Wolf Camp & School of Natural Science has offered classes and workshops for 25 years. Workshop instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm are currently taking a break from academic year programs but you can join us in the summer for the following programs.
In-person workshops run 9:30-3:30 and cost $95 for the first family member, $90 per additional family member, with scholarships available.
Wed, July 6, 2022: Wilderness Safety, Navigation & Survival Skills including the risk management, emergency first aid, navigation challenges, wildlife encounters, and practicing the order of survival. This workshop will be reprised again on Saturday, April 15, 2023 as Wildlife Safety & Awareness, Bird Voices, Animal Tracks & Trails.
Thu, July 7, 2022: Old School Fire & Shelter including bow drills, bivouac beds and willow wikiups. Carve a friction fire kit, build a personal “bivi bed” or “eagle’s nest” shelter, harvest and lash a group shelter frame with willow shoots and bark, then thatch with tall grasses, tules and cattails. This workshop will be reprised again on Saturday, April 29, 2023 as Wilderness Survival & Traditional Fire Training.
Fri, July 8, 2022: Wild Foods Foraging & Herbal Medicine Making including hands-on harvesting and cooking of wild edible plants around Blue Skye Farm, plus making herbal salves and tinctures. Prerequisite: Previous workshop or related program with us. This workshop will also return on Saturday, May 13, 2023 with no prerequisite.
These hikes are run by the Conservation College on urban and accessible trails. On-site donations of $5-$20 are requested to support the Conservation Luminary program. RSVP via the Northwest Nature Hikes meetup page as events are listed. Tentative hikes include:
- April 22, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Earth Day at Wildwood Park, Puyallup WA (Friday 6 PM)
- May 14, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Foothills Trail Plants & Birds, Puyallup WA (Saturday 3 PM)
- June 4, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Tacoma Waterfront & Les Davis Pier Fishing (Saturday 3 PM)
- July 2, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Point Defiance Rose Garden & Fishing Pier (Saturday 3 PM)
- Aug 5, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – East Lake Sammamish Trail (Friday 6 PM)
- Sept 3, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Labor Day Weekend at Mt Rainier (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Oct 8, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Clark’s Creek Salmon, Herons & Riparian Plants (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Nov 12, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Veterans Park & Puyallup Riverwalk Trail (Saturday 3 PM)
- Dec 16, 2022 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Puyallup Holiday Lights & Old Trolley Route (Friday 6 PM)
- Jan 14, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Puyallup MLK Weekend Downtown & Fairgrounds (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Feb 18, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – President’s Weekend Pierce College & Bradley Lake (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Mar 17, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Tacoma St Patrick’s Day at Swan Creek Park (Saturday 12 Noon)
- Apr 22, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Earth Day Birding at the UW Montlake Fill, Seattle WA
- May 20, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Mercer Slough Plants & Birds, Bellevue WA
- June 10, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Olympia WA
- July 2, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Mount St. Helens Johnston Observatory Trail
- Aug 5, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Lake Sammamish State Park
- Sept 2, 2023 Accessible Northwest Natural History Hike – Labor Day Weekend at Mt Rainier
The following adult and family classes cost $35 for one person, $30 per additional friend/family member. Register as they are listed on our Outdoor Education in King County meetup site.
June 26, 2023 Monday Morning from 9:30-12:00 Natural Navigation, Wildlife Safety & Awareness – This class will be a fun and informative way to learn how to exponentially increase your senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing to get your bearings in the wilderness. We will introduce you to 15 ways to navigate in the wilderness, and practice what to do in case of encounters with bears, wolves and mountain lions.
June 26, 2023 Monday Afternoon from 1:30-4:00 Lostproofing, Map & Compass – This class can be taken as a stand-alone class, but it will also build upon the morning class, continuing with 15 more ways to navigate including our special Wolf Camp 4 Step Methods of using map and compass.
June 27, 2023 Tuesday Morning from 9:30-12:00 Birds and Their Voices – In this class, you will also learn how to identify birds quickly and how birds communicate, both with one another as well as with other animals and humans. In so doing, you’ll know where those big animals are moving through the forest. Register on our Meetup Site.
June 27, 2023 Tuesday Afternoon from 1:30-4:00 Tracking & Trailing Wild Animals – We will start class with an overview of wildlife tracking to help you recognize tracks and other signs of animals, including track characteristics of mammal families present in our bioregion. Your instructors will arrange a “tracking scenario” consisting of track “cut-outs” to solidify your understanding of track identification, plus educated interpretation of what animals are doing based on their tracks. We will also choose some volunteers to demonstrate “animal forms” which are the way animals move, as this is critical to really understand how tracks get laid on the ground. Finally, we’ll embark on a real-life tracking expedition into the depths of the park, trailing what we find. Register on our Meetup Site.
June 28, Wednesday Morning from 9:30-12:00 Wilderness Survival including Best Emergency Shelter – The world can be a dangerous place sometimes; one never knows when they may end up in a survival situation. This class seeks to give you a run down on all the skills needed for any short term survival event, whether that is a day hike gone wrong, a disaster emergency or a fun two hour class for the whole family. Register on our Meetup Site.
June 28, Wednesday Afternoon from 1:30-4:00 Old School Fire Making including the Bow Drill & Fire Steel – We will walk you through the best way to make a fire and view a variety of materials to see how they burn as tinder. We will start the bow drill portion of the workshop by reflecting the symbolism of the parts of the bow drill kit, and you will realize why this method of fire-by-friction was preferred (and superior even to matches) for lighting fires in cold and wet climates. It should only take 10 seconds to create a coal if your kit is well constructed. Register on our Meetup Site.
June 29, Thursday Morning from 9:30-12:00 Wild Edible Food Plants & Critters – We’ll start this class by practicing honorable harvesting methods and plant stewardship as we select the plant parts we need and carefully collect and store them for later use. You’ll learn when and where to look for the Top 10 Edible Plants of our region, and how to identify and prepare them. We’ll also spend some time examining poisonous look-a-likes and we’ll discuss safety in the forest. Finally, we’ll go on a foray for wild edible insects! Register on our Meetup Site.
June 29, Thursday Afternoon from 1:30-:400 Wild Plants for Medicine & Craft – In this class you will be introduced to the myriad wild medicinal plants in Clark’s Creek Park, plus go deeper into neighboring state land to harvest a variety of materials that can be used for basketry and rope making. You will learn techniques for creating strong natural cordage, learn about gardening herbs and turning them into medicine. Join us in an herbalist’s paradise where we hope this will be just about the best intensive learning experience you can find on utilitarian plants anywhere. Register on our Meetup Site.
June 30, 2023 Friday Morning from 9:30-12:00 Intro to the Artisan: Honorable Harvesting, Knife Training & Making At-Latls.
June 30, 2023 Friday Afternoon 1:30-4:00 Practice of the Artisan: Shooting At-Latls, Working with Hides & Celebrating Camp.
Or email us to be put on our our list for the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it. Have you ever attended one of our programs before? Please review us on our Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Yelp &Google pages.
Previously Recorded Classes: Ethnobotany Series & Survival Series
Purchase a series of online classes to practice skills over the winter:
- Class 1 – The Art & Science of Herbal Medicine, Wildcrafting & Wild Food Nutrition (content example)
- Class 2 – Summer Medicine Cabinet Staples: Mint, Chamomile, Lavender, Plantain & More (content example)
- Class 3 – Winter Medicine Cabinet Staples: Yarrow, Arnica, Rose Hips, Pine Needles, Marshmallow, Elder & More (content example)
- Class 4 – Stinging Nettles for Medicine, Rope & Fiber Crafts (content example)
- Class 5 – Cattails & Sedges for Cordage, Coasters, Weaving & More (content example)
- Class 6 – Grasses & Rushes for Insulative Sitting Mats, Thatching Roofs & More (content example)
- Class 7 – Willows for Medicine, Basketry, Lashing & Shelter (content example)
- Class 8 – Oak Tree Craft Projects & Processing Acorn Flour (content example)
- Class 9 – Top Trees & Shrubs for Digging Sticks, Drums, At-Latls, Bows & Arrows (content example)
- Class 10 – Making Alcohol Tinctures (Yarrow Example), Rose Honey & Glycerites (Fennel Example) as well as the best plants/trees for fire by friction and fire maintenance
- Class 1 – The Order of Survival & Four Minutes to establish Personal Awareness, Communication & Teamwork (content example)
- Class 2 – Local Knowledge & Four Hours to Make Shelter (content example)
- Class 3 – Fire Decisions & Four Days to Pure Water (content example)
- Class 4 – Wild Medicine & Four Weeks to Secure Food (content example)
- Class 5 – Wilderness First Aid, Knife & Tool Training (content example)
- Cass 6 – Fire Steel, Tinder, Criss-Cross Fire Making & Burn Bowls (content example)
- Class 7 – Fire By Friction: Bow Drill, Hand Drill, Flint & Steel (content example)
- Class 8 – Rabbitsticks & Bow Making Primer (content example)
- Class 9 – Arrows & At-Latl Dart Primer (content example)
- Class 10 – Special Final Classes on Wilderness Survival & Bushcraft Training, including how to make string, rope and cordage from plants like raffia, cedar and stinging nettle; and a special guest speaker Seth Kantner live from above the arctic circle. Seth is an acclaimed photographer and author of books including Ordinary Wolves, Swallowed by the Great Land, Shopping for Porcupine, Pup and Pokey. Due to the miracle of modern technology, this will be a rare opportunity for us to hear about surviving and thriving in the wilds of Northwest Alaska.
Coming in 2024: Neighborhood Naturalist Classes
Wednesday Classes launching the online edition of Wolf Journey Book One – The Neighborhood Naturalist will begin in 2024. The classes are excellent for adults wanting to immerse themselves in nature, as well as for micro-school learning pods and home school students wanting a comprehensive nature curriculum.
2024 Neighborhood Naturalist Classes will run on Wednesdays from March 17 – May 19 and return in the fall from Sept 15 – Nov 17. Class times will include 1 PM Pacific / 4 PM Eastern, and 5 PM Pacific / 8 PM Eastern, and last one hour each, with plenty of time afterwards to ask instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm questions.
Registration includes passwords to Neighborhood Naturalist chapters as they are rolled out over the academic year, plus access to our private community site for participants actively working through Neighborhood Naturalist study experiences. It’s where we post supplemental resources and class recordings in case you miss them live, but it also provides a sense of community and crowd-sourcing help as you complete each study experience.
The spring season of ten classes costs $295, and you can add additional household members for just $100 each. Springtime participants can also add 10 fall classes for just $100 extra, plus $50 per additional household member who participated in the spring Click here for Neighborhood Naturalist class topics, schedule and registration information.
If you can’t join the live class series, you can gain access to the Neighborhood Naturalist curriculum and its community group site (with resources and class recordings) for $100. See paypal registration options below.
FAQ: Can we use the Wolf Journey – Neighborhood Naturalist curriculum on our own, even if we are not participating in classes? Yes. In that case, the cost for the curriculum is $100, whether or not you are participating in Tuesday or Thursday classes, and includes membership in our Saturday student group site where resources (and class recordings) are posted, and where you can get feedback from Kim & Chris Chisholm as well as other students working through the curriculum. The curriculum without student group membership will become available next summer for $25 plus tax, after it is rolled out during this academic year.
Virtual Class FAQs
What online format do we use? Zoom in 2021. Google Meet in 2020.Were classes live and interactive? Yes. Instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm engage participants throughout.
Do you sell the recordings afterwards? Yes, we might have them available for purchase later at a reduced price, so we will ask all participants to sign a release granting permission.
What ages can participate? All ages may participate, although online classes are not recommended for ages 8 and under unless an adult is helping. We leave it up to parents to decide if children are old enough to participate, as well as whether to participate alongside them online and outside with recommended activities.
Can we get a refund if we cancel? Our refund policy below only offers credit for future programs if you cancel, such as if the recorded online format doesn’t appeal to you and you prefer attending future programs in-person. Our official refund policy states that deposits ($100 for day programs, $200 for overnight programs) are not refundable unless we don’t accept your application. If you cancel for any reason, you may receive a full credit good through the following calendar year on appropriate and available programs listed on our schedule, although an additional deposit is needed to secure your spot in the future program. If a program you sign up for is canceled and not rescheduled at a time you can attend, you may receive a full refund except in cases of natural (weather, geologic, wildfire, etc) disasters, epidemics, grid failures, government shutdowns, conflicts or curfews, or other unforeseen emergencies making it unsafe for staff and/or attendees to reach or use program locations, in which case all payments made will be held by us without expiration date for your future use in appropriate/available programs of your choice. Reasons include the expenditure of funds (property rentals, advertising, materials, admin staff time, etc.) long before programs take place, i.e. deposits make it feasible for Wolf Camp to schedule programs in the first place, but our mutually understood agreement is that Wolf Camp will run the program at the safest available time in the future. Finally, no refund, nor credit, is given if a participant is asked to leave a program for inappropriateness as determined by our kids, youth and adult agreements for participation.