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Our People
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Jenna Rudolph

Jenna Rudolph

Founder and Executive Director

Forest Learners Program, Apprenticeship Program

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, spinning, 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. She has been studying rare and forgotten histories, and indigenous approaches to living, with Martín Prechtel, since 2014.

Jenna loves exploring our local forests, 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.

Julia Thiessen

Julia Thiessen

Operations Manager and Mentor

Young Sprouts Weekly Nature School

Julia grew up in the prairies, where she honed her ability to turn over rocks and be mesmerized by the critters found there. As a child, she constructed a hotel for worms, and as an adult, she pretty much does the same thing. In 2004 she moved to Vancouver to grow vegetables year round and participate in stewarding land on Gambier Island, BC using re-wilding and permaculture techniques.

Julia has a background in environmental work, including over 7 years at the Environmental Youth Alliance facilitating community-based programs with a focus on the healing that nature provides. Her experience “in the feild” has helped to shape her passion for the work.

She is a member of the Canadian Horticulture Therapy Association and has presented at their AGM on the topic of Cultivating Magic in Ordinary Outdoor Spaces. Julia studies meditation and teaches classes. In her free time, she can be found taking photos of moss, making puns and improvising with foraged ingredients in the kitchen. 

River Walter

River Walter

Youth Programs Coordinator

River (she/her) is a first generation settler of Chinese-Thai, German-Polish descent. She grew up on these beautiful forests, waters, and ocean of the Musqueam traditional, un-
surrendered territories. She works to honour the land and its treaties by strengthening her
relationship and responsibilities to them. As a child she remembers spending hours exploring
Pacific Spirit Park, helping the “crazy boggers” working to restore Camosun Bog, and attending
the Metro Vancouver Night Quest. As a young person she spent her weekends busing to the local
mountains with her friends. Her curiosity and love of the natural world led her to facilitate
nature-based programs for youth across the Metro Vancouver region. She has previously
mentored (and learned from) young people at the UBC Farm, with the Canadian Parks and
Wilderness Society (CPAWS-BC), the UBC Botanical Gardens, and the Metro Vancouver
Sustainability Toolbox. Alongside her outdoor work, she pursued a degree in Geography (the
“Environment and Sustainability” stream) with extensive course and research work in the First
Nations and Indigenous Studies Field. In her spare time, you’ll find her cycling the seawall,
making art, and growing and cooking nourishing food.

Mikaela Gregory

Mikaela Gregory

Mentor and Communications and Administration Lead

Weekly and Monthly Nature School

Mikaela’s longest running passion is teaching- rushing home each day from elementary school to write lesson plans and teach her stuffed animal students was the norm. She even taught her first class in grade 7 to kids her own age (her mom’s students)!

While she continued to teach and tutor as a volunteer, she completed business school at the University of British Columbia and started a corporate job. To remain true to herself, Mikaela spent her days off in the mountains backpacking, recognizing it as the source of clarity and peace in her life. Believing it was possible to combine her two passions, nature and education, she found Soaring Eagle Nature School’s Apprenticeship Program for aspiring instructors.

After the year-long Apprenticeship Program, Mikaela instructs and leads communications and administration for Soaring Eagle Nature School programs.

She is inspired that many lessons and experiences she had as a child at the river by her house collecting caterpillars and pretending to be an explorer surviving outdoors is something she gets to do at Soaring Eagle. She sees Soaring Eagle programs filling the gap of traditional education, allowing for self-exploration and growth with teachings determined by an individuals’ curiosity and passions.

Cara Goggs

Cara Goggs

Mentor

Young Sprouts Weekly Nature School

Cara worked for Fresh Air Learning Outdoor Preschool, located in Lynn Canyon for several years. She also spent 3 years supporting outdoor learning with Windsor House Democratic School. She has worked with children and families of all ages in Canada and the UK. Training includes completing an ECE certificate at Capilano University to accompany her diploma in Montessori and completion of a week long Art of Mentoring course at the Wilderness Awareness School where she developed her skills as a mentor in the 8 shields model. On top of being a lifelong lover of the natural world Cara has completed over 60 hrs of training with Soaring Eagle and Fresh Air Learning. Cara has 3 beautiful children who all attended Windsor House School, one of which is now a Soaring Eagle Alumni, and a wonderful husband brought back with her after 14 years living in the UK.

Her favourite past times include bird watching, working with natural materials to create art and especially loves to play games. As a parent Cara knows firsthand the value of free play outside, allowing children to explore their environments, and to understand themselves in relation to the natural world without becoming overwhelmed with societal pressures. Based on her own upbringing, playing freely in the forests of North Vancouver, Cara hopes to be a part of creating opportunities for this generation of children to connect with nature in a way that will last a life time.

Mink Taylor

Mink Taylor

Mentor

Wild Within Program, Apprenticeship Program, Weekly Nature School

Mink’s journey with primitive skills and nature connection was sparked by a desire to be able to walk into the wilderness with nothing, and feel at home there. This goal has become a lifelong journey! Mink has dedicated the last 9 years of her life to wilderness living skills and nature mentoring. After 2 years of immersive training at Wilderness Awareness School, she went on to teach at 4 different nature connection schools throughout the US and Canada. A few of her other endeavours have included co-founding a dodgeball style archery business, and helping to launch and co-direct a girls outdoor leadership camp in Pickering, ON.

Mink is passionate about the “hard skills” of wilderness survival, and some of her favourite skills to practice include bow and arrow making, flint-knapping, hide tanning, trapping, camouflage and sneaking, and primitive fire making. She loves to see the resilience and connection that practicing these skills foster in her students, and brings them with a creative playfulness that is contagious.

Mink has a passion for art which comes through in many forms, including songwriting, painting, dancing, and just about any bushcraft project she can get her hands on. Mink brings a wisdom that comes from her broad experience in multiple fields and dedication to her own personal journey, as well as a special passion for guiding youth through transformative wilderness experiences.

Peter Lambert

Peter Lambert

Mentor

Monthly Nature School 

Peter 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.

Sally Plummer

Sally Plummer

Mentor

Young Sprouts Weekly Nature School and Monthly Nature School

Born and raised by the ocean in rural England, Sally spent her early years immersed in all the outdoors has to offer.  

Since her post-graduate diploma in conservation and ecology, she has spent the last 12 years working with children of all ages fostering a nature connection and discovering wonder in the natural world. A passionate outdoor instructor and mentor, she firmly believes that we cannot expect the next generation to fight for the natural world and all its wonder, if they have not spent time experiencing it. She has set up and run natural art projects with school children, and discovered magic and mud while teaching forest school with younger children here in BC. She also mentored young people undertaking environmental projects in Chile, and taught teenagers traditional forest crafts in England.

Sally loves weaving stories and paving the way to discovery. She also loves to make things and pass those skills on to others. When not in the forest, you might find her at her jewelry bench making silver jewelry, or painting stones and whittling wands with her 3 boys.

Scott East

Scott East

Mentor

Weekly and Monthly Nature School

Scott was brought up exploring the rich range of diverse ecosystems from the plains and wetlands of traditional Blackfoot territory near Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. He was able to do this alongside his father, who was an Outdoor Education Teacher for 30 years in the Calgary Board of Education. This inspiration and desire to wander brought him all the way out west into Coast Salish and Nuu-chah-nulth territories.

All of this has grown in him a desire to learn how to walk respectfully on the earth. For him, learning to relate to the first peoples of these lands, as well as the forests and oceans that they have stewarded for thousands of years, is essential to begin building healthier, more responsible human culture on planet earth. His diverse training in permaculture and group facilitation have been formative in his understanding of how we might learn to re-pattern human culture to include the living wilderness at the centre of our awareness.

Scott is very grateful to have met many mentors, teachers and friends who have helped him in his own process of growing up and waking up to his unique life purpose through rites of passage ceremonies. Because of the experience he has received, he is deeply committed to help to create such honouring experiences for others as well.