Youth Activities & Games

These are some of our classes and instructors.
we have new and returning instructors each year!


The Acorn Gathering is intended to support the youth in their exploration with hands-on and experiential-based learning. With the support of instructors and you, as parents, a sacred and playful space will be provided for the youth to get their hands on various crafts and skills. We work with other instructors at the gathering on how to include the children in experiencing or witnessing the classes that involve learning more complex skills. We want to support every child to explore skills they feel called to. There will be specific instructors supporting 4-7 year olds, 8-12 year olds and 13-16 year olds (give or take on the age). Teens and all youth who feel ready will be encouraged to join adults in classes. Integration is key!

We will have specific instructors offering classes for youth to explore a craft or skill, or have their parent join them to give the instructor support. This will all be announced at each Morning Circle after breakfast and we will write down the Youth Class Schedule daily! BE READY TO BE A PART OF YOUR CHILD'S EXPERIENCE AT ACORN GATHERING!



Caleb Soltau

Caleb Soltau was born and raised in a rural Oregon coastal town. From a young age he was immersed in the natural world of the rainforest. He has been guiding and mentoring youth in the wilderness for the past 15 years. He is now living along the Trinity river in Northern California where he teaches primitive skills, hosts youth skills camps and wilderness retreats.

He has a love of the wild world and the skill set to help inspire the mysteries of the natural world to come alive in our youth. Caleb has been trained in the Art of Mentoring, The Way of Council, and various wilderness youth therapy programs. He enjoys immersing himself in and facilitating awareness games, spending time wandering in the wilderness, crafting by the fire, raising his son and running his homestead.

Jim Langell

Jim Langell enjoys fishing and hunting. He is a father and grandfather and loves helping children connect with using bows and arrows. Jim puts a lot of time and effort into making template bows for kids of all ages. He is an extremely generous man and is very much appreciated by The Acorn Gathering Crew for his support and love to make this event happen!

Marley Peifer

Marley is a tracker, archer, and illustrator who is passionate about learning, practicing, and teaching primitive skills. He always aims to see the fundamental patterns and connections in nature, culture, and community. Marley currently lives in Sonoma County where he cultivates biological and intellectual diversity; inoculating others at every opportunity.

Natalie Bartlett

Natalie Bartlett has spent over the last decade of her life deeply immersed in land-based culture and has a passion for learning the stories, music and skills of traditional peoples around the world. She is a dedicated craftsperson and musician, and is a long term land steward and director of the Wild Series at Quail Springs Permaculture. She is deeply at home in the enchanting beauty of the piñon-juniper high desert, and also spends part of the year in her home town of Oakland song-catching and singing with the acclaimed vocal ensemble, Kitka. Natalie is excited to be sharing beadwork at this year's gathering.

Maya Kokatay

Maya Kokatay is a doula, craniosacral therapist, musician, dancer, and mother of two. She has been supporting families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum for 14 years. She combines her love of children with her love of music and dance and facilitates weekly children's song circles in Ojai California. 

Kate Jaffe

Kate Jaffe lives in Santa Cruz California where she teaches elementary school Ethnobotany during school hours and wilderness survival and peacemaking after school. Her passions include spinning wool, felting, weaving, metal jewelry making, herbal medicine making, and bike touring. She has a studio on the west side of Santa Cruz where she teaches spinning, weaving and bookmaking. This will be her second time teaching at Acorn Gathering.

Neal Ritter

Passionately in search of how to connect the world of the hunter-gatherer with that of the subsistence farmer, Neal Ritter is a jack of all trades. He carves spoons, makes bows, brain tans for his family, pursues the art of wildlife tracking, plays games like a fiend, makes heavenly sourdough bread, and teaches all these skills and more at the Laughing Coyote Project.

Nick Hart

Nick has been leading and playing in the archery zone at Acorn. Alongside other avid archers, Nick ensures all ages get to learn the safetly rules and practice their aim. Come practice with your bow, if you have one, or borrow one! You can make your own bow with Paul Rodgers! And Jim Langell helps many youth have their first bow.

Darrow Feldstein

Darrow grew up in Los Angeles but found his connection to wild nature during his time at UC Santa Cruz studying the natural history of California and spending a lot of time playing outside. He has led students from pre-school to graduate school in explorations of birds, botany, tracking, and reading the landscape. You may see him singing and playing the mandolin, telling stories, or being chased by groups of children. He's honored to be learning and serving this community.

Hill Young

Hill Young is an eco art activist based in Southern California. Through her painting, teaching, performance and installations Hill reminds us to find the sacred within ourselves and the natural world we inhabit in order to heal and better support our individual paths, our communities and the planet as a whole.

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