills was a match with their approach.
I left PEEC in 1997, moved to Seattle and in-between freelance naturalist jobs and work, volunteered with Wilderness Awareness School as a youth instructor. I would work at WAS on and off for almost twenty years in a variety of roles both as an instructor for youth and adults and hold differing leadership roles. I also continued to pursue my deep love of movement and martial arts through years of study at the Taoist Studies Institute, and along the way I also went to acupuncture school and spent over a decade practicing and teaching Chinese medicine.
These days my life is a blend of all of the above but with a new direction as my wife Karen and I bring our own unique blend of primal adventure, deep nature connection, survival skills, and natural healing and medicine around the country and around the world. We’ve already traveled to Hawaii, Texas, and British Columbia while continuing to teach in the Seattle area. Future travel is likely to include Taiwan and China (a place Karen has been to numerous times) as well as to other nature schools and retreat centers where we plan to share our gifts and approaches with those interested.
Both of us are also blessed to be writers and now authors, and I’m truly excited to share my writing with the world and teach workshops and classes that expand on what is introduced in my books.
Jon Young is a deep nature-people-self connection researcher, mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, author, workshop leader, consultant, sought after public speaker and storyteller. Jon has been mentored in deep nature connection by his own grandmothers, Tom Brown, Jr. and a host of elders and experts. As a leader in the field of nature-based community building over 30 years, Jon’s research into the impact and significance of nature on mentoring, human intelligence, spiritually, well-being and development has influenced tens of thousands of people worldwide. Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). Jon has appeared in numerous documentaries including The Animal Communicator (2012). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his innovative work, which has inspired positive developments in the field, and fostered the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level. Jon is a father of six children, and lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his partner, Sarah
Sarah is a energywork practitioner, bodyworker, wildlife tracker, and interspecies communicator. She has studied wildlife tracking through Shikari Tracker Mentoring with Jon Young and Josh Lane, Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, and Cybertracker Conservation. She is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and studied Interspecies Communication with Anna Breytenbach and Wynter Worsthorne.
For over 19 years, Sarah has been practicing various healing modalities including Chakra-work, Craniosacral Therapy, Meridian Therapy, Qi Gong, Emotional Clearing, and Five Elements Herbalism. She currently offers Earth-based energywork sessions, and lives in the sandhill mountains near Santa Cruz, CA with her partner Jon.