Registration NOW OPEN for the


A Transformational Journey of Awareness
and Deep Connection
with Self, Community and Nature


8 Monthly Deep Nature Connection Workshops,
Week-long All-inclusive Art of Mentoring gathering,
24 hour Overnight Solo Initiation,
Experienced Mentoring  Support
and much more,
Designed to fit into your schedule!

Begins May 11th! CLICK HERE to apply.


As we develop along the different life stages from infancy to elderhood, we benefit greatly from having certain experiences within the context of nature and a nature-connected culture to discover our gifts and purpose, and fulfill our human potential.


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In the modern world, many of those experiences are either absent or don’t respond to people’s needs, leaving them with underlying, lasting feelings of neglect, anger, isolation, emptiness, bitterness, loneliness, and fear. This program offers a transformational nature-based approach that supports this developmental journey to full maturity, inner stillness, joy and vitality, and a sense of purpose and connection. 


During the Nature Connection Mentoring Journey, you will be guided to:


  • Develop a deeper relationship with Nature, Community and Self

  • Expand your senses, awareness and empathy to a whole new level

  • Experience belonging and community in the context of healthy regenerative culture

  • Learn practical earth-based ancient skills

  • Understand your life cycles and healthy maturation

  • Experience ceremony and initiatory rites of passage

  • Train in practices and gather tools that will significantly enhance your daily life

  • Encounter and implement a nature-based time-tested mentoring model developed by Jon Young and the 8 Shields Institute

The program is designed to develop enhanced sensory awareness and deep nature connection, under the guidance of experienced and caring mentors.
It offers various components including deep nature connection experiences and practices, skills, teaching and discussion, personal mentoring, games and play, music, ceremony, rites of passage, community building, cultural repair elements, and initiatory experiences.


The intention is to awaken and bring into balance within each of us the Attributes of Connection so we can mature fully and become more fulfilled and effective leaders in our lives and in our community.

The Attributes of Connection are:


  • Quiet Mind and Inner Peace
  • Inner Happiness (Happiness of a Child)
  • Vitality of Body and Mind
  • Deep Listening and Commitment to Paying it Forward
  • Caring and Empathy (for Nature and People)
  • Fully Activated Gifts and Being Truly Helpful
  • Full Aliveness and Deep Gratitude
  • Love and Forgiveness

“The NCM Journey was an amazing experience like no other. I continue to do many of the practices I learned–I’m amazed at how much more I notice about nature, birds, and other wildlife around me as a result of doing this program. The practices have increased my awareness and also supported me to be more present in myself and with others. I couldn’t have learned these the same way from a book–the presence of experienced mentors had a huge impact!

The Art of Mentoring in the summer is a week-long deep immersion to even more practices, along with the experience of being held and connected within a community. I highly recommend this program!

(And Victoria peeps, it’s an easy commute to beautiful Salt Spring Island for a day, once a month!)”

~ Colleen Adrian, Author, speaker and mentor for parents

The NCMJ was a transformational experience for me.  Learning to embody the attributes of connection over a year, under the guidance and loving support of Jean-Claude and Ingrid, brought me to a deeper level in my journey toward nature connection and a fuller life.  I’d highly recommend this course to individuals looking to deepen their own personal nature connection journey and anyone interested in helping connect others to nature and community.”
~ Michi Main, Marine biologist

“The NCM Journey was a great introduction to the 8 shields, with the depth that’s needed to have you asking for more.  This program helped me to see that my head and heart were NOT in alignment, and it has given me the support and awareness I’ve needed to navigate that transition.  If you want to change your life, this program has the power to get you started!”  
~ Jamie Ferguson, Parent and business owner


1) 8 Monthly Workshops, Saturdays 9am-4pm

14470606109_b8b78b2c17_o (1)Each outdoor workshop will have a different flavor and approach, as we deeply explore and embody one direction.

Each month, we will focus on re-experiencing the missing or incomplete elements at each stage of development for one particular direction (which also corresponds to that time of year), developing deeper awareness and connection, healing the grief from not having been supported in our journey, and creating a regenerative culture. Half of the wheel is deep nature connection and awareness; the other half is people connection, community and ceremony.

EAST: May 11, 2019
SOUTHEAST: June 1, 2019
SOUTH: June 22, 2019
ART OF MENTORING GATHERING: August 12-18, 2019 (week-long, all-inclusive)
SOUTHWEST: August 31-September 1, 2019 (Overnight Solo)
WEST: September 21, 2019
NORTH: November TBA

Dates may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

2) 24 Overnight Solo Rite of Passage
Aug 31-Sept 1, 2019

The program includes an  amazing Initiation into knowing your Self , your fundamental relationship to all of Life and to your own gifts, though the 24 hour Solo.

This Rite of Passage weekend starts with a Sending Off and is followed by a Welcoming Back ceremony in community.
You will be prepared at every level–spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and physically–to feel at home in the wild.
And you will be supported by a cultural container of mentoring and community throughout your experience.
This is a transformational opportunity! You’ll feel fully alive, at home in nature, and connected to the wild, inside and out!

3) ART OF MENTORING on Salt Spring Island,
August 12-18, 2019

We are thrilled to announce that we are now an official international Art of Mentoring community! The Art of Mentoring, designed by Jon Young and the 8 Shields Institute, is a dynamic week-long village experience, which includes highly experiential programs for all ages, that are artfully woven together to create cultural basket of connection to self, others and nature. This transformative workshop provides knowledge, tools and practices designed to enrich relationships and allow participants to create a powerful culture of nature connection in all aspects of their life and community.

We strongly encourage everyone in the NCMJ course to clear their schedule to take part in the Art of Mentoring—it is truly a powerful inspiring experience that will accelerate and help deeply integrate the learning and connection we will be sharing during our 9 months together.

4) Daily Practices and Rituals

Every month, you will be given nature connection practices that correspond to the particular direction for that month, to practice each day, if possible. These may take 20-30 minutes of focused time each day, or may be something that you are asked to pay attention to throughout the  day.

These practices are key to really integrating and benefiting fully from the learning of the monthly workshops—we ask that each participant consider this and make a commitment to taking the time to practice.

5) Written Materials and Resources

Every month, you will receive written materials to support your learning in the monthly workshop. We will also send out occasional meaningful choice readings, videos and/or audios that pertain to the direction we are working in, to enrich your understanding.


6) Monthly Mentoring Questions and Assignments

Every month, you will receive a few targeted mentoring questions related to the monthly direction. You can use these to contemplate throughout the month, or at a focused time, or to journal, or to share with your program buddy. We will provide opportunities at the monthly gatherings to share, as well.

You will also be given small but significant assignments each month. For example, one month you will be asked to find an anchor, an older person you know, to ground you and hear your stories. You will also be asked to create a small nature corner or simple altar in your home that you will add something to every month.

7) Personal Mentoring Support

Each participant will receive personal mentoring support with the program mentors, Jean-Claude Catry and Ingrid Bauer, during the program.

8) Buddy System

Each participant will be paired with a program buddy, for additional support and connection. We ask that you check in briefly with your buddy every week, if possible, to share stories and support each other.


It is our hope and request that program participants commit to participating as fully as possible in the monthly gatherings, the June overnight, the August Art of Mentoring (hopefully with your family), the daily practices, a couple of hours per month for reading or viewing resources, buddy check-ins (weekly is recommended, it need only be a few minutes), and personal mentoring. As with many things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. Some “dirt time” is definitely required, and the quality of your intention goes a long way as well.

This journey is designed to stretch you and support your growth, and as such requires a commitment and investment from you towards that; as with all true growth, you will be challenged and at times drawn to avoidance or distraction. We ask you to commit to and prioritize this work and the accompanying connective practices. At the same time, we have designed it to fit into your day, and be doable in your full lives. We will be personally doing all the practices alongside you during the month.


The cost for the program is $1950, which covers all the workshops, solo overnight, materials and all the other program elements, including tuition, camping and all meals for the week-long Art of Mentoring (at a significant discount from the full cost!).

While we hope all participants can attend the Art of Mentoring, if you are unable to attend, deduct $500 from the cost of the program.

A DEPOSIT of $375 will hold your space. A monthly payment plan is possible and outlined on the application form.


The program will be based in various locations, in the south end of Salt Spring Island, BC.



Contact Ingrid at for any questions about the program.