Art of Mentoring

The Willamette Valley Art of Mentoring 2020:

Holistic Tracking the Threads of Community

UPDATE: We have cancelled our in-person gathering this year…

However, we are excited to offer an online program in collaborative action with 8 Shields – click here for more info!

As well, please join us in looking joyward to June 23-27, 2021!

Lost Valley Education and Event Center in Dexter, Oregon

A Journey of Heart & Mind

Join Regenerative Roots and special guest Jon Young — renowned nature connection mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, peacemaker, and storyteller — to explore how the art of mentoring and holistic tracking enable us to awaken our senses, recognize reciprocity, and dance with the threads of community.

Deep in all of our roots, there are stories of 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 designed to help us remember these old ways of awareness and mentoring and learn to apply them to our modern communities.

By embracing the art of mentoring, we honor our ancestral roots, taking on the role of tracker, observing the landscape, deeply listening to the messages offered, and shaping our community in a healthy and holistic way.

Through the lens of holistic tracking we seek to align ecological and cultural awareness, deepening our understanding of the human community within the natural world. The knowledge and perspective we receive from tracking mysteries and catching stories reveals the interconnectedness between people and place. Thus, we will experience what it means to be in right relationship, acknowledging that a core purpose of tracking is to nourish ourselves, our community, and our landscape.

In many cultures, and especially in the time of our ancestors, the eight directions offered forward a particular perspective, with unique energy and associated attributes. During our time together, we will navigate the insight and inspiration of each direction, embracing our Inner Happiness(E), Vitality(SE), Mentoring(S), Empathy(SW), Gifts(W), Presence(NW), Love(N), and Vision(NE)!

A Growing Global Movement

For more than 20 years, the Art of Mentoring, a program developed by Jon Young (co-founder 8 Shield Institute; co-founder Wilderness Awareness School; author of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature and What the Robin Knows), has inspired individuals to gather together as a courageous community, inviting dynamic conversation and story-telling, facilitating experiential learning and discovery, and fostering deep nature connection.

The Art of Mentoring is held as a multi-day gathering in various locations within the U.S. and Canada, and increasingly so, in Europe and Australia. We are excited to share in the growing momentum of people and organizations who sponsor the Art of Mentoring in their local communities!!

The Art of Mentoring is:

  • an experiential workshop that sparks playful explorations, skillful observations, and courageous conversations.
  • an invitation to immerse yourself into the rhythms, cycles, synchronicities, and mysteries of nature.
  • an intentional practice for tending communities of connection that serve and sustain a vibrant village.
  • a dynamic forum that is an evolving and unique expression of those who gather together each time.
  • a whole community event designed for individuals or families and participants of all ages, from infant to elder.

Come solo, with friends, with a partner, or with your family…any and all combinations are reflective of the communities we live in!

As the effect of nature connection, Coyote Mentoring, and the seeds of a healthier culture formed, children and adults both began to thrive in this new environment. They developed inner quietness, a calm presence, a lust for adventure, deep curiosity, and that twinkle in the eye that says so much. There was much laughter, there was hope, there were tears of joy and sorrow – and all these feelings were freely expressed.

Jon Young, Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature

A Vibrant Village Culture

Art of Mentoring is based on a well-tested model, and provides knowledge, tools and practices that enrich relationships and allow participants to create a powerful culture of connection in all aspects of their life and community.

Our rhythm and routines will include deep questions, interwoven stories and song, dynamic skill and knowledge sharing, and collective inspirations to emerge and evolve in playful, soulful, meaningful ways:

  • Expand Sensory Awareness
  • Honor the Reciprocity between People and Place
  • Activate Wonder, Awe, and Discovery
  • Integrate Knowing-Doing-Being
  • Foster a Sense of Belonging
  • Cultivate Compassion and Courageous Authenticity
  • Spark and further Ignite your Purpose
  • Hardwire Neurological, Socio-emotional, and Physical Pathways of Resilience and Well-being


Who is this for?
Art of Mentoring is for anyone who wants to participate in an ancient mentoring experience that can offer solutions and options for regenerative practices within our modern world.

This includes those who are involved in care-tending roles, whether it be of people or place, and for those who pursue artistry, agency, and advocacy within local and global spheres of influence: parents, educators, healthcare providers, social workers, therapists, healers, musicians, naturalists, ecological stewards, social change agents, etc.

Bring your passion…our intent is to provide the sparks that further ignite your purpose!

Program Overview
Adult and youth programs run simultaneously, weaving together to form a “village” with connection to nature, community, and self as the culture. Throughout the week, we will gather as whole community during meal times and evening fire circle gatherings.  As well, during the day, intentional activities will be orchestrated within and across program groups.

  • Adult Program (18yr+) – Ring One and Ring Two
  • Teen Program (12yr – 17yr)
  • Youth Program (9yr – 12 yr)
  • Youth Program (6yr – 9yr)
  • Bear & Cub Program (adult with their child 2yr – 5yr)

Ring One – Designed to offer participants foundational practices and routines to support their nature connection journey.

Ring Two – Designed to support RETURNING AoM adult participants in expanding their embodied practices and routines while exploring new edges.  This is offered as a choice, participants with prior AoM experience are welcome to be a part of Ring One. Please note that there may be times that Ring Two does not participate in a whole community activity or conversation.

Teen Program – Teens will be supported to spend one night away from the main camp, hiking to a secluded spot within the property for additional facilitated self-discovery; the teens will depart Friday morning and rejoin the group before Saturday lunch. Accordingly, please ensure your teen has what they need to be comfortable for one night of sleeping under the stars.  Specific information will be shared in the weeks prior to the workshop.

Bear & Cub Program – Seeks to foster nature connection and discovery for our youngest participants (child 2yr – 5yr; “cub”) and requires side-by-side participation with their parent/adult (“bear”). As noted above, there will also be times throughout the weekend where groups will engage in activities together.

Parents, please note:
…Teen and Youth programs each have “bridge” years. Children aged 12 can elect to participate in the Teen or the older Youth Program; similarly, children aged 9 can elect the older or younger Youth Program.
children 2yrs and younger participate in AoM for FREE. As well, if you are a parent of a child less than 2yrs old, you are welcome to either join the Bear & Cub group or to respectfully navigate your time with Ring One, as appropriate to support your needs and the needs of your child.

Come Gather Together with Nature as Inspiration and Invitation to Explore and Engage in Regenerative Practices that Lay the Foundation for Healthy, Harmonic, and Thriving Communities.

Nature Connection  ♦ Mentoring  ♦  Tracking  ♦  Peacemaking  ♦  Mindful Presence

Participant Reflections from Prior Years
About the Overall Experience:

  • Connectivity. Great energy and fun. Lots of good insights and it all reminded me how I wanted to continue to feel and to live more from my heart and less in my head. I feel much more balanced and open hearted and am living more joyfully and authentically!
  • I truly started to feel like I’d known some of these people for awhile. It felt like such a supportive and safe environment to be in.

About Our Activities:

  • Each had threads that built this web of respect, listening, patience, humor, cooperation, gentleness, deep knowing and honoring of our wisdom, teaching and learning and loving All in harmony with Nature.
  • All activities were beautifully done. Each family member had a favorite, and they were all different!

About Our Staff & Site:

  • Everyone was absolutely incredible! So inspiring, kind and they each seemed to shine from within while offering their own special gifts and energies. I appreciated the diversity and coming together, it felt like a very balanced and whole group of mentors.
  • Lost Valley is a beautiful space. The land and people are peaceful and welcoming. The food was prepared and shared with love and great attention to nurturing our bodies.

A Sense of Place and Space

Lost Valley Education and Event Center ♦ Dexter, Oregon
Map to Lost Valley (located about 25 minutes southeast of Eugene)

We are delighted to be hosting AoM this year at Lost Valley Education & Event Center, an 87 acre nature sanctuary located where the Willamette Valley meets the Cascades. Known for promoting permaculture, sustainable living, and community, Lost Valley offers a lush and wild landscape for our weekend of connection. Choose between pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars, or enjoying the comfortable, dorm style accommodations that are located on the property.

The talented and whole-hearted chefs at Lost Valley will nourish us during our time together. With great skill, love, and intention, they will prepare a buffet of organic vegetarian fare for each of our meals with fresh and local ingredients. Respectful and joyful attention will be offered to support those with dietary needs, including gluten free and vegan. If desired, participants can access a small outdoor kitchen (stove, sink, fridge) to store and prepare meat.

Click here to learn more about Lost Valley.

We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the Kalapuya people, across generations – past, present, and future, who have nurtured and been nurtured by this central Willamette Valley where we will hold our Art of Mentoring gathering.

Workshop Registration

  • Begin Time: Wednesday, 8/19 @ 1:00pm; participants are encouraged to arrive between 11am – 1pm to set up tent/dorm room
  • End Time: Sunday, 8/23 @ 3:30pm; there will be ample time afterwards to break camp

Program fees include organic vegetarian meals (Wed-dinner through Sun-lunch) and are based on tent camping arrangement.
See below for details on dorm lodging options and pricing.

Two Tier Ticket Pricing
As an organization, our commitment is to make the Art of Mentoring experience possible for all who express an interest and resonate with the values and vision of fostering regenerative practices within whole community. Toward that aim, we have established Two Tiers of ticket pricing.

  • Buying a REGENERATIVE Tier ticket contributes to our whole community vision and enables us to optimize scholarship funds.
  • Buying a ROOTS Tier ticket provides foundational support to our organization by covering core event expenses.

It is possible to select a combination of Regenerative and Roots Tier tickets in order to contribute to the sustainability of AoM within the Willamette Valley at a level that is comfortable to you. Thank you for considering what is most aligned for you at this time!

For both tiers, ticket prices reflect the very minimum costs for running this big event — pricing is structured in pursuit of a net zero profit margin. Hundreds of volunteer hours make this possible.

In addition, partial scholarships are available (15%-50% discount) with the number of opportunities dependent on the level of charitable donations and participants opting to purchase Regenerative Tier tickets. If you wish to apply for scholarship funds, please complete this short application.

TICKET TYPEREGENERATIVE TierROOTS Tier
Adult (18yr - 54yr)$550$505
Adult (55yr+) - Emerging Elder / Elder$475$430
Adult - 2nd Parent$475$430
Adult - Parent with young child ("Bear")$425$380
Teen (12yr - 17yr)$425$380
Youth (6yr - 11yr)$325$280
Young Child (3yr - 5yr "Cub")$195$150

Dorm Lodging options: Each bed has bottom/top sheet, pillow/pillow case, and blankets

  • Multiple occupancy room = $32 additional per person
  • Single occupancy room = $80 additional

Come sit by the fire with me,
And watch shadows dance in the trees,
The flames of the fire, will always inspire,
A story or a song we can sing!

Patrick M.