In January 2014, Jay and Shawna Roberts founded Tofino Nature Kids. The seed was planted by a group of like-minded families. We were seeking the opportunity for our children to experience a deeper connection within themselves, to the natural world and their community. 



We are inspired to a deep commitment to unite with other people and organizations focused on the 8 Shields cultural mentoring movement - to support the growth of a global community nurtured by deep nature connection.


Guiding Principles


Our programs are inspired by elements of the 8 Shields mentoring model, Waldorf Education and the Forest School model. We use Nonviolent Communication methods as our guide.



In accordance with the 8 Shields Institue: "The core values of the emerging 8 Shields cultural mentoring movement rest on the “8 Handshakes,” a set of agreements that define not only how we relate to each other, but also articulate how we conduct ourselves in the world at large.  

These eight practices illustrate our approach for working with ourselves, our partners and those we serve.

These commitments enhance and strengthen the work of deep nature connection, culture repair, cultural mentoring and community resilience." 


Inspiration - Deep Nature Connection


We are inspired by the practices of 'deep nature connection' - Nurturing the bond we have with nature by awakening our sensory awareness, cultivating knowledge of place and re-discovering relationship to our communities. We do this by immersing ourselves in nature every day to BE, to OBSERVE, to PLAY, to LEARN, to GROW.


What is Deep Nature Connection?

For most of human history, we depended on our deep connection with wild animals and plants as well as the natural elements and cycles for survival. We had to be keenly aware of our surroundings in order to have enough to eat and drink, to make medicines, to be sheltered, and to avoid being preyed upon. We moved our bodies regularly, relied on our senses and communities, and followed the rhythms of the sun, the moon and the seasons.


Only in the last several hundred years have we diverged dramatically from this way of living. This shift has had huge (negative) effects on our health and well-being as well as on other species and ecosystems around the globe. It is not possible for us to go back to the "old" way of living. However, we can learn from the wisdom and teachings that have been passed down from traditional cultures around the world and apply it to our daily lives now.


Below is a list of the Core Routines for creating Deep Nature Connection on both individual and community levels. These routines have been developed over decades of study, observation, research, and practice, and mimic what we used to do naturally in order to survive in the wild. Practicing them opens up potent neural pathways in our brains that enable us to experience life in a new way. Quite naturally our minds quiet down, our bodies relax, and our senses become heightened. Gratitude, wonder, and care flow freely in our hearts and aliveness infuses our daily lives.


The Core Routines include:

Choosing a sit spot

Telling stories

Using and expanding all of your senses

Practicing questioning and tracking

Imitating animals


Drawing maps

Exploring field guides

Keeping a nature journal

Developing your survival skills

Using your imagination

Listening to ‘bird language’

Giving thanks




Check out these incredible people and organizations

We are so grateful for all that our Nature Connection Mentors have shared with us.


Wisdom of the Earth




8 Shields Institute


Wilderness Awareness School


David Weinstock


Victoria Nature School

Hand in Hand 

Early Years Nature Education



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Photo Credits to Heather Fleming,

 Deddeda White and Shawna Roberts

Tofino Nature Kids

​Phone: 778-350-6123

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