Dave Talamo, MFT is founder of Wilderness Reflections. He has over 25 years of experience guiding wilderness trips, works as a therapist with youth and adults, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. He is committed to the expression of joy and authenticity through the body and to helping others experience their own embodied selves in an intimate, ecstatic relationship with Nature.
Amy Biesemeyer, MFT is a gifted and dynamic quest guide, weaving together her passions for nature, ritual, singing/chanting and personal transformation. As a wilderness guide since 1995, she has learned to gently and skillfully help others navigate the territory between comfort and challenge. Drawing upon mind-body practices, she enriches her work with meditation, expressive arts and movement. She has been trained by the School of Lost Borders, in the therapeutic use of the wilderness. She is also a student of the Diamond Heart Approach, a graduate of CIIS and a Wilderness First Responder. Nature is her teacher and sanctuary, and she is honored to guide others in the magical unfolding of their inner nature.
Vanessa Eyen, M.A. Vanessa has her Master’s degree in Outdoor Education and Community Counseling, a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and is certified as a yoga teacher and wilderness first responder. Passionate about fostering a connection to the natural world, she worked as a teacher, program director and trainer for outdoor environmental education companies since 2001. Specializing in nature based counseling, she was the teacher assistant for the undergraduate classes Ecopsychology and Dreams, Myths, and Symbols with Mary Gomes at Sonoma State Univ. Vanessa guides youth quests for several bay area schools and organizations.
Shai Lavie, MFT works as a therapist with adults, adolescents and children. A brilliant and creative group leader, Shai also teaches meditation and runs leadership retreats for teens. Combining ancient and cutting edge wisdom on youth development, Shai trains other therapists and speaks to parents about teen issues. He has led youth quests since 2001 and is trained as a Wilderness First Responder.
Casey McCarroll, M.A. has worked with youth aged 5-18 in the wilderness as an outdoor adventure program coordinator, backpacking guide and wilderness therapist and in the classroom as a Head Start teacher since 1996. He has studied rites of passage facilitation with the School of Lost Borders and Wilderness Reflections and is currently working as a staff therapist and transition counselor at Holden High School in Orinda, CA. With his colleague Karl Smart, Casey is developing a rites-of-passage-based curriculum for youth dealing with cancer and life threatening illness. He is a leader of coming of age groups for middle school boys and a vision council member with Stepping Stones Project. He also works privately as a mentor for teens in the SF Bay Area.
Will Scott is a teacher, designer, naturalist, wilderness guide and life-long student of the human-nature relationship. Will began by leading backpacking trips and has since been a guide both domestically and internationally with college-level field courses, wilderness expeditions, and vision fasts. He has trained and guided with Wilderness Reflections and School of Lost Borders since 2004. Currently Will teaches permaculture and nature awareness with the Regenerative Design Institute in northern CA, and is a masters student at Prescott College studying solutions and responses to the challenges and opportunities of our times.
Sharon Shay Sloan is a community steward, council trainer, project manager and rites of passage guide. She has trained, fasted and assisted with the School of Lost Borders and Beyond Boundaries and has supported individuals through the wilderness solo experience over the past 10 years. Her profound love of the wild and wilderness has been a driving force for her activist and personal work, bringing her to work internationally in project management, including with Bioneers, the United Nations in Canada and in Mexico with the World Wilderness Congress and Native Oceans. Currently, she is the project manager for the Native Wild Lands & Seas Program for the WILD Foundation, a council trainer affiliated with Center for Council Practice of The Ojai Foundation, a wilderness rites of passage guide with Wilderness Reflections and a part-time steward in the Owens Valley.
Silvia Talavera: We are excited to welcome Silvia Talavera to the WR 2012 staff. Silvia has been a quest guide since 1992 and it is an honor to have her working with us.
Silvia has been a vision quest guide and teacher with The School of Lost Borders since 1992. She is a hospice nurse supporting end of life transitions and end of life care at the bedside and as a community educator. She is a woman of versatility, passion, depth and humor. Silvia brings to her work a nurturing insight and deep compassion inspiring people to expand beyond familiar borders towards self empowerment.
Emerald North, Visionary, painter, sculptor, gardener and poet. Emerald North, brings years of vital and vibrant experience to the School of Lost Borders. She teaches from the depth of a full and rich life with humor, vision and love. Emerald has been with Lost Borders since 1993 and co-directed the School with Joseph Lazenka from 2001 through 2005. Art Website: http//www.earthtonesart.com