What is Land-Based Learning and Wellness?
Land-Based Learning and Wellness is an approach to practical and academic learning that fosters growth, creativity, compassion, and wellness in a non-clinical way. It is, by all accounts, a breath of fresh air that empowers individuals to become confident communicators and ingenious problem solvers. By encouraging play, creative expression, and mindfulness, participants effectively discover their belonging as a member of the natural world. Nature Awareness Mentorship provides the safety for fun exploration and observation, the freedom to shake off the stress of contemporary life and gives permission to individuals to be truly themselves.
This approach enhances engagement, provides transformative experiences, and illustrates how unexpected life events can be overcome with out-of-the-box and collaborative thinking. Inevitably, disconnecting from the grid, participants develop meaningful connections to themselves, each other, community, and to the wood-wide-web. These connections foster the growth of internal and external wisdom. Naturally, participants enhance their physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing, which in turn sow the seeds for reciprocal and interdependent relationships into adulthood and throughout life. This process empowers individuals to discover the greatest teachers: the ones who reside within the interconnected nature of being.
By nurturing our community (our future ancestors of all ages and backgrounds), we help each other to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the world and provide an optimistic outlook for the future with a skillful and fascinating wild life. We empower and create enthusiasm for stewardship, compassion, leadership, life itself. We wholeheartedly believe that this approach bridges gaps between division and challenge, enhances mutual respect, and empowers people to survive and thrive with resilience, courage, and a worldview that perceives the interconnectedness of all life.
Meet Owner - Rhonda
When Rhonda is not collaborating with nature education leaders throughout North America and Britain, she spends her free time in nature hiking, hunting, camping, taking care of her chickens and ducks, and searching for fascinating stories about what she discovers with her family and friends in forests, along beaches and riversides. She has a deep appreciation for place, bushcraft survival, natural skills, and innovative, fun education. Rhonda especially loves play time and her childlike joy can be observed, much to the children’s delight, when she returns from a day at school even muddier than they!
Rhonda was formally educated at the University of Guelph, where she earned a B.S. in Agriculture, Environmental Biology, with specialization in Aquatic Biology. She continued to Lakeland University where she earned a Master Naturalist certificate and is currently in the process of completing the Early Childhood Education certificate program and her Forest School Practitioners. Rhonda has more than 25 years of experience as a leader in the outdoor childhood education and guiding field. However, she credits her real education to her youth and the time spent growing up in, observing, and interacting with the forest and streams around her “special secret spot,” near her childhood home. Rhonda enjoys meeting and working with children and families in New Brunswick and throughout Canada as they deepen their love and connection with nature
Meet Land Instructor - Sarah
Sarah is an artist, forager, citizen scientist, and entrepreneur. She shares her rural off-grid home and lifestyle with her life partner; A musician and fellow artist. She is excited to bring her unique life experiences, aspirations, diverse skills, and educational philosophies to the position of Land Instructor at Nature’s Backpack.
With her students Sarah is keen to communicate a multidisciplinary approach of inquiry in hopes of sparking and expanding their courageous curiosities. She encourages opportunities for them to experience creative-flow and to build on their ideas by empowering their focus while they achieve their independent and group oriented goals. Sarah incorporates new ways-of-knowing about land by listening with the heart, hand, eyes, and ears, and aims to nurture within her students an emotional connection to the land by promoting their confidence in the safe and constructive spaces created at Nature’s Backpack.
Sarah grew up in the bush and around the water, so it is no surprise that she felt the calling to return to the land as an adult. The majority of her foundational years and many of her fondest memories were spent living on the Arctic Ocean in Inuvik. She pursued her university education at Dalhousie before traveling Turtle Island extensively and returning to settle in New Brunswick.
Outdoor Summer Camps 2021
Per week starting at
Outdoor Adventure Kits
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Nature’s Backpack is grateful to live, work, and play in the traditional lands of the Peskotomuhkati Nation within the Wabanaki Confederacy, protected by the living, reaffirmation of the Covenant Chain, known as the 2016 New Wampum: Peace, Trust, and Friendship (Treaty). Canada sits on unceded and stolen Indigenous land – find out more here: https://native-land.ca/ We are committed to the process of decolonization as an action, not a metaphor.