Trail of the Herbalist – Wild Ethnobotany and the Herbal Foray

July 5-10, 2015 Expedition near Mt. Rainier south of Seattle WA with trips to glaciated alpine meadows, sagebrush canyonlands, super low tide seashores and more…

Book Cover Artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert

Enrollment: Open/Available for adults while a youth camp version also runs simultaneously.

Discover the secret world of plants and their powers to heal and nourish the body, inside and out.  Become a wild chef this weeks as you wander through fields, forests and seashores in search of wild foods, as we dine on edible roots and shoots, drinks and desserts. Harvest kelp and other seaweed from the shore, and work with your hands to weave place mats and gathering baskets, plus make bowls and spoons from native trees. Travel to Paradise on Mt. Rainier to experience rare plants of the glaciated alpine meadows, and continue to the east side of the Cascade Mountains where diverse pine forests and sagebrush canyonlands bring you untold numbers of wild edible and medicinal plants. Make herbal tinctures, oils, salves, glycerites, and infusions, plus poultices as part of herbal first aid training, then enjoy an herbal spa, complete with clay masks, facial steams, and more.

Course Goals & Skills Covered:

The goal of this expedition is to provide participants with hands-on learning about Wild Edible Foods & Herbal Medicine. Skills covered include:

• Harvest, process and store the Top 10 Edible Plants.
• Understand the meaning of plant characteristics (astringents, etc.)
• Ability to harvest, process and administer the most important medicinal herbs of the northwest.
• Ability to honorably harvest and process plants (decoctions, oils, tinctures, etc.)
• Ability to make fire, cook over an open fire, and to “rock boil.”
• Make rope from stinging nettle, cedar bark, roots and branches.
• Harvest and cook with cattails, hazelnuts, and more.
• Make a medicine pouch to fill with your personal herbs.
• Dry and store herbs to take home, make herbal chocolates, and more.
• Keep in Shape with Daily Workouts.
• Purify water naturally for cleansing wounds and making teas.
• Using a map and compass so as not to get lost when wildcrafting.
• Practice wilderness medicine emergency response scenarios.
• Make and maintain fire in any weather, and witness traditional fire by friction.
• Learn Easy Plant Drawing and complete Journal Entries on your healing plants, and on corresponding poisonous plants.

Goals for those who have studied herbalism in the past include bringing you to the next level as an herbalist, from merely working with the herbs on a physical level, to also understanding the mental, emotional, physical and social needs of your patients so that they may fully heal.

Scott Fanello during his Herbal Expedition

Scott during the Herbal Expedition

Course Itinerary:

Sunday 5-6 Camp Setup; 7-9 Intensive Course Intro; 9-10 Campfire Snack, Stories & Questions;
Monday 7-8 Yoga & Calesthenics; 8-9 Breakfast & Cleanup; 9-12 Morning Edible Plant Harvesting Walk; 12-1 Lunch; 1-2 Edible Plant Processing; 2-4 Herbal Medicine Plant Harvesting Walk; 4-5 Herbal Medicine Processing; 5-6 Dinner; 6-7 River Field Trip & Cedar Rope Making; 7-9 Utilitarian Plant Harvest for Fibers, Fire & Wooden Tools; 9-10 Campfire Burn Bowls & Spoons;
Tuesday 7-8 Yoga & Calesthenics; 8-9 Breakfast & Cleanup; 9-12 Morning Plant Family Intensive; 12-1 Lunch; 1-2 Peaceful Place Plant Journaling; 2-5 Berry Baskets & Bark Bailers; 5-6 Dinner; 6-9 Wild Edible Foods Cooking Intensive with Charlie Borrowman; 9-10 Campfire Flute & Drum Making;
Wednesday 7-8 Yoga & Calesthenics; 8-9 Breakfast & Drive to Paradise on Mt. Rainier; 9-12 Alpine Meadow Wildflower ID Hike; 12-2 Lunch & Drive to Eastside Pineforests & Sagebrush Canyonlands; 2-5 Sagebrush Steppe & Pine Forest Plant ID Hike; 5-7 Wild Edible Cooking & Dinner; 7-10 Drive Back to Sahara Creek with Star Gazing Stop;
Thursday 7-8 Yoga & Calesthenics; 8-9 Breakfast & Cleanup; 9-12 Herbal Medicine Making; 12-2 Lunch, River Swim & Peaceful Place Journaling; 2-5 Herbal Health Spa; 5-6 Dinner; 6-9 Projects Completion; 9-10 Campfire Music & Stories;
Friday 7-8 Camp Pack-Up; 8-9 Breakfast & Cleanup; 9-10 Drive to Herbal Store; 10-11 Radiance Herbs; 11-12 Seaweeds, Shellfish & Shorelife Walk at Super Low Tide; 12-2 Seaweeds & Shellfish Harvest; 2-3 Seaweeds & Clam Chowder Beach Cooking Extravaganza; 3-4 Celebratory Wild Edible Meal; 4-5 Intensive Botany Review

Course Instructors:

Wolf Camp Co-Owners Kim & Chris Chisholm Kim Chisholm will be lead instructor with staff assistants.

Pick-up, Drop-off and Airport/Bus/Train Transportation:

Arrival Options on Sunday:

Complimentary Arrival Option: Meet us at Sahara Creek Horse Camp, 262nd Ave E., Ashford WA 98304 on Sunday between 5:00-5:30 p.m. and help us set up camp from 5:30-6:00. We will start at 6:00 sharp with an introduction to the week, followed by final camp set-up and orientation from 6:30-7:00, at which point we recommend family/friends depart. Participants should eat a full, healthy dinner before arriving, unless traveling by airplane or train, in which case dinner is included in your pick-up fee. Participants arriving directly at our campground location are also encouraged to bring hors d’oeuvres or a pot-luck dish to share with others during camp set-up time.
$60 SeaTac Arrival Option: Book your Airport/Bus/Train Arrival into Seattle-Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 2:00 p.m., but be sure to call or email us with arrival times before confirming your plans. Pick-up at baggage claim unless unaccompanied minor, then at unaccompanied minor waiting area.
$35 Tacoma Bus/Trail Arrival Option:
Book your Bus/Train Arrival into Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 3:00 p.m.
$35 Puyallup Arrival Option:
Meet us at the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Sunday between 2:30-3:00 p.m. so that participants can travel with us to our camp location.

Weekend Departure Options:

Complimentary Friday Departure Option: Family & Friends are invited to meet us at Burfoot County Park, 6927 Boston Harbor Rd NE, Olympia WA 98506 on Friday between 3-4 p.m. for our closing ceremonies which really helps participants integrate this unique experience back into their home lives. Final departure will be from 4-5 p.m.
$20 Friday Olympia/Lacey Bus/Train Departure Options: Get dropped off at the Olympia Bus Station or Lacey Amtrak Station by 6:00 p.m.
$35 Friday Tacoma Bus/Train Departure Options: Get dropped off at the Tacoma Bus or Amtrak Train Station by 6:30 p.m.
$45 Friday Evening Puyallup Departure Options: Depart from the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Friday between 7:00-9:00 p.m. after participants travel back home with us.
$95 Saturday Morning Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday and depart before 12:00 noon on Saturday in Puyallup.
$125 Saturday Afternoon Bus/TrainAirport Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday, and then get dropped off at the Airport, Bus or Train Stations in Seattle or Tacoma on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in time for afternoon flights. Drop-off at ticket counter unless unaccompanied minor, then at gate.
$140 Saturday Evening Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday night and depart Saturday evening after dinner in Puyallup.
$165 Sunday Morning Puyallup Departure Option:
Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday & Saturday nights and then depart on Sunday before 12:00 noon in Puyallup.
$180 Sunday Afternoon Bus/Train/Airport Departure Option:
Participants can stay Friday & Saturday nights with us, and then get dropped off at the Airport, Bus or Train Stations in Seattle or Tacoma on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in time for afternoon departures. Drop-off at ticket counter unless unaccompanied minor, then at gate.
$195 Full Weekend Stayover Option: Participants can stay the entire weekend and join us next week!

To add transportation and weekend stayover options, just increase your registration deposit amount below by the amount listed above with a note of explanation. Thanks!


Tuition for Summer Expeditions is $595 if you complete registration at least one week prior to the start date, or $600 thereafter if space remains available. To reserve your spot and lock in the earliest registration discount, make a $175 minimum deposit and your balance will be due upon arrival.

You can also receive cumulative discounts of $10 per additional friend/family member attending together, $10 per additional expedition you attend, and $10 for successfully referring others to attend. The only additional expenses you may incur for this course are that you will need specific camping gear, although we have plenty of extra just in case. You will also need health insurance, but check with us for recommendations on inexpensive temporary insurance if necessary. Also, please see above for optional pickup/dropoff and weekend stayover choices.

Registration Options:

Check/Mail/Email Registration Option: Print out and complete our Microsoft Word Registration Form for each participant and send with a check deposit payable to the Wolf College, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371. You can also email us a completed registration form and pay using your preferred method.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 253-604-4681 or 425-248-0253 and we will take your registration securely over the phone.

Or Use PayPal to register online securely with a credit/debit card or via direct withdrawal from your bank account. Click to Choose Your Deposit Options:
Participant Name(s) & Age(s):
Phone(s) & Pick-up/Drop-off:

Our refund policy is that deposits are not refundable unless your registration is not accepted. If you cancel after making additional payment, you may receive a credit for a future program, minus a 25% administration fee of total payments made, in case of emergency. You will receive a full refund if your program is canceled and not rescheduled at a time that you can attend. No refund (and not necessarily any credit) is given if a participant is inappropriate at the program and asked to leave.

Course Preparation: Agreements & Packing List

Click here for our Expedition Agreements

Click here for our Summer Expeditions Packing List

Not ready to register yet?

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