Living historian, Artist, and Ancestral Skills practitioner
Drew is of mixed Algonkian (Accomac- across the water people/Pocomoke-dark water people) and European descent. The rivers, forests, and meadows of the southern Berkshire foothills around the town of Brookfield, CT, where he was raised, have given him a love for nature and history, both Native American and Colonial. As an artist and teacher, he draws strongly on his Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, continuing his family’s trade of woodworking. Drew maintains his Eastern Woodland lineage through wampum making, coppersmithing (a trade particular to the Accomac and Pocomoke), shell jewelry, pottery/ ceramics, flintknapping, traditional gardening, and stone carving. He will earn his BA in Anthropology from Western Connecticut State University in December, 2015 and holds a certificate in Archaeology from Norwalk Community College. Drew is also a living historian of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Northeast Indian life, interpreting an age when native people were changing their ancestral ways in the midst of strife, warfare, and removal from their homelands. Drew has worked for Two Coyotes Wilderness School of Newtown, CT, Hawk Circle Wilderness School of Cherry Valley, NY, and has taught classes in flintknapping, friction fire, and bark basket making at various institutions in the Eastern Woodlands.
Naturalist and nutritionist
Elizabeth grew up in rural Maryland, where she spent much of her time exploring its rolling woodlands, streams and cow meadows. As a teenager, she came to understand the powerful potential of the forest to connect her with intuitive experience, which provided a contrast to the conceptual orientation of school. Over the last 15 years, working as a nutritionist with urban families, Elizabeth has observed an endemic lack of connection to the outdoors and the resulting health problems suffered by kids and adults alike. Today Elizabeth divides her time between her nutrition practice and her ongoing exploration of nature on Eastern Woodland Learning’s forty-acre property.
Wilderness Skills Practitioner
Dave's love for nature began at a very young age, and he spent all of his free time exploring and playing in the woods. Growing up before the internet, everything he learned was self-taught, and as he grew, so did his wilderness skills, which came naturally to him. When Dave enrolled his son in the Two Coyotes pups program a few years ago, he realized how much knowledge he had and found his calling in life. He now supports his family by mentoring children and young adults in wilderness skills and survival while fostering a love for nature. Dave has completed a 6-day workshop at Vermont Wilderness School called The Art of Mentoring in which he received experiential training in nature connection, inter-generational mentoring, and the living culture of awareness.
Brian Noell holds a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University and teaches English at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. He grew up swimming in ponds and climbing blue spruce, cherries, and Chinese chestnuts on a 350-acre tree farm in Maryland. He attended St. Mary’s College, in the state’s seventeenth-century capital, writing a thesis on colonial/Indian relations and working as an interpreter at the Native American and tobacco plantation exhibits of the adjacent living history museum.
Steinen is an artist, mother, and armchair meteorologist who spent five years teaching art to 1st through 10th graders in independent schools prior to becoming one of the creators of Eastern Woodland Learning. As a mother of four boys, she is well versed in removing peanut butter from the backs of chairs, creating monster truck ramps with couch cushions, and detecting the subtle sounds of “I’m up to no good” from any room in the house. Her intention is that Eastern Woodland Learning will become a place where children from all backgrounds can learn experientially in nature, through play and honest hard work, so that they come home to their parents completely exhausted from their day’s adventures.