JENNA RUDOLPH is co-founder, director and lead instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. Jenna has been sharing the magic of the natural world with children and youth since 2004. She coordinated a gardening program for three years in Victoria, and then sought to teach in wilder places – sharing her knowledge of edible and medicinal plants. Through an Environmental Studies degree from the University of Victoria, Jenna was able to study with renowned botanists and learned how integral plants are to people all around the world. She has apprenticed with various herbalists and botanists from British Columbia, and facilitates plant walks and medicine-making workshops. She has studied Clinical Herbalism with the Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies. Basketry and wildcrafting are some of Jenna’s deep passions, and she spends lots of time processing food to store it for the seasons in which wild food is less abundant.
Jenna completed the Anake Leadership Program with the Wilderness Awareness School, a 9-month apprenticeship where she worked with children from the ages of 4-12, as well as teens and adults. She is a graduate of their 9-month Wildlife Tracking Intensive, and is completing Kamana, a multi-year Naturalist Training Program. She is also the co-founder of the Wilderness Living Project, which teaches adult classes on ancient technology and primitive skills.
Jenna loves singing loudly while on her bicycle, and enjoys having picnics and dinner parties with loved ones. She is closely connected to Vancouver Island’s Garry Oak ecosystems, as well as the Coastal Cedar, Hemlock, Douglas Fir Rainforest. Jenna is deeply committed to nature mentoring and the forest, where she feels everyone can feel truly alive. Email Jenna.
STEPHANIE MACKAY is an Instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. She grew up right here in the Pacific Northwest exploring the deep mysteries of the coastal forests and discovering the abundance of life in the intertidal zones of our local beaches. Her passion for wild Nature, art and culture has taken her across the globe and into a wide array of ecosystems.
Stephanie holds the truth of our belonging in the Natural world as a given and loves witnessing the moments when this connection happens. She has studied indigenous ways and culture since 2011 with Martin Prechtel in New Mexico and has completed several trainings in nature based Rites of Passage with the Animas Valley Institute. She has also completed a nine-month apprenticeship with Annie Bloom and Jade Sherer to be a guide for the pan-cultural Vision Fast. Before Soaring Eagle she worked with Calgary’s Ghost River Rediscovery where she ran wilderness camps for youth in the Rockies.
Stephanie loves spending time with her family, doing yoga, crafting with rawhide and can most often be found, or not found, somewhere out on the land.
TOM OWEN is an instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School and is our communications lead for registration and program inquiries. He grew up exploring the coastlines, forests and mountains of Vancouver Island where he developed a deep connection to the land that has continued to this day. Tom has a particular love for exploring the intertidal zones of the gulf islands.
He also spent two years living in West Africa where he worked closely with communities living traditional livelihoods in close connection with the natural world. During this time, he developed a deep appreciation for and interest in how traditional knowledge and wisdom is passed down from one generation to the next. In particular, he saw the values in traditional knowledge that were intrinsically tied to a deep understanding of the land and natural cycles and how this allows people to live successfully in concert with nature.
Working with youth reminds Tom of the mystery and wonder of discovering that natural world. He sees how both young people and adults come alive in connection with the natural world and he strives to create a space with participants where natural inquisitiveness can flourish.
JOHN GASPARICH is an instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. John grew up on the edge of a small town in Pennsylvania. In his youth, he spent a lot of time exploring the forests and fields of his area, catching all kinds of critters. Over the past 9 years, John has worked to connect students ages 3 to 60 to the natural world, sharing the skills of survival, sensory awareness, tracking, and edible and medicinal plant use.
Before joining Soaring Eagle, John spent 4 years working for the Calgary not-for-profit Ghost River Rediscovery, as the Program Manager for their wilderness-based cultural outdoor Education programs. Working closely with First Nations Elders, he helped to craft programs that changed how participants viewed the world, and their place within it. John is certified in Advanced Wilderness First Aid, Aboriginal Awareness Level 1, Kamana Naturalist Level 3, Food Safety and as an Apprentice Hiking Guide with the Interpretive Guides Association. He is a skilled naturalist, facilitator, and lifelong musician.
PETER LAMBERT is an Instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. He believes that by connecting deeply with ourselves, our communities and our living world we are able to lead rich, full lives, and rise above personal and societal challenges.
He is inspired by the richness of everyday natural beauty, by fresh moist air and the joy of movement, and by the way problems and barriers melt away when faced with fierce fun and fast friendship. He’s spent time mapping climate change impacts on the plants of the North Cascades, paddling solo for days in Desolation Sound, and teaching a homeschooler in the junkyards and art studios of East Van. In his work with children he works hard to offer the gifts of safe attachment and self-direction. He honors the mentors in his life, and is proud to pass their teachings on to young hearts.
SARAH ROSE is an instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. She is a Graphic Artist, Permaculture Designer, Yoga teacher and enthusiastic new Soaring Eagle mentor. Having grown up in a small town on the West Coast of Vancouver Island Sarah was immersed in nature and grew up, like most kids in small towns, building secret forts, finding animal friends, singing, making up games, climbing trees and exploring the mysteries and freedom found in the wilderness. To this day she still tries to do most of these things on a regular basis.
Sarah’s passion in life is in guiding and holding space for others to discover their unique gifts and finding creative ways to bring them to manifest and towards appropriate application in the world. Her mission is to bridge the truth of oneness and interconnectedness between us and nature to the world, but to do it with lightness, humour and most importantly, play. Sarah studied Permaculture Design with Gaiacraft on the Sunshine Coast as well as assisting Starhawk with her most recent Earth Activist training at O.U.R Ecovillage. This summer Sarah completed a 3-week internship with Soaring Eagle and fell in love with spending time with kids outdoors and this unique way of teaching, learning and sharing the gifts of our natural world that Soaring Eagle provides. To her this is just the beginning of a lifelong journey learning from and growing from our first and greatest teacher, Mother Nature.
DANIELLA ROZE is an instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School. She is a mentor and wilderness guide, facilitating rewilding and deep nature connection. She has a passion for supporting people on the courageous journey of becoming, while co-creating a space for building flourishing community and resilient culture. Daniella has studied and taught at wilderness schools across North America, and is a graduate of the Anake Outdoor School at Wilderness Awareness School and the Depth Mentoring Apprenticeship at Twin Eagles Wilderness School. Through her time living among indigenous people in West Africa, as well as her 5 years spent living completely off the grid during which time she built several cabins by hand, she brings a depth of experience. Furthermore, traveling in the mountains for an entire month subsisting on wild foods with only buckskin clothing and stone tools with the Living Wild Project, Daniella leads by example. Meanwhile, she holds a diploma in counselling, creating a comfortable environment for personal growth and passionate learning. The natural world is one of Danielle’s greatest teachers.
ANDREW WOOTON is an Instructor for Soaring Eagle. Originally from England, Andrew has a background in Adventure Education and Adventure Sports. After many years of hiking, Andrew took up Canoeing, Kayaking and Climbing in North Wales and while volunteering at an Outdoor Education centre began using adventurous activities in the outdoors as a way of inspiring confidence, developing self knowledge, and an appreciation for nature in young people.
Since then Andrew has been Instructing/leading/facilitating in England, the South of France, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates and holds a degree in Outdoor Education.
Andrew believes that stepping away from the urban environment and fostering a connection with the natural world is both good fun and a great way of learning about yourself. Through his pursuits he has spent time learning to listen to the environment in order to find safe passage alongside forces much stronger than ourselves. This carries over to an interest in survivalist skills as a way of relearning much of the lost knowledge which rooted us so deeply in the natural environment in the past.
Andrew started recently with Soaring Eagle as another way to share his curiosity, passion for nature and playfulness with young people and loves nothing more than sharing in the excitement and wonder that playing in the great outdoors can bring.