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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Backcountry Leadership, Navigation, Risks & Conservation

June 18-23, 2017 Overnight Camp

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 our Backpacking Leadership Camp in 2014

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 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 13-17: Open/Available; no prerequisite, but recommendation form will be required. You must also be in physical condition to carry a full expedition backpack over rough terrain.

Ages 18 & Up: Please see the Outdoor Leadership Expedition running simultaneously.

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.

Wolf Camp Co-Owners Kim & Chris ChisholmInstructors:

Kim & Chris Chisholm are on site all week directing our professionally-trained staff instructors who make up our hallmark 6-1 average, 8-1 maximum 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!

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

Click for Arrival Details: 4:30-5:00 Sunday meet us at Umtanum Creek Recreation Area Campground in the Yakima Canyon which is 11.5 miles south of Interstate 90 on Canyon Road; or use our transportation – 2:00 in North Bend $30; or 1:30 Bellevue $40; or 1:00 Seattle Amtrak $50; or 1:00 Puyallup $50; or 12:30 SeaTac Airport $60.

Click for Weekend Departure Details: 2:00-3:00 PM Friday at Umtanum Campground; or use our transportation – Friday 4:30 in North Bend $30; or Friday 5:00 in Bellevue $40; or Friday 5:15 Seattle Amtrak $50; or Friday 6:00-9:00 in Puyallup $60; or Saturday Morning Puyallup $95; Saturday SeaTac Airport $135. Full Weekend Stayovers are $195, and Full Week Stayovers during weeks we only run day camps are $695 including both weekends for those who don’t want to go home between every-other-week overnight camps. To add transportation and stayover options, increase your registration deposit amount below by the amount listed above with a note of explanation.


$715 if you register by April 30th, or $725 before June 5th, or $735 thereafter if space remains available. To reserve your spot, make a $175 deposit and your balance will be due upon arrival. 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 health insurance, so check with us for recommendations on inexpensive temporary insurance if necessary. Also, please see above for optional transportation and weekend stayover choices.

DISCOUNTS: Take advantage of our 20th Anniversary Alumni Discount special price of $695 also available to new camp families at a second camp or adding a second family member this summer. Must register with a deposit by April 30th! Otherwise our 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.

Scholarships: This camp week involves a lot of expenses, so we can’t offer scholarships this week. Scholarships for overnight camps are available for Survivors 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.

Register Now for Summer 2017:

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

Check/Mail/Email Registration Option: Print out and complete our Microsoft Word or PDF 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.

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 with PayPal, Debit or Credit Card: (paypal account not necessary; make secure deposit now, with or without sign-in)
Participant Name & Age:
Phone Number & Pickup/Dropoff Point:

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 ($75 for day programs, $175 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 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)

Other FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions