Three Pillars

Sit Spot

Sit Spot

Just like any good jazz song, nature has a dynamic bassline that can be easy to miss but sets the tone for all of the action. We can tune into it by having a consistent homebase where we can look, listen, and soak in our surroundings every day. By spending time in our sit spot, we gain a detailed knowledge of the animals, trees, plants, and seasons that allow us to become deeply in tune with the land around us. Likewise, the ecosystem becomes familiar with us, inviting us to participate in its intricate dance.


The best way to get the most out of a sit spot is to keep a journal. Note down and reflect on the information you’ve collected each day, referring to field guides to identify any flora or fauna you might not have recognized. Keep track of the weather and how it affects the behavior of the animals. Soon, you’ll feel like you’re no longer just observing nature - you’re part of it.

Survival Skills

This is the nitty gritty, tried, and tested part of Earth education that’ll make you feel like a modern day Tarzan. You’ll learn the classic skills like making fire by friction, building shelter, flint knapping, and using bold tools. Plus, you’ll also get to know the lesser known but equally important techniques like fox walking, wide angle vision, tracking, and bird language. Practicing these skills will change the way you interact with the world. Where you may have seen only oak shrubs before, you’ll now notice the slightest movement of a deer watching you from the hillside. At first you might think you’ve gained superhuman senses, but you’re really just tapping into your primal abilities that were within you all along.
Survival Skills


So much of our lives is spent worrying about where we’re going and how long it will take us to get there, both metaphorically and literally. ‘Round here, we’re all about bringing you back to the here and now. Wandering is a way of moving through a landscape that prioritizes the quality of our time and the depth of our presence over getting to the destination as quickly as possible. Sauntering in this way allows you to really tune into your senses and take in everything going on around you in the moment. It encourages you to bring a playful, curious spirit to your learning. In a survival situation, having the mindset of the wanderer can be the difference between life and death.

Why We Exist: A Story of Success

A Note From: Erik Rasmussen, Founder

There are certain moments in teaching that I live for - times when you really see your students evolving as a result of your time together.

I experienced one such moment when teaching a group of 7-13 year olds in Santa Cruz, California.

Throughout the week, I had been pointing out birds and their behaviors, explaining that they’re good indicators of what’s going on around you. “Birds are always in survival mode”, I told the students. “They do everything with a purpose.” Still, they didn’t seem to appreciate those beautiful creatures the way I did. It took me a while to revere them so deeply, so I told myself it was all good.

One morning, I wake up early and sit on a log between the field and the woods. Around 8am the students start trickling in. First, I hear two brothers approaching from afar, walking and talking loudly. But as soon as they come through the gate, the little one quickly shushes his older sibling.

Here I am, sitting quietly with more than fifty birds at my feet. I do a victory dance in my mind - the kids had switched to hushed tones out of respect for this beautiful moment in nature. Score.

Then, they come and sit next to me, tuning into the bassline of the birds and feeding them for a while. Eventually, the other kids start to show up, all slowing their paces and lowering their voices before joining us on the log. By 8:45am, I have around twenty kids sitting still and silent with me on the log. I look around and think, “Score two for nature”.

But the best is yet to come.

One of the students points out a robin on the fence facing West, away from the feeding birds. Score 3! So I ask the students what they think he’s doing. They’re in agreement that he had seen a predator, perhaps a bear, mountain lion, or a human. Seeing a human could be right, but I have my doubts about the other two. A minute later, we hear a scrub jay alarm coming from the redwoods out West. The kids recognize it. Score 4.

I ask them why they think he might be sounding off, and their answers ranged from pterodactyl to bald eagle or hawk. “So an aerial predator?” I say, and they nod.

Sure enough, a minute later, every bird at our feet evacuates the area with a resounding thump that all of us feel in our chests. The students watch them fly South into the woods, but I tell them, “No, look that way!” pointing North. They turned their heads in the nick of time to see a Cooper’s Hawk about six feet wide swoop right in front of the log, about five feet from the ground. It grabs a junco in its talons right before their very eyes.

Cooper’s Hawks are the stealthiest and most agile aerial hunters, rarely seen by people. I couldn’t have hoped for a more powerful teaching moment, and I knew the kids felt the wonder too, with their jaws dropped, shouting out about how cool it was.

Moments like these are what life is all about.

Word on the street says

we’re pretty darn good at what we do.