Art of Mentoring

We are seeking a new site for this event. Please let us know if you would like to host this event in your region.

Because it takes a Village…

Deep in all of our roots, there are stories of our ancestors living in healthy, regenerative communities—villages where people of all ages were in deep relationship with the land, each other, and themselves. The Art of Mentoring is a week-long, experiential, nature based program designed to help us remember these old ways and learn to apply them to our modern communities.

It Takes A Village to…

  • Engage the gifts of our elders
  • Create essential rites of passage for our teens
  • Ensure parents are supported and thriving
  • Welcome our babies into a world of open arms
  • Feel deep compassion and gratitude for All of Our Relations
  • Understand your gifts and how to apply them in service to the people

The California Art of Mentoring utilizes a well-tested model that not only teaches about mentoring, it also offers the opportunity to be mentored and practice mentoring in a really fun and powerful context.

Who is this experience for?

This experience is for those who seek to understand how to create and live in a healthy regenerative community, that is deeply connected to nature.

The unique teachings of this course are based on what connects us as humans beings to ourselves, each other and the earth.

The Art of Mentoring is ideal for parents, children and teens, educators, grandparents, teachers, mentors, coaches, community creatives, and lovers of nature.


  • Be mentored in small group settings with skilled mentors
  • Learn tried and true mentoring techniques that create connection to self others and nature.
  • Experience a personal connection with nature through plant medicines and edibles, tracking, bird language, fire skills, wandering and much more…
  • Discuss and share insights from real mentoring moments with the large group and the AOM leadership team

A personal note from Jon Young, Founder of the Art of Mentoring

“We’ve been teaching the Art of Mentoring since 1995, running multiple events each year around the U.S. and beyond. We know this is a powerful way to experience the village potential as a context for mentoring.

We all yearn for this kind of supportive experience in our lives – and, studies now show that children need this kind of support and mentoring to really thrive. And, in today’s world, thrive they must.”
– Jon Young




What Happens at an Art of Mentoring?

Art of Mentoring participants come together to experience, learn from and co-create a joyful, engaged learning community.

You will walk away with tools and embodied practices of regenerative community design, mentoring techniques, deep nature connection, and an amplified passion for learning.

Our hope is to activate and inspire you through successful tools and models that increase connection with family, community and the natural world—literally right outside your door—while helping you to facilitate healthy and supportive community activity right in your own back yard!

The course is taught through group experiential activities, lectures, storytelling, and music. We will be outside exploring in the field, as well as in learning in our outdoor classroom.

This year’s week will emphasize powerful small group mentoring experiences focused on learning the language of the birds and the core routines of nature connection.

This is a Family Friendly Event!

Creating a village—where the whole family is welcome, supported and growing together—is an important element to the Art of Mentoring culture.

In that spirit, there are youth nature connection programs for children aged 5-12, and a teen program for youth ages 13-18.

Both the teen program and the youth program run concurrently with the adult program, overlapping for most meals (read further for more information).





The Ring 2 Program

The Ring 2 Program is designed to support returning AoM adult participants on their nature connection journey. If the aunties and uncles of the community are on their own personal nature connection journey, they’ll be authentically modeling it to the younger generations!

The program will primarily be in the field, focused on embodied nature connection and immersion in the core routines. This is the Southeast place on the wheel—the place of childlike wonder and curiosity, passion for adventure and learning, scout skills and crafts, naturalist knowledge, play and wandering, and a thirst for life!

Drawing on the teachings in Coyote’s Guide and the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, the Ring 2 Program Facilitators will be creating experiences that draw out these qualities and bring back those stories and attributes to the AoM village at large.

Please note that as a Ring 2 Participant, you won’t be participating in all of the regular lectures and stories during the day. We have a limit of 20 in this program.

Youth Program

The Youth Program for children 7-12 old and the Kid’s Program for 5-6 year-olds make it possible for the whole family to attend the Art of Mentoring and is a critical part of the living culture of awareness. The children have an enlivened experience of what it’s like to live in a village surrounded by adults, who are playing too, and looking out for them.

The Youth & Kids’ programs include sensory awareness games and exercises, earth living skills, native scout skills, arts and crafts, music and storytelling, and getting to know the natural world through “native eyes.” Children learn these skills and knowledge through artful mentoring that taps into their passions and interests.

The format is similar to a day camp running from Sunday through Friday. The children’s program makes it possible for parents to participate in most workshop activities; however, there are some limitations you need to be aware of. Parents must supervise their children at all meal times as well as during the early evening and bedtime. For this reason, at least one parent will not be able to participate when evening workshop sessions are scheduled.

Deer and Fawn Program

The Deer and Fawn Program will meet in the mornings with a mentor and the other parents and children under four. Afternoons are free to put younger children down for naps, wander in the redwoods or sit in on lecture and activities. We ask that a parent or caregiver accompany their young child during the morning with the mentor.

Other times of day young children are in the care of their parents. We leave the afternoons in the deer & fawn program unscheduled to best meet the individual needs of each child under the age of 5 (various nap times, etc). Parents often choose to create play/support groups so that some can attend lecture. Parents in the deer and fawn program are encouraged to support each other in the afternoons. The outdoor classroom is set in the shade and close to many trees, so families are welcome to come and be there as well.

There is a space set up for parents with young children to relax and play together. There is also a wellness tent and relaxation area, a ceremonial fire that is open 24 hours, a women’s space (kiddos welcome), and so on…..So even if you aren’t able to attend a lecture in the afternoon, there are plenty of places to be that are also all staffed by wonderful adults and elders helping to create the Art of Mentoring program container.

For more information, please email

Teen Wilderness Journey

The AOM Teen Program is designed to immerse teens in wilderness living and adventure. Guided by a team of experienced nature connection mentors, the teens will connect more deeply to the natural world, their peers and themselves through daily activities including primitive skills, tracking, awareness games, scout skills, team building, etc. The week will culminate with a an overnight backpack trip leaving from the Art of Mentoring base camp and heading out into the wild and back again.


Enriching the experience and making it more than “overnight camp,” the Teen Program will have connections with a community of elders, aunts, uncles, and youth that have formed around the Art of Mentoring. The teens will leave with an embodied experience of what it might be like to live in a village surrounded by adults looking out for them. They will play an important role in bringing back the stories of the landscape to the village at large.

For more information, please email


Participant Highlights:

“I am grateful for this whole beautiful week! I am feeling super inspired that:

a) this exists and there are so many incredible brilliant people involved, and

b) I can start integrating this stuff into our programs.”

“I saw the community work together effortlessly”

Comments on the Kid’s Program:

“Having the kids present amidst the village experience was great!”

“The kids’ program was fantastic!”

“We loved so much of it! The kids are full! inspired! and happy! I will always remember the meals, the singing and of course the coyote song!”

What Tools Participants Have Come Away With:

“I feel more supported in my path. Also I feel more assured that nature connection and people connection is doable in my home community”

“Much needed reminders and conceptually deepened understanding of cultural elements and vital community processes”

“The Cultural Elements. . . I love that there is essentially a road map to build culture/community”