CAITLIN MCNEELY grew up exploring the gentle sandy beaches of the southern Gulf coast and the giant sprawling oak trees in her urban Houston neighborhood. In the summer, her favorite time was spent road-tripping to the magical tide pools and rocky beaches of a small island off the coast of Maine, where she fished for seaweed, made forts of driftwood and talked to the small colorful creatures tucked in the pools.
During college at UCSB, she studied the intersection of nature, spirituality and creative writing and traveled to Ghana for a year abroad to experience more intact earth-based cultures. Since then, she has continued to follow a path of learning from and supporting indigenous cultures and wisdom-keepers, including joining indigenous-led water protector camps in West Texas and in Anishinaabe territory in Minnesota, spending several months living with and supporting Dine families at Black Mesa and learning from local California indigenous leaders at the Buckeye Ancestral Skills Gathering.
Caitlin holds training from the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington and is rooted in the 8-shields model of deep nature connection and Jon Young/Tom Brown/Stalking Wolf lineage. She has been guiding youth outdoors ages 6-16 for the last 3 years through Vilda, a nature-connection program in Marin, as well as co-creating a rites of passage program for middle-school aged youth at Heartwood Waldorf School.
She is currently training in Somatic Ecopsychology and to become a Wilderness Quest Guide through Wilderness Reflections, and is excited to deepen her ecotherapeutic skill set for both kids and adults. Caitlin holds experience and knowledge in permaculture, organic farming, folk herbalism and ancestral bushcraft, and is Wilderness First Aid certified. In her free time you can find her dancing, drinking tea, planting flowers and practicing parkour!