Girl in Camouflage

2013 Newsletter

Picture of Tepee and Mt Eddie

A fun, abundant year is how to describe this past season. We had our biggest year ever with lots of new people coming home to nature. We started the year off with a great winter class and ended the summer with our biggest and most powerful Earth Philosophies that we can remember.

J.T. Beggs and Mike Lazzari helped Tim teach all of the private spring classes for the school groups throughout April and May. Jon Bock dropped in early and gave a much needed big helping hand as well. In the fall Ira Christian and Isabelle Senteno helped Tim and Julie greatly with teaching our school classes and helping to run the camp. Our private school age classes have been a great joy to offer, and it's wonderful seeing the kids back year after year and growing those relationships with them. It's also wonderful when some of those kids show up on their own in the summer for classes and we get to know them much more personally. Many of our great apprentices, which are now teachers, started out with us that way.

After a few years of taking school age kids to Kauai we set aside a year to open the Kauai class back up for adults to participate. What a great joy that was as well. The Kauai class can only be described as a pilgrimage to a sacred place through experiences Tim facilitates. It's one of those heart opening, life changing times you cannot describe verbally. It's just something you need to be a part of. That class will open back up for adults again in a year or two so keep your eyes out on our website for it and sign up early because that class is kept every small.

At the beginning of the summer Tim, Jon Mike, and all of our male mentors, put 40 boys through a Rite of Passage. Honoring young people and initiating them through a big transition time in their lives continues to be such an important ceremony and ritual to keep strong within one's community. It makes such a huge, positive difference in the individual as well as within the whole of our world. Tim reminds people to stop and think about, "What if all of the people in charge of running our world would have gone through a rite of passage, and committed themselves to giving their word and keeping it, and being of service while living in an honorable way? What would that do for all of us, and the environment included? What a goal to shoot for." This summer, and all the years in the past here, have been dedicated steps towards that goal.

Our apprentice program was maxed out this year with kids and adults. We had boys, girls, men and women living together here for 4-9 weeks working together as a community. They all had varied backgrounds, but were able to come together here on common ground to share their love of nature and their interest in learning more. Some came for more knowledge on the physical skills, some more for the philosophy and others came for some personal growth. All went home with something more that they had probably planned on. They gained more family members, friendships and more awareness about their own lives and the world we live in than anyone could explain to them verbally. They gained their own wisdom and "medicine" through interactions and experience. We all learned something from each other and we couldn't have asked for more.

Our medicinal plant class was a good solid size this year and Kim Powers and Evert Broderick did an incredible job again filling the minds with hands on information and a new respect for what is available to us every day in our own backyards.

We had a handful of people go out on 3 and 4 day vision quests and by doing so they brought back many gifts for our community.

The apprentices headed out on a 5 day backpacking trip with Jon, David Friedman and Isabelle up into the Eddies behind our land. This trip is always an adventure. This year they hiked to many lakes, and of course summited Mt. Eddy as well. They were able to witness an amazing lightning storm, which lit up the entire valley below, and they all had the opportunity to push their comfort zones in one form or another. A lot of group bonding and growth came from that trip.

Elliot Drake-Mauer was again one of our great teachers this summer, lending a helping hand where ever help was needed, as well as leading classes. He is, and is still becoming a well-rounded educator with great enthusiasm working with people of all ages. John Brennan has been our camp elder for years and continues to be of complete service whether he is teaching, fixing something or telling a wonderful story. Skyler Smith stepped up this year as a great assistant. He is quickly learning the ropes of what it takes to be an effective teacher, and his willingness to reach people through his passion for nature is a huge asset.

The Nature Awareness class in the Marble Mountain Wilderness is always a favorite, and unfortunately we had to cut off the enrollment for that class this year to keep the quality of our program up. If you missed it this year sign up early to get in on next year. The students learned lots of tracking techniques and skills to blend into their environment. The bear hikes and activities kept everyone going all day and into the night with lots of fun. After taking this class people were able to understand how hard it is to be bored in nature. Once your awareness opens up and you are comfortable in nature, where you inherently belong, you can't not have a blast.

Our Wilderness Skills class was as always top of the line. We pack in an extraordinary amount of skills throughout the week. We have top notch, field experienced teachers leading our students, and encouraging all hands on participation. Joe Dabill and Chris Galloway, along with our full time staff facilitate an amazing experience. It's an orchestrated dance of multiple activities all week. The class is full of great fun and new discoveries and abilities that people didn't even know they had. Oh, and of course we ate extremely well with all of the primitive gourmet cooking practices we demonstrated and consumed.

The food at Headwaters is always great, but this week allows the kitchen crew to shine. Julie leads the apprentice kitchen crew on a crazy, creative culinary ride. Many of the experienced apprentices, like Natalie Drake-Mauer, Jenine Steinberg and Abbly Ahlgrim were able to take on lead roles in varied cooking practices and helped teach the newer crew the ways of the kitchen dance. Jessica Adler, Tivon Sadowsky, Lina Bell, Frida Dell'Oliver, Nadia Haugen and Violet Smyth all worked their way into the kitchen crew throughout the summer and were a great asset to the camp (and a lot of fun too.) Caitlin Hanlon helped in the kitchen, but was also an incredible help doing the behind the scenes tasks as well as lending a helping hand with teaching and guidance.

Our Bow and Arrow Making class has always been amazing. In two days the students make their own highly functioning bow and learn the art of flint knapping, and fletching feathers to make arrows. It's a lot of hard work and always impressive to see what the students can make in such a short time.

Jon and Aaron Beverly led a handful of our apprentices up Mt. Shasta again, and this year Mike surprised everyone and beat them to the top and had breakfast treats and scones waiting for them. John Brennan, a.k.a. Kamofo, again impressed and inspired everyone ascending to the top in style, celebrating his 75 years of abundant life.

The last week of July was dedicated to our apprentices. Chris taught an extra two days of wilderness skills to our apprentices. Sean Dugan taught a one day plant class where our apprentices were able to create their own healing tincture or salve. Ann Keller brought her assistants and led a ceremony drum making class where each apprentice was able to make their own drum and bring it home.

David and Elliot led a private kid's class all week on their own. They taught the kids many wilderness skills and led them on hikes and introduced them to a lot of fun, active games in nature. Not one of them missed technology all week.

Tim was the main teacher on all of the Earth Philosophy classes, while Lou Ponig and Deborah Newland were able to add their own teaching styles while assisting Tim. We alternate offering all three philosophy classes so this year those who were signed up for all three were able to go deeper with the teachings and their own growth. These classes are the heart and soul of the overall teachings and complete the balance of nature skills, awareness and philosophy.

This year we had quite a few girl apprentices that had requested their own Rite of Passage so Tim was able to make it happen for them. During the Earth Philosophy class Tim, Jean Sage, Deborah, Julie and some of our advanced apprentices helped to create ceremony for 13 girls throughout the week. They were given challenges, teachings and an opportunity to create their own code of honor as a guideline to live their life by. It was a huge honor to be able to put these young women through a rite of passage that they had asked for themselves.

This year we welcomed back the Authentic World group for a couple of weekend retreats. Each year they return to Headwaters we are able to reconnect and gain new friendships.

So what's new this year at Headwaters? We intend to offer the Girl's Rite of Passage as long as the girls come forward to request this sacred ceremony. We have a new, 30'x60' high tunnel greenhouse in the old horse arena with plans to create another abundant garden and orchard around it. This new high tunnel will allow for our growing season to extend into the spring and fall. Our current garden will become more of a sacred space of flowers and herbs, and some vegetables growing in our current greenhouse. The horses are living the life of luxury in Watsonville, Ca. on 2,000 open acres running around with about 50 other horses. Our honey bees split into three hives this past spring and are doing great. They have opened up a whole new awareness of the miracle of nature, and what a balanced, in-tuned, sustainable community looks like. Our Philosophy class created a new entry into tepee village, and a nice group sit area. We also added a new bark tepee in the village during our Wilderness Skills class. David and Skyler worked hard throughout the end of the summer creating wooden signs for every shelter. The new shelter identification adds a fun and handy touch. Each shelter is now identified with an animal or bird, including their Latin name as well as the track of the animal or bird. Jon rebuilt the kitchen pool bridge after a wash out last fall. It's much sturdier and a nice place to sit and dangle your feet and watch the trout swim by.

Please keep Headwaters in mind when you have the opportunity to donate some funds. Our Walker/Hupp Fund is a non-profit that Jean set up to help those kids who can't afford to attend Headwaters on their own. Jean created the fund in honor of her friend, Dan Walker-Hupp, who was a Vietnam Veteran and a true man of service. Tim donates a lot of his own money to help kids experience our program, but he can only do so much on his own. This is one area where you see direct, positive results that create concentric circles out into the world. Those of you who have benefited from receiving some scholarship assistance in the past might want to think about getting donations or contributing whatever amount you can to help refill the fund. Those of you who are in the position to help financially please remember our scholarship program during the tax write off season. We appreciate everything that comes our way and helps build a stronger community. You can send donation checks written out to the non-profit organization: UPPER REACHES P.O.Box 1210 Mount Shasta, Ca. 96067

Thank you again to all of our helpers, including the staff and apprentices that made this whole season such an incredible experience. It's tough saying goodbye at the end of the season, but it's also a great feeling having such good friends that you miss so much.

See you next year out in the woods and bring your stories of adventure to share!

Tim and the Headwater's staff

Donate to Walker Hupp

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Tim Corcoran Photography

Tim Corcoran Photography

Meet the Teachers

Meet the Staff!

Apprentice at Headwaters

Apprentice at Headwaters