We have not only survived 2012 we have thrived. Another amazing year has flown by. We started with our private classes in March and finished the year in the beginning of November. By December we are tired, but it's a good tired from living life fully each day. We are gratefully reminded what it truly means to live life. Tim's words ring true daily with the reminder that what we teach here are not just wilderness survival skills, but they are really wilderness living skills.
Some of our highlights this year:
Our Scout class was great. Tim taught the class along with Sylas Navar, who taught the martial arts. It was an intense, fun and inspiring week.
The apprentice program has been a success. Many of our returning apprentices have advanced enough to help teach our classes and also run the camp behind the scenes. We have had a great mix of kids and adults joining our program and have created a balanced community.
The apprentice Mt. Shasta climb was a great challenge forging to the top up the Whitney Glacier on the north side of the mountain. Everyone made it to the summit and back. There were some sore body parts, but also lots of smiles came with the adventure led by Jon Bock and Aaron Beverly.
A couple more bark teepees were built to add to our village, and older ones are being refreshed.
What's happening on the land...We've had rescue animals showing up quite a bit this fall. A Northern Pygmy Owl who broke his wing, many dizzy song birds after a bump on the head, and an abandoned, young horse left out in the woods for months. The horse was calling out to Tim for help and one day she showed up at the barn. We took her in, fattened her up and sent her off to a great home for some training and lots of love and attention.
We had a week of big rain and the creeks and camp trails took a beating. We got about 8 inches of rain in 4 days and the creeks became rivers and washed out our pools and some of our trails. We will need a lot of help this spring putting some of the basics back together, but the land needed the water and it's all fixable.
With the help of our friends, this coming spring our project will be putting up a big greenhouse in the arena area. With this additional greenhouse we will be able to grow more of our own organic food for the school and our own personal use. We are excited to expand our garden and we are continuing to work with our neighbors and their farms to create a more sustainable community.
Chris Galloway, one of our wilderness skills instructors, has generously put together a fundraiser for our Walker/Hupp Fund through his coffee company, Central Coast Coffee Roasting Company. Chris has created a delicious, special blend coffee just for us. Chris created the Headwater's coffee bag using Tim's photography. All of this was Chris's idea and shows a great example of a generous man giving back to help others.
When you purchase a bag of the Headwaters special blend coffee, Chris will donate $2.00 for each bag to the Walker/Hupp Fund to help support families who can not afford to send their child to our Headwater's summer program. You can order the coffee online through Chris's website: www.sloroasted.com
The coffee makes great gifts all year round and you can bring it to your work place as well and share it with others.
Another reminder: You can help support others who need help financially to attend Headwaters Outdoor School by donating to the Walker/Hupp Fund. You can address checks to "UPPER REACHES" and send them to:Upper Reaches P.O.Box 1210 Mt. Shasta, Ca. 96067. We will send you a non-profit donation receipt for your contribution.
We have been very fortunate to work with so many students who have become family and return year after year as students, apprentices, helpers and sometimes staff. Thank you for continuing to support our community here at Headwaters.
We truly have a special thing going here. Not one thing can explain that "IT" factor. People are hard pressed to be able to describe their life changing experiences they have here and why this land and this school is so special. It's an accumulation of the magic and spirit of the mountain, the land and the water, the quality and dedication of the staff, the love of the dogs, the students coming together with a like-minded yearning to reconnect with nature, and of course Tim, the facilitator and leader of of it all. It could be all of those things and then again there's still that extra unexplainable mystery there that kicks in and makes Headwaters what it is, and so different than any other outdoor school. So as Tim says, "Sometimes you just have to be ok with the Mystery."
Keep passing the word and share what you have learned to help bring people back home to nature.
Remember to keep in touch with some of the Headwater's family on our Headwaters Outdoor School Group Facebook page. That's about as high tech as we get, but it's a great tool to stay on track and stay connected with each other.
We are wishing you all another fantastic year and are looking forward to seeing you up here again.
--The Headwaters Staff