Who We Are

+ Our Story

Our purpose is simple, yet far-reaching: to facilitate regenerative relationships between Human and Nature.

Our Purpose

The Human Nature School was created to foster Deep Nature Connection and Whole Human Development within our community, and so within the world.
In this way, we are working to regenerate a holistic culture built upon an essential balance and harmony that benefits the highest good of all beings. Our primary purpose is that of connecting people to people, people to nature, and people to themselves.

Our Vision

We envision a world full of healthy, joyful human beings living harmoniously upon a planet of immense ecological diversity: a Web-of- Life that overflows with beauty, balance and dynamic abundance.
Each individual thrives as an integral and cherished part of the whole– empowered within their unique and creative purpose: whether they be human, otter, water, mountain, wolf, wind, fire, spider, snake, lake, bird, bee or tree. All life upon this earth is honored and revered as sacred.
L earn more about what’s at the heart of our mission by taking a tour of our core values.

who we are

T he Human Nature School is made up of a growing group of like-minded individuals with a single, heartfelt vision. Our knowledge and skill-set come from many incredible teachers and cultural lineages reaching all the way back to humanity’s most ancient common ancestors. Our organization’s structure and philosophy are based upon the 8 Shields Model, which is a unique distillation of the Wheel of Life found in almost every intact culture around the world. With great passion, we live in creative service to the land and community that has given us each so much–offering everything that we have for the betterment of the whole.

We operate as part of the Deep Nature Connection movement, greatly inspired by the work of The Wilderness Awareness School and Jon Young. Our purpose is simple, yet far-reaching: to facilitate regenerative relationships between Human and Nature. We exist as a response to the great ecological need for humanity to come back into harmonious balance with the earth and all of life. Our work offers a simple and inspiring way to get to the root of social and environmental problems facing the planet in this time.

Our school is a non-profit, educational organization overseen by a Board of Directors. We have a primary office in Traverse City, Michigan, and run programs throughout the surrounding area. We strive to provide equal opportunities for all people to experience this work. For this reason, we offer scholarships for many of our programs, and fund these through donations given from our generous community.

I t takes a village.  Volunteers, Staff, Extended Family, Board and Committee Members all work together breathing the life into the mission and vision of HNS. 

Our Story

Deeply inspired by the Wilderness Awareness School, the Human Nature School began as an experimental project in September of 2010, sparked to life by Matt Miller and Kriya Townsend. Our initial programs acted as prototypes, and were offered through several local organizations, including homeschool groups and public schools.

As the primordial essence of HNS was beginning to take form, John-Michael Musselman joined the team, adding his unique gifts and experience to the bundle– especially what came from participating in Lynx Vilden’s Four Seasons Prehistoric Project (now called Living Wild).

With many initial successes together (and plenty of invaluable failures), we decided to take the school to the next level: becoming a licensed business in May of 2011. With the creation of HNS’s first official programs came the first wave of program assistants, administrative helpers, and key volunteers. These passionate people began building what was soon to become a dynamic culture and community, centered around the core values of the school. As HNS’s offerings continued to expand, and new collaborations with local educational organizations grew, we called together our core group of supporters and assembled a board of directors. Soon after, in January of 2013, HNS was granted 501(c)3 non-profit status.

Ever since, HNS has continued to offer some of the highest quality Deep Nature Connection programming available in the Great Lakes Region.

– Human Nature School

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