Our Mentoring Model and Parents Survival Kit

Our Mentoring Model…

Wild Intelligence is dedicated to mentoring in nature connection. Ideally, this is a relationship between mentor and student that cultivates a healthy relationship between the student and and the cultural and natural communities of which she is a member.

Good nature connection mentoring is a very conscious and active practice. It is a living model, one that we are evolving based on what we see in our community and feel in our hearts.

What we want to achieve:
We want people to fall in love with nature, their communities, and themselves. While we share a great deal of skills and information about our world with our students, we place more emphasis on relationship.

Our work is less about learning objectives, and more about connection.

To accomplish this, we:

  • encourage practices that create connection and avoid those that do otherwise
  • create conditions suitable for growth, and then let nature take its course
  • slow down, embracing nature’s cycles and time frame
  • ask questions and encourage curiosity and self-discovery
  • empower people to discover and pursue their own interests and own identities
  • cultivate and practice deep awareness and core routines in ourselves
  • support each other in our own growth as mentors and as humans
  • release attachment, expectation and judgement

We know it’s working when those we work with:

  • become more open, sharing their authentic selves
  • embrace physicality and contact with nature
  • become vibrant and alive in their bodies
  • get excited by new mysteries in nature
  • ask lots of questions
  • spend more and more time fully engaged in their experience of life
  • show deeper awareness of the world and people around them
  • show increased compassion for living things
  • sense their relationship, connection and membership in the natural community

How you can help us:

  • spend unstructured time with your child outside as often as you can
  • play like you are a child
  • set up a ‘nature museum’ space for interesting things y’all find and keep it changing
  • leave some field guides laying around
  • get ‘caught’ looking at the field guides yourself
  • encourage and support their own time outside
  • ask them questions about what is going on in nature right now

  • did you hear that bird?
  • who is it?
  • what is it saying?
  • is it going to rain today?
  • can I eat this? where is it in the book?
  • are the redbuds blooming yet?
  • ask more questions about their life and how they feel, and less about what they learned
  • ask them to teach you something
  • ask them to tell you a story they heard
    • give them missions
    • sneak up on the cat
  • bring a plantain leaf for medicine
  • don’t force anything
  • release expectation
  • notice how your child is being in the world and how that changes over time
  • connect with your child’s lead mentor
  • let us know what you are seeing and how we are doing

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