Testimonials

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praise for

Inner Guide Expeditions


“Inner Guide Expeditions provides a unique opportunity for teens to experience personal growth.  Exploring beautiful places with Kelly and Tom provides many opportunities to talk, question, laugh, grow, expand and connect.  My daughter grew in confidence after her time pushing her physical boundaries and experiencing the gentle push provided by them to look within.  I felt secure leaving my daughter in the capable, organized, and skilled hands of Tom and Kelly.  Doing a session of Inner Guide is a wonderful chance for any teen to do something they will never forget and to push themselves to grow.”

Deneice Z. Parent

“I think that there are very few times in one’s life where one truly feels alive. That heart beating, palms shaking, exhilarating, beautiful rush of feeling unstoppable, as if your body can’t contain all of the amazingness that it holds. My Inner Guide Cascades trip gave me that feeling. Perhaps it’s something about being in the Northern Cascades, which is truly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life, and feeling incredibly small against the backdrop of jaw dropping mountains and crystal streams. Or maybe it was the care, love, and guidance of the Inner Guide leaders, who held my hand when I was scared, yet let go of it when I needed that time to grow on my own as a person. It could have also been the immense thrill of backpacking for my first time ever, when I felt the most powerful and bold I have ever felt in my life. But most likely it was a combination of those things that made me feel alive in ways nothing else ever had. And the best part of it is, that feeling hasn’t gone away. And I thank Inner Guide immensely for it.”

S. R. Sophmore

Dropping into time with Tom and Kelly of Inner Guide Expeditions is where the real work happens, the soul is nourished, and relationships are strengthened. Whether it's time spent in their sweet and cozy little home, near beautiful waters, or deep within the mountains under glorious trees, each experience has proven to be rich with invaluable dialogue, counseling, and growth.

Over the years we have called upon Tom and Kelly to help guide us either as individuals, a couple, or as a family. All of our experiences have been some of the hardest yet most authentic and enriching we've ever had.

We cherish the Shelstads, and we're beyond grateful for all that they bring. They come fully present to each session together and are true role models for our children.

We are so blessed to have them in our lives.

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Nate & Trina Sanford

“Inner Guide has changed my life. The experiences I have had and connections I have created in the short amount of time that I have been involved with Kelly and Tom, will undoubtedly last me a lifetime. Tom and Kelly are not only amazing facilitators, but are two of my closest friends and mentors. Both invest themselves fully into creating personal relationships with each of the kids that partake in their program, which helps to strengthen the group dynamic and each individual’s experience with Inner Guide. Just the sheer fact that Tom and Kelly have been able to establish and maintain such an extraordinary program is a reflection of their leadership abilities, certainty in their craft, and unwavering loyalty to preserving a safe and fun space for anyone involved. I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of Tom and Kelly’s adventures.”

K. J. B. Junior

“I would not be overstating things to say my daughters have had truly transformative experiences on their IGE adventures with Tom and Kelly. As a parent, what you want most for your kid navigating the tumultuous waters of these teenage years are things you don’t always get in school; things like: the development of character – respect, integrity, perseverance, teamwork; and connection: with others, the earth, and importantly, with themselves. Tom and Kelly somehow manage through their own example, and through this “work” (it’s not really work, it’s so fun) to gracefully guide young people to develop strength and capacity in the world, as well as to find an “inner guide” through listening deeply to themselves and others, through acceptance, and also, often, reaching for something more. I could not have dreamt up better partners for supporting my girls through these formative years.”

Jennifer J. Parent

“Since 6th grade, IGE has played an important role in my life and personal development. It provides the atmosphere and places I need to grow. The first trip I went on gave me the confidence and the self-esteem that I was looking for and had been lacking. After that, I couldn’t get enough. I always come back from Inner Guide experiences full of pure happiness and filled with new knowledge about myself. Through the trips I have made incredible friends and deep connections that have continued over the years, and it has inspired me in so many ways, including what I want to do with my life. I don’t know who I’d be today without Inner Guide.”

A. M. Freshman

“In an age where many of us feel rushed from one moment to the next, Kelly and Tom have the ability of slowing the world down so as to provide an 'experience' for the participant of Inner Guide Expeditions to be in THE MOMENT. I have seen them do this on trips, in circle and with their programs. The participant may be new to any one of these formats or a veteran (a young adult with multiple trip experiences with Inner guide). The common ground for all those who participate is that there is an experience waiting to happen without anyone knowing just what that experience may be. It is the combination of the group and the needs of each individual that make the defining moment a reality. Kelly and Tom are humble, graceful masters in providing an inner guidance to each and everyone of their clients.”

Jennifer H. M. Parent