As we continue around the eight directions of the compass rose with our outdoor skills, we move from survival and maintenance to a more grounded position in the West. Here we have learned to manifest bounty. It’s seasonal archetype is the autumn. In the day it is sunset, when families gather around a meal to share their stories of the day. If you have been pursuing your craft through out your life, it manifests in becoming a mentor around middle age.

Folks will attach labels to your abilities. They may aspire to know what you know. Whatever they do, it isn’t your story. As a mentor, it is fun to share what little I know. It’s more fun to share in the mysteries I am currently working on. Sometimes, the format is just right to even make answering questions enjoyable, though I am certainly no expert.

The truth of the matter is, all of those things combined fall far short of the reward that comes from sharing in a journey of growth through the art of questioning. In an institutional setting “inquiry based learning” is as close as we can come to having students search for meaning with their own developing tools and emergent comprehension. Being immersed in nature takes this approach to a whole new level.

Inquiry based learning is largely cerebral. The mentor is usually confined to a block of time and an indoor environment to examine literary or mathematical expressions. In nature, the mentor uses  The quest for answers involves climbing, listening intently, remaining still amongst mosquitos, and using all of ones senses.

The difference is stark and profound. The apprentice allowed to plug in more fully and in a more dynamic environment grows in sensory perception, emotional maturity, problem solving, creativity, awareness, and self expression. This may happen in an “inquiry based” scenario, but without the input of passionate investment and immediate environmental return, the outcomes are usually lacking in the explosive growth we come to expect as baseline in the out of doors.DSC_1282