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Mentors and Elders

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Julia Hunt

Julia attended the Waldorf School of Princeton, NJ, pre-K-8th Grade. From 2011-2016 she taught movement as well as music to grades 1-8 and facilitated the Social Harmony program (working with students with behavioral and social difficulties and helping with class wide social conflict resolution) at the Orchard Valley Waldorf School, in East Montpelier, VT.  She co-started, and has been directing programs and running ReTribe for the past 10 years. Julia has been a staff member of the Wayfinder Experience, a fantasy roleplaying and improvisational theater camp for teens, for the past 14 years. She has been working with kids since 2000, She has directed theater programs for ages 7-17. She has been staff at the IBme (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education) teen meditation retreats in Virginia. She is certified in Internal Family Systems, Integral Breath Therapy, and Energy Medicine and she teaches yoga and leads Kirtan (Sanskrit Chanting).  She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a degree in Sociology and Music, with a focus on intentional community living. She is very passionate about helping children and teens to heal, grow, and transform, has a deep connection with nature, imagination, and magic and hopes to help facilitate youth to foster these connections, which already exist so powerfully within them.

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John Hunt

John is a native of the green mountains of Vermont and a citizen of the Nulhegan band of Coosuk Abenaki. Growing up on a dairy farm he has been enthralled with the natural world since childhood and has a passion for helping others strengthen their connection. He has studied with expert survivalists and trackers including Tom Brown and Susan Morse and has also done extensive research on his own through books and direct exploration. John has been mentoring youth of all ages starting in 2007 in a wide variety of settings including summer camps, afterschool programs, and earth knowledge schools. He co-founded ReTribe in 2009 from the great desire to bring more harmony into the human family. John is a poet and drummer, has a strong meditation practice, and because of his deep love of Gaia, he has a passion for, and understanding of, sustainability issues on both a worldwide and individual scale. He is certified in Integral Breath Therapy, Energy Medicine and Wilderness First Aid (SOLO), and was trained through The Mindfulness in Education Teacher Training from Daniel Rechtschaffen at the Omega Institute. He loves working with youth and helping them discover their unique and beautiful power.

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Jane is a Licensed Professional Counselor in NJ, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in VT, and a Master's Level Breath Therapist on the faculty of Integration Concepts.  She has been in private practice since 2002. Jane specializes in Child Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology. Her book on the psychology of discipline - Kids: An Owners Manual - can be purchased on Amazon. She is a certified Imago Couples Therapist as well as a trainer in Social Harmony, a bullying prevention program for schools. She has been practicing meditation for 45 years. She has three wonderful grown children and two very cute grandchildren.  Jane has a private practice at NorthernShire here in Underhill, working with children, adolescents and their parents. 

Jane co-runs ReTribe's Shift Happens workshops for adults and the teen retreats. For additional info about Jane, click here to visit her personal website.

Jane Martin,
LCMHC, LPC

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Based in Montpelier, Mukti (aka Chris Ellingwood) plays a number of roles in the world, including software consultant, inventor, entrepreneur, ecological scientist, EarthWalk nature mentor and teacher of Non-Violent Communication. In 1998, Yogi Mukti took his first yoga asana class and in 2001 began his meditation practice. After completing over 5,000 hours of study and practice, he was given permission to teach by his teacher, Prem Prakash at the Green Mountain School of Yoga. His primary teaching interests are in yoga philosophy, lifestyle, meditation, mantra, and kirtan - all aimed towards transforming consciousness to be more loving. Mukti brings this ambition to ReTribe. He enjoys being part of helping teens grow and thrive so they can better become "beacons of love" in their homes and communities.

Yogi Mukti

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Howard Moody

Howard is a faculty member of the Omega Institute for Holistic studies. In 1985 he co-founded The Adventure Game Theatre, featured on NPR and PBS, and has been teaching play, and team building workshops ever since.   Howard trained with the New Games Foundation, Project Adventure, and the Professional Play Leaders Association. He studied Original Play with Fred Donaldson. Howard has also been a consultant with the Disney Development project and Kidsports International. Working as a sports coach for many years, Howard deeply understands how to connect children, using play, to learn to work effectively as a team. Howard has adapted the Adventure Game Theater with Wayfinder and Valarie Paradiz to work with students on the Autism spectrum - particularly students with Aspergers syndrome. Play in its many forms is Howard's passion and his mission is to share the value and gifts that play has to offer to everyone. You can visit Howard's web site at www.howardmoody.com

 

 

Forest School Mentors

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Bri fell in love with the outdoors early on, walking through the woods, navigating lakes to find hidden nooks with her grandfathers, and farming in her hometown in MA. She received a BA in Plant Biology from the University of Vermont, with minors in Anthropology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. During her college years she traveled, became a registered yoga teacher, earned certifications in Healing Touch, completed a Permaculture Design Course, and led agroecological research groups. She is inspired by our capacity to shape and steward landscapes and enjoys supporting earth care communities including MycoLab and the Caliata Initiative. Bri is happiest creating music and art, biking, and exploring rivers and meadows that buzz with life. She is grateful to share her love for the earth and art with her ReTribe community as Camp Director and Forest School Director.

Bri Arnold

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Megan Owens

Mo grew up in North Carolina and found a love for the outdoors through hiking and biking and exploring the nearby woods. She went to NC State and studied wildlife science and outdoor education. At NC state she worked for an outdoor program where she found a deep love for taking students out deep into the backcountry. Post-graduation she found herself bouncing all over the United States, working as a backpacking guide for kids and working bird survey positions. She landed in Vermont in 2020 for a wilderness therapy job and fell in love with the Green Mountains. She has been working in the public school system for the past two years as a behavioral interventionist. Some things that bring Mo joy are climbing, hiking, swimming, and cooking. Mo is excited to work with the Forest School and foster kids' natural curiosity and love of nature.

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Noam Ben-Zacharia

Noam is reminiscent of a golden retriever puppy, bursting at the seams with joy and hyperactivity while also remaining ever loyal, kind, and curious. After being raised in New York City for the first 18 years of his life, Noam embarked on an explorative journey in his van seeking to deepen his bond with the natural world. During his adventures on the road, he developed his passions for growing and sharing food, outdoor recreation, and earth-skills. He completed a 6 month Earth Responders immersion program at Metta Earth Institute in 2020 and is currently working towards a Bachelors in Psychology and Human Development and a Master’s in Education from Prescott University. 

 

Noam has spent the last 4 years dedicating his work to outdoor education with youth. Serving as a wilderness guide and educator, he has taught in both therapeutic and conventional settings. Through connection to spirituality and the abundance of our planet, Noam found a path to healing and new ways of living. Noam finds joy in nurturing the inherent resilience, courage, and ingenuity of young people. He hopes to encourage youth to find their inner wisdom through a connection to community and natural spaces.

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Sammy Atkinson

Sammy's introduction to the outdoor education field began at Nature Camps Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland. From his early days as a camper at 10, he loved building faerie houses, exploring the woods on hikes, carving, and doing other natural crafts like making and drawing with walnut ink. Over 16 years at camp, Sammy eventually grew into more leadership roles becoming a Camp Counselor, Trip leader, and later Co-Director. His interests lead him to study architecture at University of Maryland, but shortly after college he returned to the outdoor education world. He landed at Echo Hill Outdoor School on the Chesapeake Bay, teaching natural science, survival skills, and personal and group development. Sammy has also worked with outdoor education communities at Kroka Expeditions in New Hampshire, and Trackers Earth in Portland, Oregon.

 

In his twenties, Sammy was an explorer. When he wasn't at summer camp or outdoor school he was on long solo adventure trips, from sailing in the Bahamas, or hiking the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail, to driving across the country volunteering on farms. On these adventures of self-exploration, he developed an interest in mindfulness practices and meditation, and he continues to find peace in slowing down and observing the body and breath. Finally, Sammy landed in Vermont and became a Carpenter for 3 years, following his other passion for design and building. With this new experience and skillset, Sammy has begun to build himself a Tiny House on Wheels and hopes to move it to the forest. Sammy is excited to return to the forest to play with young people and follow their curiosity and sense of wonder. 

Camp & Teen Retreat Mentors

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Chris Neidt

Enthralled with all things relating to the philosophy of play and the use of the imagination coupled with humor, Chris Niedt, a native New Jerseyan  likes promoting community building through trust, love and play. Having been subjected to a hard life at school and being the target of bullying for over a decade as a kid, he has overcome physical and emotional obstacles - always learning and growing day by day. He has been a camper and staff member of various camps for over 17 years, teaching anything from kickball to how to properly act as a monster in the woods. Introduced to spirituality at an early age, Chris has become well versed in various bodywork methods including Reiki and Reflexology. An avid meditator, Chris loves using the breath. Focusing on Pranayama (breath regulation), he is a certified instructor of yoga. His inner child shines well throughout his adulthood. 

Discipline through breath - Strength through stillness -

Courage through Laughter - Love through play.

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Growing up in the beautiful Champlain Valley, Alder learned a deep appreciation for nature and the beauty therein. Alder spent much of his time in high school deeply engaged in theatre, and graduated from the Walden Project 2020. Inspired by his relationship with Retribe from tot to teenager, Alder has gone on to study Psychology and Neuroscience at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC (though he does miss the snow). He has a particular interest in studying all sorts of holistic practices and their benefits to the human mind and body. As a certified personal trainer and student scientist, Alder wants to learn more about how activities such as running, weightlifting, meditation, yoga, and ecstatic dance change people's lives, and more specifically their brains! Alder loves talking about all things psychology and fitness, and can easily be distracted from whatever he's supposed to be doing by a good question. 

Alder Donovan-Cook

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Jen Friedman

Jen is a human that has been swinging from tree to tree but is so excited to plant roots at Forest School. She is delighted that life on Earth has (d)evolved enough to produce something as awesome as ReTribe. Jen began her university studies in the magical city of New Orleans, but completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Prescott College in Psychology and Human Development. She spent her summers learning organic gardening and communal living. But more importantly, she is learning everyday how to become a better and better human on this blue and beautiful planet.She likes to spend her time putting her hands in the soil, growing food, playing guitar, singing, and writing stories about intergalactic sea creatures. Jen believes that through engaging with the nature around us and within us, we can then connect better with ourselves, each other, and a future that prioritizes well-being for all life on Earth. 

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Teddy has worked with youth and teens in a variety of environments since he was a teenager. He spent six summers as a camp counselor in southern Indiana, taught environmental education on the coast of Maine, and apprenticed with a nature awareness school in central Vermont. An avid lover of weather, Teddy graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in meteorology. He spent thousands of miles storm chasing across the great plains, performed NASA-funded atmospheric research in Japan, and also interned with an affordable housing non-profit in Moab, Utah, helping build strawbale houses. Currently, Teddy resides in Vermont, where he teaches ukulele classes and lessons, works at a food cooperative, and mentors at ReTribe’s teen retreats.

Teddy Pietrzak

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Emily Wasem is graduate of the University of Vermont and has been exploring what the Green Mountains have to offer. She grew up in New Jersey where she attended the Waldorf School of Princeton for the majority of the formative years of her life. In her teens, she came across ReTribe by attending an Inner Journeys retreat and returned many times during her high school years. After moving to Vermont for school, she has been spending more time at ReTribe and getting involved in programs, growing as a mentor, and living in community during the summers. She has helped to pave a path for more teens to transition from participant to staff as they grow through these programs. She loves sharing her passion for the natural world as a mentor for youth and teens. 

Emily Wasem

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Wisdom has grown up in Vermont, and has (unsurprisingly) come to adore the natural world and all the things in it. Since 2016, Wisdom has been darkening the door of almost every ReTribe retreat, and has fallen even deeper in love and gained even more appreciation for what can be found outside, from plants to animals to the people there too. From years in high school spent learning acting and art to the years in the woods learning how to get branches stuck and unstuck from hair. He's excited to be able to spend even more time among the people at the NorthernShire, and bring that store of knowledge to ReTribe as a mentor for teens.

Wisdom Edwards

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Wyll Hoerres grew up in Central Vermont, where he explored rivers and forests alike. Though he struggled socially as a child, over the years he has gained the skills he needs and more. Now he acts as a mentor for the upcoming youth at ReTribe, spreading laughter and joy with each barefooted step. He began his ReTribe experience in the seventh grade, and since then has spent time at many retreats and has worked as an SIT at Forest School and AGT. In 2020, Wyll decided to take his love for ReTribe a step further and volunteered on the board of the Strong Youth Foundation, who help finance scholarships for ReTribe through fundraising. Wyll hopes to help the world form new communities that really care for each other, and he believes that the path to transcendence as a race is through caring for one another.

Wyll Hoerres

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Huck Powers

Huck grew up going to the Forest School and grew into the role of mentoring as he aged out of the program. For nearly half his life Huck has been actively involved in ReTribe-related shenanigans and doesn’t regret a day of it. From a winter with the Community Living Program to a mentor at the Coyote Clan summer camp, he’s gained a thorough appreciation for the work ReTribe does for the world and hopes to give back what he has received as he gets older. Huck loves plants, people, and play and has had ample opportunities for these to come together joyfully throughout his life. Additionally, music and storytelling get him pretty excited and he’d love to tell you about the imaginary games he’s played. Huck completed the Earth Guides Outdoor Education Training program and Chloe Valdary’s Theory of Enchantment course. He’s enjoyed practicing and teaching friction fire, carving, fiber arts, bark basket-making, coal burning, improv theater, singing, and tomfoolery. Huck hopes to continue learning, growing, and connecting with lovely humans.

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Peter grew up in Middlebury, Vermont, and has been involved in Retribe camps and retreats for as long as he can remember. Starting as a pup in the Coyote Clan day camps all the way to a mountaineer at Wild Mountain Time and now a graduated MIT. He has slowly been learning and internalizing the teachings and lessons of these camps and the people who attend and run them. This combined with his experience in working with children and teens in theatrical productions has given him a great appreciation for mentoring and the impact it can have. He is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that has shaped him so fully and can not wait to help inspire the next generation of kids and teens to strive for new heights while teaching them to keep their feet on the ground.

Peter Orzech

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Thomas jumps in creeks any chance he gets, and will likely make up a song about jumping in a creek as he does. In addition to being a great enjoyer of creeks, Thomas is also an aspiring mycologist and botanist. He thinks it's very strange and sad that many humans don't know where their food comes from and wants to work towards a culture of connection to food and land. Due to the theatre teacher also being the German teacher in high school he also speaks conversational German. Other things Thomas enjoys are dancing, dreaming, talking about dreams, dance, play (chess, crawling, cards), music, stretching, running, jumping, drinking tea, food, and reading. Thomas values deep listening, silence, being silly, and laughter.

Thomas Sutton

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Danny Hunt has been going to retribe programs as a camper for much of his life and is now happily moving into staff roles. He enjoys learning about nature skills, gardening, spirituality and much more. He loves being out in the woods playing and teaching kids and hopes to continue this path of outdoor education into his future. 

Danny Hunt

More ReTribe Family

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Emily hails from the sunny slopes of Silverthorne, Colorado. She moved to Vermont for organic farming but stayed for the loving community she found at ReTribe. Emily coordinates the Community Living Program and does various back end assistant tasks for ReTribe. Plant tending, philosophy, and webs of human relation give her life meaning. She traces a migratory path between Underhill and Guinea, West Africa, where she taught Physics and Chemistry for four years and found a chosen family. She is enjoying raising a family and reconnecting with her niche as a wild being in Earth's ecosystem. 

Emily Morgan

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Deborah Miuccio

Deborah’s son attended Forest School and Teen Naturalist Saturdays which made a
deep impression on his outlook on life and direction for his future. Because of his
connection with the ReTribe family, Deborah became a behind-the-scenes supporter of
ReTribe. From keeping track of registrations, to bookkeeping and beyond, Deborah
helps keep ReTribe organized and growing. One of Deborah’s passions is gardening. She likes to inspire people to grow their own healthy food and show them how rewarding it is to get their kids involved. Eating well and eating fresh are key ingredients in her family's Italian food heritage, and gardening keeps her connected to her ancestors. (She loves to make flower crowns too!). Deborah is deeply committed to volunteering with a grassroots group on environmental and sustainability issues in her community. On the days when Deborah isn’t with ReTribe, volunteering or gardening, she is working with botanically inspired clients for her business, Wildflower Media Consulting.

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Supported by his grandfather, Colin studied religion at the University of Vermont.

He acts as the Camp Director for Red Rocks Nature Camp in South Burlington, where the kids learn to run like coyotes and deer. He has earned an EcoPsychology and Wilderness Leadership degree from Metta Earth Institute, Energy Medicine certified at UVM, Alchemical Healing at Esalen Institute, Ancient Living Skills at Roots School, and Reiki I certified. Over the years, Colin has supported: Standing Rock Water Protectors, Lake Champlain Sailing Center, Audobon Center, King St Youth Center, Edmunds Middle School, Christ the King, JJ Flynn, Howard Center, and others. Colin feels so grateful to work as a Mentor at ReTribe, not being able to imagine a more awesome Tribe of folks committed to the healing and change that he feels so strongly in his heart.

Colin Bradley

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Ted Riskin, LCSW

Ted is a licensed clinical social worker in N.C. He has been working with individuals, couples, families, and groups in private practice since 1995. He has a degree in mathematics from Vanderbilt University and a Masters in Social Work from New York University.

He has extensively trained in experiential modalities, including Holotropic Breathwork™, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Core Energetics, EMDR, Breath Therapy, and hypnotherapy. Ted also trains other therapists in many of these modalities. For additional information about Ted, click here to visit his website. He is excited to bring his work to ReTribe's Adult retreat, Shift Happens, each Spring!

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