I fully intend to open our school in 2021. We are planning on opening for our private classes in spring, fall, and our summer program for everyone. Our new 2021 summer class schedule is posted on our website and class registration is open.
For those of you who have carried over your class fee from this year to next year, you are already signed up for 2021 and we will send you the class information at the beginning of the year. January 2021.
We will be opening up more time for personal or group camping retreat time next year. During this retreat time of course the land itself is the best teacher, but I will also be available to offer some Earth Caretaker Way teachings as well. Julie will be available to cook for you during this time. There will be more information on this option to come. The dates available will be dependent on where we are with our ability to open due to Covid-19 restrictions.
More than ever, we know that you will need this time on the land and the land needs you as well. We will run our regular classes this summer, but depending on the situation of the world, we may have to limit the size of our classes, more so than usual, so please register as soon as you know your schedule.
Please call us if you have any questions about classes, apprenticeships, vision quest time, private group retreats, and camping options. Let us help you ignite or reignite that shining star that you are, and take it out into the world to help others.
What has happened in 2020…
With no classes in 2020 it became a true Earth Caretaking time. Julie, Tim, Shane, and a handful of volunteer helpers took care of the land at Headwaters. We rebuilt 7 bark shelters, spent countless hours clearing the woods for fire safety, cleared the creeks to keep them flowing. We rebuilt the wedding area archway, rebuilt the sweat lodge frame, replaced old stumps with cedar plank benches in the lodge area. Added more stone slab benches throughout the camp. Cut, split and stacked mounds of firewood. Cleared new sit spot areas along the creeks. Rebuilt one set of outhouses and fixed up the other. Finished the big manzanita shelter by the tent cabins, and kept the trails cleared.
We spent a lot of time in the gardens, and it was a spectacular year for veggies and fruit. Of course, we didn’t have students to feed so we froze and canned a good amount of them. Also, anyone who dropped by to work on the house didn’t leave without some kind of fruit or veggies to go.
Our wildlife benefitted from our abundance, including a persistent bear that “pruned” our plum tree of many branches while helping himself to the fruit. He definitely wore out his welcome as he tipped over one of our bee hives, which for now seems to still be ok. Although, we did just recently lose one of our three hives to Bald Face hornets. It was interesting to observe how much our wildlife neighbors act differently when there are more people here and when it is just the people who live here year around.
This particular bear had some bad habits of being too comfortable around people and dogs and became destructive on our land and with our neighbor’s trailers. He was just being a curious, opportunist, but that doesn’t mix well when we humans don’t take precautions for their potential behavior. We spent many nights chasing him off and deterring him with ammonia soaked rags near the hives. After a couple of attempts of him trying to enter Julie’s yurt he eventually wandered off. We wish him well and hope he doesn’t find himself in big trouble.
Tom re-created Jean’s meditation hut near the memorial garden. It ended up being a major project for him, but it is a beautiful space that will be here for everyone to enjoy.
Tom also finished the outdoor area of the gallery yurt by building a beautiful, and much needed shade arbor over the deck. He had finished all of the interior book shelves and cedar tables last fall. We can now say the gallery/library is completely finished. It is a beautiful space full of love, art, and color. There are cozy chairs, my photographs and an abundance of books to pour through. We have been enjoying this space and can’t wait to invite you in.
After 11 years away, our friend Shahar was able to finally come back home to visit for a couple of months, even through a pandemic he made it. After reuniting with the land, he got right to work on building a timber frame bridge for the main kitchen creek crossing. The cedar wood he used was from trees from our land and John Brennan’s land. We have been thinning the woods for fire safety and the health of the forest. The wood was still green so it has to sit until next year before he can assemble all of the pieces and install the bridge. We are aiming to install it in mid-July so be ready to help with the take down of the old bridge he built, and putting up the new one.
I am still recovering from heart surgery last year. I had mitral valve repair surgery October 22nd, 2019. I’d say I’m about 70% back as far as my energy goes and working hard at regaining that last 30%. My heart itself is 100% healed. I’m feeling good, and so grateful to our community for all the love, blessings and support for my healing.
Just before my surgery we lost our dog Benny to old age. He was 17 years old and still doing his best to get around, and was happy as could be, but he had a stroke and was ready to go. Jean and I held him when he passed, and Julie was able to say her goodbye over the phone. Jackson, our happy boy also passed at the beginning of this year. He had a few scares with cancer over the past year or so and this time he wasn’t able to beat it. Jean, Julie and I held him at home as he passed. He was truly the joy of our day, and they both have been missed greatly.
The land was very quiet without Jackson and Benny, and then of course no students were able to come so it felt like the right time to add to our pack again. Georgie, Koa and Cooper welcomed our boy Collin right away. Collin is three years old and brought back the volume of barking that was missing from Jackson. He is extremely sweet and curious, and energetic and fit right in his first day here as if he was always a part of our pack.
As the weeks of down time turned into months Julie felt it was time to take on another project, which turned out to be a 7 week old puppy she named Tucker. He is a complete handful, and sweet, and crazy, and is going to be a giant, and he is in the best place he could possibly be for such an abundance of love and joy he has to share. Both Collin and Tucker are Black Labrador mixes and look different, but have very similar personalities.
We are so excited for our students to return next year to play with our pack again. The remaining members of our old pack miss you, and the new additions don’t even know how lucky they are yet! Our animals are the heart and soul of our school and I consider them a part of our staff. They are the first ones who can connect with our students and touch their hearts immediately.
We have started a Headwaters Outdoor School YouTube Channel. I have been recording my Tim Talks to keep you all connected to Headwaters, and offering them as a continued education for the purpose of taking the information out into the world and making changes that need to happen to help our Earth.
I have a dream of starting an Earth Caretaker movement, nationally and eventually globally. As I have emphasized many times, now is our time to take action and make major changes in how we treat the Earth. We are at a point where we can tip the scale back to heal the Earth or continue with what we are doing and lose our home through irreparable, abusive damage.
My hope is that these talks will encourage you to come up with your own ideas of what you can do to caretake the Earth and start taking huge steps of action towards that vision. Dream of what it looks like to live a good life that is meaningful and wonderful. Please visit our YouTube Channel and subscribe to it to receive bi-weekly reminders of new videos. Also, please share them with others to help them join the community and experience these teachings. Especially if they have never been to Headwaters before.
As for many, this has been a very difficult year financially without being able to open our school. We have had some very generous people reach out and donated some money to help us get through some of the basic maintenance expenses. I am so appreciative for your support. You have been true gifts during this uncertain time. You fill my heart. Thank you, thank you.
I am probably the worst fundraiser. I can give funds out, but raising money doesn’t seem to be one of my skills. If anyone is in the position where they can make a donation to our school to help with the basic land care fees or even to the Walker/Hupp Scholarship Fund that assists students who need help to attend classes please send funds to:
Headwaters Outdoor School
P.O. Box 1201
Mount Shasta, Ca. 96067
Or go to PayPal: office@hwos
If you would like to purchase one of our, Be an Earth Caretaker posters to help support the school through this time you can also send funds through those addresses. The posters are $20 + $4 shipping. Make sure you make a note what the money is for and a mailing address.
I am currently writing an Earth Caretaker Way book, which I hope to have finished by early 2021. I feel really good about this book and hope it will inspire a much needed movement to make a difference in healing our planet and people.
I am hopeful for good things to come next year at Headwaters, and looking forward to having you all back here again. The most important thing you can do right now is to vote for the Earth. Vote for the environment, and vote for those who will facilitate healing. Our lives literally depend on you to take action.
Be well and I will see you out in the woods soon!