Our core curriculum for all NatureLink programs is structured and informed by The 8 Shields Cultural-Mentoring Model. Grounded in ancestral wisdom, with the patterns and cycles of the natural world, this model creates capacity for individuals to embody the rhythms of their environment and grow into their true potential. It incorporates traditional mentoring and deep nature connection practices, while being fully supported through our neurological, emotional, and physical connections to the natural world.
Our core curriculum is fully structured under The 8 Shields Cultural-Mentoring model. 8 Shields is based on the patterns and cycles of the natural world to show us how to connect deeply with ourselves and one another. This model incorporates traditional mentoring and deep nature connection practices, and is fully supported through our neurological, emotional, and physical connections to the natural world.
NatureLink uses the methods of Deep Nature-Connection Mentoring, Transformational Wilderness Guiding, and Coaching within all programs. This allows us to draw on inherent enthusiasm and wisdom for the natural world as a context to actively engage participants in the learning process. Children, youth, and adults are guided by the mentor/guide/coach towards an empowering curiosity-driven discovery experience. We also provide Coaching as a separate service for clients to gain greater self-awareness, empowerment, and connection to purpose. Through mentoring, coaching, and guiding we are ultimately able to create a greater capacity for supporting individuals and groups in leveraging their intrinsic gifts.
East: Hazards, Awareness, and Safety
We put participant safety and awareness above all else during our programs. As participants become more aware of the natural world, themselves, and each other, we call them to be alert and use common sense to build on their experience. We want to cultivate a curiosity in these experiences so that all participants become comfortable with their natural surroundings so that they can then become inspired.
Southeast: Guiding, Role-Modeling & Life Coaching
We use a combination of Nature Connected Coaching and Deep Nature Connection Mentoring to activate people into learning about themselves and their relationship to the natural world. We model this culture of Connection Modeling by activating the childhood passions within and bridging the gap between inspiration and focused learning.
We focus on a holistic approach on how systems interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems. We are committed to providing high quality experiential learning experiences that emphasize the interdependence of knowledge, develop design-thinking skills, and value the natural cycle of learning. By involving participants in these experiences we then use the Art of Questioning to create inspiration, curiosity, and focus behind our subject.
Southwest: Deep Nature-Connection
We deeply understand the importance of developing core routines in nature connection through our work and daily life. We strive to help participants experience the powerful transformations that nature provides through our mind, body, and spirit, in order to establish a truthful intuitiveness that guides us towards having a healthy and a harmonious lifestyle.
West: Collective Resilience
We work with not only individuals but also with communities. We explore how we can truly listen to each other to improve our relationships, families, and community. We support participants as they come back into their community to help them share their personal intrinsic gifts. By coming together as a community we then foster individual skills and competence, and by harvesting the learning improvements of youth, we then can build competent resilient communities that thrive.
Just as we reflect back on everything we have gained, we must also understand that we are all interconnected. Our livelihood is inseparable without nature, so in order to sustain ourselves, we must know how to steward the land around us. We must also understand how important it is to care for others and ourselves.
North: Regenerative Design
We merge nature connection modeling into life design and permaculture design to help participants make sense of their future and manifest positive change through implementing their leadership skills. We understand that we have the wisdom and insight to transform our learned experiences into to real action. We create programs and projects that allow participants to move beyond hands-on experiences to gaining skills that they can take to create personal and social change in their community. We believe that by collaborating with other programs, businesses, schools, and organizations we can integrate thoughtful designs that create practical solutions towards social justice, ecological stewardship, community resilience, and sustainability.
Northeast: Sense of Self and Place
We begin by respecting each other and ourselves and create space for understanding why we are all even here on Earth in the first place. We believe that when we think of ourselves as deeply embedded in the larger web of life, then the idea of the world feeling so large to us seems entirely more natural. When we identify with something larger than ourselves we then think back to how this compares to our family, friends, work team, and community in how this helps us become part of who we are. We truly believe that there is so much more to us than just a separate self and that our nature connected self is based on recognizing that we are part of many larger systems, patterns, and circles of life.