If you’ve never been out to see us here at Mountain Shepherd (or it has been awhile), it might be time to plan your next visit. We’ve been busy making some upgrades to the property, updating the website, and adding in new courses. We think you’ll be pleased with what you see!

First, the property. We’ve always wanted to provide swimming in our pond, but it’s always been a bit too mucky. Well, after months of blood, sweat, and tears, the pond has been cleaned out, and a bunch of rocks moved around so we officially have a “beach,” new fire pit area, and much nicer access to the water for swimming and paddling. We even hope to host some Stand Up Paddleboard sessions next summer! Shout out to our neighbor and friend, Gerald Allman, for bringing in the heavy equipment and rocks to make the new pond area a reality. 

In addition to the pond, we have added in two new scavenger hunt options you and your family/friends can do while you are visiting. The first one is just under a mile long, and covers the 7 survival priorities that are the core curriculum for our survival courses. If you’ve always wanted to learn about the priorities, but haven’t had the time to take one of our courses, this gives you a sneak peak. The second scavenger hunt covers the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. These principles are all about having good environmental ethics and taking care of nature, while we are visiting. Come check them out, you can find the scavenger hunt cards and instructions in the Pub and in the Cabin (if you’re staying there). 

Other plans that are currently underway are more lodging options (including a renovated school bus!), a disc golf course and additional classroom and teaching areas on the property. Stay tuned for more facility and property updates soon!

We’ve also been working hard to update the website, and given each page a much needed facelift! The homepage has a new drop-down menu that we think is way easier to navigate, as well as several different ways to access our course offerings. We also added in a video about Mountain Shepherd that we think you’ll enjoy! Additionally, each course page has a new format, giving you all the information you need to select the perfect course for you or your group. With the 2023 course dates recently added, now is the time to visit our website and sign up for a course today. Check it out at www.mountainshepherd.com

2023 courses, you say? Yep, we’ve got over 32 courses scheduled for 2023 (not counting GEMS camp, which we will be highlighting in our February blog). There’s something for everyone! Newly added this year is a Winter Backpacking Essentials course (there’s still space in the December 17-18 course!), our Family Adventure Weekend, and our Day Pack Course Series.  The Winter Backpacking course covers gear, clothing layering systems, information, safety, cold weather nutrition, winter footwear and traction devices, and some of our tried and trued strategies for staying warm and happy while winter backpacking. Our Family Adventure Weekend focuses on family, food, campfire and fun, with activities such as hiking and nature play, and choose-your-own adventure lodging options (tent, hammock, or bunkroom).   Our Day Pack course series features day-long adventures such as survival essentials, stand-up paddleboarding, land navigation, forest bathing, and kayaking to name a few. Stay tuned for our January blog to learn more about our Day Pack course series. 

If you’re interested in creating a custom course for your group, want to rent our facility for a special event, or just want to drop us a line, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dina at dina@mountainspherd.com. Hope to see you at Mountain Shepherd sometime soon!