Philosophy & Curriculum

Program Philosophy:

Thriving Roots values holistic learning and draws from the 8Shields Model that honors natural cycles and ancient mentoring practices, while respecting nature as our primary teacher.  Our small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring  allow students to excel in each area of our curriculum, bringing forth a natural passion and curiosity for learning, building community, and connecting more deeply with nature.

We offer an opportunity for youth and adults alike to explore and deepen their relationship to the natural world while creating a holistic learning environment through storytelling, music, adventure, games, and wilderness skills. By drawing from the teachings of nature and participants’ innate curiosity, instructors and students embark on a collective learning journey. Through this process participants develop a sense of belonging and stewardship for the environment, become mentors and leaders among their peers and in their communities, and grow into their fullest selves. Some of the nature-based activities that participants may learn are outlined below, including games and activities that cultivate a deeper understanding, relationship, and respect for the natural world, each other and themselves.

Core Curriculum
Wilderness Survival and Rewilding Skills
  • Learn many skills including shelter building, friction fire, and cordage
  •  Experience traditional cooking and food preservation
  • Learn animal processing, respectful trapping, and hide tanning
  • Enjoy natural crafting projects
Edible and Medicinal Plants, Stewardship
  • Learn how to identify and sustainably harvest wild foods and medicines
  • Learn many utilitarian uses of plants
  • Develop an ability to communicate with plants
  • Learn to care for the natural world

Wildlife Tracking
  • Learn the art and science of animal and sign tracking
  • Discover the stories that wildlife have left all around you
  • Know where to find wildlife based on track and sign
  • Learn to journal tracks effectively
 Naturalist Training
  • Explore and expand your knowledge of the plants, trees, animals, birds, and ecology of your area
  • Learn identification, taxonomy, and natural history
Natural Awareness, Bird Language, and Deep Nature Connection
  • Develop your natural intuition
  • Learn to understand various bird calls and what they mean
  • Sit spot:  foster a relationship with place
  • Learn to listen to the natural wisdom of nature
  • Experience nature as a friend and elder

 Earth Based Mentoring and Holistic Leadership
  • Build confidence
  • Enhance communication skills, deep listening and your ability to speak from the heart
  • Develop skills for working as a group
  • Learn tools for positively working through challenges
  • Grow as a leader and mentor
 Community Building and Cultural Regeneration
  • Build strong community and culture through song, storytelling, talking circles, and other activities
  • Foster the practice of gratitude
  • Celebrate each other and each of our unique gifts
  • Respect First Nations culture, traditions, and history and acknowledge that we are on unceded Coast Salish Territory
Inner Tracking, Empowered Personal Development
  • Learn to honor every experience as an opportunity for growth
  • Feel supported and safe in being yourself
  • Learn to expand your comfort zone
  • Take part in talking circles and council
  • Taking the leap: Walkabout, Overnight Solo and Rites of Passage

 Inquire about our custom programs designed uniquely for you!




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