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2008, Living Mandala
creative services by: 360 Degrees











Hosted By

8 Shields Institute


Jon Young

Mark Morey

Lauren Dalberth

David Hage

Nicole Young

Josh Lane

Caitlin Williams

& Many More

Course Description

Deep in all of our roots, there are stories of our ancestors living in healthy, regenerative communities—villages where people of all ages were in deep relationship with the land, each other, and themselves.  The Art of Mentoring is a week-long, experiential, nature based program designed to help us remember these old ways and learn to apply them to our modern communities.

Guided by a team of experienced leaders and facilitators from around the world, Art of Mentoring participants come together to experience, learn from and co-create a joyful, engaged learning community. You will walk away with tools and embodied practices of regenerative community design, mentoring techniques, deep nature connection, and an amplified passion for learning. Our hope is to activate and inspire you to create healthy communities right in your own back yard!

The course is taught through group experiential activities, lectures, storytelling, and music. We will be both indoors and outside exploring in the field.

Because it Takes a Village…

Yes, It takes a Village to raise a child. It also takes a Village to:

    * Engage the gifts of our elders

    * Create essential rites of passage  for our teens

    * Ensure parents are supported and thriving

    * Welcome our babies into a world of open arms

    * Feel deep compassion and gratitude for All of Our Relations

    * Understand your gifts and how to apply them in service to        the people.

This is a Family Friendly Event!

Creating a village where the whole family is welcome, supported and growing together is an important element to the Art of Mentoring culture. In that spirit, there are youth nature connection programs for children aged 4-12 and a teen program for youth ages 13-18. Both the teen program and the youth program run concurrently with the adult program, overlapping for most meals (read further for more information).

Opportunities for Returning Participants

This year we are offering a 2nd level experience in the Art of Mentoring for folks who have previously attended an Art of Mentoring. This “Ring 2 experience will include staff guided nature connection and core routine activities deepening your capacity to guide others in nature connection and core routines. We have a limit of 20 in this program. For more Information please email:

About 8 Shields Institute

The 8 Shields Institute utilizes a finely tuned, tried and true mentoring model that has proven to create healthy and vibrant natural leaders and nature-based communities around the world. 8 Shields Founder Jon Young, along with others, has utilized the 8 Shields Mentoring Model to inspire and train the leaders of over a hundred of these communities worldwide.

For over 30 years the 8 Shields Mentoring Model has been applied, cultivated and honed. It represents the wisdom and teachings of beloved elders and cultures from around the world, who demonstrate ancient patterns for connecting deeply with nature and people.

What is the 8 Shields Mentoring Model?

This mentoring model is based on the patterns that can be observed in nature. It models these cycles in a way that allows the observer to categorize these patterns and apply them in a variety of settings. This mentoring approach is very effective at mapping the flow of learning. This model is also used for organizing effective team interactions and cultural processes within community, educational, business, and many other settings.

Basic cycles including the phases of the day and the seasons are easy to observe. They have much to teach us, and the lessons can be applied across many disciplines to increase our understanding of learning, mentoring, culture and their effective application.

There are eight shields in this model, each corresponding to a time of day and the phases of many other natural processes. Each shield has its own unique energetic archetype, associated natural phenomena, and even its own relationship to the process of learning and mentoring. Each shield becomes a peg on which to hang layers of patterns in an orderly, natural way.

With the 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring Model it becomes possible to map the phases and relationships occurring in nature, both on a grand scale and also within the nuances of human learning and culture. Within the context of mentoring nature connection, the 8 Shields Group has effectively used this model to map the journey of nature connection and create a toolkit of methods to enhance this journey both on an individual and community level.

To Register Click Here.


Art of Mentoring

Creating Resilient Mentors, Village & Community

August 6-12, 2012

Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Registration & Pricing

Early Bird: $750 - Register By May 15

Adult: $850

Spouse: $595

Teen: (13 + up) $525

Youth: (9-12) $475

Kids: (4-9) $450

Groups: When a community or school gathers multiple participants discounts are:

  1. *3-6 Enrollments: 5% discount per person - enter coupon     code: AOMgroup1

  2. *6 or more Enrollments: 10% discount per person - enter coupon code: AOMgroup2

Tuition includes; meals and lodging. There are a limited number of cabins available, if interested please contact: for info and reservations.

To Register Click Here.

Opportunities for Returning Participants!

This year we are offering a 2nd level experience in the Art of Mentoring for folks who have previously attended an Art of Mentoring. This “Ring 2 experience will include staff guided nature connection and core routine activities deepening your capacity to guide others in nature connection and core routines. We have a limit of 20 in this program. For more Information please email:

Youth Program

The Youth Program for children 7-12 old and the Kid’s Program for 4-6 year-olds make it possible for the whole family to attend the Art of Mentoring and is a critical part of the living culture of awareness. The children add the spark of playfulness as they interact with workshop participants at mealtimes and the evenings. Participants also get to witness mentoring at work with children as the children explore, imagine and play outside with the guidance of a regional network of instructors. The children in turn have an enlivened experience of what it might be like to live in a village surrounded by adults looking out for them.

The Youth & Kids’ programs include sensory awareness games and exercises, earth living skills, native scout skills, arts and crafts, music and storytelling, and getting to know the natural world through “native eyes.” Children learn these skills and knowledge through artful mentoring that taps into their passions and interests.

The format is similar to a day camp running from Sunday through Friday. The children’s program makes it possible for parents to participate in most workshop activities; however, there are some limitations you need to be aware of. Parents must supervise their children at all meal times as well as during the early evening and bedtime. For this reason, at least one parent will not be able to participate when evening workshop sessions are scheduled.

For more information, please contact Michelle Sauceda at:

To Register Click Here.

AOM Teen Program: Mountains to Sea Teen Rendezvous

The AOM Teen Program is designed to immerse teens in wilderness living and adventure. Guided by a team of experienced nature connection mentors, the teens will connect more deeply to the natural world, their peers and themselves through daily activities including primitive skills, tracking, awareness games, scout skills, team building, etc.

The week will culminate with a Mountains to Sea Rendezvous- an overnight backpack leaving from the Art of Mentoring base camp and heading out from the mountains to the sea and back again.

Enriching the experience and making it more than “overnight camp,” the Teen Program will have connections with a community of elders, aunts, uncles, and youth that have formed around the Art of Mentoring. The teens will leave with an embodied experience of what it might be like to live in a village surrounded by adults looking out for them. They will play an important role in bringing back the stories of the landscape to the village at large.

For more information, please contact Michelle Sauceda at:

Participant Highlights:

    “I am grateful for this whole beautiful week! I am feeling super inspired that a) this exists and there are so many incredible brilliant people involved, and b) I can start integrating this stuff into our programs.”

    “Having the kids present amidst the village experience was great!” “The kids’ program was fantastic!” “We loved so much of it! The kids are full! inspired! and happy! I will always remember the meals, the singing and of course the coyote song!”


“I feel more supported in my path. Also I feel more assured that nature connection and people connection is doable in my home community”

    “Much needed reminders and conceptually deepened understanding of cultural elements and vital community processes”

    “The Cultural Elements. . . I love that there is essentially a roadmap to build culture/community”


Facilitators & Instructors

Jon Young

Jon Young grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and was mentored from from the age of 10 as a naturalist, tracker, survivalist, and mentor in a Native American tradition by the tracker and author Tom Brown, Jr. He received his BS in Environmental Science in 1983 from Cook College, Rutgers University, with particular emphasis on natural history and anthropology and a focus on how native cultures helped their children understand and connect with the natural world. From 1984 to 1994, Jon was mentored as naturalist, tracker, cultural specialist and mentor by the African Akamba elder Ingwe. Inspired by his mentoring with Tom Brown, Jr., fueled by his studies in natural history and anthropology, and guided by the elder Ingwe, Jon has pioneered blending Native mentoring and cultural techniques from around the world with a broad array of tools for connecting with nature, and developing refined and holistic tracking skills. Jon co-founded the Wilderness Awareness School with the support of the honored elder Ingwe in 1983, and has created several popular training tape series, including being the principal author of both the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and The North American Master Shikari Sequence for CyberTracker. Out of the Wilderness Awareness School, Jon developed a system that is now called “8 Shields Cultural Mentoring”. This system tracks processes and mentoring techniques that are built into the design of one-on-one mentoring programs, family mentoring practices, community-based mentoring, and more traditional modes of education. The 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring model has now influenced well over 100 nature and eco-community programs in the United States, Canada and Europe, and is also used in his consulting for organizations, government agencies and communities worldwide. Jon has utilized the 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring model to develop and enhance community development for communities interested in working with peace-making as it relates to nature connection. This has evolved into a world-wide network of practicing communities. Jon has given over 1000 public presentations and has helped many PhD and Masters students as well as undergraduates with the completion of their degrees on topics ranging from native education to wildlife tracking. Jon is married and has six children, and truly wants his children and future grandchildren to experience the joy and benefits of living in a whole and healthy world and as part of a remarkable community of mentors! For more information on Jon Young visit

Mark Morey

Founder of the Institute of Natural Learning & the Vermont Wilderness School

Mark Morey is a creative artist, visionary educator, cultural engineer, and consultant who designs regenerative holistic communities with timeless native principles. He founded three transformational organizations in the last 13 years: Deep Wilds, Vermont Wilderness School, and the Institute for Natural Learning, sparking a nature and community awareness movement in the Northeast impacting 7,000 adults and children today. He has facilitated or co-facilitated wilderness survival and spiritual passages for teens and adults since 1997, including over 50 week-long Art of Mentoring passages for adults, and 7 years of Sacred Fire rites of passages for boys. Mark feels inspired by the hero’s journey model, the oral history of his ancestors and native people around the world. Mark’s passion for environmental healing and consciousness has gained him wide recognition as a leader in earth centered learning. He currently lives in Putney Vermont where he plays the fiddle, stand up bass, plants garlic in the community garden, gives talks for Putney Transition Town, runs an overnight youth program at the central school and attends the local contra dance. His 10 yr old daughter is the light of his life.

Lauren Dalberth

Lauren is a core facilitator of the Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness Intensive (RDNA) & the Four Seasons Permaculture Design Course at the egenerative Design Institutein Bolinas, CA. She is a co-owner and principal designer for Weaving Earth, a Permaculture design firm specializing in Holistic Landscape Design, Nature Awareness & Permaculture Education Services, Garden Coaching and Nature Mentoring. She has been working and learning in the field for over 10 years and brings a deep commitment and strong background to her work. As an Educator and Permaculture designer, Lauren’s intention is to revive and foster the vital relationship that humans play in the creation and regeneration of healthy ecosystems, both on the land and in the community. Her work in the world is a call to humanity to once again step into our role as caretakers of the earth and do our part to create fertile, abundant and regenerative ecosystems for the future generations to enjoy. Her in- depth work facilitating the Art of Mentoring and Cultural Mentoring models are a strong seed toward that vision. Lauren’s deep curiosity and love of life keep her learning new things in each moment! ( She and her partner, David Hage, co-founded Weaving Earth, a permaculture design business dedicated to bringing permaculture design possibilities and nature awareness education to the local community. Lauren is inspired by her moments spent with the natural world and enjoys tracking, wandering, bird language, the ocean and playing music.

David Hage

Since discovering Permaculture and tracking as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay in 2000, Dave has continued, both personally and professionally, down a path of exploration in the realm of Regenerative Community Design. In 2005 he was a part of the pioneering class of the Regenerative Design & Nature Awareness program (RDNA), the first intensive of its kind to blend the fields of Permaculture and Nature Connection into one program. Currently Dave is core staff for the RDNA program and the Four Seasons Permaculture Design Course at the Regenerative Design Institute. Dave is also a trained Wilderness Rites of Passage guide, and has been facilitating Vision Quests for the past 7 years. He strongly believes that returning rights of passage to our culture is a critical element of regenerative design. His passion and enthusiasm for working with people of all ages, helping them connect to nature, and to their true, powerful selves, make Dave a potent teacher and an effective mentor.

Nicole Young

In 1995 Nicole co-founded Villa Villa Cola, a media production company and collaborative of female skateboarders. She also co-founded Wild by Nature in 2005, a camp for young women involving surfing, skateboarding and nature. Nicole is a key collaborator in the Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness Program, Village Builders, and other 8 Shields=based programs local to Santa Cruz, California. Nicole works with the Shikari Tracking Guild on Wildlife survey project for local land trusts, and wildlife tracker trainings. She also works with Owlink Media in program development and facilitation, and as a video producer. Nicole and her husband, Jon, have two children and live in Santa Cruz. Nicole is passionate about Surfing, Skateboarding, Nature, Permaculture/Regenerative Design, Mentoring and Creativity. Her dream is to create pathways for children, adults and herself to continue experiencing the mystery and wonder of this beautiful place called earth.

Josh Lane

Josh contributes to a variety of the 8 Shields & Shikari Tracking Guild nature connection programs both in the field as a facilitator and also as a curriculum development specialist. Josh is a Facilitator for programs including: Getting Nature Connected, Village Builders, and Essentials of Nature Awareness Call Series Mentor – Shikari Tracker Training Personal Mentoring Services. Josh holds a level 3 certification in Wildlife Track & Sign Interpretation from Cybertracker Conservation International. He is also a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and has completed advanced training in the Shikari Tracker Training Program. Josh sat under the same tree every day in New England for four years and has had chickadees land on his head, visits from fishers and foxes, and even had wild rabbits sit next to him within inches under the shade. When he’s not outside (or even if he is outside), Josh is known to write and sing folk music and play the mandolin. Currently he is learning to play traditional Irish tunes on the fiddle.

Caitlin Williams

Caitlin is a tracking field instructor a Facilitator for the Getting Nature Connected Program, and also specializes in mentoring for young children. She also teaches Environmental Biology at Deanza Community College in San Jose, California. Caitlin has studied the art of tracking with many of the top experts in the field. She achieved a level 3 certification in Wildlife Track & Sign Interpretation from Cybertracker Conservation International, and also a level 2 in the Trailing test. Caitlin was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle while teaching a tracking class at Deanza College.

And Many More...

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