Young Women’s Nature Skills Program
This year-long mentoring program (for girls ages 10–12) is designed and taught by women in the Rewild Portland community with the intention of inspiring thoughtful young leaders who can move confidently and respectfully through nature, while also developing healthy feminine relationships, building character, and inspiring their own curiosity. We explore nature with the minds of naturalists through art, games, crafts, and ancestral/survival skills, while also having conversations about what it means to rewild our bodies and our lives.
Adolescence is a tender time of emergence, yet our culture provides little safe space for girls to develop their maturing physical, intellectual, and emotional selves, and retains few rites of passage to catalyze, acknowledge, and honor these changes. Many voices tell girls how this passage should look and feel, but who is helping each girl develop her own voice? How does one stay anchored in self when the ground is shifting? A healthy community gives intentional support to girls during this time. A girl does not become a woman overnight. Saying goodbye to girlhood is a slow walk across a long bridge, made sweeter, safer, and more powerfully transformative in the company of like-minded peers and grounded mentors.
The program will meet twice each month (a weekday evening and a weekend day) and will embark on an end-of-the-year overnight adventure. Participants will gain experience with an assortment of arts and skills like fire making, knife use and carving, weaving, cordage, felting, dyeing, leather work, edible and medicinal plant crafting, plant identification, orienteering, storytelling, bird language, tracking, and other skills of personal interest to the group. The day-long Saturday meetings will focus on seasonal themes, natural crafts, games, and naturalists skills. We invite women as guest mentors to join us in leading a skill, game, or project. Weekday evenings will meet at the Mud Hut, a permaculture homestead in the heart of St. Johns. Saturday locations will vary and take advantage of natural settings near the Portland Metro area.
This program is for girls ages 10–12. Thirteen-year-olds who have taken part in previous years’ programs will be able to participate in the 2019–2020 program.
2019-20 Program Dates
- Two monthly meetings: weekday evening session (6pm-8pm) and weekend all-day session (10am-4pm)
September – Friday 20th Meet & Greet 6-8pm
October—Saturday-Sunday, 10/10-10/20 (Campout)
November—Friday, 11/8; Saturday, 11/16
December—Friday, 12/6; Saturday, 12/14
January—Saturday, 1/11; Friday, 1/17
February—Friday, 2/7; Saturday, 2/22
March—Friday, 3/6; Saturday, 3/14
April—Friday, 4/3; Saturday, 4/18
May—Friday, 5/15; Saturday, 5/30
June—Friday, 6/12; Saturday, 6/20
July—Saturday, 7/11; Friday, 7/17
August—Friday–Sunday, 8/7–8/9 (Campout)
Ivy Stovall delights in the abundance, patterns, and chaos of the natural world and of humanity. So it makes sense that three years into a Biology degree, she flipped majors and earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of West Florida. Her broad education prepared her perfectly for her work in outdoor education, which she began as a 4H camp naturalist, teaching outdoor skills and elementary and middle school science curriculum in the field. Since then she has taught high and low ropes challenge courses, ESL at all grade levels, and developed a North Portland homeschool co-op and independent art, adventure, and theater camps for kids in her community. These days she lives and works at The MudHut Kulturhaus, her St. Johns urban permaculture homestead, where she shares her enthusiasm for outdoor living and hosts camps, workshops, skillshares, music and theater, women’s groups, and community celebrations and ritual. She likes to always be harvesting and keeps her hands busy making herbal medicines, homebrews and fermentations, botanical inks, dyes and pigments, wild foods, basketry, and natural building. Always a student and always a teacher, Ivy enjoys contributing to and learning from the passionate people of the Rewild Portland community. Many Rewild kids have learned fire and knife skills around The MudHut fire pit and know Ivy as the Echoes in Time kids’ camp coordinator. Ivy loves the creativity, curiosity, and wildness of young people and is dedicated to the work of building healthy intergenerational communities connected to and through the natural world.
Kara Daniel was born and raised in Michigan where she spent much of her childhood exploring wooded trails and rock hunting on beaches of the Great Lakes with her family. In her late teens she began thinking critically about Western culture as she became involved in social justice and environmental activism. She changed college majors several times as her two passions (art and science) pulled her in different directions. Her connection with plants and love of the outdoors finally led her to pursue a BS in Natural Resource Management. After college, she began teaching at outdoor education camps and loved the energy and enthusiasm involved in working with kids. She taught and explored with children as young as four years old as well as teenagers and young adults at camps and nature centers in North Carolina, New York, California, and Wisconsin before landing in Oregon, where she discovered the diverse ecosystems and amazing rewilding community she had been searching for. Kara has since found a way to combine her interests of art and nature by crafting from natural materials and finding inspiration in the natural world. She loves fiber crafts of all sorts—felting, dyeing, spinning, knitting—and has more recently begun to explore basket weaving. She continues to learn about plants and the natural world while studying permaculture design and herbal medicine.
Sheila Henson grew up in Southern California and fled to Oregon in search of rain and trees. Always fascinated by why folks do what they do and whether or not it is a good idea, she spent twelve years as a behavior therapist and ABA therapist for children with special needs before deciding on a mild career change. After working with film, art, and animal rehabilitation, she settled on teaching. Armed with a BA in History and an MA in Education, she now works as a therapeutic middle school teacher at Serendipity Center. “Community” has always been Sheila’s favorite word, seeming to her as necessary as eating or breathing. Community to her encompasses everything from her friends and family, to her adorable pet dog and the squirrels he wants to chase, to the plants in her region, to the bacteria in her gut. The drive to understand how to be kind and collaborative within our social and ecological communities led her to Rewild Portland (well, that and the raccoon mascot). Sheila serves on the board of directors for Rewild Portland and is Rewild’s volunteer coordinator. She also likes to muddy her paws with other programs she feels connected to, such as the incredible Young Women’s Nature Skills Program.
2019-20 Program Application
The questions on this application must be filled out by program participant.
Rewild Portland is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to sharing earth-based arts, traditions, and technologies with a wide range of residents in the Portland Metro area. We understand that even though we work hard to keep our program costs as low as possible, our programs still may not be accessible to everyone. This year we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships for the Young Women’s Nature Skills Program.