Providing learning opportunities for young adults, parents, teachers, and elders


Each spring we host a volunteer staff training for community members interested in learning the basics of our mentoring philosophy and process.  When we say it takes a village to raise a child, we actually mean it.  Building trust relationships through mentorship is not a one-size fits all endeavor.  Each adult, whether paid staff or volunteer, has unique life experiences, interests, and personality traits to collectively meet our kids right at the place where we are needed.

“My volunteering started with a curiosity to know exactly what my son was doing in the woods all day and wondering what was putting that huge smile on his face when he came home. The training gave me new tools I can use at Ravenwood but also at home, work, or just life in general.  Volunteering made me realize that as a working mom, I needed a little time in the woods myself.  I can’t wait to go back to camp!” –Melissa Meuter, parent and volunteer staff

Our volunteers are community heroes and can take the training and applied skills as far as they like in the context of the various camps and programs running during our primary season.  The training is the beginning of a personal journey to explore self, the power of nature connection mentoring, and the building of authentic trust among staff and with the families we serve.

Send us an e-mail if you’d like to learn more or register for our training. Check our calendar for upcoming dates.


Each summer we host an Elder Fire at Camp Night Hawk and bring our Elders to Teen Camp to hear stories and reflect with our teens after their important solo work.  Elder Fire is anticipated greatly by the kids, staff, and elders alike.  The campfire area is cleaned and adorned, the kids greet and serve a meal fit for royalty (camp-style anyway!), often with special handmade gifts and flower crowns.  After the meal the elders visit with each other, reflecting on their own learning at this special time of life and relishing the energy and joy that comes to them from being with the kids at camp.

The kids then welcome everyone to the fire circle where we share our songs, stories, and laughter.  After some opening words and introductions, the kids are given the opportunity to ask questions they’ve been working out during their quiet moments at their sit spots or as they drift to sleep in the tipi or under the stars.  The elders share stories that relate to the questions and offer advice and new questions for the kids to ponder.  Emotions often run high and a special quality of experience emerges as the light fades and the fire illuminates our hearts and eyes.

What a gift to share these moments and remember to honor our elders for all they have learned and survived and are willing to share.  We have just scratched the surface of possibilities with this intention and are very excited about where it is headed for Ravenwood and our entire community.


Each year our founding Executive Director, Brett Holmquist, and Program Director Jennifer Bresee, conduct custom trainings for various groups that offer outdoor learning opportunities in the region. The National Park Service, local preschool programs, youth at risk treatment programs, drop-out prevention programs, private and public school teachers, and parents looking to add depth to their outdoor adventures with their children– have all benefited from the powerful insights of deep nature connection mentoring and the specific process that guides it.

Please contact us if you’d like to visit about customizing a training program for you and your staff or co-workers.

Download the Forms

Adult Waiver Form