Backcountry Leadership, Navigation, Risks & Conservation

June 23-28, 2019 Teen Overnight Camp Week

Join us for an adventure along the eastern slope of the North Cascade mountain range; an area where wolf packs have recently been discovered. We will begin our journey by crossing a swinging foot bridge spanning the Yakima River and continue into the sagebrush canyon where trip leader Chris Chisholm first got the idea to create Wolf Camp over 20 years ago. Check out this testimonial from a previous Backpacking Leadership Camp

Whether you are an avid backpacker or you just want an introduction to backcountry travel, this camp has something to offer. Beginners will learn how to pack for efficient travel; how to navigate using map, compass, GPS, and natural orienteering tools; how to work through challenges as a team; how to set up camp; how to cook over open fires and mini stoves; and how to stay safe in the wilderness.

For experienced backcountry travelers, this camp will be epic. We will be traveling from sagebrush canyonlands to wilderness pine forests. Along the way, you will learn how to track animals; use wild edible and medicinal plants for healthy travel; and travel with guides who know how to survive in the wilderness without modern gear.

Please note that we are not actively looking for wolves or wolf sign this week.  If you are interesting in focusing on wildlife tracking, please visit The Wildlife Safari – Tracking and Photography in Wolf Country.


Ages 14-17: For returning campers only with experience and who are in physical condition to carry a full expedition backpack over rough terrain.

Ages 18 and up: Please see the Outdoor Leadership Expedition running simultaneously.

Register below for this theme in its 17th year which is excellent for those who are already comfortable outdoors in nature and want a greater challenge, as well as for those who may not have wilderness experience but who want a leadership development challenge as well as in-depth knowledge of nature. If you prefer to start with a less rigorous camp, check out our weeks in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area the first week of July and again in August, or call us at 425-248-0253 to discuss your interests.

Goals and Skills Covered:

The goal of this camp session is to help you become adept at backcountry travel and learn the natural history of the area.

Skills covered during this camp session include, but are not limited to, the following list and are somewhat dependent on instructor preference and camper readiness:

Schedule and Activities:

Itinerary for this camp includes, but is not limited to and may change as necessary, the following:

Sunday: Travel into the Yakima Canyon near Ellensburg, WA where we will get oriented for our expedition; your group will find its first waypoint this evening and set up an efficient camp.

Monday: Pack camp and prepare for the day’s hike; navigate out of the canyon and travel cross-country to a waypoint on a high ridge. Your group will have the option of following that ridge toward the mountains, using stars to guide you at night, and/or complete your journey the next morning at a location that is one of the best known birding sites in Washington State.

Tuesday: Backpack into the pine forests of the North Cascades wilderness focusing on wild edible and medicinal plants.

Wednesday-Thursday: Decisions are largely turned over to the group during this time, so every year is different!

Friday: Backpack out; report findings to ranger station; and return to Ellensburg, North Bend, Seattle, and Puyallup for celebratory meals and stories.

Also, our schedule is somewhat dependent on weather, instructor discretion, camper desire, and serendipity.


Adult & Overnight Programs Director Patrick Wiley leads this course along with Lead Instructor & Herbalist Hannah Hynes-Petty. In addition, Kim & Chris Chisholm direct programs every week with our professionally-trained staff instructors who make up our hallmark 6-1 average student-instructor ratio so critical for high-level outdoor educational programs. Read our FAQ’s for more details and check out our overnight camp testimonials and dating all the way back to 1997.

Arrival, Departure, Directions & Transportation Options:

We offer arrival and departure options at Umtanum Creek Recreation Area Campground in Yakima Canyon, North Bend, Bellevue College, Puyallup Wolf Campus, Seattle Amtrak, and SeaTac Airport. Click here for transportation details.


2019 Overnight Youth Camps are $785 if you register by March 20th, or $790 by May 5th, $795 by June 10th, and $800 thereafter if space remains available. The cost includes everything from Sunday-Friday including organic camp t-shirt at your first camp, or survival knife, firesteel or field guide at subsequent camp weeks, depending on topic. The only additional expenses you may incur for our courses are for travel and specific gear, although we have extras in case you can’t acquire something. You will also need to show that you have health insurance, or check with us for recommendations on inexpensive temporary insurance if necessary. Also, please see above for optional transportation and weekend stayover choices.

Discounts: Standard cumulative discounts are $5 per additional week you attend this summer, $5 off per additional family member attending this summer, $5 off for successfully referring other families who register campers this summer, and $5 off every camp for all alumni returning from prior years.

Scholarships: This camp week involves a lot of expenses, so we can’t offer scholarships this week. Scholarships for overnight camps are available for Survival Side of the Mountain and Secrets of the Ancient Scout, so click those links to check availability and apply early in case spaces fill up. Please also note that our focus for scholarships is for residents of the Pacific Northwest states, and especially foster children, enrolled tribal members, and the underprivileged. If you need financial assistance or want to apply for a merit scholarship, click on Max Davis Scholarships and add answers to its 8 financial aid scholarship questions to your camp Microsoft Word or PDF registration form, or complete a merit scholarship project as described on that page.


Check/Mail/Email Registration Option: Download our Microsoft Word or PDF Registration Form to your computer, fill out one per participant for whom we do not yet have a registration form on file (so not needed for returning campers) and send or email back to us. We also have a Bilingual Chinese-English Registration Form PDF or Word Doc. You can also send a check deposit payable to Wolf Camp, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371 or fill out the registration form and pay deposits by calling with a credit card, or using paypal as described below.

Credit/Debit Card Registration Option: Just call us at 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. Just sign into and “send money” to our email address or use the PayPal links below – might not be visible if you are using “reader view” on your phone or other device: (we’ll get back to you with any additional information we may need)

Register securely via PayPal: (account is not necessary if using debit/credit card)
Participant Name & Age:
Your Cell Phone and Pick-up/Drop-off Point(s):

Or email us to be put on our our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it. You can also like our facebook page to keep in better touch, and once you’ve attended a program, please review us on our Better Business BureauYelpGoogle pages.

Refund Policy: Standard deposits ($100 for day programs, $200 for overnight programs) are not refundable unless we don’t accept your application. If you cancel in advance of the program start time 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 may be required 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 case of natural (weather, geologic, etc) disasters, government shutdowns, conflicts or curfews, or other unforeseen emergencies making it impossible 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. 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.

Camp Preparation: Agreements & Packing List

Agreements for Participation in Camp

Summer Camp Packing List – general (please note that there is a specific Backcountry packing list that we will email to you)

Homesickness Protocol & Prevention

Other FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions