MATERNIA - connect to nature 

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Summer School Nature Awareness 

Inspired by Jon Young and his mentor Tom Brown, carrying forward the heritage of Apacha Indianen, who have always lived in deep connection to nature, I felt calling to follow their path. I'm still on my discovery journey but eager to pass on the principles of the teachings so far.

By using all of your senses: smell, touch, hearing, seeing and feeling you can connect to the natural world and yourself much deeper than through your cognition only, being largely practiced at regular schools. And it's a very playful way to discover the world around you. Beside it, nature connection happens pretty much only in a condition of perceived sense of timelessness/flow and it requires unsupervised experimentation. If you know this book 'The Children of Bullerbyn village' of Asgtrid Lindgren then you can picture what I mean. 


Maternia is a place to facilitate nature connection. And I'd love to host and mentor your children and you during the upcoming summer holidays to ignite your playful spirit, your curiosity and involvement in the natural world.  


During the rest of the year I am a mother, a certified herbalist, a nature mentor of elementary school children in the Netherlands, a birthday party in nature facilitator, an adept of self-realisation in Heart of Awakening. 

Date of camps:

  • 9-17 July 2022 in Polish

  • 24-31 July 2022 in Dutch


Adult 275 euro per week, incl. all meals

Child: 175 euro per week, incl. all meals

There is place for 8 kids, max 10 and 7 adults.

How does a day look like?

Every day we will have some time of structured activities adjusted to the age of children. The rest of the time kids can explore on their own and with each other in this safe, enclosed environment of Maternia (3ha)

We will also cook outside on the campfire, which we also learn to make- without lucifers! and tell each other stories around the fire before going to sleep. 

We will track and trace wild animals, also by twilight with infra-red lights to not distrub the animals.

Everyone chooses his favourite place to spend time in and get to know it very intimate.

We will draw, sketch, sing, play games, make nature art, felt the wool, carf wooden spoons and whatever else comes up. 

I encourage you to take your tent and explore the adventure of sleeping with all the nature sounds around you.  I also have 3 hammocks with mosquito net if you want to watch the beautiful stairy sky.

I hope you will find your way to Maternia and we will get to know each other soon!

NB. I will be speaking Polish to our Polish guests, Dutch to our Dutch guests and English to . 

If you are interested to praticipate or have any questions please let me know via mail of whatsapp or Signal:

Iwona van der Spank


"The creative adult is the child who survived"

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What other people say: 
Iwona was brilliant with our two young sons and helped surround them (and us!!) with all of the nature around us, from feeding the local fish to picking berries, collecting dry wood for a fire, exploring the forest, swimming in the lake, and picking vegetables from the garden for dinner. She is a natural teacher and met the boys where they were, helping them have blast, learn a lot, and NOT want to leave!