On a clear night go out and look at the stars. During a crisp clear winter night it can be overwhelming. While not the brightest star in the sky, the North Star is the reference point from where you can begin your exploration of the night sky. It is the place to focus on if you are lost.

North Star Adventures may not be the flashiest program in the field,  but we are a reference point from which you can begin your journey, continue your journey, where you can come to refocus, or where you can come to create the adventure of a lifetime.

Philosophy

Since 2017, North Star Adventures has been creating courses and certifications that meet you where you are.

The North Star – Polaris, sits almost directly above the North Pole. It is a reliable gauge of North if you find yourself lost on a clear night without a compass. Sometimes we all need to refocus and right our own ship. North Star Adventures is designed to reinvigorate your life, help you chart a new course or recommit to a passion or project, and strengthen your leadership and community building capacity.

Expertise & Commitment

North Star is designed to meet you where you are at physically, mentally and emotionally. We will set a course for success and help you to achieve those goals with purpose.

Nancy Zane

Nancy Zane is the founder and visionary of North Star Adventures. She brings 25 years experience in cultivating outdoor leaders.

As a former college educator, avid outdoor enthusiast, and medical professional she creates a physical and emotional safe place for you to explore the outdoors and expand personal comfort zones.

Prior to founding North Star Adventures she oversaw leadership development programs, developed and taught Adventure Education courses, and taught national certifications at Unity College in Maine.

I gain my strength from natural places. When I feel overwhelmed, indecision or anger, I escape to the woods to regain my sense of self, become grounded, and to get in touch with what is most important in my life. I reset my compass and move forward. Embracing the sounds, smells, colors, light, and feeling of nature is the catalyst the moves me.   — Nancy Zane

Credentials:

  • Wilderness EMT

  • Leave No Trace Master Educator

  • Maine Recreational Guide

  • Maine Sea Kayak Guide

  • American Heart Association, First Aid & CPR Instructor

  • National Registry EMT-B

Contact

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

 

–Helen Keller

“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

–Aldo Leopold

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

 

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

We are a team of passionate and adventurous creatives!

Beth Arnold

For over 30 years Beth has worked as an experiential and adventure practitioner with Project Adventure, Outward Bound Wilderness, the American Youth Foundation and Unity College. A consummate student-centered educator she has a strong background in canoeing, wilderness expedition, teaching and learning, institutional adventure administration, as well as challenge course design, installation and programming. Beth has worked with all ages and is dedicated to tailoring learning experiences to the needs of the learner. Her professional interests are integrated learning and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching, as well as the development of women’s leadership in adventure education. Beth grew up in the woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota and has worked and played in many of the nation’s natural treasures.  She is extremely pleased to have landed in the mid-coast of Maine to enjoy the next phase of her life and work.
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
  • Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from Antioch University New England
  • Senior Instructor in Adventure Programs/ School of Environmental Citizenship, Unity College

Lesia Sochar

Born in Philadelphia, PA to Ukrainian immigrant parents, she graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1974 with a degree in Fine Art. She moved to Brooks, Maine in 1980 where she lives at the end of a dirt road with her husband John, a woodworker. Together they garden, build stone walls, make dandelion wine, and run a small hydro-electric station.

In addition to flourishing as an artist, Lesia is a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher of art who has given instruction in public schools, residencies through the Maine Arts Commission, and museum workshops for 25 years. She has also illustrated two children’s books and continues to honor her roots by introducing the art of ‘Pysanka’, a Ukrainian decorated egg, in workshops throughout the state.

She has exhibited extensively in the state of Maine and beyond. Selected exhibitions include: Bluestone Patio, NY; Allied Artists of America, NYC; University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA ; Hobe Sound North, ME; The Farnsworth Museum, ME; Gilley Museum, ME; University of Southern Maine. Exhibits of the past two years include: Pace Galleries, Freyburg Academy, ME; Boston State House, MA; Fountain Street Arts, MA; CMCA (Center for Contemporary Art), ME.

Sara Trunzo

Award-winning songsmith Sara Trunzo writes the quirks and wisdom of rural northerners in a fresh and un-romantic voice. While mainstream country music pines over southern red dirt, Trunzo draws on a decade of running a food bank farm where she helped get local produce into the hands of rural Mainers living in poverty. Her time in the farm fields, fishing boats, community meetings, and food pantry warehouses of Maine add wrinkles to her characters and place to their places. She draws influence from- and has studied with- master songwriters Darrell Scott and Mary Gauthier. Trunzo strives to cultivate songs that instigate healing, truth-telling, and transformation with her unique lens of grit, wit, gratitude, and attitude. Her debut EP ‘thanks birdie’ dropped in 2017; she toured nationally in 2018; her first full-length album is slated for a November 2018 release. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee and Unity, Maine and on the road.

Andrea Lani

Andrea Lani has been an avid nature journaler for more than 20 years. She loves exploring the natural world with students in her workshops, while helping them overcome their fears of creativity. She has a BA in Human Ecology, an MFA in Creative Writing, and is a Maine Master Naturalist. Her essays about the natural world have appeared in Orion, Zoomorphic, The Maine Review, Snowy Egret, and About Place Journal, among other publications, and she wrote and illustrated the book Deer Tracks and Dragonflies: A Year at Viles Arboretum based on years of recording her explorations of the arboretum in nature journals.

Caitlin Horigan

Caitlin Horigan has been a mentor in a wide variety of settings in numerous countries for more than 18 years. She is an advocate of self-directed education and anti-oppression changework. In the fall of 2019, she co-facilitated a semester program weaving together Joanna Macy’s The Work that Reconnects and Bill Plotkin’s Wild Mind model with expeditions, naturalist skills, and nature connection practices.

Caitlin has facilitated both day and residential place-based nature connection programming in the nonprofit sector, public and private schools, summer and after-school programs throughout the unceded territories of Wabanaki and Abenaki people. She is on a journey of reconnecting with her ancestral lineages through deepening relationship with the skills and traditions of her ancestors and the people indigenous to the land she lives with now. Her introduction to tracking, bird language, plant medicine, friction fire, shelter building, scout skills, homesteading and off grid living began when she worked for the Maine Primitive Skills School in 2014.

Caitlin is a Wilderness First Responder, certified in CPR, and pursuing a Recreational Maine Guide license. She has been participating in Helping the Butterfly Hatch since 2018, a mentorship program for facilitators of Self Directed Education. In 2018 she began the multi year Wild Mind Training Program with Animas Institute and in 2019 she completed a graduate certificate in Ecopsychology through Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is also a Forest Therapy Guide. Caitlin is committed to increasing the accessibility of programs she offers and continues to explore how to survive in a capitalist system while doing so.

When she is not working Caitlin enjoys exploring the woods, following animal trails, making medicine, foraging food, creating art, running barefoot, practicing yoga, dancing, and deepening her relationship with the more than human world. Additionally, she is an E-RYT 200 and RYT 500 yoga teacher with over 1000 hours of teaching experience. You can view her website at www.midmaineyoga.com.

 

Gerry Saunders

Gerry Saunders is a retired science educator who has enjoyed taking students outside since he started teaching. He particularly enjoys canoeing. After enduring freeze dried and boxed meals for years, he discovered the joy of fresh prepared food on a canoe trip in the Sylvania Wilderness. His first attempt at Dutch oven cooking produced a desert of cherry charcoal. Since then, he has refined his skills and now he and friends enjoy fresh baked meals using fresh and dehydrated ingredients. See you on the water.

Jim MacDonald

James Macdonald began woodworking professionally at the age of 22 in the early 1980’s. Initially working as a mold maker, guitar maker, cabinetmaker, and boatbuilder he moved to Maine and built his home, as one of the last original back-to-landers. After a few more years of boatbuilding on the coast, James opened his own custom woodworking business. He learned marquetry, the making of pictures out of wood veneers, from Silas Kopf in the early ’90’s and since 2000 has taught marquetry, oftentimes with Kopf, at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport Maine. Macdonald has also taught a marquetry course at the Haystck Mountain School of Crafts, and basic woodworking skills at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop. Presently he is focusing on making electric guitars that feature his marquetry art. His work can be seen on Facebook.

Squidge Liljeblad Davis

Director of Starflower Farm and Studios and the principal teacher, Squidge has studied with numerous world class artists and potters and holds a B.A. in Literature and an M.F.A. in sculpture. She has been a Resident Artist for the state of Maine since 1978 and in that capacity has taught thousands of individuals the joy of creative process through the vehicle of clay and inner listening. Awarded the Studio Potter Foundation Award “in recognition of excellence, innovation and commitment to education in the ceramic arts”, she is a gifted teacher as well as an accomplished potter and sculptor. She has taught and shown her work nationally and internationally. Additionally, she is a teacher of Tai Chi and sailing, a creativity counselor and an advocate and practitioner of body centered learning.

Linda Mattson

In her early teens, Linda was surprised by a spontaneous mystical experience that began a life- long inquiry into the mystery of our human nature.   Absolute certainty of our inborn spiritual state became the driving force behind many decades of exploration into certain facets of our psychospiritual  depths. Her conviction of our spiritual core has been deeply enhanced by various religious mythologies and traditions, especially through the teachings of Joseph Campbell and other spiritual giants.   Learning of the experiences of the mystic’s of all traditions validated her sense of humanity’s true nature and affirmed personal experience as the source of illumination.

Linda’s Method acting training in New York City revealed the incredible power and depth of our emotional lives, as did her work in primal therapy. She also practiced yoga and meditation at the Jain Meditation International Center in NYC, and was tutored by Jain teacher Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanu, one of the first Jain monks to leave India.

She later undertook academic study in religion and psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Linda’s earlier transcendent experiences did not offer a clue to the tough work of embodiment of those “higher” states.    She was surprised again in the more recent past as she undertook the intense work of integration, and also thrilled by the ongoing and sweet rewards of perseverance in this process.

Shana Bloomstein

Shana Bloomstein is originally from Freedom, ME. She began moving in nursery school with the love and guidance of her life-long teacher Lisa Newcomb. Her playful exploration of dance continued with Lisa throughout her upbringing in Maine, with a focus in creative movement and modern dance; inspired deeply by the offerings of teachers of the African diaspora.  She studied with Richard Gonzales, Abdoulaye Sylla , and Arthur Hall during her youth.  She continued her studies of dance/edu. at Hampshire College in ’98, where she met her mentor and “dance mother”; artist and educator Nia Love; she performed as an original member of Loves’  Blacksmith’s Daughter Dance Theatre Co.in NYC for 4 yrs.  Her explorations in dance have taken her abroad, including studies in Senegal, West Africa with Babacar and Cheik M’Baye. Shana has been an LMT and Yoga teacher for 14 years and PTA for the last 10. She currently works as a Pediatric PTA at WCGH and provides Aquatic therapy for children at the YMCA. She has a private practice Cycles of life therapeutic massage out of her home as well as traveling to clients in her community. She teachers dance and yoga to both children and adults in public schools, colleges and currently at The Belfast Dance Studio. Shana is a certified Yoga instructor. licensed massage therapist and licensed PTA. She teaches residencies throughout mid coast Maine and enjoys any opportunity to work with children and adults to integrate dance as form of telling our stories, others stories and as a healing art form. Shana is a performing artist; offering solo works in improv/modern dance idiom, and works throughout New England in collaboration with artist of various mediums.  She has been producing, directing, dancing and offering the collective stories of artists in her community through a performance project called Women’s Works for the past 12 years. Shana’s greatest creative inspiration is being a mother to her two children Dawud and Nnenaya.

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