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Sunday, July 22 2018

Caretaker Profiles

Bruce & Kristen Weaver: Unique Wilderness caretakers


Dates of Birth: Kristen: 7/28/59, Bruce: 8/15/64
Interests: Kristen: Brain tanning buckskin, native beadwork, painting,
writing and gardening. Bruce: Permaculture, primitive skills, gardening, cooking and watching movies.
Quote: "Life is full of missed opportunities and options of the unknown." Bruce Weaver

PHOTO
Bruce and Kristen in the room that Bruce built in Prescott!

Bruce and Kristen Weaver make a great caretaking team.

They found each other after completing some diverse career assignments. Born and raised in California, Kristen spent most of her early professional life in the health and fitness industry in southern California. She began as a Personal Trainer and quickly made her way into management. But Kristen says that she "can't live in an urban environment, and loves to live in the mountains." In the mid 80's, she moved to Prescott, AZ to become the general manager of The Prescott Racquet Club.

While Kristen was doing all this, Bruce was developing a wide realm of talents ranging from business management to handyman. His education has been through passionate exploration and a "hands-on" approach to life.

Bruce spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a nuclear armaments specialist, trained in mechanics and electronics. This experience was to be a pivotal one in directing his search for a greater purpose.

Like Kristen, Bruce also worked as a Personal Trainer, in Aspen, CO. Through this experience, he obtained a position as a Personal Trainer to a handicapped man living in Cuernivaca, Mexico. Bruce was responsible for all aspects of his care, including physical training, nutrition and meal preparation. After that, Bruce took a general manger position of the Altered States Mind Gym, a state-of-the-art relaxation gym that used the latest technologies in flotation tanks, sound and color.

After a while, Bruce moved to a spiritual center in Sedona, AZ where he helped with groundskeeping and light maintenance in trade for room and board. While in Sedona, he met Kristen, who was by that time, the General Manager of Time Expeditions Jeep Tours, an archeological and cultural tour company. The company utilized Bruce's knowledge of jeep mechanics. Kristen was responsible for the day to day operations, and was instrumental in creating the company's first cultural expedition to explore Canyon de Chelly, on the Navajo reservation.

After a few years, they generated enough revenue to help support the land owners and the ongoing effort of developing an heirloom seed garden. In 1993, Bruce and Kristen moved to Prescott, AZ to take positions as year-round resident caretakers of Camp Charles Pearlstein, a Jewish summer camp, surrounded by tall pine trees in the biggest Ponderosa Pines forest in the world.

They were full time salaried employees, with a large home provided, along with health and dental insurance, and an annual bonus. The camp capacity was 250 during the summer months and operated weekend retreats in the off-season. Bruce's duties included light construction, plumbing, electrical, groundskeeping, and building maintenance.

He coordinated with the camp director on annual facility needs and budget concerns. Kristen assisted in the general care and upkeep of the facility, and recently assisted in caretaker duties for a self-sufficient home and garden, called "Gods Garden."

In the off-season, they provided security, winter upkeep, maintaining positive relations with the Forest Service, and local subcontractors. Bruce was also responsible for the implementation of a recycling and composting program, planting fruit trees, creating new garden areas and the building of a hand crafted log cabin to be used as a nature center to educate children about the indigenous plant and wildlife.

Bruce says "I love being my own person of spiritual intentions, and love being able to work for people that allow my creativity to just flow. I also love the winter meditation time, which is a great benefit to be alone with nature."

While reading a recent issue of The Caretaker Gazette, they were intrigued with another caretaking opportunity for a seminar and retreat center in California. They decided to apply for the position. They were impressed that the previous caretaker had been there for the last eighteen years.

Bruce and Kristen were flown out for an interview, and soon after were offered the position. They have just arrived at their new location and are starting to settle in. They plan to turn their backyard into an heirloom garden called The Garden at Four Springs. They will be growing food for the guests that stay at the retreat, as well as for themselves. Once again, they will be creating beauty!

PHOTO

They're outside the hand crafted log cabin which Bruce built.


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