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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Application for Full-Time Summer Residential Programs

Apply by June 5th for the Earth Skills Teaching Apprenticeship and the Blue Skye Farm Internship

Conservation College Poster 2016 B copyOur full-time summer residential programs require an extensive application process to ensure that this is the right choice for you, and that you are the right choice for us. Because our application page is so detailed, it serves as a good filter and guide for you to decide whether you are ready to apply, and it helps you prepare in advance of arrival so that everyone becomes successful in the program.

1. Discuss: Call program directors Kim & Chris Chisholm at 425-248-0253 or email with questions. This initial conversation with Chris & Kim is designed for both sides to assess whether you are a good fit for the program

2. Send: Before our next application deadline:

  • Make a $175 application deposit using the options shown at the bottom of this page. It’s non-refundable, but if your application is not accepted, we will hold your $175 as credit toward any program (workshops, camps/expeditions, part-time apprenticeships, future summer apprenticeship if the time isn’t quite right yet) through the following year.
  • Email a) Microsoft Word or PDF Registration Form, including expansive answers on the questionnaire, b) a simple resume with educational and work experience, and c) a bullet-point list of additional relevant experience or trainings you have received, even personal/familial onces, such as in wilderness first aid, cpr, lifeguarding, permaculture, risk management, navigation, climbing, survival, hygiene, college courses in biology-ecology-geology-astronomy-sociology, camp counseling, drivers ed, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, babysitting, healing, coaching, leadership, conflict resolution, diversity, martial arts, music, art, film, stage drama, dance, poetry, and personal dirt time growing up around nature, wilderness, beaches, farms, gardens, carpentry, landscaping, animals, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and backpacking, for example.

3. Confirm: Chris & Kim will make an assessment of your previous experience and respond within a few days with a decision plus final price quote on your tuition, which will depend on your experience.  See below for cost estimator, but including room and board and all materials except personal gear, your total including deposit will be come in less than $1,950 for farm interns, or less than $2,950 for earth skills apprentices, mostly based on expected attendance at courses throughout the summer. To confirm your acceptance into the program, you will need to make an additional deposit and deliver the following information to us:

  • Additional deposit of $500 to hold your spot. Again, payments are not refundable, but unused deposits may be applied to future courses.
  • One letter of recommendation, and contact information for 2 other references.
  • Photocopy of your current driver’s license, or state identification.
  • Photocopies of all past relevant degrees and certifications you have received, including proof that you have registered for, or recently completed, at least 20 hours of Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguarding or Risk Management Training.

4. Finalize: You will have until June 5th to pay your full balance and deliver the materials listed below that are necessary for your personnel file:

  • Balance due.
  • 3 year or longer driving record if over 21 years of age and will have had your license for 3 years or more.
  • Your most recent educational transcripts. Unofficial copies are fine.  If you do not have a high school diploma, then you will need to schedule a date for taking the GED exam.
  • Any extra materials requested to supplement your personnel file (adding to items above, plus email correspondence) which may include need for updated bio/resume with descriptions of any/all additional training, skills and experience you want to add, such as the bullet points listed below.
  • Any additional information we may need to run a federal and state background check for you.

5. Prepare: To achieve the greatest success in the program, review our course descriptions and study our extensive blog articles and video as much as you can, plus other research we may recommend. The more experience or training you can gain in advance of arriving, the greater success you will have with this program, including:

  • Time Outdoors (camping/hiking/backpacking, and playing night and day in the woods, deserts, mountains, prairies, beaches and waterways around your home; cultivating fruits and vegetables, fishing or caring for animals both domestic and wild)
  • Improving your community living / shared housemate situations through practicing communication skills and organizing events, for example, or gaining sensitivity and respect for others’ pet peeves; keeping kitchens and bathrooms clean for others, etc.
  • Excellent personal hygiene: physical, emotional, mental, social, etc. and acceptance of diversity in politics, religion, culture – even ones you think are small-minded but may be based on someone’s genuine experience;
  • Tool safety and efficiency; practice with wilderness survival, traditional craftwork, wild edible foods, herbal studies, etc. Self-discipline to record and express experiences in writing, journaling, storytelling, blogging, etc.
  • Teaching/counseling/mentoring/volunteer experience (especially understanding the needs of various ages)

Don’t add anything that overwhelms you with stress or takes away from your real-time priorities. Remember that you don’t have to have much previous experience with these things as long as you are intent on learning them throughout the summer with us. While you are here, you will quickly bulk up your personnel file by journaling the nature awareness and survival skills you practice, and you may even start to remember or realize how important the little things are, such as times during childhood when you had what seemed like small experiences with plants, animals, minerals, and outdoor phenomena. Perhaps herbs had effect on your own healing, or you learned big lessons from getting lost in the woods, or maybe an animal encounter as a child or adult had an impression on you.

Summer Earth Skills Apprenticeship Cost Estimator:

  • $175 Non Refundable Application Fee.
  • $75 approximate fee per spring workshop you attend in advance of summer.
  • $175-675 per overnight camp/expedition week you attend as a participant, depending on previous experience.
  • $175-275 per week at day/family camps/classes where you attend as training before starting to take on teaching responsibilities.
  • Optional September Extensions: $275 per Ethnobotany, Ethnoecology, Cybertracker Trailing or Track & Sign Evaluation; Work-trade attendance at the 20th Anniversary Wolf Gathering; Work-trade participation in the Wilderness Spiritual Journey; Complimentary room and board through September when housesitting at Blue Skye Farm.
  • Optional Reimbursements for farm produce sales at 50%, for teaching day camps at about $400-$800 per week depending on experience, teaching overnight camps at $600-$1000 per week depending on experience, and other work at about $15 per hour if needed/wanted beyond room and board.

When you are ready to apply, make a non-refundable deposit by calling us with a credit card at 425-248-0253 or via PayPal: (account not necessary for debit and credit cards; we’ll call or email you with follow-up info asap)
Participant Name & Age:
Cell Phone Number & Anticipated Start Date:

Notes from Chris & Kim: We’re looking forward to receiving your application, but feel free to call or email us so we can clarify any questions you have. There is so very much to gain and to give in this program, so we’re looking forward to sharing it with you. Finally, as you decide whether to proceed with  your application, be sure to read our Supplemental Apprenticeship/Internship FAQs which answer real-life questions from previous applicants.


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