About Us

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“My two girls have attended Bonna’s Touching the Earth and Arts camp for several years, and they look forward to the adventure every year. The camp is a great combination of adventurous, intimate, and fun. Bonna leads the campers with a gentle but guiding hand, teaching respect along with outdoor skills, and being supportive while challenging the camper’s perceived limits.”
Eric Friets (dad of Meryl Friets, camp counselor)

Our Story and Trip Leaders

We focus on exploring our relationship with the natural environment, and understanding our connection with conservation of the natural world. There are many reasons to protect and preserve the environment: from leaving our grandchildren a legacy to developing global consciousness. Bold Paths’ staff is dedicated to sharing their knowledge and experience to raise environmental awareness and promote preservation by providing clients the opportunity to experience the wilderness in new and meaningful ways. The personal satisfaction and enjoyment experienced on our trips provides our clients with a solid base from which they may be inspired to continue with the work of “saving” our precious home.

bonnaBonna Wieler, owner and trip leader

Bonna’s main focus is offering people a connection with the natural world and the arts, with the aim of gaining self-assurance and skills, and she especially works with children of all ages. She is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Essentials Kayak Instructor and trip leader with summer camps and with Bold Paths Adventure, river curriculum teacher and consultant, networker and organizer/coordinator of environmental activities, and program specialist for after school programs with focus on natural arts and outdoor education. She also consults for camps and after school programs, teaching team building and environmental education. For more than 18 years, Bonna has directed Upper Valley camps (VerShare Camp and Touching the Earth and Arts Camp, her own small camp with 2-3 weeklong sessions each summer), including outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, biking and rock climbing. As a trip leader, she is continually updating her Wilderness First Aid certification, her ACA kayak certification, and she is certifying as an AMC trip leader.  She also plays traditional music with the band The Stove. Bonna has worked with Revels North for 28 years, from morris dancing to Revels make-up manager for 15 years, make-up designer for 6 years,  and production manager for the Summer Revels solstice celebration for many years.

Bonna shares her land with airbnb and other travelers, long and short-term. Voyagers can stay in a yurt, in a tent at the creek, or in the house. She provides outdoor adventure and outdoor skills activities on request.

Expanded Bio with Professional Experience and Education

Letter of Reference from Leslie Berger

cindyCindy Heath, trip leader

Cindy Heath has thirty years of experience in public parks and recreation administration and outdoor adventure program coordination. She has led bicycling, hiking, kayaking and skiing trips in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 25 years. Cindy has hiked all of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers, and is working on completing them in the winter.

Cindy’s personal outdoor adventure experience includes paddling trips in Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula, the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Utah and Nevada, Florida, and throughout New England and the Adirondacks. She has bicycled and skied extensively throughout the US.

Cindy is the Trails & Pathways Specialist for GreenPlay, LLC, a recreation & parks planning and management consulting firm based in Lafayette, CO, and currently serves as the Executive Director for GP RED, a non-profit organization providing research, education and development for parks, recreation & land management agencies. She also leads trips in connection with her blog Yurt Adventures, a site designed to give the active adventure traveler information about yurt lodging options around the world.

merylMeryl Friets, camp counselor

I was an avid camper with Bonna for seven or eight years (I can’t remember!) at her Touching the Earth and Arts Camp. It really formed my love of the outdoors and how many ways you can experience it. I am so happy to have become a counselor and get to spread my knowledge with everyone else. I love to be outdoors whether I am hiking, camping, or being on the water. Sailing and kayaking are some of my favorites. I also enjoy horseback riding, photography and traveling. I have been lucky enough to volunteer at an orphanage in Ethiopia for the past two summers and I am a long-time volunteer at High Horses which is a therapeutic riding program. Spending weeks at camp is always a highlight of my summers!

EllieEllie Crawford-Cripps, camp counselor

Ellie has been running camp session adventures with Bonna for 6 years, working with 5-11 campers each session. As a counselor, she is wonderful with one-on-one, special interests and special needs. Ellie is an avid first-aid enthusiast, and has taught first-aid skills to children and teens, both at camps and at the Hanover After School Program, where she was a counselor for 6 years. Ellie’s camping and kayaking skills are another wonderful asset to our camps. As organized as she is, she has been a mainstay in the VerShare Camp for 5 years. This year she is graduating from University of Vermont.

cwilliamsonChristine Williamson, camp counselor

Christine Williamson worked with Bonna as a HASP Counselor and Assistant Director for 5 years before joining the Touching the Earth and Arts Camp last summer. She specializes in storytelling, cartooning, and child-friendly role-playing games, (specifically Dungeons and Dragons), and has recently published her Young Adult fantasy novel, Katlyn Zinger and the Hornless Unicorn, as an e-book. Last summer Christine added a new, live-action dimension to her creative storytelling game and incorporated our connection to the natural world by using a theme of the elements, (fire, earth, air, and water), to bring the magic to life.

Christine will return to TEA Camp for 2014, and is already creating the sequel to SilverTail’s last quest. She looks forward to guiding the children’s adventures in the natural world by exploring the arts, kayaking, role-playing and camping.

Aaron Hoopes, yoga instructor

Aaron will bring his talent and knowledge to Touching the Earth and Arts Camp this sumer. The Art of Zen Yoga encompasses the flowing movement of Tai Chi, the energized breathing of Qigong, the gentle stretching of Shanti Yoga, and the serenity of mindful meditation. Zen Yoga is much more than physical exercise, it is a holistic system of well-being. Zen Yoga embodies the highest teachings and ancient practices of Taoism, Zen, Shamanism, the Five Elements, and the Eight Limbs of Yoga and incorporates them as guiding principles to cultivate balance, calm the mind, nourish the body and honor the spiritual nature that exists within each of us. Zen Yoga can help you to incorporate simple exercises into your daily life. It develops the physical, mental and etheric energy body and provides vitality, flexibility, well-being, joy, health, and peace of mind, no matter what stage you are along your journey.

jen_2012Jen Manwell, camp counselor, fiber artist,
natural arts and history program coordinator

Jen has been integrating nature and the arts into school and camp programming for the past 20 years. Having taught in several multi-age, independent schools, she has designed unique, inquiry-based thematic units that are responsive to her students’ interests and learning styles. Her academic and camp activities with children use fiber, paper, and theater arts as avenues for self-expression, problem solving, and representing learning.