We Are Nature Workshops for Adults

“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE.

Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”  

~ Andy Goldsworthy



Join skilled and experienced VWP mentors for explorations in the nature of ourselves as part of the natural world and the land of beautiful Vashon Island. Each workshop is designed to introduce you to practices that will awaken your connection with yourself, the Earth, and each other. 


2017-2018 Workshop Schedule 




Finding Your Place in Nature – An Introduction to The Core Routines of Deep Nature Connection 


October 21st, 10am-4pm, $75 | ENROLL


The demands of living in a fast-paced, technology driven world can leave us feeling overwhelmed, ungrounded, and disconnected from a sense of health and wholeness and our innate wisdom. One of the most powerful ways to connect with yourself and the natural world is to slow down, open your heart to appreciation, expand your senses, and listen to the quietest of sounds within and around you. Creating a safe and comfortable place for yourself in nature to visit regularly allows you to develop keen awareness and observation skills, and a presence with all life. You begin to experience patterns and cycles in nature and understand your place in the community of all beings. Through gentle nature-based practices, immersion in wild places, storytelling, journaling, and more, you will relax into the healing and rejuvenating energy of Nature.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • a nature-based mindfulness practice to awaken your deep sensory awareness
  • how to begin (or deepen) a daily gratitude practice
  • how to be comfortable in nature
  • a road map to find the perfect Sit Spot at home

Your Guide:

Rachel Sursely, Instructor. Rachel is known for her warm, gentle and playful approach to mentoring. She trained with the Wilderness Awareness School and is a graduate of their Anake Outdoor School, an intensive nine month training program in nature awareness and survival skills. Nature is a source of peace and solace for Rachel, a place to ground into her most authentic self. It is a place to heal, play, and nurture her relationship with plants and trees. She loves to share with others the sense of aliveness, curiosity, and wonder that nature invites.




Nature Survival Skills for Women


November 18th, 10am-4pm, $75 | ENROLL


Cultivate the feeling of empowerment, connection with the earth, and profound sense of belonging that comes from practicing survival skills. Together, we will learn to identify nature’s gifts and harness their energy for our own health and well-being. We will connect with the trees, the plants, and the elements to create fire, harvest food, build shelters and more. Through skill-building, nature-based reflection, and storytelling, you’ll deepen your understanding of yourself and learn how to live with the natural world, as part of it, rather than seeing the wilderness as just a challenge to survive.  

In this workshop you will learn the arts and skills of:

  • Friction fire-making
  • Fire construction and tending
  • Safe wild edible plant identification and sustainable harvesting
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Waterproof shelter-building
  • Water Purification


Your Guide:

Manon McPeters

Manon McPeters was raised in a rural, off-the-grid cabin, and has spent her life living in relationship with the earth. She has completed multiple survival trips, but feels the most connected incorporating elements of wild living into her everyday life. She is a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness Anake Outdoor School and Leadership programs, is an instructor here at Vashon Wilderness Program, and has worked with people of all ages at WAS, Quiet Heart, and Rite of Passage Journeys. Manon also enjoys sharing her love of yoga – sometimes in nature!   




More info coming soon…..

Basket Weaving – January 

Bird Language & Movement – February 

Introduction to Wildlife Tracking – March



peace-sign-in-natureThe Way of The Peacemaker, The Protector

April 21st, 10am-4pm, $75

 With our thoughts, our words, and our actions we make our mark on the world, on each other, and in our own body.  What is important to you? What is worth protecting? Through the act of peacemaking, we move with integrity as we tend that which is precious to us. In traditional earth-based societies, the role of the scout was one of protector – the eyes and ears of the village. Today, being a scout means being a protector, a peacemaker, and integrating the many tools of nature connection to live and lead grounded in Earth’s wisdom. Group and solo exploration time in nature, stories, and opportunities for reflection will guide you expand your own inner protector and peacemaker.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • how to awaken your senses to connect with the landscape
  • techniques to move stealthily through the forest without creating a disturbance
  • the basic language expression of the birds and the role they play as your allies
  • practices for cultivating the path of the Peacemaker, Protector while at home

Your Guide:

Ted Packard headshot2.jpgTed Packard has been sharing his love of nature with hundreds of people through wilderness schools in his native Virginia and locally at Vashon Wilderness Program, Quiet Heart Wilderness School, Field and Forest Outdoor Preschool, Alderleaf Wilderness College (where he graduated from their 9-month Wilderness Certification Program), and the Wilderness Awareness School (where he has also completed the Anake Leadership training). He is passionate about sharing stories, music, art, basket making, primitive skills for foraging and hunting, filmography, games, and most importantly, feeding the passion in others. He holds a masters in teaching, and was a touring musician for several years, building community through vocals and multi-instrumental performances.


plant-spirit-medicinePlant Healing Ways – A Special Mother/Daughter Workshop

May 13th, 10am-4pm, $125 for each Mother/Daughter pair, $30 for each additional daughter

This workshop is best suited for Mothers with daughters ages 7-12.

 Join us on Mother’s Day to nourish, celebrate, and strengthen your Mother-Daughter-Earth connections! In many native traditions, plants are considered to be both our ancestors and our elders. They have offered themselves to us as food, medicine, and as materials since our beginnings. Join us as we engage with plant medicine not only for our bodies, but also for our minds, hearts, and spirit. Gentle wanders on the land, direct engagement with the plants through crafting, peaceful time in nature, reflective journaling, storytelling, and more will help guide our explorations into the deep wisdom, teachings, and nourishment that these “green folk” bring to us as women and girls.

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • To connect with the nature of native and weedy plants in the landscape
  • How to create connection with the earth and nature of our being through plants
  • To create a beverage and a remedy
  • How to craft with plants
  • To cultivate an ethical, safe, and honoring relationship with plants
  • How to invite new pathways to living more harmoniously with nature and each other

Your Guide:

Jane 3Jane Valencia has guided young and old into the magic of the natural world and the blessings of timeless cultural wise ways for more than 25 years. She is passionate about helping people to join in the companionable conversation that is the world around us, to get down and dirty getting to know plants and their healing ways, and to take strength from cross-cultural practices and perceptions that nourish healthy community life as pathways to nourishing and enlivening one’s “unique genius.” As an herbalist since 2001, Jane pursues ongoing training and mentorship in sacred plant medicine and traditional Western herbalism. In addition to her work as an instructor at the Vashon Wilderness Program, Jane is a longtime bardic harper and storyteller, author, and Reiki Master-Teacher, and co-directs the Vashon Threshold Choir.


All workshops take place in wild spaces on beautiful Vashon Island, just a short ferry ride from Seattle, Tacoma, and Kitsap. Individual workshop location details will be sent upon registration.

REGISTER  |  For more information, please contact us.