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Restorative Adventures


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Restorative Adventures

Story by Brad Crescenzo, photo by Micah Shanser

The beast let out a low and ominous moan as it dragged its feet toward me, inch by inch. Clawing at the air, the zombie reached for my face, and I realized I was not afraid.

This may sound like something out of a Hollywood horror movie, but the scene unfolding is a thousand miles away from an LA sound stage. Restorative Adventures, a youth-based outdoor education company focused on stewardship and service, is launching their second “Surviving Half-Life” zombie-themed survival program.

Restorative Adventures helps young people create self-confidence through nature-based programs that give them the tools to live with presence, awareness, connection and gratitude. By offering something challenging for youth other than video games and sports, the program aims to attract young people who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in an outdoor program.

Students learn to make fire by friction, observe their surroundings, understand birdcalls, carve bows, track animals and share stories around a campfire. The program culminates in a two-day scenario challenge weekend when participants put their skills to the test and try to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

If evading zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland isn’t for you, Restorative Adventures offers a number of other less fantastical programs for the more conventional wilderness enthusiast. Over the course of the next nine months, Restorative Adventures will host an all-ages skillshare program with affordable classes including bow making, archery, basketry, permaculture, animal processing and foraging of wild edibles.

Starting in early spring, Restorative Adventures is offering a collaborative Source-to-Sea program for veterans living with post traumatic stress disorder. This is the brainchild of Restorative Adventures’ co-founder Bonnie Fischnaller. It will be run in collaboration with John Minier of Mt. Baker Guides and Sarah Pernick of Adventure Cascades.

The group will be led to the summit of Mt. Baker via the Easton glacier, and descend the Coleman Deming glacier. The group will then meet with Adventure Cascades to raft and canoe the Nooksack River to the bay, and then head back to Bellingham.

Participants will work with Tim Burnett, the director at Mindfulness Northwest. Tim will offer guidance in the practice of mindfulness in order to help provide a strong framework of spiritual and emotional support for the participants. In the past, Tim has worked with veterans at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in Seattle.

Restorative Adventures is also offering a sacred hunting program. This donation-based immersion course began in April 2013 and will be running throughout the year. The course teaches indigenous wilderness skills and focuses on connecting with nature on a spiritual level in order to obtain a greater awareness of the environment.

Visit restorativeadventures.com to learn more, or email Micah Shanser at mshanser@gmail.com X