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Wolf Tree Programs LLC fosters healthy relationships to self and community through nature immersion and wilderness living skills. We offer a variety of programs for children and adults.

Our Staff

 

Neill Bovaird, Founder, Director and Field Staff

Neill Bovaird has been practicing and teaching wilderness skills since 1998. He has a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation from UMass Amherst and holds a Track and Sign Level III certification through the CyberTracker Conservation. Neill has been a facilitator at Art of Mentoring since 2001 and has studied under Jon Young, Mark Elbroch, Errett Callahan, and Steve Watts.   

In addition to being the founder and director of Wolf Tree Programs LLC, Neill has taught wilderness skills at countless private and public schools, nature centers, museums, conferences, elder hostels and camps.  Neill’s passions include flintknapping, bow making, hide tanning, tracking, megalithic construction and wandering in the wilderness.

Nicole Thurrell, Administrative Director

Nicole is a long-time Wolf Tree parent and participant. She brings over a decade of experience in office management and well as program and business development to the Wolf Tree's Office Manager position. She also brings almost 20 years of experience in working with adolescents and adults in nature connection programs. She can think of no more important work than supporting and furthing the mission of nature connection programs such as Wolf Tree. 

Her interests include being outside with her family, old-time fiddling, yoga, running her emergecy response education business WildMed, and teaching Health and Wellness to high school students at the Hartsbrook School. Nicole is a Wilderness EMT and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina in Recreation Therapy and Psychology.


Ryan Richards, Field Staff

Ryan began actively pursuing a connection with Nature while he was in college studying philosophy and religion. He left school in 2008 to intern on an organic farm in New Jersey, as a way to get out of his head and into his body, and has been working on farms since then.

While abroad in India he studied and experienced the nuances of group dynamics and communication, cultivating leadership skills and environmental awareness.

In 2011 he began volunteering at Wolf Tree and has since grown to become more fully immersed and invested in the work and vision of Wolf Tree. He continues to explore those questions that school couldn't answer by spending time outside, working hard, and exploring the ways we are connected and the ways we get in touch with that connection.

He likes to play music, cook and ferment food and drink, live in community, and walk to far away lands.

 

Jacquelyn Ward, Field Staff

Jacquelyn grew up running around the woods, eating herbs straight from the garden, and sleeping outside whenever possible. In 2007 she took part in Amherst High School’s Survival Living class and became interested in learning how to thrive without the trappings of the consumer world. Since then she has worked for Hawk Circle, Vermont Wilderness School, Wolf Tree, Earth Works, and Art of Mentoring programs. In 2011 she began volunteering for Wolf Tree and has since been excited to take part in many programs as both staff and student.

 

She has a BA in Historiography and Alternative Historical Narrative from Marlboro College in Vermont and an MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies from the University of Iceland. She has been living in Iceland and Denmark for two years, and recently spent six months working on farms in Devon, England and exploring the landscape and stories of Dartmoor. She is passionate about mythology, history, and food cultures, and the ways in which they connect people to place.

 

 

Kevin Aderer, Field Staff

Kevin began seeking a deeper relationship with nature in 2010 when he left his job as a climbing instructor in Boston and pitched a tent on a homestead-in-progress in northern Vermont. In 2013, he began two years of apprenticeships at Earthwalk Vermont and Maine Primitive Skills School. He is dedicated to supporting all people in exploring the world with vigorous curiosity, feeding our shared innate needs for challenge and growth. He is passionate about ancestral living skills, communal celebration and play, and the critical pedagogy of storytelling and story deconstruction.

Kevin is also deeply invested in building sustainable living systems to serve community needs. He cultivates projects and skillsets around collaborative entrepreneurship and carbon-sequestering agriculture.

He lives in Montague, where he raises dairy goats and imagines forest gardens and intentional communities with his partner Erica. They host a community potluck-and-song-circle every other Sunday, at which you are most welcome!

  

Maddy Becker

Maddy grew up in Eastern Massachusetts and spent her early years working and playing outside. Some of her favorite childhood friends were a pig named Arnold and a horse named Lady who lived on the farm near her home. She spent countless days in her backyard building forts, climbing trees and sledding with her dad. 

Maddy attended the University of Delaware where she continued to strengthen her connection with the land through farming and classes in Environmental Humanities. She spent a year immersing herself in nature and journaling her experiences through written word and sketching.

Since then she has lived and farmed on Cape Cod before moving out to Western Massachusetts in 2016. She currently resides in Whately, and is always learning new ways to connect with the land and to learn from it's creatures.

You might find her wandering in the woods collecting nature mysteries, taking photographs, or drawing. She also loves to cook and climb trees.

 

 

Eric Lundquist, Field Staff

After several years working for Earthwatch Institute Eric left the office. He continues to assist Earthwatch researchers in the field and has facilitated fifteen teen expeditions. He began staffing Wolf Tree programs in 2015. His two children participate in Wolf Tree’s camps and the Tupelo weekends.

Eric earned a BA in English from Washington and Lee University and a MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and holds a Level III Track and Sign rating. A favorite honor was once overhearing his daughter designate his profession as Adventurer.

He often wanders off trail - especially when deer, moose or a local carnivore’s tracks reveal another path.  He believes in a mentoring style that similarly goes “off trail” and he strives to inspire other adventurers young and old.

 

 

 

Erica Martenson, Field Staff

Erica has had a deep love of nature for as long as she can remember.  Growing up homeschooled, she was fortunate enough to attend a variety of nature connection programs (quite similar to Wolf Tree programs), which nurtured her passion for wilderness skills, cultural technologies such as song and storytelling, and creating regenerative, nature-connected culture. She began attending the Art of Mentoring at age 11, and has been on staff there since she was 17. She has staffed and organized many nature programs for kids and teens all over the world, from Scotland to Santa Cruz CA. 


She now lives in Montague with her partner Kevin. Together they raise a herd of dairy goats, and joyfully manage a small homestead.

 

 

Andrew Row, Field Staff

 Andrew’s love of nature began to unfold as a child in the Pioneer Valley while participating in Earth Works Program summer camps and gradually spending more and more time in the forest on his own.  Early in high school he began to participate in Kroka Expeditions summer programs. Upon graduating high school he enrolled in Kroka’s Vermont Semester, a 5-month wilderness expedition. Since then he has lead 10 expeditions for kroka up to two weeks in length where he enjoyed sharing his love of simple living, land stewardship, tracking and awareness, as well as the inner clarity and awe of nature experienced through adventure sports. Drawing from skill acquired at Kroka and through a tracking apprenticeship with Walnut Hill,  he began teaching at Wolf Tree in 2018.

Andrew lives on a homestead in Heath, MA with his partner Cat and two month old daughter, Aster, where they practice sustainable living and restorative agriculture. His passions include holistically managing livestock to sequester carbon, reverse land degradation and desertification and the establishment of tree-based agriculture. He also loves steep skiing in the backcountry and navigating raging rapids.