History of NTN

In 1998, Jen Deraspe started to think about how she really wanted to live and work. In her mind, it was a mountain with water; buildings powered by the sun; a central meeting space for people to gather; gardens; stone walls; a flow of people coming together for healing and peace; living close to the land; being caretakers on a beautiful space on earth.

Jen Deraspe | Founder

Jen took business courses, developed a brochure and a business card. A friend showed up and built the first website for free. She got her Maine Guides and Ski Patrol license so she could take people into the wilderness and have winter work that utilized her current base of knowledge in sports medicine and emergency care as well as her love for skiing. She devoured a variety of texts, and started meditating, studying plants and birds resulting in an expansion of her understanding and knowledge of life. While leading her first holistic canoe trip for women, she got to witness transformation firsthand. That experience guided her to the core of what was being created, a space of healing. She offered everything she knew at the time. Nature and heart did the rest.

Jen led retreats for 7 years without a base. A frequent retreater lent her money to buy the first cabin, “Harmony”. A grant then paid for half of the materials for the second cabin, “Robin’s Nest”. A women’s carpentry workshop, “Zen and the Art of Carpentry” helped with its construction.

Each group that came here to retreat purchased, unbeknownst to them, beds, mattresses, a door, chairs, a woodstove, on and on, all for comfort, shelter, and service. It had all come together now in the most beautiful, green, natural setting I had thought it could be. Without all of the love and support of so many people, NTN would not have been born.

In 2009, a Donation-Based Yoga Studio is created. The local community starts attending classes and people really enjoy the space and each other.  The construction of the sauna opened on the Winter Solstice of 2009.

Jen would like to thank Lisa Baldwin, her dear friend Raja, often the brains and much of the brawn behind the scenes, in helping Nurture Through Nature in its fledgling years in a significant way. Nurture Through Nature wouldn’t be what it is without Bob Dunning. He teaches volunteers the art of orchestrating a barn raising. Ten hands-on weekends later, the retreat space was closed in, made with wood from the land and volunteer hands and hearts. Even the logger, who had cleared space for building and the solar panels, asked the birds to move from the trees before felling them.


A Word From Jen

I am deeply grateful to be passing the torch to Emily now and that NTN will continue on as a retreat center. This place will carry on in support of those seeking deep connection with nature, self and community. This feels like miraculous Grace.

I am deeply grateful for this adventure and all it has given, including such amazing humans that have met me on the path. You are dear to me and you know who you are. My heart is breaking open.

I will continue to offer the services and tools that I am passionate about through my coaching practice and suspect I will end up back at NTN to share in more circles as inspired and called to.

A deep bow to you, to NTN, this mountain that has held me and so, so many and to Life.