Apprenticeship Opportunities for Teens & Adults

Our mentorship journeys are Coming-of-Age offerings designed to lead groups of six girls and boys through the initial steps of their transition into adulthood.  Our approach is inspired by the teachings and practices of our ancestors and many indigenous groups from around the world today.  Our time together focuses on the cultivation of each child’s unique strengths in service to our local and global communities. We strive to balance the masculine and feminine energies within and around us as we deepen our relationships with all of whom we share this land.  The fundamental mentorship format includes monthly nature excursions, monthly wisdom councils, and a year’s end rite-of-passage camp. We shift our focus each year from awareness of self, to awareness of community, to awareness of the planet as a whole.  In this time of rising social challenges, when many children in the modern world begin to turn away from nature in search of acceptance into popular culture, we offer a valuable opportunity for deepening connection, friendship, adventure, and service. Please read the full program description for important details about the program format, themes, mentor bios and more.

Description

Apprentices support the Lead Mentor through the entirety of the year. We ask for a minimum commitment of one year. With the agreement of their mentor, apprentices may continue to serve the same group for the completion of three years or become a Lead Mentor for a new group of youth. A one year commitment includes attending eight Saturday nature excursions (September – May, excluding December), eight Thursday evening wisdom councils (6-8 pm), and the 5 day rite-of-passage camp at the end of the school year*.  Apprentices are also welcome to participate in our Parent Wisdom Councils, occurring three times throughout the year.

Role of the Apprentice

During the first few months, the primary responsibility of an apprentice is to closely observe the interactions of the children, their awareness of the environment and the leadership skills of their mentor.  Apprentices also contribute to the safety, fluidity, and positive atmosphere of each gathering. To begin the apprenticeship journey, it is not necessary to know activities, games, songs, etc.  These will be taught along the way.  Once the apprentice has become comfortable with the group and familiar with the culture we create together, opportunities will be created for more direct leadership.

A commitment to continuing personal development is key.  As guides and models for the youth, who we are as unique, caring individuals is far more essential than anything we think we know about our world.

Attributes that we look for in apprentices and lead mentors include:

~ Reverence for, comfort in, and connection with the natural world
~ Gratitude and awareness of the forces and resources that sustain our lives
~ Self-love, authenticity, confidence, and enthusiasm
~ Patience, deep listening and self-reflection
~ Adventurous spirit, curiosity, and ability to face challenge with grace
~ Experience with personal transformation that has inspired greater responsibility for ones own life and impact on the world

Apprentices support the Lead Mentor by assisting with transitions, communicating instructions, resolving conflicts, offering one-on-one support for the youth, remaining calm and solution-oriented under pressure, and holding the container for the group in moments when the Lead Mentor may step away momentarily to address an issue, speak to parents, or prepare an activity.

Becoming a Lead Mentor

The intention of this apprenticeship journey is to support those interested in outdoor empowerment education, who seek to develop the confidence, experience, and skills needed to guide youth and culture toward a more heart-centered and eco-conscious presence on this earth .  A minimum of a one year apprenticeship is necessary to become a Lead Mentor for any of our mentorship journeys.

As the Apprentice demonstrates confidence in their role, connection with the youth, and interest in greater contribution, the Lead Mentor will share more of the organizational, creative, and logistical aspects of planning and implementing the curriculum. The degree of involvement of the Apprentice in planning and leadership will be determined by the development goals of the Apprentice.  At the start of the year, the Apprentice will set personal goals that apply to mentoring, leadership, skill and education development.  These goals will form the basis of a formal agreement between mentor and apprentice to support and encourage the greatest value and growth possible through the course of the apprenticeship.

How to Apply:

Apprenticeship Application

Please mail a completed application to Nature’s Mystery P.O. box 741 Cottage Grove, OR, 97424 or by email to nathaniel@naturesmystery.org

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