Meet Us



Our Lead Instructors


  Nikki van Schyndel aka Daisy Crocket

Adventurer – Wilderness Guide – Author – Expert Tracker & Primitive Survivalist 

Tired of waiting for her plane to crash or a worldwide technical disaster to create a real-life survival emergency, Nikki paid someone to abandon her on a deserted island in the wilderness for nearly two years, testing her skills and learning the truths of survival.  From dream home to lean-to, diamonds to bear claws, Nikki shares this incredible journey in her bestselling book Becoming WildJournal entry Day 201 in the wilderness:  “I have never felt such a primal, wild feeling.  Holding that wooden spear and knowing I was about to fight a cornered bear with it was something I had only read about in my favorite novels.”

She has been praised by media, host venues, and packed audiences alike as an “amazing storyteller,” “an inspiration,” and “the most genuine person I have ever met.”  Though not your stereotypical “end-of-the-world” survivalist, Nikki has studied and taught under North America’s leading trackers,  survivalists and earth skills educators, while dedicating her life to her naturalist studies.  She attended the Northwest Indian College and has graduated from the esteemed Dominion Herbal College in Vancouver, B.C. She is trained and certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Search & Rescue Tracking, (SVOP) and Marine Emergency Duties.

Nikki not only discovered the truths of survival, but also a unique balance between the worlds. By discovering how to map over her successful wilderness skills to modern life, she offers a unique perspective and incredible insight into our place – and future place – in this world. Nikki now lives off-the-grid, in a log cabin she built herself from a how-to book and a few YouTube videos.  She dreams of becoming a member of the Explorers Club for the studies of superhuman abilities. Because like they say, “Anyone can change everything.”

“Nikki’s deep calling to ancient knowledge, skills and authentic experience leads to powerful connections and reawakens ancient instincts, sensibilities and perceptions that are now mostly gone from modern people. After becoming wild, Nikki returns to post-modern life to discover how far away her known communities have gotten from this original relationship — as all people realize when they reconnect with nature. Nikki’s heartfelt and transparent self-discovery, reconciliation and renegotiation with self, others and the offerings of our world is a model all can benefit from.”

— Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Founder of Wilderness Awareness School

To understand Nikki’s personal journey and unique perspective be sure to read her best-selling book Becoming Wild


  Wes Gietz

Wes has studied, practiced and taught natural skills and beliefs for over fifty years, with pauses as required by the necessities of love and life. He has been taught by Tom Brown Jr. and Native teachers the skills of ancient survival and living, awareness, philosophy, the ceremonies of daily life and the ceremonies and responsibilities of the sweat lodge.  He has studied Coyote Mentoring with Jon Young and Wilderness Awareness School, and is regarded as an elder by many. He has studied the teachings of David R. Hawkins and Michael Newton, and incorporates these truths into his own work.

Wes has guided Rites of Passage for individuals and groups for 20 years, including the 24-hour Solo and the four-day Vision Quest. He has taught a nature-based path of spiritual awakening and power since 1994, with Windwalker and combines this with the path of the sweatlodge and the Vision Quest.

He has practiced and taught EFT, a powerful meridian-based technique for healing emotional disturbances, PTSD, phobias, addictions and a variety of physical problems, for the past 20 years.

He has published numerous articles in various journals and newsletters on topics such as edible and medicinal plants, spirituality, healing, tracking, and Coyote Mentoring, and is a contributing author of Peak States of Consciousness, Volume 2: Acquiring Extraordinary Spiritual and Shamanic States (Grant McFetridge with Wes Gietz).

Wes Gietz has Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and English, and Master’s degrees in Biochemistry and Public Administration, with 17 years of consulting experience in training, strategic planning, and human resource management. He has taught at the University of Victoria and North Island College. He is bilingual in French and English and is learning Spanish, has very little hair on top, and is omnivorous.  He has two children and three grandboys.

“I looked at Wes and saw how open and yet strong he was in his beliefs. He was like a tree, steadfast in what he believed in yet able to dance with life itself, like the tops of the trees with the wind. He believed deeply in community, like the community of interdependence in the forest I had just been part of. I wanted to be more like him.”
– Windwalker Vision Quest Participant

Special Guest Speakers


  Donn Smith

Donn Smith is a catalyst for instantaneous, internal transformation.  With thirty-five years of experience, Donn has combined his multi-disciplined education to create a winning formula that transforms the core constrictor driving and impeding people’s lives so they can discover their “INTERNAL PERFECTION”.   This internal perfection is not an idea, a theory, or some vague notion or concept; on the contrary, it is beyond the grasp of the brain and its intellectual interpretations, as it lies deep within the language of our hearts.

His powerful I AM Energy Program offers a profound and life-changing way to discover who we truly are, who we always have been, hidden beneath the toxicity caused by choices we made consciously or unconsciously prior to today.

His client base, which has often comprised of global leaders and influential athletes, are consistently amazed at the power, speed and retention of their transformation, causing an immediate exponential rise in their performance and allowing them to live by their True Potential in all aspects life.

“The human spirit has a great capacity to rise above the trials and tribulations of life and to transform our existence to the world of peace and prosperity we all dream of. This is what Donn’s program is all about, one piece of Internal Perfection at a time.”
— Don Morrison, former COO of RIM

“Donn opened me up to the realization that there is zero need for injury, sickness, disease, or pain of any kind. When you stand in your Internal Perfection you are in harmony with the Universe and you have fluidity of movement in your body, which is free of the constrictions that cause them.”
— Mike Janyk, World Cup skier

  Billy Proctor

Local legend of the Great Bear Rainforest’s Broughton Archipelago, known as “The Mainland” has spent his life doing the time-honored work of generations of upcoast men – fishing, hand-logging, trapping, beach-combing and homesteading.  When he realized the coast he loved was dying around him, he understood it was time to put something back.  Billy has now become a committed environmental activist, spear-heading and advising many projects, boards and conservation efforts in the area.   His passion for the coast, unique perspective, incredible memory, treasured stories and unparalleled knowledge has made him an inspiring mentor to the younger generation and all who meet him.  His museum in Echo Bay, a collection of historical items he has found and collected over his 80 years, draws thousands of tourists a summer, to the now tiny community of 9, of whom we have all been touched by his incredible generosity, help and true friendship.

To our staff, volunteer helpers, other guest speakers TBA, affiliate businesses and the Native Bands and territories we work in and with, Thank you for your support.