Mentor Resources -- Reading List

“One of the greatest gifts adults can give—to their offspring and to their society—is to read to children. —Carl Sagan”

My 2 Cents

Students enroll in our programs because they are eager to work to make their best better. Toni and Brian, our founders, are on a constant journey to do the same. At a business leader’s conference Tim Sanders the former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo and its Leadership Coach was the keynote speaker.

He offers several strategies to success; one was increase the positive content in your life. For starters, he recommends starting the day with 30-45 minutes of mindful reading from a book. Sanders says,

“We know breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. It’s also important for your mind, because what you feed your mind first thing in the morning influences your mood for the entire day.”

Thus, he suggests, “For a few minutes each morning, read from a book that helps you be better at what you do. All the great leaders from the past were avid readers – it fills your mind with confidence.

This strategy has been a tradition with our programs from the beginning; it is one of our daily core routines. We all learned originally to walk by watching those around us walk and then we worked at walkin, falling – failing – doing it over and over. We laughed; sometimes cried, often reaching up to those we trust for help; eventually we earned mastery mostly because we wanted to get to somewhere we weren’t; we learned to run because it was fun; we learned to run through play. There were no lectures on the forms of running, no worksheets, no drills, no testing; yet we learned to walk and run. We learned to talk the same way; listing to our parents talking to us, listing to them talk to each other. We worked at talking; listening to ourselves making those sounds – failing – doing it over and over. Again we laughed; sometime cried because we could not be understood, but were rewarded by being able to share our needs to others; share our thoughts to others. Reading is best leaned the same way; others modeling to us, reading to themselves silently, reading to us, and us reading; not with lectures, worksheets, drills, or test. As we fail at reading certain words, in a small safe mixed age groups that include others that are better readers than ourselves, we ask for help; our written lexicon grows.

Each and every morning all staff and students read from a book of our own choice, journaling it, writing down a passage that resonates with us, and reading it out loud to the others in mixed age groups young and old learning from each other. In this way we all learn to write from the modeling of authors. We develop our own philosophy from the works of those greater then ourselves. We develop skills from those that have experiences beyond our own. We have fun sharing and laughing. We parse out fact from fiction, misconception from reality, practice divergent and critical thinking skills, as we all become much better educated.

Each and every book listed has been read by Brian and/or Toni. Many were originally suggested by one or more of Brian or Toni’s own mentors, many were referenced in other readings, and be it books or research papers. The authors’ of some have contacted Brian and Toni, and asked them to review their books. If they found the books of value to our staff, parents, or students they made it here on this List.

Recorded Lectures, Talks, and Documentaries Is Time Well Spent

Hearing the voice of the writer can make a greater impact than simply reading the words. In his teens and twenties, Brian would go to sleep at night listing to the lectures of Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, and Carl Sagan. These lectures help mold his thinking; the texture and infection brought clarity and more meaning to their words and in retrospect was time well spent.

The internet now has given access to everyone graduate level content in lectures, talks, and documentaries at any time of the week or day. At no time in the development of man has it been so easy for people to better themselves through education. Daily Brian and Toni are given suggestions of content to view from kids to elders, those friends that share common interest with us, those that are in formal mentorship roles, and from those I have never met but follow what we are doing.

Each Thursday Brian starts his day with the milky way still visible early to watch or listen the latest TED Talks or RSA lectures, or any other recorded material that has come to his attention, those that he finds of value to you he adds to this list.

This is our list of preferred reading and videos suggested by the director for the staff, parents, and students. Check back often. If you have any suggested books please email me.

Some Content Here Supports What We Do.

If you are a parent pondering if Northwestern Outdoor Leadership Institute is a good fit please read (watch) the books (videos) marked with an *, those books videos ether describe a major feature or issues in traditional schools that we address.

This is a Living Document

As you come across content that you think we would resonate, make us think, or even make our blood boil please share it with us.


Hospice, Palliative, and Alzheimer’s

I See Dead People: Dreams and Visions of the Dying (TEDX Talk) Dr. Christopher Kerr, Chief Medical Officer at The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care The most common dreams/visions included deceased friends/relatives and living friends/relatives. Dreams/visions featuring the deceased (friends, relatives, and animals/pets) were significantly more comforting than those of the living, living and deceased combined, and other people and experiences. As participants approached death, comforting dreams/visions of the deceased became more prevalent. End of Life Dreams and Visions are commonly experienced phenomena during the dying process, characterized by a consistent sense of realism and marked emotional significance. These dreams/visions may be a profound source of potential meaning and comfort for the dying, and therefore warrant clinical attention and further research.
The Hero Within: Redeeming the Destiny We Were Born to Fulfill Deborah Grassman Publisher: Vandamere Pr
In The Hero Within, Deborah Grassman, well-known speaker and lecturer and highly-acclaimed author of Peace at Last explains that when we dare to deal with distress and accept the idea that we will not succeed at everything our internal heroism can help us begin to redeem our destiny. She focuses on the roles of pain and suffering as inevitable parts of our lives. She explains that rather than becoming broken down by the pain in our lives, we can learn to open ourselves to these new experiences through our internal hero. The Hero Within has been written to help people learn to redeem the suffering that we have all experienced by understanding a three-step process of abiding, reckoning, and beholding. It provides readers with the tools to do this, and will help them cultivate a willingness to develop the honesty, humility, and courage to make that inward journey. By completing this process, readers can grow into aspects of themselves that they were previously reluctant to inhabit. They can then use the process to heal abuse, bring peace to broken relationships, face death, and assist in many other situations. From small, every-day problems to dilemmas that are overwhelming, readers will become empowered. Unlike many self-help tactics, readers will not learn how to overcome, endure, or rise above problems. Rather, they will learn how to use that problem or limitation to cultivate qualities that will open them up to energy beyond themselves. Once readers learn how to abide and reckon with difficulties, they will succeed not in spite of their limitations; but because of them.
Peace at Last: Stories of Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families Deborah Grassman Publisher: Vandamere Pr
ISBN-10: 0918339723
ISBN-13: 978-0918339720
For her two-plus decades as a hospice nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Deborah Grassman has often heard the comment, Isn t your work depressing? Like many others, she had begun her hospice career with that same prejudice. She feared death itself, and because of that fear, she was unaware that she could find peace, joy, and fulfillment in caring for people at the end of their lives. She had no special training in caring for veterans, and she had no reason to think that veterans needs were any different from nonveterans. With time and experience, however, she began to realize that these veterans had experiences and training that made them different from other hospice patients. Likewise she began to understand that she could learn lessons about peace from people who were trained for war; that warriors often have wisdom that, paradoxically, shows us how to live in peace with each other and within ourselves. In Peace at Last, Deborah Grassman takes the reader on a journey of understanding and growth. While caring for thousands of veterans in a hospice setting over a 25-year career in a VA hospital, she gathered the veterans stories of pain and redemption, personal awakening, and peace. Then she crafted these stories into an unforgettable book. Designed to help caregivers, family members, and veterans themselves understand the impact of war and military culture on lives and emotions, Peace at Last contains veterans stories, hospice experiences, and a series of appendices providing sample materials that can assist with healing.

Pedagogy, Parenting, and Growing Up

The Art of Manliness presents Guide to Being a Gentleman In 2008* Brett and Kate McKay   The Art of Manliness is required for our preteens and teens to have at Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute. NOLI5 is about boulding boy to good men, husbands, fathers, and members of the community. This book and many of the books by these two authors have been great tools to that end. "While it's definitely more than just monster trucks, grilling and six-pack abs, true manliness is hard to define. The words macho and manly are not synonymous. Taking lessons from classic gentlemen such as Benjamin Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, authors Brett and Kate McKay have created a collection of the most useful advice every man needs to know to live life to its full potential. This book contains a wealth of information that ranges from survival skills to social skills to advice on how to improve your character. Whether you are braving the wilds with your friends, courting your girlfriend or raising a family, inside you'll find practical information and inspiration for every area of life."
Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild David James Campbell Publisher: Crown (May 10, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307461246
ISBN-13: 978-0307461247
This is a book that both our students and I have read; it was hard to put down, it resonated with our students and myself; reluctant to start the journey, to leave the comforts of a suburban home to go where there is little that separates them from nature. At first the discomfort is crushing but in time Aiden finds that it is her element. Similar to our students the experience is life altering. Toni King
Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace* David Stillman, Jonah Stillman HarperBusiness (March 21, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062475444
ISBN-13: 978-0062475442
They were born between between 1995 and 2012. At 72.8 million strong, Gen Z is about to make its presence known in the workplace in a major way—and employers need to understand the differences that set them apart. They’re radically different than the Millennials, and yet no one seems to be talking about them—until now. This generation has an entirely unique perspective on careers and how to succeed in the workforce. Based on the first national studies of Gen Z’s workplace attitudes; interviews with hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, and thought leaders on generational issues; cutting-edge case studies; and insights from Gen Zers themselves, Gen Z @ Work offers the knowledge today’s leaders need to get ahead of the next gaps in the workplace and how best to recruit, retain, motivate, and manage Gen Zers. Ahead of the curve, Gen Z @ Work is the first comprehensive, serious look at what the next generation of workers looks like, and what that means for the rest of us.
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)* Christopher Alexander ISBN-13:9781600614620 Publisher:Adams Media Publication date:10/15/2009 Pages:288 Yes this is an architecture book, however, his discussion on children, play, and the learning environment is a must read. Christopher Alexander's book was instrumental in the early days of forming the foundation of Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute.
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. * Daniel Coyle Bantam
ISBN-10: 034553025X
What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? In this groundbreaking work, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle provides parents, teachers, coaches, businesspeople—and everyone else—with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others.
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills * Daniel Coyle   This book is required of all our students. The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and interviews with successful master coaches
Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success Matthew Syed Harper
ISBN-10: 0061723754
Syed, athlete sportswriter and columnist for the London Times, takes a hard look at performance psychology.
Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better Jossey-Bass
ISBN-10: 111821658X

Rules for developing talent with disciplined, deliberate, intelligent practice

This book puts practice on the front burner of all who seek to instill talent and achievement in others as well as in themselves.

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. Geoffrey Colvin Portfolio Trade
ISBN-10: 1591842948

According to Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent are myths. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-"deliberate practice"

Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice-including Benjamin Franklin, comedian Chris Rock, football star Jerry Rice, and top CEOs Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success * Carol Dweck Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345472322
World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly ground breaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success.
Development of Professional Expertise: Toward Measurement of Expert Performance and Design of Optimal Learning Environments K. Anders Ericsson Cambridge University Press
ISBN-10: 0521740088
This book is designed to provide the first comprehensive overview of research on the acquisition and training of professional performance as measured by objective methods rather than by subjective ratings by supervisors. In this collection of articles, the world's foremost experts discuss methods for assessing the experts' knowledge and review our knowledge on how we can measure professional performance and design training environments that permit beginning and experienced professionals to develop and maintain their high levels of performance, using examples from a wide range of professional domains.
How To Win Friends And Influence People Dale Carnegie This classic road to success book is as valuable as it was when first published. Carnegie cited intimate examples from Rockefeller, Charles Schwab, FDR, and more, this comprehensive guide is all about how to get ahead in business, relationships, and life. It has been said that if your read one chapter a day for the rest of your life. It will make you a far better man than you would ever be without it.
George Westinghouse: Gentle Genius Author: Quentin R. Skrabec Jr. Publisher Published November 1st 2006 Algora Publishing
ISBN 0875865062 ISBN13: 9780875865065
John Westinghouse best known for implymenting Nicoli Teslas ideas bringing alternating current to the masses also was an intavator of leadership His story intersects with those of many great personalities of the Gilded Age such as J.P Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew Carnegie, the Mellon Family, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Nikola Tesla. One of the most successful industrialists in America, George Westinghouse was a wizard who took a much different approach than Thomas Edison. Westinghouse became a manager of innovation. He was not only an inventor in his own right, but the orchestra leader of a symphony of ideas. Westinghouse developed the corporate model of invention and research. Samuel Gompers said, "If industry had been run by men like Westinghouse, there would have been no need for unions."
In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World: Candid Conversations with the Visionaries of the Digital World Rama Jager, Raphael Ortiz 1997 by McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 0071383425
In remarkably honest and unrestrained one-on-one interviews, sixteen titans of the digital world share wisdom and advice on how they founded and built their empires...what they think about business, technology, and each other...and where itOs all going.

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals *

Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D

Plume; Reprint edition (December 27, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0452297710

A great tool for creating real goals and how to meet them.

The Price of Privilege *

Dr Madeline Levine Harper Collins

ISBN 0-06-059584-1

The book’s primary thesis is that teenagers from affluent families have more intense psychological problems than expected. Her findings are based on her experience as a psychologist working with children in Marin County and related clinical studies. based not only on her 25 years of experience in treating such teens within Marin County (an affluent community within the San Francisco Bay Area) but also on her consultations with colleagues around the United States, as well as her review of the contemporary psychological research on the subject
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL: Parenting for Authentic Success * Madeline Levine Ph.D.

Harper Collins Publishers

ISBN 13: 9780061824746


This book is required for our staff and should be for our parents. Dr. Lefine acknowledges that every parent wants successful children, but until we are clearer about our core values and the parenting choices that are most likely to lead to authentic success, we will continue to raise exhausted, externally driven, impaired children who believe that they are “only as good as their last performance.” Real success is always an “inside job,” argues Levine, and is measured not by today’s report card but by the people our children become ten or fifteen years down the line.
Summer Camp Rules! Thirty Years of Practical Wisdom Bob Ditter Ph.D. Healthy Learning
ISBN-10: 1606791656
This book is required for all our staff. This is an invaluable resource for camp leaders at all levels. Featuring over 60 “key points” on communication and group skills, this book is the ultimate tool for any camp leader looking to better relate to their campers and maximize the camp experience for all campers.
Finding Your Element Sir Ken Robinson
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670022381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670022380
what he characterizes as "The Element" is not a physical location but the challenge is to locate it, nonetheless. "It's about doing something that feels so completely natural to you, that resonates so strongly with you, that you feel as if this is who you really are." Some people locate it in childhood, others decades later, and still others never. "Finding your Element is a quest to find is a two-way journey: an inward journey to explore what lies within you and an outward journey to explore opportunities in the world around you."
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative Sir Ken Robinson Publisher: Capstone; 2 edition (February 21, 2011) ISBN-10: 1907312471 ISBN-13: 978-1907312472 In short this book is support for what Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute does. The author points out the need for creativity and how the standard model of education is failing at providing for that need.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Sir Ken Robinson Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 29, 2009) ISBN-10: 0143116738 ISBN-13: 978-0143116738 Again this book is support for what Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute does. The author explains that The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, "they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels."
The Nature of Play: Great Apes and Humans Anthony D. Pellegrini (Editor), PhD Peter K. Smith PhD
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (December 6, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1593851170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593851170
This is an excellent academic text on play and our species.

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd PEDIATRICS Vol. 119 No. 1 January 2007, pp. 182-191 (doi:10.1542/peds.2006-2697) Heard Dr. Grinsburg at a conference and he had great documentation to support what I have been saying about the need for free play. This report is required reading by our staff
Kamana 1 Jon Young   Self Study Nature course
Kamana 2 Jon Young    
Kamana 3 Jon Young    
Kamana 4 Jon Young    
Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature: For Kids of All Ages and their Mentors Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown   This is required reading for all staff that have not completed RDNA or WAS
Sharing Nature with Children Joseph Cornell    
Sharing Nature with Children II Joseph Cornell    
The Tracker Tom Brown Jr.    
Last Child in the Woods Richard Louv  

This is required reading for all staff that have not completed RDNA or WAS.

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

The Nature Principle

Richard Louv   Richard Louv makes a convincing case that through a nature-balanced existence—driven by sound economic, social, and environmental solutions—the human race can and will thrive. This timely, inspiring, and important work will give readers renewed hope while challenging them to rethink the way we live.
Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World Alan Weisman Chelsea Green Gaviotas is an eco-village located in the Colombian department of Vichada, at 4°33'17"N, 70°54'55"W. It was founded in 1971 by Paolo Lugari who assembled a group of engineers and scientists in an attempt to create a mode of sustainable living in one of the least hospitable political and geographical climates in South America.

Videos on Pedagogy

The world needs all kinds of minds Temple Grandin:


Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

Through groundbreaking research and the lens of her own autism, Temple Grandin brings startling insight into two worlds.

Ken Robinson on Passion


Sir Ken Robinson
RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms * Sir Ken Robinson:
Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson:
Bring on the learning revolution! Sir Ken Robinson:
Tales of creativity and play Tim Brown
Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play
Parent University 2013 - Teach Your Chilren Well Madeline Levine, PhD
An evening with Madeline Levine, PhD, Author of New York Times Best Sellers "The Price of Privilege" and "Teach Your Children Well."
Sir Ken Robinson, what’s in the school of your dreams? Sir Ken Robinson
Four student reporters ask Dr Robinson to design a learning place of your dreams, which sounds like he is describing our own school.
Life lessons through tinkering Gever Tulley
5 dangerous things you should let your kids do: Gever Tulley
The Neuroscience of Happiness Kent Berridge, Richie Davidson, and Daniel Gilbert speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Is happiness a skill? Modern neuroscientific research and the wisdom of ancient contemplative traditions converge in suggesting that happiness is the product of skills that can be enhanced through training and such training exemplifies how transforming the mind can change the brain.
The happy secret to better work Shawn Achor


Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. He offers support for the Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute's daily core routines
The Element Sir Ken Robinson:
Sir Ken Robinson returns to the RSA to share new thinking on 'The Element' - the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.

Primitive Technology

Earth Knack Bart & Robin Gibbs Smith Publishing Covers array of important basic skills.
Primitive Technology David Wescott Gibbs Smith Publishing Best of the first 10 Bulletins of Primitive Technology. Great info.
Primitive Technology Ii David Wescott Gibbs Smith Publishing More of the best of the Bulletin of Primitive Technology. Great Info.
Survival Skills Paul D. Campbell Gibbs Smith Publishing Lots of how to and hands on information on traditional living skills.
Participating In Nature Thomas J. Elpel's    
Deerskins Into Buckskins Matt Richards  

Matt’s book is a great resource and gives a good description of the science of brain tanning. If you are going to do wet scrapped brain tanning I highly recommend both Matt’s and Tarmara’s book listed below. You may purchase both at

Buckskin ...the ancient art of brain tanning Steven Edholm & Tamara Wilder   Tammar's book is a great resource and full of useful information. If you are going to do wet scrapped brain tanning I highly recommend both Matt’s (listed above and Tamara’s book. You may purchase both at http://pyrotechnical/
The Art Of Flint knapping DC Waldorf (Mound Builder Books)    

Cultural Anthropology and Ethnobotany

Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation Is Transforming the Workplace David Stillman, Jonah Stillman HarperBusiness (March 21, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062475444
ISBN-13: 978-0062475442
They were born between between 1995 and 2012. At 72.8 million strong, Gen Z is about to make its presence known in the workplace in a major way—and employers need to understand the differences that set them apart. They’re radically different than the Millennials, and yet no one seems to be talking about them—until now. This generation has an entirely unique perspective on careers and how to succeed in the workforce. Based on the first national studies of Gen Z’s workplace attitudes; interviews with hundreds of CEOs, celebrities, and thought leaders on generational issues; cutting-edge case studies; and insights from Gen Zers themselves, Gen Z @ Work offers the knowledge today’s leaders need to get ahead of the next gaps in the workplace and how best to recruit, retain, motivate, and manage Gen Zers. Ahead of the curve, Gen Z @ Work is the first comprehensive, serious look at what the next generation of workers looks like, and what that means for the rest of us.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Jared M. Diamond Penguin Diamond's book deals with "societal collapses involving an environmental component, and in some cases also contributions of climate change, hostile neighbors, and trade partners, plus questions of societal responses" . In writing the book Diamond intended that its readers should learn from history.
Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell   This seminal work has influenced millions of readers since it was originally published in 1949, bringing the insights of modern psychology together with Campbell\'s revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell formulated the dual schemas of the Hero\'s Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through all of humanity\'s mythic traditions, and of the Cosmogonic Cycle, the stories of world-creation and -dissolution that have marked cultures around the world and across the centuries.
Primitive Mythology; the Face of God Joseph Campbell    
The Power of Myth (Paperback) Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers  nbsp;  
Nature's Housekeeper: An Eco-Comedy Michael Gurnow Publisher: Blue River Press (May 15, 2015) ISBN-10: 1935628488 ISBN-13: 978-1935628484 Editorial Review by our director of education Brian King: FYI This book I would Rate PG-13 for language. If you are OK with George Carlin's humor you should be ok with Nature's Housekeeper. Reading Nature’s Housekeeper is like sitting around the table sharing drinks and laughing with Thoreau, Herriot, Twain, Abbey, and Lenny Bruce. But be sure to wipe those laughter-sponsored tears from your eyes every once in a while because Gurnow’s adventure is nothing short of a hero’s journey that would make Joseph Campbell proud.
Does It Matter?: Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality Alan Watts Publisher: New World Library; 2nd edition (October 28, 2007) ISBN-10: 1577315855 ISBN-13: 978-1577315858

In the early 70's our education director would listen to Alan Watts rebroadcasts on KPFK and when Professor Watts asked the question, "What would you like to do if money were no object?" that started Brian on the journey to start the ground work to form his Walden's Pond that would later become Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute. This is a good book to get you started in the works of Alan Watts. has aproxomutly 30 books and has a plethera of audio clips of Alan Watts work.

The Sacred Hunt: Hunting As a Sacred Path Randall L. Eaton PhD
  • Publisher: Sacred Pr (March 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0966369610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966369618

I met Dr. Eaton at a class that him and Jon Young were conducting on the sacred hunt. From that we have developed a friendship that has grown to mutual respect. Over the more then 7 years since we have followed each others work and on occasion the phone rings we share our experiences, we laugh, we grow.

The Sacred Hunt takes the ethics and value of hunting to a level beyond what I can do in the standard DofFish&Wildlife hunter ed classes.


From Boys to Men of Heart; Hunting as Rite of Passage Randall L. Eaton Ph.D. (Author), Jody Bergsma (Illustrator)
  • Publisher: OWLink Media; First edition (October 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579940269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579940263

Real rites of passage is a big part of what what we do at Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute and Randall's book has been a tool for us to educate our staff and the parents of our student's. When Randall and I talk on the phone, we tend to share stores that relate to our students on their hero's journey on their way to becoming men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.


Black Elk Speaks John Neihardt ISBN 0-8032-8359-8 Black Elk Speaks is a 1932 book which relates the story of Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux medicine man, as told by John Neihardt. Black Elk's son, Ben Black Elk, translated Black Elk's words from Lakota into English
Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization   Heinrich Robert Zimmer and Joseph Campbell Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization - (May 1, 1972) by Heinrich Robert Zimmer and Joseph Campbell
Man and His Symbols   Carl G. Jung  

Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 9, Pt. 1)

  Carl Jug  
The Foxfire Books Eliot Wigginton   The articles in these books are written by Appalachian high school kids interviewing their elder about skills and live in the mountains. I read these books in high and because I was into the skills being written about, but later the books taught me how to be the teacher I wanted to be.
Tending the Wild M. Kat Anderson M.   Kat Anderson presents a wealth of information on native land management practices gleaned in part from interviews and correspondence with Native Americans who recall what their grandparents told them about how and when areas were burned, which plants were eaten and which were used for basketry, and how plants were tended.
Seaweed, Salmon, and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast (Paperback) Margaret Denise Dubin    
Chumash Ethnobotany; Plant Knowledge Among the Chumash People of Southern California Jan Timbrook    
Farmers Of Forty Centuries: Or Permanent Agriculture In China, Korea And Japan F. H. KING, D. Sc. 1911, published shortly after his death by his wife, Carrie Baker King; numerous facsimile reprinting, including Courier Dover Publications, ISBN 0-486-43609-8, and Rodale Press, ISBN 0-87857-867-6). This is the book that was the prompt for our director and founder in the '70 to lead to Northwestern Outdoor Leardership Institute and for him to take two of our studetns to China to look of activities that King discribed that was still being practiced 100 years later. In the 1909, American agronomist F.H. King toured China, Korea, and Japan, studying traditional fertilization, tillage, and general farming practices. He wrote his findings in Farmers of Forty Centuries, Or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan King lived in an era preceding synthetic nitrogen fertilizer production and before the use of the internal combustion engine for farm machinery, yet he was profoundly interested in the challenge of farming the same soils in a 'permanent' manner, hence his interest in the agricultural practices of ancient cultures. In recent years, his book became an important organic farming reference.

Field Guides and Natural Science

Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles & Amphibians, Western Robert C. Stebbins    
Peterson Field Guides: Venomous Animals & Poisonous Plants, Steven Foster & Roger Caras    
Sibley Field Guide: Birds Western, David Allen Sibley   This is the bird field guide our students most go to.
The Birder's Handbook Erlich, Dobson & Wheye    
Jon Young    
Peterson Field Guides: Western Birds Roger Tory Peterson    
Audubon Field Guide to Trees: Western Elbert L. Little    
Peterson Field Guides: Pacific States Wildflowers Theodore F. Niehaus    
Botany in a Day Tom Elpel    
Stokes Guide to Animal Tracking, Donald W. Stoke and Lillian Q. Stokes    
Peterson Field Guides: Mammals Fiona Reid    
Skulls and Bones: A Guide to the Skeletal Structures and Behavior of North American Mammals Glenn Searfoss    
Stokes: Field Guide to Bird Songs, Western, CDs Kevin J. Colver with Donald and Lillian Stokes    
Bird Tracks & Sign Mark Elbroch    
Mammal Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species Mark Elbroch   This the tracking book that our students most go to.
Peterson Field Guides: Animal Tracks, Olaus Murie and Mark Elbroch    
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World Paul Stamets


ISBN 1-58008-579-2

This is not a field guide but shows how mushrooms regenerate the land and connects the plants of the forest. Paul's book demonstrates how fungus is used for soil mitigation. growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment and mushroom expert Paul Stamets explains how in MYCELIUM RUNNING, a groundbreaking manual for saving the world through mushroom cultivation.

The voice of the natural world

Bernie Krause:

Bernie Krause the Voice of the Natural World

Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes -- the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae -- for 45 years. In that time, he has seen many environments radically altered by humans,


Manual on simple methods of meat preservation Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations M-25
ISBN 92-5-102744-7
While this publication is mainly intended to disseminate information on traditional methods of meat preservation in Africa for teachers and instructors, it also addresses aspects of hygienic slaughtering under rural conditions. Reference is also made to FAO's work on small-scale slaughterhouses, raw materials for preserved meat, principles of meat preservation by thermal treatment, packaging methods and basic methods of quality control.
"Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him."
—Maya Angelou
"There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book."
—Frank Serafini