Our Team

Natalia Brightwood
WildWise School Founder & Program Director

Natalia Brightwood is an Environmental Educator and Mentor who has dedicated her life and career to Wilderness Protection and Education, with a passion for guiding and mentoring personal connections to the Earth.

Natalia began learning about wild edible plants, the magic of the outdoors, all the creatures and the fae who live there, as a young girl with her grandmother in Suquamish, Washington.  It was through her grandmother that a strong connection with wild places inspired her and opened the door to her life’s work.

Natalia studied environmental Biology, Chemistry, and Geology of the Pacific Northwest and began work as an activist for the Washington Wilderness Coalition.

Motherhood fostered a realization that something was missing from the education of our youth. Natalia studied to become an Environmental Educator at Trackers Earth in Portland, Oregon, worked with Tracks and Tales in Duvall, Washington, and Adventure Quest in Bellingham, Washington.

Versed in Coyote Mentoring through the Wilderness Awareness School, she founded WildWise – A School of Outdoor Adventure, and has been teaching and mentoring children and young adults for fourteen years.

She is a Wilderness First Responder, formally trained in Tidelands to Timberline Natural History, and Restoring Rites of Passage for Youth.

Natalia is also a Land Steward with the Jefferson Land Trust.

Natalia’s hobbies include Herbalism, Ancestral Studies, Anthropology, Activism, Hiking and Camping, Backpacking, Pathfinder Gaming, Rites of Passage, Cultural Reclamation, and spending time with her family. She is married, a mother of three, and lives with her husband and his three children, in Kingston, Washington.

Natalia hopes to always continue learning, and one day be the world’s most awesome Grandma.

Aidoneus Bishop
Executive Director & Wilderness Guide

M.G. Aidoneus “Aidon” Bishop, is a Pite Sámi wilderness guide, outdoor educator, and rite of passage facilitator.

A trauma-informed educator, father of six, former Boy Scout Leader, United States Marine, chef, entrepreneur, restaurateur, Information Technology Executive, and Engineer, Aidoneus now works with organizations throughout the world on social justice issues, sovereignty, treaty rights, indigenous ceremony protection and preservation,  cultural appropriation, ancestral studies, entheogenic rituals, indigenous rights and rites, Sámi and Germanic Tribal education and reclamation, and is an environmental activist who co-founded the Iktčé Wičháša Oyáte with the Great-Grandson of Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Siting Bull) in Standing Rock, North Dakota during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.  He is a Master Swordsman, specializing in German longsword, foil, épée, and sabre, a Wilderness First Responder, a certified Northwest Naturalist, and a steward with the Jefferson Land Trust.

Aidoneus has been formally trained and has extensive life experience with survival in the harshest of environments.  Underneath all of the quiet and seemingly intimidating and gruff exterior is a big heart and a love for educating, mentoring, and caring for children, to share his experiences with them, inspiring them to never stop learning, and always question the meaning of world they see.

Aidoneus was key in the coordination and founding of a youth Summer meal program in North Kitsap with Rotary, Kiwanis, local food banks, and the North Kitsap School District, and he founded and operated a mobile meal service focused on providing shelter and meals to homeless youth in North Kitsap.  Volunteering with the Boys & Girls club and a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters for seven years, he was also a North Kitsap School District volunteer in the special education program, and has given countless hours to non-profit organizations that focus on helping troubled and at-risk youth. Additionally, Aidon is a savvy and respected business leader, being recognized as one of the top business leaders in his community under the age of 40, in 2013 for his restaurants and bakeries. Aidoneus has served on the Board of Directors of six non-profit organizations, and the Greater Kingston Community Chamber of Commerce.  He is a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, Wilderness Guides Council, Youth Passageways, and also guides youth and adults with Rite of Passage Journeys.

Aidoneus focuses instruction on medieval weapons and combat techniques, Sámi and Germanic culture, history, orienteering, rites of passage, mountain & wilderness survival, defensive arts, blacksmithing, tracking, ethics, lore, backpacking, edible and medicinal plants, archery, discipline, hand-to-hand techniques, entheogenic rituals and practices, and ancestral skills.

Justin Lake
Instructor

“When we assume the role of the character we see in ourselves, we reveal the inner most longing of our soul. Through roleplaying, we cast aside our inhibitions and become the hero we truly are. We are then set free to live out the great epic of our life.”

Justin Lake combines his love of the outdoors and storytelling in a unique style of Nature Mentoring. He got his start camping and fishing in Michigan. As a young man he moved to Washington to complete a course on longboat sailing, mountaineering, and outdoor leadership through Outward Bound. He has attended many gatherings, including Michigan Outdoor Skills School and Saskatoon Circle Primitive Skills Gathering. He is a lead instructor for CedarRoot Folk School youth programs. He is certified level IV Track and Sign through the international standards set by CyberTracker Conservation. He has instructed for Wilderness Awareness School including the Art Of Mentoring and a Wolf Tracking Expedition. He serves as a Lead Summer Camp Counselor for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. He has completed the Shore and Stream Stewards programs through Washington State University Extension. He teaches Outdoor Education, Field STEM, and Martial Arts for the Quilcene School District. His favorite animal is the Turtle.

Jakob Ledbetter
Instructor

Born and raised in Georgia, Jakob Ledbetter grew up exploring the beautiful blue ridge mountains of Southern Appalachia. Heeding the call of the Earth, Jakob embarked upon a MA in Ecopsychology at Naropa University. While completing his masters, Jakob worked as a personal development mentor at a young-adult transition home, in addition to working as a nature-connection mentor at multiple organizations in the southeast. During a vision fast ceremony, Jakob realized his calling to become a wilderness guide. This calling led him to Wilderness Awareness School where he has spent the year playing with ancestral fire, geeking out on bird language, and tracking wild creatures through the forest. He is passionate about community leadership, cultural renewal, land stewardship, wildlife tracking, bird language, wild edibles, and earth-based living skills. He believes that rite of passage and initiatory experiences are the most important cultural tools to be to utilized in the modern world towards creating soul-centric communities. On most days, Jakob can be found in the woods staring up at birds in trees, crawling on the ground looking at tracks, or sharing food around a campfire, singing with friends. 

Pan Greenwood
Instructor

Pan grew up without electricity or running water on the edge of a thousand acres of forest. He grew up watching all manner of woodland creatures and learning the plants around his home. His childhood adventures include accidentally hitting a cougar over the head with a piece of firewood and falling head over heels in love with a local nettle patch.

Pan has been teaching sword for six years, but his love of sword goes back as far as he can remember. He specializes in greatsword – the huge swords that come up to your chest, but stands competently with anything bladed, and is even quite proficient with a broom.

He lives in his childhood home, where he is building himself a star shaped house, and living off the land.

Annie Humiston
Instructor

Annie Humiston has been a life long horticulturist, working in the industry for 23 years. Her focus is on integrated pest management. She is a bee keeper and loves the bugs.

Madrona Eickmeyer
Mentor

Madrona has been with WildWise School from it’s very founding, first as a student in the Adventure Scout program and has spent the last three years as an apprentice for WoodSprites, Adventure Scouts, and Summer Camps.   She is excited to be coming on as staff and is comfortable and competent taking part in the Ranger, Crofter, Voyager or Bard Guilds.

Spending her childhood exploring the forests, streams, and shores of her home on the Quimper Peninsula, she has always had a strong connection to the natural world and impressed her peers and relatives with knowledge about native plant species.   One of her first mentors was Justin Lake during her time with CedarRoot Folk School and WildWise School’s Adventure Scouts, and she is excited to join him this summer as a mentor herself in WildWise School’s Ranger Adventure Camp.

Madrona also attended Sunfield Farm and School where she learned many skills including how to raise farm animals and garden, and how to knit, crochet, and needle felt. She also is a student in the Youth Environmental Stewardship Program (YES!), which includes working with kids and organizations like the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and the Jefferson County Land Trust, restoring native habitats while studying natural history.

Last summer Madrona completed a rite of passage on a three week backpacking trip traversing the Olympic Mountain Range and along the shores of the Pacific Ocean with Rite of Passage Journeys.  Besides spending time in the Wilderness and environmental studies, Madrona enjoys reading novels, climbing, archery, crafting, fishing for salmon, and participating in the Drama Program at Kingston High School.  Her favorite animal is the bobcat and her favorite tree is the Vine Maple.