This text is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
I had a basic knowledge of bushcraft (I thought so anyway) and an abundance of love for nature. I wanted to deepen my feelings, knowledge and skills more in order to excel in feeling at home in nature. I longed to learn very thoroughly how to live comfortably and respectfully in nature for a long time with only what nature gives you. I was looking for a deeply rooted way of life that allowed me to grow organically. After some research and first-hand experiences, I was pretty sure that I was going to be able to find the knowledge and skills for this at Living By Nature. The instructors are world class, have an enormous wealth and diversity of knowledge and skills. In addition, they live fully to pass it on. Furthermore, they also have a long list of international guest instructors who are all among the best in their field. So I signed up for their year’s training without a doubt. After only one weekend I realized it. This is what I was looking for! Now, almost a year later, I feel that my great expectations were completely met and even greatly exceeded. As a student at LBN you learn to look differently and to go far beyond the comfort zone of your own skills. All theoretical knowledge you gain is immediately deepened with practical experience. This is done in such a nourishing way that you embrace them and also continue to practice, experiment and research at home. At home in the garden you and your children learn ‘firebows’, why not!? The instructors are ‘real’, not a cheap word, but I like to use it! Their level of knowledge and practicality is, as expected, excellent. In addition, they have a very good understanding of group dynamics and the diversity of personalities of the students. At LBN, ‘time is taken’ for each student separately and for the student group as a whole. The personal support that each receives is therefore a huge plus. Sometimes you run into yourself and realize that you really didn’t know anything yet. At LBN you learn to see the benefit of this vulnerable feeling and you can enjoy the many possibilities that this gives. Through this framework, you as a student learn both independence and the value of a top team that warmly points out growth opportunities. During the programme, you as a student group quickly come closer together and organically create your ‘tribe’. By being jointly responsible for the organization of your camp and by ‘crafting’ together, you get to know each other well. Each has their personality, preferences, skills and way of ‘relating’ to what comes our way. In a camp, agreements must be made and tasks must be divided. No one in a tribe stands on its own, each is part of the whole and by feeling that you learn to trust each other and you learn to feel when and how you can help someone. That is an enrichment, because everyone in your tribe has a nice set of skills that feeds the group. Sometimes one can do something much faster or better than the other, the next time it might be the other way around. One is more empathetic than the other. One sees work, the other does not but would like to be pointed out, and so on. Furthermore, the abundance of skills and knowledge that you can taste at LBN and in which you can delve is very intense but just because of that also so rich: From experimental archaeology to dealing with your own vulnerability… Whether you start this course as an absolute beginner or as a seasoned advanced does not matter. Everyone will find everything in it and you will learn to build and maintain a fantastic number of skills anyway. The Living By Nature annual course contains so many colours and flavours that anyone can turn it into a three-star meal. This year course has done everything with me, several strong seeds have been planted. It feels like shells have fallen from my eyes and a beautiful, highly balanced way of life is showing itself. A way of really looking, opening up to what is and feeling a connection.
I experience this in such a way that I also want to pass on the happiness and vision that such a life practice gives me. At least to my children and everyone who is close to my heart. But preferably to everyone who needs this kind of fulfillment and wants to experience what you can realize together with nature. In our time, in our culture, I think it’s true that actually everyone needs this sense of connection. The skills and knowledge that LBN conveys give a warm sense of appreciation and connection with nature and our ancestors who collected and passed on this knowledge. I hope to encourage others in this. Get out of your comfort zone, immerse yourself in ‘primitive’ knowledge and skills and experience your interdependence with nature! Because our evolution has (fortunately) not yet embraced our concrete, clinical living environment. We still have an evolutionary preference to be “Living By Nature” in life. Being outside and connected to nature makes us happier. Because of the great diversity of skills that LBN encompasses, your encounter with strengths and weaknesses of yourself and of fellow ‘tribe’ members, underpinned by the strong and warm framework that LBN offers, they are the perfect way to learn to live together. I recommend everyone to go for the LBN experience!