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Explore Your Nature

Rekindling Connection with the More-than-Human World

About A.W.E.

Association for Wilderness Engagement

The Association for Wilderness Engagement (A.W.E.) was conceived during Yaakov 'Trek' Reef's 2016 thru-hike pilgrimage on the 2189.1-mile Appalachian Trail. This experience in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains led Trek to a calling to guide others back to a sense of connection with our natural world.

A.W.E. is founded on the vision of a flourishing and beloved Earth community that lives in harmony, sustainability, and reciprocity with one another and our planet.

Inspired by that vision, our mission is to provide immersive and transformative experiences that seek to deepen our connection to the web of life and our sense of place in the universe. 

We do that by offering:

  • guided outdoor experiences like forest bathing, stargazing, day hikes/walk, wilderness trips;

  • facilitated workshops, retreats, and classes;

  • speaking engagements, presentations, pulpit supply; 

  • consultation for organizations; and

  • public events.

Learn more about our programs or book a free consultation below.

A.W.E. is committed to obtaining non-profit and 501(c)3 status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Until then, donations are not presently tax-deductible.

Abu A.W.E.

About Trek

Yaakov "Trek" Reef, Founder & Guide

With over 30 years of backcountry backpacking and hiking experience, Yaakov Trek Reef (he/they) walks in the world as a guide and teacher of outdoor ethics, nature & forest therapy, and wilderness spirituality.
A sought-after speaker in pulpits, parks, and classrooms, Trek also leads retreats, workshops, and classes. Some notable spaces include Adamah Farm Fellowship, Star Island Natural History Conference, Elat Chayyim Center for Jewish Spirituality, Keshet Boston, Hillel House at Boston University, Hopedale Unitarian Parish, First Parish in Billerica, First Church in Leominster, and Seaside Yoga Retreat Center in Oregon, among others.

He worked for the Star Island Conference and Retreat Center ten miles off the coast of New Hampshire for four seasons and served as a retreat director and the program manager at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, for three years. 

In 2016, they completed a pilgrimage along the storied Appalachian Trail. Taking approximately five million steps over 2189.1 miles between Georgia and Maine, Trek found a deeper connection to our awe-inspiring natural world and a clearer sense of place in our unfolding story of our cosmos.

They hold several outdoor and guiding certifications, including Certified Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation and Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide by the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy. Trek is also a Wilderness First Responder trained by SOLO Wilderness Emergency Medicine.


He is a seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School and an Aspirant Minister in the Unitarian Universalist tradition. Trek lives in North Billerica, Massachusetts, on the traditional homelands of the Pawtucket and Massa-adchu-es-et Peoples of the Abenaki nations.

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