Girl in Camouflage

Headwaters is Family, Julie Boettler

It may sound cliche to say the people you meet become your family, but I can honestly say this has been a truth. The staff and students of Headwaters have made a significant impact on my life. People of all ages and backgrounds attain a sense of belonging and the social boundaries between us and them fade very quickly.

People I would probably never have taken the opportunity to get know in every day life have ended up being some of my closest friends through these classes. Our backgrounds and life styles outside of Headwaters are often extremely different, but within the parameters of the school all of our social labels disappear. There is a common bond that draws people together and the community atmosphere in the classes quench that universal thirst of connecting with others and the environment as a whole.

There is always time for group interaction as well as the ability to have some time to your self. Your personal space and needs are honored as much as possible within a teaching setting.

I have been asked what my experience has been like at Headwaters, as a woman, and having had no previous experience with outdoor skills. From the very moment I arrived for my first class all of my insecurities and assumed fears of what I may be getting into were dissolved. At this point I have taken the majority of the classes at Headwaters and each time I have always received very non-threatening and welcomed guidance.

Although women are honored for the feminine energy they bring to the circle, ultimately everyone is recognized as an equal person and valued member of the group. As in any thriving "tribe" community, elders are respected and honored for their life experience and wisdom. My outlook on our future has taken a turn for the positive as I consistently observe the younger students actively seeking out the elders for their insight.

As far as working with Tim goes he has been an incredible teacher, mentor and friend. His love of wilderness and deep well of experienced knowledge and skills are a joy to tap into, but what sets him apart is his equal passion for people of all ages. He is a true example of someone who walks their talk and holds to their personal integrity of doing what they say they will do by following their dreams, even when it isn't always convenient. His actions alone have inspired many others to take the leap into getting reacquainted with earth living skills, which have become so unnaturally foreign to us.

I have had nothing but complete trust in Tim and his staff in supporting me with my intentions. They excel in holding a space with compassion, honesty, patience, humor and encouragement as students open up to deeper levels of nature awareness, personal growth and the ongoing art of refining their outdoor skills.

Each class taken is very different, while at the same time it becomes apparent how all of the varied skills are interconnected and compliment each other. Whether attending a class for the first time or multiple times they are as physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually challenging as you choose to make them.

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