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.


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

The founder and visionary of North Star Adventures, Nancy Zane is an avid outdoor guide and leader with a passion for guiding individuals on a transformative journey towards self-fulfillment. She brings 25 years’ experience in cultivating outdoor leaders and helping clients discover their potential, both personally and professionally. With a deep-rooted love for nature and a keen understanding of the profound impact it can have on personal growth, Nancy has become a beacon for those seeking inspiration and motivation. Her approach goes beyond the conventional outdoor experience. Nancy’s unique ability to excite and motivate participants sets her apart. She crafts immersive retreats that seamlessly blend adventure with introspection, encouraging individuals to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new challenges. Prior to founding North Star Adventures she oversaw leadership development programs, developed and taught Adventure Education courses.


  • 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
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

Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors Board Member and Business Member



“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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


[widget id=”kadence_testimonials_slider-2″]

View Upcoming Programs