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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Adult Class, Presentation, Hikes & Workshop Testimonials

Check out our full list of weekend workshops and summer classes.

Conservation College Poster 2016 B copy

Best of April, 2016 – Wild Edible Plant Foraging & Herbal Medicine Making: Amazing course, so glad I took it. Learned so much about medicinal and wild edible plants. Chris and Kim are to be congratulated. – Dr. Olympia Tachopoulou, Tacoma, WA

Best of March, 2016 – Wolf Trackers Conservation Field Day: “I had a most informative, fascinating, and exceptionally educational experience with Chris and Kim. It was a privilege to be one of their students on April 2nd in Teenaway, one of the most picturesque places in Washington state! Learning about the wolf tracking provided much insight as to their actual behaviors, size, gait, and other characteristics. I also learned about other animals as well, flora and fauna of the area with the help of Paul. Thanks Chris and Kim for an experience of a lifetime” – Paula, Gig Harbor WA

Best of February, 2016 – Wolf Trackers Conservation Training Workshop: “Kim and Chris are both vast resources of knowledge on most things outdoors, and play off each other well in delivering their message to a great group of attentive listeners. The same day field trip allows to readily put our new knowledge to the test before the hustle & bustle of the usual world distracts us. Thanks for another great day of learning Chris & Kim!” – Mitch, Tacoma WA; “I had a BLAST and learned so much about not only telling what type of critter it was, but how to decipher the signs of when, why, and how. (: Can’t wait for April 2nd.” – Autumn S., Chehalis WA

2015 – We fell behind on posting all the testimonials, but hopefully we’ll get back to it during the off-season!

Best of April, 2014 – Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country Presentation: “Thanks Chris for speaking at the event! You are a great speaker and the attendees were captivated with you :)” – Kent Bernard, organizer of the GEAR Expo at Comcast Arena, Everett WA

Best of March, 2014 – Northwest Nature Hike in Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area: Wow you guys! That was so wonderful! Your gracious introduction to this lovely bioregion is so appreciated! I just took time to list all the species – I really learned to identify Saturday – 33 Plants, 2 Animal, 2 Invasives, and counting! It was terrific to be able to learn with you two as spring is about to be here and learn to identify these dear forest friends as they awaken from their winters sleep:) Please give me a call about your Seaweed class.” – Eden, North Bend WA

Best of February, 2014 – Bow & Arrow Making Workshop: “Thanks to the both of you for such a wonderful class yesterday. Michelle and I got so much insight into primitive bow and arrow making.” – Robert Ostaszewski, Bremerton WA

Best of January, 2014Wilderness Survival Skills including Bow Drill Fire Demo Class: “A great program! I was most impressed by the instructors proving their first-hand experience by eschewing some commonly taught survival practices for what they believed worked better. I also appreciate that these folks are really instructors, not just experts, who know how to break down expansive knowledge into practical bits. Thanks! I’ll be back!” – RJ, Seattle WA

Summer-Fall Class Break for Camp/Expeditions Season

Best of May, 2013 – Backcountry Gourmet & Wilderness Camp Stove Cooking Class: “Five Stars – Introduction to a variety of cooking stoves and kits, a nice assortment of foods for backcountry use, how to create some of your own meals from scratch and enhance other meals that have been pre-made. There was also a wild food walk to bring back sample foods that we found all around us and Charlie cooked us a nice dish as a sample of what one could create. Thanks Charlie.” – Tim Kroft, Tacoma WA

Best of April, 2013Safety, Tracks & Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf & Bear Country Class: Chris and Kim: I just wanted to say thanks for the great class tonight. You teach in a way that makes it easy to digest the information. I like it! After all the great information we learned about animal tracks tonight I wanted to share with you these two pictures of the floor in the apartment I live in. (I love it … tracks on the floor.) My landlords built the place and did the floors themselves. Thanks again and I hope to come to another class soon! – Stephanie Blumhagen, Tacoma WA

Best of March, 2013 – Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine Class: Hey Chris & Kim: Wonderful class last night you both gave on Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants. You two are awesome, it was fun to be back in the college atmosphere of learning with enthusiasm. Went out and gathered some Nettles as taught. Sauteed some Nettles with Garlic, Balsamic and Rice vinegar..they had the texture of Portabella mushrooms with a slight nutty flavor. Best veggie i have ever eaten. Question. You did not mention when zapped by the nettle a quick swipe from the leaves of a Bracken fern and even a Sword fern provides the antidote to the sting? All grow in the vicinity of their mutual climate choice.   Love it where there is so much to learn and so little time to cover it all. P.S. I must not have given you my email  because i did not get the review of our class. Which by the way is another wonderful idea you have where by i can listen and not break the concentration by having to take notes. Too bad 5 stars is the best they come up with because you deserve better. – Your new groupies, Rich & Jeanette Paul, University Place, WA

Best of February, 2013 – Loved the class. It was empowering to learn about steps one can take to prevent a wilderness disaster from happening. I recommend this class. – Kelly, Portland OR, regarding Wilderness Survival class.

Best of January, 2013 – The class was great. Learned a lot of new tricks and feel better prepared for my upcoming outdoor journeys. – Kevin R., Tacoma WA, regarding evening Wilderness Survival class.

Best of December, 2012 – Brilliant. I just wish we had more time to cover more!!! – Anonymous, Portland OR, regarding Wilderness Survival class.

Best of November, 2012 – Very informative and easy to understand, with lots of examples of the different navigation methods and search-and-rescue anecdotes to emphasize various concepts. Chris and Kim are very approachable and supportive instructors. – Neil, Kent WA, regarding Natural Navigation, Map & Compass, Lostproofing, & Orienteering class.

Best of October, 2012 – Had previous experience with Land Nav, compass and map from Army training, but it was amazing to me, how much I had forgotten. Heard a lot of comments from other participants, they were very happy and had learned a great deal. – Dave, Portland OR, regarding Navigation & Orienteering class.

Best of September, 2012 – I really enjoyed the course. It was on the right “level” for me and there were many ideas that surprised me, many that I had heard about but the presentation helped me understand, and there were several that “I’m from Missouri” about — I don’t doubt the interesting techniques, but will have to practice them to “prove” them to myself. I like that kind of course, one which challenges me to find out and to put into practice what was presented. Nice job, Chris and Kim. (Besides which, Chris and I are fellow Minnesotans – I grew up in a town near “Chisholm” Minnesota. Extra points to them for that). Oh, the exercise which had us walking across a level field toward a target with our eyes closed, well that was a real eye opener for me. I was so far off that it was initially hard for me to comprehend. Thanks for that very useful exercise. – Walt B, Gig Harbor WA, regarding evening Navigation & Orienteering class.

Class/Workshop Break for Summer Camp Season

Best of May, 2012 – A great group of people and very knowledgeable and passionate about what they’re teaching. – Eric Pacha, Tacoma WA, regarding multiple attended classes.

Best of April, 2012 – Amazing amount of good information packed into 2 hours; well worth the … class fee. They covered bears, cougars, animal tracking, bird identification and bird calls. Karen, Portland OR, regarding Evening Wildlife Class.

Best of March, 2012 – In going in, I only knew of common berries such as black, red, salmon and huckleberries. The information I learned regarding common foliage found within our area was very interesting…and made more enjoyable by both Chris and Kim’s knowledge and enthusiasm. – Lisa S., Silverdale WA, regarding Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants class.

Best of February, 2012 – Great introduction for me to wilderness survival. Extremely well presented. Beyond practical, the instructors made it interesting and worth studying. – Patrick, Beaverton OR, regarding Wilderness Survival class.

Best of January, 2012 – The class was an overview of organizing survival priorities; as well as an instruction on firemaking in the northwest. The fire making demonstration was the best, as it was a hands on exhibit; especially the friction spindle for making fire. – Gregory J., Port Hadlock WA, regarding Wilderness Survival class.

Best of December, 2011 – It was a good class on skills to keep from getting lost, and the use of a compass. I enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. Chris and Kim have a real nice deilvery of the material … and answer and respond to all questions as they come up. All in a good-natured way. – Chris G., Portland OR, regarding Navigation & Orienteering class.

Best of November, 2011 – I had a great time and Kim and Chris are great people very down to earth. – Diana B, Elma WA regarding Holiday Cooking & Crafts Class.

Best of October, 2011 – It was an enlightening class about tracking animals. I learned a lot.  Chisholm is a good speaker and a good teacher with vast knowledge in wildlife tracking. – Isaac S., Silverdale WA, regarding Wildlife Tracking presentation to the Peninsula Wilderness Club.

Best of September, 2011 – Great brush up navigation class; easy, memorable tips for using compass & map; enjoyed the lost proofing advice. – Syl, Olympia WA, regarding Navigation & Orienteering class.

Class/Workshop Break for Summer Camp Season

Best of June, 2011 – This class was terrific, the information as given in an orderly fashion, both leaders were well informed and very pleasant. I loved learning more about the benefit of weeds I have been pulling out and rejecting, I can now make better decisions. Learning about what is safe when in the wilderness and what is not. This give a feeling of confidence if required out there in the wild. I will look forward to attending the next session. Thank you Chris and Kim. It was also nice to meet other enthusiast. – Lorena L., Lake Stevens WA, regarding Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants class.

Best of May, 2011 –  A rep met me in the parking lot to help join the group, which was really helpful. The cost was reasonable and sample salve and nettle tea were a generous bonus. Chris has an infectuous and childlike excitement about this topic and his wife, who crafted our samples, is a wealth of knowledge in a quieter way. I learned quite a bit from both of them, which leads me to the conclusion that I know very little! Thank you for a great intro in a down- to- earth way. – Anonymous, Seattle WA, regarding evening Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants class.

Best of April, 2011 – As always with the wilderness classes this was fun, hands on, and informative. Now I will watch and listen to birds in a completely new way. The organizers are very knowledgeable. – Yvonne, Bremerton WA, regarding Birds by Sight & Sound class.

Best of March, 2011 – I learned quite a lot about bird sounds. It was also good to be introduced to the walk around the Center for Urban Horticulture. We saw several beavers too. – Cathy F., Seattle WA, regarding evening Wildlife Tracking & Birding class.

Best of February, 2011 – Just what I hoped for…an overview of herbs and foods from the backcountry accompanied by the demonstration on how to prepare them. Thank you! – Anne M, North Bend WA

Best of January, 2011 – Chris and his wife were great presenters and they seem like genuinely nice people who want to help people better understand the outdoors. They gave a great overview of a lot of info in a short amount of time, and I definitely learned some new things. Thanks! – Tamara, Seattle WA, regarding eWilderness Survival class.

Best of December, 2010 – This class had several helpful tools to help prevent getting lost. I have gone through orienteering classes before, but this was an excellent review or introduction for people who have not had previous classses. – Alan L., Seattle WA, regarding Navigation & Orienteering class.

Best of November, 2010 – Another great workshop, thanks! Really great navigation tips, and the compass explanation was very helpful. Looking forward to future mini-workshops. – Tamara, Seattle WA, regarding Navigation & Orienteering class.

Best of October, 2010 – It is a very exciting group. The topics are well thought out. The instruction was great. – Judy Chiasson, Bellingham WA regarding evening Wilderness Survival Class.

Class/Workshop Break for Summer Camp Season

Best of May, 2010 – It was interesting going into the park, near dark, to learn how birds interact with other birds using five different communication styles. Chris identified the alarm calls of a robin being vocalized to others and sure enough we spotted the dark form of a Barred Owl in the direction of the alarm calls. Later we saw the owl swoop down and grab dinner off the forest floor. Just to show off he landed in the tree above us with a mouse in his talons. I was sold, just being able to identify a bird is great but limiting, knowing it’s vocalizations helps you understand the pulse of the forest. For a more dimmensional awarness in the woods learning these bird calls is important. It’s like the difference between an Imax 3D movie and a rerun on TV in a foreign language. – Mike Weatherby

Best of April, 2010 – This workshop was awesome! We found tracks left by raccoon, elk, deer, great blue heron, coyote, river otter, and others. With help from (Kim &) Chris’ lovely assistant Skye we learned to distinguish wild from domestic canine tracks and were introduced to the arts of determining the age of a track and interpreting what the animal was doing / thinking when it made the track. We finished the day with a stroll through the woods for practice finding animal sign in forested areas. It was a great time and we all learned a lot! – Jurgo Bielowski

Best of March, 2010 – It was a relaxed group of participants with varying degrees of outdoors experience. Throughout the day, we learned about the uses of local plants for survival. Chris encouraged active learning among the group with his careful explanations on how to harvest and consume plants on the trail in a sustainable way.We spent the second half of the day …(on)… how to make a fire, soup bowls, and boiled nettle stew using nothing but wood and stone. We also used freshly harvested ingredients to make tinctures and balms that we took home in sample jars. As another eloquent attendee put it, learning how to survive in nature makes it possible to walk out of your home and feel like you’re walking into your living room. By the end of this meetup, sitting by our fire and drinking nettle soup, I had tasted the possibilities of living in the wilderness, and was ready to come back to learn survival skills in more serious detail. – Samual Wan

Best of February, 2010 – Chris, I attended the training session on Saturday. Thank you for a such a terrific experience. I enjoyed it even more than I expected and came away wanting to know more. – Tim Crowther

Best of January, 2010 – Thanks for the class dates, Chris. I am looking forward to them, as I enjoyed last night immensely. There is something deeply satisfying about working with your hands while chatting with other wonderful people. I also really appreciated your humble, egalitarian teaching style– how you elicited knowledge from others in the group and let everyone teach everyone instead of looking to you as the only “expert.” When Letha challenged you about the hummingbird feeding, I was very impressed how open you were to her ideas… it impresses me when people treat someone who disagrees with them with as much respect as someone who agrees with them. You put people at ease, and that is always a better mind space from which to learn. – Chris Wolf

Kim & Chris Chisholm move to Puyallup WA and launch Classes & Workshop again after Sabbatical