Teaching Nature: Professional Training for Future Environmental Educators, Outdoor Leaders & Nature Guides

June 21-26, 2015 in Puyallup WA

Chris Chishom instructing group of program participants.

Chris Chisholm instructing group of program participants.

Risk Management, Preparing Lessons, and Teaching to All Ages in the Outdoors

Course Availability:

Open/Available with no prerequisite, although applicants will be screened to determine appropriateness for working with youth and adults, as there will be kids day camps and adult workshops running concurrently which will also serve as teaching labs for participants in this course. Youth may also participate in our Youth Nature Guides Training Camp running simultaneously.

Course Schedule and Activities:

Sunday, we’ll meet at 5:00-5:30 pm to set up at the Wolf Campus in Puyallup. We’ll do an orientation from 5:30 to 6:00 including a look over resources in the library and continue into our evening session where you’ll learn:
• The history of outdoor educational programs, environmental educational programs, indigenous teachers and anthropologists, herbalists of the Wise Woman tradition, founders of the permaculture movement, “primitive” skills specialists, and what it means to be a naturalist mentor as part of these similar, but sometimes competing, philosophies;
• The Balanced Circle Philosophy of personal health and lesson planning; balancing your life on a circle is an excellent tool to help you create healthy mind, body, emotion, and spirit, leading to more harmonious social relationships, both professionally and personally, and leading to more balanced lesson plans;
• How to Prepare Outdoor Lessons, including discussion on when didactic, kinesthetic, experiential, and “coyote” methods of teaching are appropriate.
• The ethics of outdoor education including “double relationships” and how to create healthy, professional relationships while in close, and sometimes uncomfortable, 24/7 outdoor settings.

Monday, we’ll begin the morning with a nature walk and exercises, followed by a wholesome breakfast – key to keeping any teacher healthy – before beginning our “sustainability” theme day.

9:00-10:00: Risk Management, including preventable accidents which have occurred in the outdoor educational field. During this hour you will learn to develop a risk management plan for the class you choose to teach later this summer.
10:00-12:00: Observe lead instructor Chris Chisholm as he runs a class on Wilderness Survival.
1:00-2:00: After getting lunches, we will review what you learned about teaching methods from observing morning classes. Then we’ll discuss how to teach students of every age group, including how to teach a multi-age class. This is key, and the crux of your learning today.
2:00-4:00:  Observe Wolf College coordinator, Kim Chisholm, as she runs a class on Backyard Chickens and Mealworm Farming.
4:00-5:00: Evaluate afternoon class, reviewing and constructively evaluating the afternoon class and assimilating the take-home messages of the experience, including whether the class was balanced between head, hands and heart depending on ages taught, and whether the teachers were prepared for risks that might have arisen.
6:00-8:00:  Observe volunteers co-teach a class on Emergency Preparedness & Survival. Student teachers who have previous experience with this subject will be our first volunteers for this live, experimental classroom, and we’ll videotape (optional) some of the class so that as we give feedback in the evening, student teachers can observe their own teaching style to asses what they might like to change in the future. Viewing the video will help you notice body language, lexicon, deadwood speech, etc. so you can become more effective in teaching the age groups you wish to focus on.
8:00-9:00 Wilderness Medicine and Emergency Response for outdoor educators, starting with the Wolf College emergency response procedure, and expanded into current standards standards set by the Wilderness Medicine Training Center.
9:00-10:00: Before separating for the night, you will be presented with a mock emergency scenario for which you will need to employ wilderness first aid skills.

Tuesday, we’ll start the morning with our healthy routine before beginning our “wild plants” theme day.
9:00-10:00 After breakfast, we’ll take a look at how your lesson preparations are coming along, helping you • balance them between head, heart and hands, • tailor your plan to the age group you will be teaching, and • apply risk management to ensure that all your students feel safe.
10:00-12:00 Observe our volunteers as they teach a class focusing on Culinary & Medicinal Herb Gardening. After getting our lunches, we will give feedback to our morning volunteers.
1:00-2:00 Evaluate the morning class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
2:00-4:00 Observe our next volunteers as they co-teach classes on Basketry, Rope Making & More.
4:00-5:00 Evaluate the afternoon class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
6:00-8:00:  Observe our next pair of volunteers as they teach Wild Foods & Medicines.
8:00-9:00 We’ll review and constructively evaluate the evening class, then practice another mock emergency scenario for which you will need to employ wilderness first aid skills.
9:00-10:00: Work with partners to prepare a balanced lesson plan for the class you will be teaching tomorrow, Thursday or Friday.

Wednesday, we’ll start the morning with our healthy routine before beginning our “urban wildlife” theme day.
9:00-10:00 After breakfast, we’ll focus on “positioning” your students for maximum group management, efficiency and teaching success.

10:00-12:00 Observe our volunteers as they co-teach a class about Reptiles & Amphibians, Insects & Spiders. After getting our lunches, we’ll give feedback to our morning volunteers, and then practice responding to a mock wilderness emergency before the next class.
1:00-2:00 Evaluate the morning class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
2:00-4:00  Observe our afternoon volunteers co-teach a class on Wildlife Tracking.
4:00-5:00
Evaluate the afternoon class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
6:00-8:00 Observe our next set of volunteers as they teach Backyard Birding.
8:00-9:00 We’ll review and constructively evaluate the evening class, then practice another mock emergency scenario for which you will need to employ wilderness first aid skills.
9:00-10:00 Work with partners to prepare a balanced lesson plan for the class you will be teaching tomorrow or Friday.

Thursday, we’ll start with our healthy routine and begin our “pioneering” theme day.
9:00-10:00 – After breakfast, you will receive instruction on how to tell stories, such a key skill for teaching outdoors.

10:00-12:00 – Our morning volunteers will teach a class on Pioneer Skills such as Felling a Tree & Banking a Stove.
1:00-2:00 Evaluate the morning class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
2:00-4:00 Our afternoon volunteers will teach a class on Parfleche & Hide Tanning. After lunch, we will review the morning and then relax.
4:00-5:00 Evaluate the afternoon class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
6:00-8:00 Head to a local stable for a fun class on Horseback Riding.
8:00-9:00 We’ll review and then practice another mock emergency scenario for which you will need to employ wilderness first aid skills.
9:00-10:00 Campfire Music & Stories

Friday, we’ll start with our healthy routine before beginning our FUNdamentals class theme day.
9:00-10:00 After breakfast, you will receive instruction on how to guide outdoor education leadership programs including more advanced experiences and rites of passage: survival treks, spirit solos, and sweats.

10:00-12:00 Observe our next volunteers as they co-teach a class on Navigation & Awareness. We’ll have lunch together and review our morning volunteers.
1:00-2:00 – Evaluate the morning class and continue preparing the class you choose to co-teach.
2:00-4:00 Observe our final group of volunteers as they teach a class on Orienteering & GeoCaching.
4:00-5:00 We’ll summarize the week’s learning, have dinner, and complete evaluations of the week.

Course Instructors:

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

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

Arrival Options on Sunday:

Complimentary Puyallup Arrival Option: Meet us at the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Sunday between 5:00-5:30 p.m. 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.
$20 Tacoma Amtrak/Bus Station: Arrive by 4:00 p.m. so that participants can travel with us to our course location.
$40 SeaTac Airport Arrival Option:
Book your arrival into Seattle-Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 3:00 p.m. Pick-up at baggage claim.

Weekend Departure Options:

Complimentary Friday Puyallup Departure Option: Family & Friends are invited to meet us for closing ceremonies at Clark’s Creek Park – South Shelter, 1700 12th Ave SW in Puyallup from 4:30-5:00 p.m.
$20 Friday Evening Tacoma Amtrak/Bus Departure Option: Get dropped off at the Tacoma Amtrak or Bus Station on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
$20 Friday Evening Puyallup Departure Option: Depart from the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Friday between 7:00-9:00 p.m. after dinner with us.
$95 Saturday Morning Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday and then depart on Sunday before 12:00 noon from the Wolf Campus in Puyallup.
$115 Saturday SeaTac Airport Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday in Puyallup, 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.
$125 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 SeaTac 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 1:00 p.m. in time for afternoon departures.
$195 Full Weekend Stayover Option:
Participants can stay the entire weekend and join us for 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:

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 Number(s) & Airport/Bus/Train Transportation Needs(s):

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

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