The origins of Playful Living took place in my childhood, when I would experience mild seizures that affected my ability to do homework.
I could listen, learn, and think; but, when it came to putting pencil to paper I encountered impenetrable mental blocks. I would physically heat up, develop headaches, and face extreme difficulty focusing my attention. This continued for years before my parents, teachers, or doctor figured out that I was seizuring. In the meantime, I assumed I was inherently lazy. Yet despite my mindset and the challenges of my seizures, I searched for motivation and tricks that enhanced my productivity in school and elsewhere.
These experiences forced me to have an open mind about various ways of doing things, and to become aware of the connections between work, learning, relationships, play, movement, and everyday activities. They forced me to practice brevity and distinguish between the necessary and unnecessary. Most importantly, the circumstances forced me to spend a lot of time reflecting on the relationships between my priorities, meaning/purpose, and every action.
The rest of my life has been dedicated to distilling down the essence of how peoples’ learning, meaning, and natural curiosities are all connected.
My work has developed over the course of:
— 20 years working in the camping and outdoor education industries, including co-directing/founding a successful a “start-up” summer camp in Aspen Colorado,
— completing a Bachelor of Arts in Human Communications,
— teaching English in Thailand,
— studying permaculture in Costa Rica,
— apprenticing in cutting horse training, and
— researching, learning, and teaching various skills; including guitar, drums, pruning, fishing, knife throwing, rope dart, beer making, Thai and Spanish languages, archery, climbing, and the art of meeting strangers (yes, I actually have taught this).
My passion is teaching people how to realize their playful nature and use it to benefit their learning, practices, relationships, and meaning-making.
“Trent has a unique skill set that I have not seen in any other person I have ever worked with. He is one of the most creative people I have ever met, while still having the keen ability to motivate and lead people concurrent to maintaining a perfect balance of flexibility and firmness as the situation requires . . . Trent is one of the most trustworthy people you will ever meet. Every ounce of him is made of the nicest human being and when he says his mission is to help people learn, laugh, create, explore, and become their best selves– he truly means it . . . Trent values genuine human connection over all else in life. Human connection is his currency and the world is a better place for it. I believe if anyone is able to spend some time with Trent— be it an hour or a decade— they will certainly be better for it.”
— Danny Hundert, Founder and Executive Director of AJAX Adventure Camp. Danny Hundert has worked with Trent in various capacities and summer camps over the past 20 years.
“The most important motive for work in the school and in life is the pleasure in work, pleasure in its result and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community . . . The awakening of these productive psychological powers is certainly less easy than the practice of force or the awakening of individual ambition but is the more valuable for it. The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society; it is that education which in the main is founded upon the desire for successful activity and acknowledgment.”
— Albert Einstein, On Education