Tom Beery - Being and Becoming in Nature: The Importance of Connection to Nature in Young Children

Keynotespeaker tirsdag den 3. nov kl. 16.45 - 17.15:

Tom Beery will explore the meaning, development, and assessment of connection to nature (C2N) in young children. Tom will present results from an international Connection to Nature Workshop to evaluate instruments that measure C2N. One workshop outcome was a focus on defining and measuring C2N in young children. The workshop was followed by the formation of an Expert Advisory Panel on Early Childhood Nature Connection to fully address this need. Tom will present the outcomes of his work with this panel along with the latest research in children’s C2N—and will provide implications for education practitioners.

Tom Is a social science researcher and teacher living and working in Kristianstad, Sweden. Tom’s career in outdoor education started in a canoe guiding trips along the US/Canadian border, but perhaps really started as a child playing and running around the Whitewater River Valley in SE Minnesota. Tom’s research interest includes topics such as ecosystem services, green infrastructure, and biological diversity—all from a human perspective. It was Tom’s interest in “friluftsliv” and the relationship with environmental connectedness which brought him to live and work in Sweden.

Peter Meyfield - Healing Youth with Nature and Connection: Four Roots for Growing a Human

Keynotespeaker tirsdag den 3. nov kl. 17.15 - 17.45:

Peter Mayfield will present the method he and his team developed from decades of mountain guiding, teaching enviro-literacy programs with thousands of youth, and lessons learned from nature-based therapeutic work.  This method informs and inspires new frameworks relevant across service sectors:  ranging from behavioral health - including substance use disorders - to school-based experiential learning, field science, eco-literacy, wellness and social and emotional learning (SEL). 

In addition to a keynote presentation, Peter and Nancy Minges, will provide an experiential workshop in immersive, sensory flow-state experiences in nature, with specific practices, activities and reflections for participants to take into their own work.


Peter Mayfield is the founder and Executive Director of Gateway Mountain Center, a youth development organization located in California, innovating how youth learn, heal and thrive.  He has enjoyed a 40-year career guiding people in embodied peak experiences and mountain environments, and climbing at a world-class level.  Today, Peter is passionate about applying nature as medicine towards improving the system of care for U.S. youth suffering from serious emotional disturbance and complex trauma. 


Nancy Minges has been the Wellness Director and collaborator for Gateway Mountain Center, for a decade.  She’s been a teacher and student of embodied awareness for 35 years, and holds a Master's Degree in Holistic Health Education – emphasis in somatic, transpersonal and counseling psychology.  She's certified / informed by mindfulness, advanced trauma-informed care, Gestalt, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), yoga, and Forest Bathing.  She teaches in the U.S. and abroad.