Living Earth School

Charlottesville, VA |

About Us

LES Mission 

The Living Earth School fosters deeper connections to self, community, and the world around us through meaningful experiences with nature and highly skilled mentorship. 


LES teaches learners of all ages, children, youth and adults, via camps, immersive programs and and workshops to be inspired stewards of the earth and resilient members of their communities. We want our students to learn the ways of nature, how it is all put together, how they can draw sustenance from it, and ultimately keep it in their hearts and minds as they navigate their human experience.

LES Foundations

Earth Care—We are here to orient people to the earth, to have a full sensory experience to support them in building a deep relationship to nature, and thus become stewards of it. 

Community and Culture—We mentor, show up, and see the individual within the group. That is different. That is needed for people to be seen and feel like they belong. LES has built up a strong network of supportive people in our community that aligns with our values, and together great things can happen. 

LES has a strong reputation that we need to protect and that we can use to have a larger impact on the community. We get there partly by programming, but there are other opportunities to come. 

Our central curriculum areas: nature connection/earth skills, expeditions, and mentoring

Region and people focus: Currently we serve mainly Virginia, from D.C., Richmond, Charlottesville, and the surrounding central Virginia area. These people and the land should remain our focus, as there are plenty of opportunities in this region alone, that we don’t need to reach outside of that to support the work we do. This will allow us to stay focused in a targeted area, so we don’t spread our resources too thin. It also speaks to the principle of taking care of the community we live in and helping it grow stronger. 

As of 2022, the youth we serve are mainly middle/upper class kids. We serve this population well (A+). We have started to make inroads in diversifying our participants and reaching kids that normally don’t do programs like ours (C-). 

Mentoring-  Mentoring is a staple of LES and its founders. We mentor in all our programs, as it is how we approach anything we teach or share. Mentors are people that show up for the individual, pull on their curiosity, and help them learn. We know that long term mentoring gets the greatest results for the individual, as it takes time to cultivate oneself, and mentors are a vital part of that. Thus we have designed programs with a progression built in, so that students can come to us, at an entry point program and continue developing as they age. We are continuing to identify new opportunities along the way where we can continue to meet our community where they are. By design, humans need others to help them become who they are. LES takes this seriously and keeps the individual's learning journey at the forefront of everything we do. People are wired for mentors and our society is greatly lacking this age-old practice. Thus it has always been the aim of LES to build those relationships with our students. We also work to train our staff in the ways of a mentor, especially the coyote mentoring method and 8 shields model. It has proved to get great results. Thus LES would do well to continue to put the focus on mentoring, helping our staff understand it the best we can, mentor our staff via this method, as well as train our larger community in the way of mentoring. 

Purchases: LES is a very value-driven organization where we care about the earth and the people. We attempt to always operate within our values. Sometimes, LES does need to make purchases of items to support our programs, whether digital or physical. Over the next several years, we will work to make sure our sourcing of such items aligns within our values. The document Hub wrote on People Care/Earth Care outlines this in a more robust way. In short, we need to balance price vs ethically sourced items. Local sources support our community that will be here to support us in turn. A strong community is in the organization’s best interest, thus if we can buy locally, then that supports our values. An example of this is buying organic food for programs. Another example is paying our staff fairly so they can be professionals and not feel unappreciated.  

LES Mission 

The Living Earth School fosters deeper connections to self, community, and the world around us through meaningful experiences with nature and highly skilled mentorship. 


LES teaches learners of all ages, children, youth…

Issue Areas Include

Location & Contact

Current listings by Living Earth School

Volunteer OpportunitiesLocationDate Posted
Volunteer Board Directorship with Living Earth School, starting in 2025.Charlottesville, VAMay 13, 2024

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