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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

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

Vintage Blog Posts from our Old WordPress Site

We just noticed that the ubiquitous internet still has our old WordPress Blog site published. The following posts are from the first year after Kim and I got married, then moved to Puyallup, and began teaching weekly homeschool, after-school, and evening classes on our various topics. The photos are great, the stories are fun, but the instructional information contained in the posts is a bit sparse because we didn’t yet realize that to become popular, blog posts are supposed to be highly informational, rather than a documentation of what happened in the past. That said, feel free to check out . . . → Read More: Vintage Blog Posts from our Old WordPress Site

Making Healthy Natural Miso Soup with Kombu Kelp Seaweed

Wolf Camp and the Wolf College founder, Chris Chisholm, collecting bullwhip kelp on Orcas Island after a storm blew it ashore.

Living near the Pacific coast, we have the luxury of being in close proximity to countless numbers of seaweed (edible algea) including kelp species, each with their own flavors and uses. One of my all-time favorite seaweeds to use is kelps such as kombu (laminaria spp.) in the creation of dashi stock – the flavorful base for miso soup. Miso soup is fast, easy, and can be made from any fresh or dried . . . → Read More: Making Healthy Natural Miso Soup with Kombu Kelp Seaweed

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

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

A Teacher’s Guide to Carbon & Climate Change

Truths & Myths • Facts & Common Sense • Practicalities & Fantasies

So many people argue about climate change: whether it is happening, what is causing it, what to do about it, and how to deal with it. Even professional advocates of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gasses sometimes only have a simplistic understanding of the greenhouse process, and that elementary-level understanding can undermine their own advocacy.

For instance, advocates often say “plant trees” to address climate change, and that works for those of us who were already environmentalists. But if advocates explained the amazing process by which all plants take greenhouse-producing . . . → Read More: A Teacher’s Guide to Carbon & Climate Change

Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes

Those of us living in the Pacific Northwest (and many other regions around the world) are fortunate to be gifted every spring with an abundance of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). While it’s sting can be unpleasant, it teaches us to pay attention to our surroundings and I believe that’s a good thing. It also offers food, medicine and fiber if one knows how to properly harvest it. Here at the Wolf College, we adhere as closely as we can to the following Honorable Harvesting Guidelines for every plant we collect:

Do you need it? Harvest with a purpose or plan . . . → Read More: Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes

Herbal and Critter Forage for Healthy Chickens

What are herbs and why might my chickens need them?

Organically raised chickens foraging on grass at Blue Skye Farm.

An herb or herbaceous plant is generally defined as “any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume.” Herbs can be used to prevent both internal and external parasites (via ingestion or externally when a chicken rubs against/brushes when walking by or sits upon them). Other benefits are brighter yolks, more nutritious eggs, more available vitamins and minerals for the birds in general, a calm flock and a lovely coop (among others things).

. . . → Read More: Herbal and Critter Forage for Healthy Chickens

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

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wisconsin Wolf?

Detail of Wolf Artwork in Justice by Joanna Colbert

Article written by Dr. Thomas P. Chisholm, Col., USA, Ret.

Identifying tracks of wild animals is easiest in new snow when the temperature is moderate on a sunny day. March is often the best month when the snow is deep and the weather is warmer. Tracking on skis is pleasant but snowshoes are best when the brush is thick under the trees and the balsams are dense. Both are good exercise, burn calories rapidly and the thrill of identifying a bobcat or a fox is an adventure.

Finding the large prints of an elusive wolf that end with at the . . . → Read More: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wisconsin Wolf?

First Monthly Outdoor Skills Newsletter publishes March 4th, 2013

Sign up for our First Tuesday of the Month Outdoor Skills Newsletter

The newsletter contains deals and information not available anywhere else! Examples include:

– Where to find current hot wildlife spots and more – Previews of program ideas and upcoming skills videos – Mini skills newsletter workshops from our workshop hand-outs – Special program discount offers for things like helping us design a newsletter cover:)

Homeschool Classes in Bellingham, Olympia and Vancouver Learn to Prepare for Emergencies Including How To Build an Emergency Shelter and Make Fire

In Bellingham on Tuesday, it was a cold, snowy day! After some quick introductions, a few exercises to help us stay warm and a fictitious emergency scenario in front of Village Books we walked over to Padden Creek Trail to continue class. Each family was given a packet of emergency preparedness and survival handouts to take home to read and discuss. Then we talked about several suggestions for preparing our homes and selves for the unexpected. In Olympia, we met on the Evergreen State College campus and spent most of the time in the woods near the library. . . . → Read More: Homeschool Classes in Bellingham, Olympia and Vancouver Learn to Prepare for Emergencies Including How To Build an Emergency Shelter and Make Fire

Ellensburg Homeschool Class Learns to Make Rope from Stinging Nettle, Cottonwood Bark and Other Plants

Today’s class met at Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park off Umtanum Rd. The trees along the river were brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. We began our afternoon together learning how to spin rope out of raffia. It takes some practice to get it right but before long all of the kids were making some nice cordage.

Spinning raffia into rope. Practicing the reverse wrap method of making cordage. Testing the strength of the rope after splicing in a new piece of raffia. Now that’s some strong rope!

We learned how to lengthen the rope by splicing in a new . . . → Read More: Ellensburg Homeschool Class Learns to Make Rope from Stinging Nettle, Cottonwood Bark and Other Plants

Epic Overnight Fishing Camp

FOR 200 PICTURES FROM THIS WEEK SEE OUR FACEBOOK ALBUM. THIS BLOG ENTRY IS WRITTEN BY FISHING CAMP INSTRUCTOR CHARLIE BORROWMAN.

Rising at 5:00 a.m. to fish in the lake. Caught a whopper of a crawdad! Doing the salmon stretch for our hands before casting. Next we tried fishing in the Snohomish River for Steelhead and Trout We caught one from the river, but not a keeper! Back at the SongCroft Farm Marilene Milking the Goat One of the many things we caught at the ocean pier was this awesome rod! We also caught two crab pots which came in . . . → Read More: Epic Overnight Fishing Camp

Survivors Side of the Mountain – Wilderness Survival Training & Trek

FOR 100 PICTURES FROM THIS WEEK SEE OUR FACEBOOK ALBUM. THIS POST BY RACHEL EDWARDS, SUMMER TEACHING APPRENTICE…

The first overnight camp of the summer was survival week. The kids came to either be a part of the introduction to survival or to go on the advanced survival trek out on your own away from base camp. To learn these skills is why I came to Wolf Camp, so I was excited to venture out for my first survival trek. I was a bit nervous because I knew nothing about the art of survival but would not be in . . . → Read More: Survivors Side of the Mountain – Wilderness Survival Training & Trek

McCollum Park Day Campers Learn Wilderness Survival, Wildlife Tracking, Wild Edibles and Herbal Medicine

THIS POST BY RACHEL EDWARDS, SUMMER TEACHING APPRENTICE WHO ASSISTED THE HERBAL DAY CAMP. FOR BLOG POSTINGS ON THE TRACKING & SURVIVAL DAY CAMPS, PLUS 150 PICTURES FROM THIS WEEK, SEE OUR NORTH SOUND MEETUP SEATTLE SITE.

Herbal Day Campers

This week I assisted Megan, the lead herbal instructor with the herbal day camp held in Everett, WA, north of Seattle. We had an awesome group of young girls to teach the ways of the herbalist. Being an herbalist myself made this a super fun camp to be a part of. I enjoyed Megan’s energy and it was nice to . . . → Read More: McCollum Park Day Campers Learn Wilderness Survival, Wildlife Tracking, Wild Edibles and Herbal Medicine

Wilderness Survival Classes co-sponsored by Portland Hikers, Seattle Backpackers & Kitsap Outdoors

We held our Wilderness Survival class at several locations this past month. The majority (if not all) of each class was spent outside which was an effective way to safely illustrate the importance of preparing oneself mentally for a survival situation. We started each evening by teaching everyone how to make strong rope out of raffia. Though one won’t find raffia growing in the Pacific Northwest (it’s from a palm tree!), it’s one of the easiest fibers to use when learning the reverse wrap process. Each class progressed differently based upon the location, timing and student’s interests but generally we . . . → Read More: Wilderness Survival Classes co-sponsored by Portland Hikers, Seattle Backpackers & Kitsap Outdoors

Survival Shelters at the Earth Lodge: Making a Lean-To, Debris Hut and Ultralight Shelter

January 21, 2012

It was an overcast, cool morning when we met up at the Earth Lodge. Rain was forecast for the afternoon and we were hopeful that our shelters would be complete before it began. Bibiana and her family decided they would like a lean-to built near their earth lodge – a place where family and guests could rest and warm up by the fire while working. We checked out several locations as a group, discussing the pros and cons of each spot, and finally settled on an area nestled nearby among the Douglas firs.

Building the . . . → Read More: Survival Shelters at the Earth Lodge: Making a Lean-To, Debris Hut and Ultralight Shelter

Wilderness Survival, Shelter and Fire-Making for Homeschoolers and After Schoolers in Snohomish

We had a sunny Wednesday in Snohomish for our classes on Wilderness Survival. We spent the first part of each class inside talking about the Critical Order of Survival then headed outside to practice what we learned.

 

Creating a mini debris hut for Skye’s stuffed dragon.

After heading outside, we spent a few minutes talking about what to do (and what not to do!) if you get lost in the woods. Skye did a couple of demonstrations (many thanks to our volunteers!) to show everyone how a search dog works when looking for lost people.

 

Chris taught . . . → Read More: Wilderness Survival, Shelter and Fire-Making for Homeschoolers and After Schoolers in Snohomish