Why we do this work:

If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”  (From Richard Louv’s book “Last Child Left in the Woods”

Join Our Newsletter

How we bring children and nature together:

Learning erupts organically as a flexible and intuitive relationship between adult, nature and child. This  is an approach of building relationships, moments of reflection and carefully guiding the learning process toward awareness, knowledge, skill and joyful play.

We honor the natural learning rhythms that mimic the natural world and couple that with nurturing the multiple intelligences of youth in a holistic and playful fashion. There are four key components to our teaching method:

  1. Sensory Awareness: Through sensory stimulation in a natural setting along with challenges that hone sensitivity toward being more fully alive and present in the moment.
  2. Mind Focus: Opportunities to focus on complex systems of nature and  reflect on the basic questions of life. Experience individual and group positive outcomes in the moment through hands on explorations, projects and positive adult role modeling.
  3. Self Reliance:  Challenge ourselves to participate in group discussions and problem solving using compassionate communication skills, problem solving activities and contribute to stories and decision making provides a sense of belonging, confidence and competence as an individual, part of a community and in connection to the larger world.
  4. Stewardship: Participate in local conservation projects, from picking up trash, removing invasive species, designing low water gardens and planting acorns and other native seeds are all examples of meaningful ways children can contribute in real ways to their world.
Coyote mentoring is the opposite of the education style we grew up with.

Rather than presenting a child with a curriculum and trying to mold them to fit the information, coyote mentoring meets each child where they’re at. Then, it’s about finding the limit of their abilities, their awareness, their comfort zone, and gently – almost invisibly – coaxing them beyond the edge of what they know.

Program Vision

Not only do we provide the joyful spaces for play, discovery and reflection, but the essential thinking and learning skills applied to all learning environments, and the confidence to inquire, experiment and make mistakes towards a desire to understand and explore the world. We guide children of all ages toward threshold experiences and provide stewardship projects that further strengthen the value of wilderness in our lives. 

The Ventura Wild experience brings children and families in our local communities renewed hope in the future, and joy in the present. These programs develop a personal sense of belonging and responsibility for the land, wildlife and ourselves.