​Connecting with Nature

​The Core Routines of ​Nature Connection

An 8 Shields ​ONline class ​

​With Jon Young & Josh Lane

A ​Six ​Week, Self-paced Online Course

If you love to be in nature but aren’t sure how to go further into your nature connection journey for yourself or others, the ​Connecting with Nature ​online course gives you a roadmap and an essential foundation of core skills to begin putting into practice.

Enliven your senses & ​challenge your memory! Awaken the power of play and imitation ​as you connect with the trees, animals, and nature of your place.

​​Originally designed ​for members of our Experiencing Transformative Mentoring master class series, this unique bundle of teachings guides participants through daily practices for connecting with the outdoors like never before.

In this special ​online training, 8 Shields founder Jon Young and lead mentor Josh Lane share ​the ​the core routines of deep nature connection as shared in the book, Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature.  

Your Course Guides:

Jon Young

​Jon Young, 8 Shields Founder

Josh Lane

​Josh Lane, 8 Shields Lead Mentor

Pulling from the many routines and techniques available through the 8 Shields mentoring map, Josh has curated and designed a selection of favorite outdoor practices that are fun, effective, and very approachable for those new to the journey of deep nature connection. 

These practices engage your awareness through fun sensory prompts. The activities​ encourage exploration and connection with your favorite outdoor places. These practices have been applied with great success in a variety of environments, from urban parks to wilderness areas. 

About the ​Course


​Each week over six weeks, Jon & Josh will share a set of daily practices ​for you to try in your backyard, local park, or nearby outdoor area.

Designed using the ​principles of Transformational Mentoring, you'll experience fun techniques that rapidly support your sensory connection with the patterns, shapes, and rhythms of nature.


Jon and Josh will guide participants through the ​Core Routines through video, audio, and written materials.

You'll experience putting these key practices into place ​as we move through each session. Each week will progress and build upon the earlier sessions. The ​cumulative experience will deepen participants' connection journey, ​while naturally building curiosity and knowledge. 

​In our earlier Transformative Mentoring Webinar series, Jon & Josh ​detailed the map of the mentor's toolkit, and how to work with the Core Routines, Sensory Wheel, and Species Goals to strategize deep connection experiences for one's self and others.

Now in this ​course, they guide participants in self-application of these tools directly, demonstrating how ​these routines can be implemented to awaken connection with nature (note: the earlier webinar series is NOT required for your participation here).

This course is a great way to get a taste of a diverse array of nature skills​: ​

​Learn about Landscape Awareness, the Art of Tracking, Animal Forms, Bird Language, and more!


The practices focus on connecting with the earth through sensory embodiment and awareness.

​​​These are the same practices that have ​helped thousands of people around the world to ​realize life-changing connections with nature.

These practices are utilized by the greater 8 Shields network of nature connection camps, schools and programs that have collectively impacted the lives of tens of thousands of youth and adults around the world over the last 30+ years.

How w​ill this course help me?

Whether you are a parent or grandparent wanting to support your family in getting more connected to nature, a nature school leader seeking effective staff training pathways, a teacher of just about any skill who wants to help their ​students connect with nature, or you want to gain a lifetime skillset to enhance your outdoor experience,  ​the Connecting with Nature ​online course can help you jumpstart that journey.

This training is especially suited for those just beginning their nature journey, although we have also included advanced practice suggestions with each module, which have proven helpful and engaging even for those familiar with the 8 Shields core routines.

​The ​​Course Modules:

​Part 1: ​​​Foundational Core Routines

​This introductory week introduces the Core Routines of Deep Nature Connection, and focuses on the ​foundation of your Core Routines Toolkit: blending with nature through movement and stillness.

Awareness practices will be introduced, along with some beginning landscape observation techniques.

​Part 2: ​​ The Storyteller's Mind

The second module introduces you to practices for working with the Storyteller's Mind, your inner resource of sensory memory, as you continue connecting with the landscape in deeper ways.

This section includes Jon Young's popular Activating the Storyteller's Mind online course (included with the training; if you already have this, an option is available for you below at a discounted price).

Activating the Storyteller's Mind


Jon Young shares how to engage your dynamic sensory memory while exploring your local landscape. This fun, simple daily practice provides a great empowerment for memory, storytelling, and building your knowledge of place!

​Part 3: ​​Exploring Bird Language

owl leaning

Week 3 broadens your awareness toolkit as we dive into the essentials of bird language, the universal language of the forest that clues you into the presence of animals, and also alerts animals to your presence.

Strategies for reducing disturbance and interpreting bird language will be given, as well as a study method in bird observation that can continue long after this course ends.

Past participants have especially noted how this section of the course brings positive impacts into many other life situations, from home to work. This is because the routines of bird language teach us how to expand our awareness, cultivate presence, and move with greater intention in relationship with those we are connected with.

​Part 4: ​Tracking & Mammals

​In Week 4 we expand beyond bird language into the realm of tracking, exploring the skills and viewpoint of the tracker. 

Fun strategies for observing and researching mammals and their impact on the landscape will be considered, along with the core philosophy of the tracker.

​Learn how Animal Forms help you to experience the land in a new way. This ancient practice gives you insights into animal movements and patterns, while encouraging empathy and imagination.

​Part 5: ​Survival Wisdom Through Tracking

​Week 5 gives us a chance to grow deeper into the tracker's mind. 

In this ​module, you'll learn to observe the landscape for clues to survival wisdom gleaned from the animals and the patterns of the land itself.

Learn about ecological linking and how an animal's tracks connect it to the larger story of the land.​

​Part 6: ​​Wrapping the Bundle

​In this final session we will "wrap the bundle" of learnings and experiences from the past weeks of exploration.

Here we set the stage for your continued journeys with your new bundle of nature connection strategies.



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    ​Get over 30 years of mentoring experience delivered right to you at home via Internet and computer. Get step-by-step guidance each week.
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    ​Experience a proven, holistic method for ​connecting with nature that produces deeply transformative connection and engagement. Plus, the core routines are fun and nourishing!  ​
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    ​Increase connection for yourself with these techniques, and also gain skills to help others deepen their own nature connection. ​​As you embody these connection skills, it becomes easier to role model and share them with others!

​Series Registration:

Register for your preferred option with our secure online payment portal for immediate course access:

The Course

Course Option 2

Connecting with Nature

6 Week Online Course (includes Activating the Storyteller's Mind, a required course component)

​Discounted option for those who already have Jon's Activating the Storyteller's Mind course (only pick this option if you're sure you already have it!)

$147 US

$97 US

​Frequently Asked Questions

​What is "deep nature connection"?

Why would I want to learn about the Core Routines of deep nature connection?

​Why is mentoring important in deep nature connection?

​How much time do I need for this?

​Does this really work?

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