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Course Catalog

Course Catalog

Wilderness Survival Side of the Mountain

July 8-13, 2018 Overnight Camp near Mt. Rainier south of Seattle

With inspiration from our favorite childhood book My Side of the Mountain, you’ll learn the arts of foraging, shelter building, water purifying, food preserving, fire carrying and more as we travel to one of the best and most beautiful places to live off the land. Master traditional ways to start fire by friction rendering matches and lighters unnecessary.  Find and build natural shelters in case of wilderness emergencies.  Eat the most critical wild edible plants for survival, and forage for grubs and other delectable insects which are a safe source of protein in survival situations.

We will use the gifts nature supplies us, including natural bug spray, soap and soft bough beds.  We will construct a waterproof lean-to, warm debris beds, safe fire pits, reflective heat walls, and buried hot beds.  You will have the option of building a group survival camp, or constructing your own.

Wilderness Survival has become synonymous with the over-dramatized survival programs on television. While some of these programs do provide valuable advice, most of them are filled with poor choices that, if followed, will get you injured or killed in a real emergency. Without proper training, separating the fact from fiction can be a difficult task. Our primary focus this week is to teach participants the practical skills that will save them in a true emergency.

While a number of Traditional Skills will be introduced, our goal this week is to provide participants with a pragmatic skill set. For instance, spending five hours building a lean-to when it gets dark in 20 minutes is not a practical choice.  Trying to build a bow-drill fire kit from scratch without a knife and without properly seasoned wood in the damp environment of the Pacific Northwest is rarely practical.

Although those types of skills will be demonstrated, we will challenge you to perfect the basics first – like carrying a small fire steel and a couple of cotton balls to make fire whenever needed.  Additionally, we will spend time practicing building good habits.  Always remembering to tell someone where we are going and when we will be back; always carrying most of our 10 essentials when we hike; and knowing how to act in an emergency.  We will return with a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, what it takes to survive in true emergencies.

Camp Availability:

Ages 9-13: Space is available with no prerequisite.
Ages 13-17: Space is available with no prerequisite.
Ages 18-28 may participate in the Wilderness Survival Training & Trek running simultaneously.

Camp Goals and Skills Covered:

This camp week is designed to provide participants with reliable and practical skills for emergency survival situations. Much of our time will be spent replicating “emergencies” deep in the woods. Due to this, it is not recommended for those who become easily homesick. Some of the skills we will focus on are:

Camp Schedule & Activities:

Sunday: Arrive; enjoy a warm meal cooked over a campfire; agreements and ice breakers; risk training; awareness skills; critical order of survival; bowdrill fire demonstration; campfire music and stories;

Monday: All things shelter; learn the five “W’s” of shelter building; learn to read the landscape to determine the best emergency shelter location; emergency shelter challenge; learn the 10 essentials and lost-proofing skills;

Tuesday: All things fire; learn fire construction methods/lighting techniques; practice fire steels with cotton balls; practice fire steels with natural tinder; learn where to look for dry fire construction materials in wet conditions; team fire challenge; learn how to bank goals;

Wednesday: All things water and food; learn how to use iodine; learn how to use water filters; learn where to look for water sources; learn how to dig a seep; practice boiling water in a metal water bottle; learn honorable harvesting techniques; learn the top five survival plants; sleep in the woods;

Thursday: Leave a plan and return time; hike to remote location; emergency survival challenge – Survive Trek to Side of the Mountain;

Friday: Survival Celebration.

Wolf Camp Co-Owners Kim & Chris ChisholmCamp Instructors:

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 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!

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

Click for Arrival Details: 5:00-5:30 PM Sunday meet at Sahara Creek DNR Horse Camp, 262nd Ave E., Ashford WA 98304 (just over 5 miles east past Elbe, and 2 miles before you get to the Ashford Valley Grocery gas station to the east) along Hwy 706 toward Mt. Rainier – Paradise in time for our camp orientation from 5:30-6:00, followed by tent set-up from 6:00-6:30 during which parents are welcome to depart. We’ll have food for those who didn’t eat dinner already and we also welcome you to bring healthy hors d’oeuvres or a pot-luck dish to share. Or use our transportation – 12:30 SeaTac Airport $95; 1:00 Tacoma Amtrak/Bus Station $65; or 1:30 Puyallup Wolf Campus $45.

Click for Weekend Departure Details: Arrive Friday between 3:00-4:00 with final departure by 5:00 if you want to pick your camper up directly from the Sahara Creek DNR Horse Camp. Normally for all other camps we have an end-of-camp presentation, but for survival weeks, campers have a relaxing day at the beach reviewing skills learned during their last night in the woods, so there is no closing ceremony. Note that traffic going south from Seattle on Friday afternoon doubles the normal travel time, so instead, leave the Seattle area by 1:00 at the very latest, or use our transportation to Puyallup Wolf Campus at pick up between 7-9 pm Friday for $45, or Tacoma Amtrak/Bus Station 6:00 Friday $65; or stay over and depart Saturday Morning Puyallup $95; Saturday SeaTac Airport $135. Full Weekend Stayovers are $200. To add transportation and stayover options, just increase your registration deposit amount below by the amount listed above with a note of explanation. Thanks!

BACK-TO-BACK SPECIAL! NEW CAMPERS: Register for three or four weeks in a row between June 24 – July 20 and weekend stayovers are free not including long-distance transportation. CAMP ALUMNI: Register for at least two weeks in a row between June 24 – July 20 and stay free on weekends not including long-distance transportation.

Tuition:

2018 Overnight Youth Camps are $735/week for returning campers and siblings who register by December 25th, otherwise open to all at $745/week if you make a deposit by February 10th, or $755 by March 20th, or $765 by April 30th, or $775 by June 5th, or $785 if space remains available thereafter. To reserve your spot, make a $200 deposit per camper/week 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: 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. BACK-TO-BACK SPECIAL – NEW CAMPERS: Register for three or four weeks in a row between June 24 – July 20 and weekend stayovers are free not including long-distance transportation. CAMP ALUMNI: Register for at least two weeks in a row between June 24 – July 20 and stay free on weekends not including long-distance transportation.

Scholarships: 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 registration form, or complete a merit scholarship project as described on that page.

Registration is now open for alumni, and opens January 1st for new campers:

Check/Mail/Email Registration Option: Print out and complete our Microsoft Word or PDF Registration Form for each new participant (not needed for returning campers) and send with a check deposit payable to Wolf Camp, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371. New campers can also email us a completed registration form and pay using your preferred method.

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. Use the link below (might not be visible if you are using “reader view” on your phone or other device) or sign into paypal.com and “send money” to our email address: (we’ll get back to you with any additional information we may need)


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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 and FAQ’s

Agreements for Participation in Camp

Summer Camp Packing List

Other FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that the pick-up location may move to the road entrance of our primitive camp location, just a mile past Sahara Creek at Faith Baptist Church, 28514 WA Hwy 706 during weeks when Sahara Creek has big weekend horse events.