Family vs. Wild: Lessons from Coyote Trails

by True North Parenting Magazine June 2008

You've seen the TV shows where a person is dropped into a forbidding environment and faces the task of survival, right? If you've seen those shows or read a news story about anyone lost and confronted with the wild, you have most likely asked yourself the question - "What would I do?" Well, for many people the lack of those survival skills may present a hurdle in their enjoyment and connection with nature, not to mention real potential difficulties if the scenario is actually at hand. These reasons alone are enough to motivate some of the uninformed to change their situation and gain the skills necessary to endure nature's torment through survival classes.

Oregon Statesman Journal

by Roy Gault
Oregon Statesman Journal

A Dream: Ever imagine building a shelter in the woods without the use of modern tools? Imagine making tools out of rocks and sticks? Imagine living in the wilderness without the benefit of a cooler full of food? Imagine blending with the woods to the point that you can touch a deer?

Coyote Trails Cooking: Cultivating Strong Connection to Nature

by Mary Marquiss
from Gusto Magazine Summer Issue 2007 COMMUNITY Feature

"Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow up in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

Where can you find a wilderness camp with a focus on family, a rich list of adventure classes and organic meals infused with heart and soul? At the Coyote Trails School of Nature. Co-Directors Joe and Molly Kreuzman created the school in 2003 to teach youth, teens and families the benefits and wisdom gained through nature study and acquiring wilderness skills.

"Our vision has been to help bring people back to their own instinct and heart", the Kreuzman's say. "The logical mind is very well trained, but intuition and instinct are not. When the budget cuts occur - the arts are the first thing to go. But art and nature are instrumental in developing intuition and a balanced right side of the brain."

The key component that sets Coyote Trails apart from other nature camps around the country is their emphasis on creating healthy, organic meals that match the pace of the various activities the camp schedules each day. Head Chef Rebecca Moergen was recruited from the East coast to join the Coyote Trails endeavor. She creates beautifully prepared meals that are a feast for the eye. "Just as a chef in a five start restaurant will select a wine to match with a plate, I will select nutritional foods to match with the particular activities of the day," Moergen says.

April 2010


Brian Dwyer, 44, along with his son Rory, examine the fine details of what happens when you walk on different types of surfaces, such as grass during the Tracking training at North Mountain Park, Sunday, March 28, 2010.Photos by Larry Stauth Jr.

April 01, 2010
by Daniel Newberry

Eleven people crouch with their faces close to the sandy ground, staring intently at footprints made less than a minute ago.
It's a windy, overcast Sunday morning in late March at the North Mountain Park playground in Ashland. They shift position often, regarding each footprint from multiple angles, taking in their surroundings using what group leader Joe Kreuzman calls "wide-angle vision."

"An elk can see 270 degrees, behind its head. Video games are focused and obsessive-compulsive. Our ancestors used wide-angle vision, it was survival: if you didn't see it first, the cougar might drop out of the tree, and that would be the end of you," Kreuzman says.

Holy Grails of the Trails


Joe Kreuzman looks for animal tracks in a dry creek bed in North Mountain Park. He is starting a club to help people learn how to track different animals and identify their tracks. Tracking club will meet once a month at North Mountain Park Photo by Jim Craven

by Myles Murphy
Ashland Daily Tidings

For Joe Kreuzman, the forest floor is more than simply a place to put one hiking boot in front of the other. It's a book to read slowly and carefully, learning about the creatures that travel this way and that as they go about their lives beyond the regular limits of human awareness.

Kreuzman will attempt to raise that awareness through a new club he's starting in which people can learn and share animal tracking and identification skills. "We learn how to read nature's manuscript," Kreuzman said.