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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Protected: Teaching Nature Part IV – Outdoor Education Tips & Tricks of the Trade

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Protected: Teaching Nature Part III – Preparing & Leading Classes, Camps, Lessons & Programs

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Protected: Teaching Nature Part II – Learning Styles & Age Considerations

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Protected: Teaching Nature Part I – Outdoor Education Fundamentals (Prep, Safety & Discipline)

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OJT at the Teaching Nature – Professional Training for Outdoor Educators

My OJT Experience by Ben Kleiber

Teachers training week at Wolf Camp and the Conservation College is full of preparing for classes and rapid-fire teaching full of information. It can be stressful at times but ends up being the most valuable week of the summer.

Working with all ages for a week gives an entirely different sense of how to teach and interact with kids than almost any other experience. Being with the kids for upwards of six hours a day and teaching them entirely new skills also allows all the Wolf Camp instructors to improve their teaching skills . . . → Read More: OJT at the Teaching Nature – Professional Training for Outdoor Educators

How to Pit Cook in the Outdoors

Unsurprisingly, many people have never even heard of pit cooking. Getting our food that close to dirt is enough to make anyone uncomfortable, and with the invention of indoor ovens, pit cooking has become widely ignored in our culture. Lately though, there has been a resurgence of similar outdoor cooking trends, including La Caja China BBQ Box | Cajun Pig Roasts.

While that’s a recent and great beach party innovation, another similar example is one of the few remaining traditions surviving the modernized world: the traditional luau Kahlua pig as shown in the video above. These traditional Hawaiian festivities . . . → Read More: How to Pit Cook in the Outdoors

Backcountry Camp Cooking Recipe – Rice Pilaf

Check out other cooking blog posts by Wolf College wilderness chef Charles Borrowman including How to Cook for Backpacking Trips and more.

Lead instructor and french culinary chef, Charlie Borrowman, demonstrates a marinade for campfire roasted veggie skewers.

When on a backcountry wilderness or backpacking expedition, it doesn’t take much more than the thought of yet another night of eating half soggy, half crunchy freeze-dried disaster to wrinkle one’s nose up in disgust. Thankfully, all it takes is a few lightweight and easy to pack ingredients to rescue you from eating $10 a pop astronaut cuisine or that MRE . . . → Read More: Backcountry Camp Cooking Recipe – Rice Pilaf

Hiking & Backpacking Leadership Part II – Trip Preparation plus Wilderness Emergency Response Protocol

Please click here to read critical introductory material in Hiking & Backpacking Leadership Part I – Outdoor Risk Management including how to Engage the Frontal Cortex, recognize the difference between Perceived & Actual Risk, and mitigating the Eight Great Outdoor Hazards. These articles are designed to help the outdoor leaders cut the chaff, and start guiding students and clients with a solid foundation of knowledge.

If you would like intensive, hands-on training to become a highly effective outdoor leader, join us in mid June for our annual OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP TRAINING EXPEDITION: Backpacking into Wolf Country course or stay all . . . → Read More: Hiking & Backpacking Leadership Part II – Trip Preparation plus Wilderness Emergency Response Protocol

Hiking & Backpacking Leadership Part I – Outdoor Risk Management

If you would like intensive, hands-on training to become a highly effective outdoor leader, join us in mid June for our annual OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP TRAINING EXPEDITION: Backpacking into Wolf Country course or stay all summer and graduate from one of our six unique residential summer Environmental Education Apprenticeships on Outdoor Leadership & Nature Guiding, on Ethnobotany & Herbalism, on Wildlife Conservation & Tracking, on Traditional Technology & Survival, or on Homesteading & Sustainability.

Habit of Engaging the Frontal Cortex

Calling all 20 something outdoor leaders! Don’t be like me. Realize that the neural insulation that connects our frontal lobes is . . . → Read More: Hiking & Backpacking Leadership Part I – Outdoor Risk Management

Sensory Awareness – If You Learn Nothing Else!

Child of Air – Artwork used with permission by Joanna Powell Colbert of GaianTarot.com

Do you get a vague feeling that you hike past a lot of wildlife without seeing it – the deer hiding in the thicket, the coyote silently watching your every move, or the minutes-old cougar tracks saying she heard you coming? Do you wish you could be as good as those wildlife photographers or famous naturalists who tell stories of countless wildlife encounters that seem unreal?

It is true that some people have a natural aptitude for putting themselves in situations that attract wonderful experiences, . . . → Read More: Sensory Awareness – If You Learn Nothing Else!

Tracking Animals for Fun, Photography and the Hunt

Explorer of Earth by Joanna Colbert and used with permission for the Wolf College

It All Comes Back To Tracking – The Most Critical Outdoor Skill

Explorer of Earth by Joanna Colbert of Wolf College instructor and used with permission.

If you can find it, you don’t have to make it. But what’s more, tracking is exciting as a mystery. You can discover the story of what happened in nature before you got there, so next time you’re on the trail, see if you can spot an animal track. Don’t try to identify it. At least not at first. Jumping to a conclusion about the identity of a track unwise, and it’s . . . → Read More: Tracking Animals for Fun, Photography and the Hunt

Identify Birds Quickly by Sight, Sound & Behavior using Bird Feeders, Field Guides & Apps

Bald Eagle photo by Kimberly M Chisholm. Bald eagles have a distinct companion call in flight when returning to the nest, among other vocalizations.

Wolf Camp lead instructor Patrick Wiley birding in Northern Virginia during Wolf College trip to Washington DC

This article is being published in honor of the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count. Check out its great video instructions and online submissions tool.

Identifying Birds by Sound & Behavior

If you’re not already excited by birds and bird voices, check out my previous article on bird language which will teach you when predators are lurking around, when birds are mating, when chicks have hatched, where the exact edges of their territories lie, and so much more.

Fortunately, recognition of bird . . . → Read More: Identify Birds Quickly by Sight, Sound & Behavior using Bird Feeders, Field Guides & Apps

Why Birds Sing & What Birds Say – Their Languages, Voices & Vocalizations

Listening to Cedar Waxwing Bird Song - Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert

Gaian Tarot artwork by Joanna Colbert with the author as model in willow tree with songbirds.

This article is being published in honor of the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count. Check out its great video instructions and online submissions tool.

Nature’s Internet

Of all animals, birds in particular are in constant communication with one another. We can take advantage of their vocalizations to find not only them, but also to find the animals they call out. This activity is not an exact science, since one kind of bird call can sometimes have multiple meanings, but it doesn’t matter. . . . → Read More: Why Birds Sing & What Birds Say – Their Languages, Voices & Vocalizations

CAMP IS KEY – Why Summer Camp Is Critical For Childhood Development

The American Camping Association slogan says “camp gives kids a world of good” and it’s so true. Good camps expose children to a safe, uplifting world of diversity, challenge, fun and success.

Nowadays, there are specialized camps for every interest. But no matter the camp, it should include experiences rarely encountered in traditional schools which have moved away from holistic learning. The arts, for instance, are less available due to budget limitations.

Group of day campers doing the edible seaweed challenge.

Camp should always be a holistic learning environment, where lessons of life, sports, technology, the arts and outdoor . . . → Read More: CAMP IS KEY – Why Summer Camp Is Critical For Childhood Development

Reviews of the Top 10 Professional Wildlife Tracking Books

It’s been a long time coming. The great Haitian-American naturalist John James Audubon hand-painted The Birds of America between 1927-1939 and with it, he set the standard for modern field guides. Now there are several excellent field guides to the birds, but it has only been recently that field guides to plants and other animals have risen to that level of user-friendly excellence. The following is a list of my Top 10 wildlife tracking book compilations, with must-have field guides in bold:

1948 Ellsworth Jaeger: Tracks and Trailcraft by Ellsworth Jaeger, first published in 1948, is the first . . . → Read More: Reviews of the Top 10 Professional Wildlife Tracking Books

The Best Way To Make A Fire: Bed, Pillow & Blanket plus Criss-Cross Construction

Guardian of the Fire by Joanna Powell Colbert

I almost made my own fire-making video, but then I saw this great video by Peter Kummerfeldt who does a superb job explaining the best way to make a fire at Outdoor Survival-Chapter 9-Fire. The only thing missing from his explanation is that fire needs shelter. In fact, fire has the following 4 requirements:

Fuel Air Shelter Ignition, which Peter describes as “heat” in his video. The second and third sections of my article below emphasize the need that fire has for shelter, something few people realize. First, watch Peter’s great fire-making video:

The Bed, Pillow & . . . → Read More: The Best Way To Make A Fire: Bed, Pillow & Blanket plus Criss-Cross Construction

Making Clam Chowder with French Herbs

French Onion Soup and Salad by Wilderness Chef Charlie Borrowman

Clam chowder is a New England specialty and perfect for a foggy day down by the shore. Being the prestigious dish that it is, it must be complicated, right? Not necessarily so. With a few tips and tricks, anyone can make a delicious chowder! First we’ll start by preparing the clams. Fresh cooked clams will give our chowder a classic feel that you just cant get out of a can.

New England Clam Chowder – Primary Ingredients

Wolf College co-coordinator Kim Chisholm on a successful Clam Dig

3 Lbs Fresh manilla or little-neck clams, cleaned and checked to make . . . → Read More: Making Clam Chowder with French Herbs

How to Cook Over a Campfire

It’s hard to think of anything that embodies the spirit of the great outdoors more than a good old-fashioned campfire under the stars. They provide us with warmth, light, and a great social atmosphere. There’s something deeply human about huddling around a raging fire with friends and family that brings us all closer together. Great food is one of the other few things in this world with the same power to rally us together and lift our spirits. Put them together and you have a guaranteed recipe for success. With a few basic tips, cooking over a . . . → Read More: How to Cook Over a Campfire

How to Cook for Backpacking Trips

Instructor-Charlie-Borrowman-backpacking-in-wolf-country.jpg

When most of us think of backpacking, we think of majestic mountains, lush forests, and birds singing over babbling streams, while the fresh smells of nature delight our senses. Not every image invoked is so pleasant, however. Many of us think of the lamentable prospect of hiking all day long, just to sit down to a freeze-dried package of what, we can only hope, was chicken at some point, served with bland white rice or beans. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be so! With a few simple tricks, we can turn the nightly “UGH!” into a resounding “Awwww yeah!” and . . . → Read More: How to Cook for Backpacking Trips

The Tenets of Herbal Medicine: Guidelines & Rules for Health, Safety & Success

I was hurriedly descending the lowest slopes of Mt. Baker, through a giant old-growth forest, trying to reach the road before nightfall. My ride was waiting there, and I could see my friend in her car, just below me through a break in the trees. The trail continued at a gradual angle 1/4 mile sideways before switching-back to the parking area.

I was young, so even though going off-trail would create erosion, my young mind thought that cutting downslope was an acceptable choice since someone was waiting for me. Wrong. In the dim light, I scrambled over fallen trees . . . → Read More: The Tenets of Herbal Medicine: Guidelines & Rules for Health, Safety & Success