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Discover Wilderness Quests:

Upcoming Quests:

Upcoming Animator Trainings:

  • To Be Announced

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Upcoming Wild!s

Upcoming Community Camps:

  • To Be Announced

Our Team of Animators

We have chosen the word Animator to describe what we offer at Play in the Wild! because it reflects our vision of leadership that animates, or brings to life, each person’s authentic presence to create an environment of empathy, compassionate understanding, self-responsibility, and life-serving connection. Year after year, youth on our programs report that they take home greater trust in themselves, deep connection to the principles of nonviolence, understanding of empathy, and useful skills for living interdependently with all life.

Catherine Cadden

Catherine Cadden has been an educator since 1987 finding alternatives to teaching, learning, and conflict resolution that work with the principles of nonviolence. She is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication bringing over 14 years of experience practicing, living and teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) internationally to participants of all ages.

Learn more about Catherine

Melanie Whitham

Melanie Whitham is certified with ORCA (Ontario Recreational Canoeing Association) as a level 2 canoe trip leader and in Wilderness First Aid. On a 16-day wilderness paddle through the Canadian forest at 21 years old, Melanie discovered that she was capable of much more than she had imagined…

Learn more about Melanie

Jesse Wiens

Jesse Wiens is a multi-media performance artist, passionate gourmet chef, and Center for Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer. His work is a celebration of life, drawing from his travels and experiences in countries as far off as Afghanistan and Tibet…

Learn more about Jesse

Eve Penberthy

Eve Penberthy is a Wilderness First Responder and has been backpacking and adventuring in the wild since she was eight. She currently studies at Whitman College, majoring in Environmental-Humanities and volunteering at the STEP Women’s Shelter.

Learn More About Eve

Kate Raffin

Kate Raffin grew up in rural Australia and is a visual artist who enjoys many forms of communicating. She has made and sold about 8,000 one-of-a-kind Hand bound, Hand painted books.

Learn more about Kate

Arielle Prince-Ferron

Arielle Prince-Ferron has marvelled at the beauty of nature since she was little. Before she could walk, she was camping and canoeing on the beautiful lakes of Quebec, Canada. She is committed to living life authentically and sharing joyfully with young and old the richness of empathy and compassion and the importance of finding our place in the Circle of Life.

Learn more about Arielle

Chris Wilden

Chris Wilden, born, raised and still living in a pretty Cotswold village in England, has always loved being outside and being active. In 2014, at age 15, he completed the National Three Peaks Challenge (walking the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 24 hours)…

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Hannah Muller

Hannah Muller was born and raised on Full Belly Farm, a family run, organic and sustainable farm in Northern California. She has been involved with Play in the Wild!, Temba and conflict resolution in many forms since age six. Hannah has a love for learning and exploring in community, and believes whole-heartedly that Nonviolent Communication is something to be lived, not learned.

Learn more about Hannah

Kodiak Drewry

Kodiak Drewry’s love of the outdoors began on a backpacking trip with Catherine Cadden’s TEMBA school when he was 12 years old. He is a Wilderness First Responder, Ropes Course Facilitator, Mountain Bike, Kayaking, Rock Climbing and Surfing instructor.

Learn more about Kodiak

Eileen McAvoy

Eileen McAvoy has been practicing living and sharing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) ever since she attended a 2 ½ day workshop led by Marshall Rosenberg in February of 2002. She gains particular joy from working with parents since parenting has been a strong focus in her life, raising two children and now enjoying two grandchildren.

Learn more about Eileen


Tosh is a loyal compassionate companion to all who come to Play in the Wild! He began his career at the TEMBA School in its northern California location working with children ages 5-14 for over three years. He worked for TEMBA Summer Camps when he was just a pup. In the summer of 2012, he assisted Cornelia Holden, Catherine Cadden, and Jesse Wiens at the Hotchkiss School Summer Portals Program, Leadership and Social Change.

Learn more about Tosh