Hallo! Hi. Hej!
My name is Natalie Jo and this is my THIRD summer at the beautiful, glorious, challenging and MAGICAL Camp Augusta. In my first summer I was a counselor in Manzi, into my second I was the Manzi village leader and this time around my stay shall be short, BUT sweet as I’ll be helping lead the CIRCLE B session with my pal Bear.
“So, Natalie” you ask pensively….”if you won’t be at Camp all summer, where WILL you be?” – Good question my friend! When I’m not romping around in the wood chips, dressing up as a plethora of characters (real and imagined) or engaging in deep talks on short walks, I work in Colorado as a Wilderness Therapy guide at Open Sky.
In my job as a Wilderness Therapy guide I get to spend 8 days at a time guiding a group of 4-11 students in the wilderness – working on emotional regulation, therapeutics, leading yoga, meditation and learning more and more each shift!
I have been documenting my journey in guiding weekly based on a theme that my team is working on for the shift. A theme that is ever present at Open Sky is gratitude. Every night before we eat around the fire as a team, we take time to express gratitude in our tribe. Here are a few words that I wrote on gratitude during my 4th week as a guide:
April 17-24 • 4th shift • Team E •
Gratitudes: I am grateful for differences and finding a common language based on the foundation of love, compassion, care, holding boundaries and pushing growth zones.
I am grateful for mentorship, space, expansion and connection. Laughter and jokes.
I am grateful for canyons and the muscles strained and formed by climbing up and out of them.
I am grateful for the mountains that loom in the distance and how they are my new home.
I am grateful for deep connection and how tears show so much strength.
I am grateful for messy moments, anger, fire breathing, and how that wolf walks alongside the wolf laying on grounded soil.
I am grateful for tribes, singing together, and sharing our gifts with others.
I am grateful for speaking from the heart, words dripping with intention and soul expression.
I am so grateful for song, creativity and caring deeply when it’s easier not to. I am grateful.
When I’m not working in the field as a guide, I love to write poetry, read new and used books, play in the forrest, mountains, hills and valleys.
The following are some fun facts about me! You can determine how fun you think they are!
Favorite Word: Serendipitous.
Favorite Smell: The smell that sage wood makes when it is being used for primitive fire making/bow drilling.
Favorite Place: It’s a tie between the Yuba River and my bed on a cold, rainy day.
Favorite Books: This changes! I am currently loving the following – The Power by Naomi Alderman, The Word For Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews, The 7 Paths: Changing One’s Way of Walking in the World by Anasazi Foundation and Emotional Agility by Susan David.
Favorite Quote, Currently: “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World is a Heart That is Changing”
Favorite Challenge For Myself: Speaking in public!
Favorite Animal: The Bison.
My Work: Showing up in my power, speaking confidently and giving feedback with radical candor.
I am so INCREDIBLY stoked to work with the amazing CIRCL’rs this summer. I cannot wait to learn alongside them while they use the skills they’ve studied and worked hard on throughout the year. I am most excited to plan embers with Bear, scaffold young leaders and have as much fun as possible.
With that, I bid you adieu for now. If you see me this summer, say HI! See you in the woodchips 🙂