Ross grew up in urban England. He found life amongst the concrete and monoculture dissatisfying andsince his late teens has felt the wild pulling him elsewhere. His journey since then has been to find those wild places inside of and around him and to nurture and grow into relationship with them. He completed the year-long Wilderness Guide Programme at Teaching Drum Outdoor School in the spring 2010 and is currently integrating the skills and awarenesses gained from that experience into his everyday life. He is continually studying eco-psychology and eco-therapy and holds a permaculture design certificate. Music is a huge driving force in his life and he is also a practising reflexologist. The primitive skills that he is the most passionate about are fire-making and hide-tanning but what really feeds Ross is community. Circle. Connecting with people on a deep emotional level. Sharing experience. Living together. He felt these things missing during his youth and the search for them has led him to where he is today.
Johan, who’s nickname is Brum, grew up to the north of Stockholm in Sweden. When he was a child he enjoyed playing in the forest a lot. During his teenage years he lost that interest, which was renewed as an adult through searching for a more sustainable way of living. He came to the conclusion that the hunter-gatherer way of life is the most balanced way for humans to live and has since then been working towards learning to live like a native and creating clan like relationships. A big part of that has been the time he has spent at the Teaching Drum Outdoor School (WGP ‘05-06, starting and guiding Wild Moon programs there for about ten months in ‘07-08 along with participating in the Childrens Moon this year, 2010, together with his family). He has also been spending big parts of his latest years by himself and with others in the forest in Sweden, learning by his own experience what works and what doesn’t, and what is needed, when living in nature.
Nick grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm. He moved to East Africa in 2006 for a year to work with environmental activism and journalism but ended up learning more about the natural world. Back in Sweden he continued to pursue the knowledge he craved. Ever since he has had a passion for primitive skills, earth skills, building a relationship with the earth and healing from civilization.
In March 2010 Nick graduated from the Wilderness Guide Program in Wisconsin, USA.
Now he lives in a newly started Ecovillage outside of Stockholm. There he works with handicrafts, sowing teepees, hide tanning, woodwork and enjoys being out in the forest exploring. Nick also works part-time as a high school teacher.
A decision to change her life for the better came, for Kerstin, whilst living in Stockholm, in the middle of studying for a degree in Human Resources. She realized that her university studies did NOT AT ALL satisfy her or provide what she was looking for in life. Neither did meditation courses or other spiritual experiences. A greater perspective was still missing. She came in contact with the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin, USA, and went there 2007 to do their yearlong Wilderness Guide Program. Since she had no prior experience of such a challenging life, a year became too much for her, and she returned to Sweden after two and a half months. But in those few months everything fell into place and she realized how we humans were meant to live; as natives. The native lifestyle felt complete. She went back to Teaching Drum in Feb 2008 and stayed there outdoors for 7 months learning about the native way and doing several Wild Moons as well as the Children’s Wild Moon in 2010 together with Brum and their daughter Julia.
Since 2008 Kerstin has, together with Brum, organized Wild Moons and other events to inspire native living in Sweden. In the spring 2012 she is planning together with Brum and Julia to do Teaching Drum’s first Yearlong program for families.
What Kerstin is most passionate about and what’s driving her to continue to explore the native lifeway is to experience all of the wisdom and the essence of life that buds when you start to become your true self.
Native people look at life as a circle where everyone is each other’s guides and a hierarchical order doesn’t exist the way it does in civilization. Therefore we wanted to share about our 19 month old guide Julia. She came to this life through Kerstin and Brum but she’s not owned by anyone. Instead she’s everyone’s responsibility giving her the opportunity to grow up as a whole individual. She contributes with a lot of presence, joy and play to all of our lives. She teaches us to not take things so seriously and to be ourself to the fullest in each moment. Through her we see that we don’t have to carry around old garbage. She teaches us about what being a native means because she is innately native. She expects a clan and open relationships where you’re not met by a “no, I don’t have time/energy”. She expects open doors and open arms. She expects a joyful and rich life without judgment and shame. She likes to be naked and to be herself – she just is herself without doing anything. She was born with a strong sense of self and value and a strong love and trust in life. This is what we all need and deep down really want. By not suppressing her innate properties we, the ‘grown-ups’, can heal by facing our own inner demons that she so clearly mirrors back to us.
Torjus comes from Fyresdal, Norway where he grew up in the mountains. As a child he spent most of the time out in nature; fishing, practising traditional crafts and huntingwith a bow. When he was about 20 years old he started hunting with a gun since bow hunting is illegal in Norway so it limited him to practise it as much as he wanted. Hunting is his biggest passion and interest. Much of his wilderness inspiration came from elders who taught him their knowledge that they learned in the beginning of the 1900’s. He’s also gotten experience through reading about natives and through experimenting himself. Torjus is an all-rounder when it comes to crafts and knows a little bit about everything from wood, bone, skin, stone and plants. For example hidetanning, bowmaking and hunting, flintknapping, baskets, bonetools and to make traditional clothing. He also has great awareness about the nature in his surroundings when it comes to when and where the animals and plants who live there are available to catch, hunt, eat and use, as well as he has a great ability to inspire and to share to others about his skills and experience.
His vision is to live like a half-nomadic hunter gatherer. He also wants to continue to learn about the ecology in the Fyresdal area to be able to keep spreading the knowledge to those who will live there after him.