2023 started out with one of the biggest winters that I have ever seen in 33 years. Truly Epic! Our headwaters land was under 4 to 6 ft of snow until May – We had to reschedule two early April Waldorf classes to later in the season due to snow. In early April the snow was 6ft deep in our kitchen. We loved it, it meant full creeks, happy trees, and happy meadows. We plowed, we drove the tractor, we shoveled and shoveled snow. The weather forecast would say “Tonight 6 inches of snow” and morning would come and there would be 3 ft of snow. That was more water – we loved it.
Spring brought an abundance of flowers and birds and water. The land was full of life and happy. Then in spring more life came in the form of countless kids in school classes. Our schedule was completely full, and all the classes were wonderful. Many kids were able to begin their personal relationship with our Earth.
Summer classes were full this year, our summer season was our best ever at Headwaters – the apprenticeship program was full of kids and adults.
Private classes were amazing also. Our friend Kendra brought over 40 women for 10 days to enjoy and learn from the Headwaters land! Kendra, who has been coming for over 20 years, was able to purchase 40 acres of land at the top of our road. That land is now protected and a part of the Headwaters community informal land trust. If anyone is interested, we have 3 more parcels of land to protect – Call me to talk about this.
The staff was a true gift this year. I am truly blessed to be able to work with so many wonderful people that love our Earth. Thank you to Taeo, Steph, Tj, Zander, Carmen, Caitlyn, Rosie, Robin, Ira, Tannor, Jonah, Sequoia, Kai, River, Jasper, Seabass, Nikka, Faie and our countless work interns (Lily, Roma D., Julian, Eli, Roma L, Liam, Iris, Daphne) who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the school running smoothly. Thank you to the dogs, our staff responsible for bringing fun, love, and craziness to our camp. How about our new dog Digby? I thank Jean for bringing him into our lives. He’s almost as cute as I am! (joke).
One of my highlights was my grandson Tj who worked all year with me. I am amazed at what a wonderful person he’s become. It was truly a joy – he is part of the Headwaters Future.
A special thank you to Julie for all she does – Cooking for all of us amazing, and I mean amazing, food. Every day, 3 meals a day. I know it’s crazy wild and its true. Julie also helps run our entire school in all areas and finds time to teach. She also attempts to manage me – Bear crazy man Tim.
A huge thank you to Taeo, who just finished his last season as our head instructor. We will greatly miss his everyday presence, and we wish him well on his journey. Taeo and Jasper led our Advanced Nature Awareness Class in the Marble Mountain Wilderness. This class is happening again in 2024 with limited enrollment so sign up soon! Taeo also did an outstanding job restoring one of our gorgeous meadows. Be sure to enjoy Jean’s meadow when you are on the land.
Thank you to Steph and others who helped us in our office. All that computer work is not my gift nor Julie’s. People like Steph save us.
Thank you to Zander for stepping up and learning the ropes to be a Lead Instructor, and for being the head of our food garden. Our greenhouse was full of food and beauty and life. Our cherry tree gave us gallons of cherries, and our apple trees produced endless fruit and juice. Not too mentions the pear and peach trees. Tomatoes were abundant, we made lots of sauce for 2024.
Thank you to all the folks that were here to help with land care: cleaning and clearing our woods to make them more fire safe and healthier for wildlife. The number of hours we put into our land care is unbelievable. We burned over 100 brush piles alone. At our gathering over 60 people worked on land care on the land above the ditch creek.
It fills up my heart to see our community in action for the greater good, working with the land and having fun. Come to our gathering in 2024 on Memorial Day Weekend, to visit, to work, sweat, and eat good food. Come one come all! We will send a more detailed email at the beginning of spring.
We had many healing sweat lodges in 2023 – the magic was definitely happening!
Our hearts go out to all those in our Headwaters family who are amid political turmoil. We hold you in our prayers.
We completed many projects around the land this year, from completely rebuilding the labyrinth, rebuilding our tipis, and lots of nature art scattered through the woods. We also completed our biggest project, finalizing our book: The Earth Caretaker Way.
The Earth Caretaker Way is coming out Mid-March 2024 and is one of the biggest things I’ve done in my 69 years on this Earth. I hope to start an international movement called the Earth Caretaker Way and quite simply save our Earth from ourselves. We live the Earth Caretaker Way at Headwaters every day. All of you are a part of all of this. Our extended Headwaters community is food for our souls.
I am asking all of you to buy a copy when the book is released in March 2024. It will help start the movement. If you would like to stay informed about the release date, send us an email with your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can add you to that mailing list. Please follow our Earth Caretaker Way Instagram and the Headwaters Outdoor School Instagram and Facebook for consistent updates. Let’s change the world forever.
2023 was a fantastic year for our Walker-Hupp fund which supports kids in need of financial aid to come to Headwaters. We were able to provide $18,000 in financial aid in 2023. Thank you to all who have donated money to the Walker-Hupp fund. All donations help, from $10 to $10,000. We and our community need your help. Make checks payable to Upper Reaches which is the non-profit that holds the Walker-Hupp Fund. Mail to P.O. Box 1210, Mount Shasta, CA 96067.
2024 will fill up, so sign up early for classes and apprenticeships. Registration is open on our website: www.hwos.com
To all of you that are a part of Headwaters, I thank you for making my dream come true. I love you all. To my staff it’s an honor and a gift to work with you all. I love you all. And thank you to this wonderful land that I caretake and call home. It’s the gift of my life.
I am a lucky Irishman!
Happy New Years!