Melissa Esposito Fallon has been mentoring children in nature since 2004. After spending a couple of years teaching environmental education on the east coast, she craved a deeper, more intuitive understanding and connection to the natural world.
Her path led her to the Wilderness Awareness School, where she enrolled in the Anake Outdoor School, a nine-month immersion in the realms of nature, community and self. This proved to be an incredibly life-changing and transformative experience. Melissa continued her studies at the Wilderness Awareness School as a student of the Anake Leadership Program, where she was trained to mentor students ages 4-9 in nature connection.
Afterwards, she spent several years as a contract program instructor for WAS, teaching for their monthly programs, after school programs, and summer camps. She also spent two years as a lead teacher for the Vashon Wilderness Program's Wind Gatherers Nature Preschool. Melissa is a graduate of the LifeWays Early Childhood Certificate Program which is based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf philosophy.
Most recently, she was able to immerse herself in the Enki educational philosophy as a teaching assistant at Applesong in Lyons, CO. Melissa believes that holding space for connection to nature, community, and self is the most important thing we can do right now to cultivate the health and well-being of our planet and present and future generations.
When she is not hiding in the bushes and making faerie houses with children, you can find her dancing to live music, getting crafty, foraging, learning to play fiddle and mandolin, and bird-watching with her beloved husband Patrick.
Patrick Fallon grew up in Southern NJ on the rural/suburban border with ample woods to run and play, catch toads and climb trees! This set the foundation for a lifelong love of the outdoors!
Pat is a lover of the natural world and is always ready to share this passion with others. He is that weirdo that points out hawks to strangers whether they care or not! Some years and another lifetime ago this passion led him to leave his computer job, move to the Puget Sound region of Washington state and dedicate his life to connecting people with nature along with his partner (and wife), Melissa.
He received extensive training in nature awareness and mentoring at the Wilderness Awareness School. The first year helped him gain a deeper awareness and connection to nature, community, and self through the Anake Outdoor School program, and during the second year at the Anake Leadership Program, Pat was immersed in the skills of nature mentoring, working as an apprentice for two separate weekly homeschool nature programs for children: Roots and Wings (4-6yrs) and Foxes (7-9yrs).
Since then he has instructed in numerous programs with Wilderness Awareness School, taught at a Farm preschool and was a lead instructor at the Fire Tenders program (7-13yrs) at Vashon Wilderness Program as well as running programs with Melissa as Feather and Frond. Most recently he was a Lead Mentor at Feet on the Earth Programs and was an assistant at Science Adventure Programs in Boulder, CO.
Patrick’s playful and exuberant personality and love of the little things translate perfectly to working with children. Wherever Pat goes, he always has an eye out for the birds and an ear listening for music in the trees.