The Texas Art of Mentoring: Caracaras, Sun and Moon Clan, Community Night and Texas Hospitality

As part of my recent travels, I was lucky enough to be invited to be one of the facilitators for the 4th Art of Mentoring class hosted by EarthNative Survival School outside of Austin near Bastrop, Texas. EarthNative is an exceptional survival, deep nature connection, and tracking school started by my friend Dave Scott. Dave is a really gifted instructor, naturalist, tracker, and has mad survival skills, and it was a big honor to join him, his staff, and the participants for a week of immersive deep nature connection and diving deep into the art of mentoring.

I was lucky enough to arrive on the EarthNative campus and land a couple days early and get acquainted with Dave’s EarthNative staff and the team that would be helping run the program for the week. I was really struck by how lush the central Texas location was with greenery popping out everywhere as we were close to spring equinox. The land was filled with pecan trees, numerous vines, poison ivy sprouting up all over the place (which looks very similar to box elder a totally harmless tree), birds singing and doing mating calls, and quite a few tracks. In fact, in my first few hours there Dave took me on a little tour, and I saw both gray fox tracks (which I hadn’t seen for years) and armadillo tracks (which I saw for the first time and are quite unusual looking-almost like weird turkey tracks).

The team for the week was amazing, and it was really fun to get to know such a talented team of naturalist, facilitators, and instructors. Most of the team either currently work for Dave at EarthNative, are former staff, or are advanced students in the school’s adult programs (like their Survival intensive). Everyone was also a graduate of previous Art of Mentoring trainings or had similar experience through another program (such as doing a year-long immersion at Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake program). Lenny, Neal, Lauren, Shawn, Ann, and Britt joined Dave and myself to round out the team. The diversity and creativity of the team was immense, and rarely if ever have I gotten to work with an Art of Mentoring team that was communicated so effortlessly and easily.

For me the week at EarthNative was joyful, fun, exciting, and deeply soulfully satisfying. Educators, mentors, parents, and even just the curious joined us for the six-day program, and we were also joined by several EarthNative newer staff and Krissy our amazing cook (who has the best system for food intolerances that I’ve ever seen).