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 Lead Instructor

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.

 

Moses Draper, Lead Instructor & Office Manager

Moses has been working with Wolf Tree Programs LLC for 8 years and in youth programs for 10. He has been on staff at 3 Art of Mentoring’s and participated in the Community Nature Awareness Program with Mark Morey. Moses combines his interest in the natural world with fostering healthy, nurturing relationships with children.

His interests include natural parenting, homesteading and spending time outside. Moses holds a B.Comm from McGill University.

 

 

Ryan Richards, Lead Instructor

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.

 

Kevin Aderer, Lead 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!

 

Eric Lundquist, Assistant Staff

Eric settled in the valley in 2004 taking a naturalist job on the riverboat, Quinnetukut II.  He worked several years for Boston based Earthwatch Institute.  In 2010 he left his cubicle, but he continues to assist Earthwatch researchers in the summers and has facilitated fourteen teen expeditions.   A Wolf Tree Flint Knapping workshop led to several years in the Woodland Ways apprenticeship.  He began staffing programs in 2015. His two children participate in Wolf Tree’s camps and the Tupelo weekends.

Eric holds a BA in English from Washington and Lee University and a MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has been certified as a Wilderness First Responder since 2005.

A former carpenter, he enjoys climbing trees, splitting wood, watching beavers, eating carpenter ants, smelling of wood smoke and finding other ways to connect to trees.  These days Eric often travels 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”. 

 

Margaret Ranen, Assistant Staff

Since birth, Maggie has lived in the Pioneer Valley; the area and land are greatly important to her. Through her life here Maggie has had a multitude of experiences working with the earth and in community. She has found that relating with nature and plants is a way for her to support the community. 

She has worked on several farms in the area. Through these experiences, Maggie has and continues to receive and integrate a wealth of knowledge. This includes experience in the process of growing food and herbs, in caring for animals and in relating with other human beings in balance through teaching, learning, cooperation, management, and production. 

 

At Hartsbrook Waldorf School, where Maggie also went to high school herself, she taught sixth graders how to milk cows and care for other farm animals. She was also a counselor for their Waldorf Summer Farm Camp. Maggie started an independent study program on the Hartsbrook farm during her senior year, which has continued to this day.

She was an assistant teacher at the Nature after-school program at the Chinese Immersion school and started a compost removal service where customers have an opportunity to give their rich food scraps to local farms.

In High school Maggie recognized her love for being outside as a way of life that fulfilled her and felt like an accurate direction for her journey. This feeling was affirmed by a wilderness program she participated in where they consciously weaved the authentic experience of relating to oneself with nature and other beings. Maggie fosters healthy relationships to herself and her community through working with the earth and other people. She does her best to be authentic in her true self, communicate responsibly and respectfully and to continue deepening her relationship to the land and people around her. She is passionate about playing music and spending time with her family.

 

Abigail Shapiro, Assistant Staff

Ever since she was a child Abi connected deeply and spiritually to the natural world. She feels the whispers of the trees and the tapping of ant feet on the ground. One of her favorite things to do is simply sit outside quietly, experiencing the subtle shifts and murmurs of the earth, plants and animals. Her thirst for connection and exploration tookher  abroad for five years where she crossed an ocean on a pirate ship, rode horses into the sunset in Western Australia and counted lizards in the trees of a Puerto Rican rainforest.
In 2013 her travels brought her to Forest Row, England, where she studied storytelling and her passion for child-focused education was ignited. It was also during this program where she was introduced to the Coyote Mentoring model which we integrate into Wolftree Programs. She's spent the past three years participating in the Art of Mentoring program through Vermont Wilderness School, gaining skills and experience in resilient community building and deep nature connection.
Abi is committed to community building and developing new education models which emphasize connection to one another and the natural world, art, music and child directed learning.
When she's not wandering in the forest or spending time being inspired by children you can find her participating in a contact improvisational dance jam, on her yoga mat, curled up with a book or plotting her next whirlwind adventure.


River Pasquale, Assistant Staff


River has been a participant in Wolf Tree Programs for two years. After graduating in the spring of 2016 from Roots, she is using the skills learned in the program to continue her quest to become a strong leader and caretaker of the land.

 

A lifelong self-directed homeschooler, River is now using the valuable resource of Holyoke Community College to follow her interests in psychology and history. She also interns at a lab at UMass Amherst studying how crithidia, a disease affecting the bee population, is spread from bee to bee and what can be done to prevent it.

 

River enjoys playing outside, going on adventures, and learning about the world around her.