Specialize! Choose the Ethnobotany Group or Wildlife Group. Prerequisite: One camp week with us in previous year plus additional screening application.
If you haven’t attended Wolf Camp before, please consider our day camps this year and see our 2023 Overnight Camps Schedule when we hope to return to normal programming without prerequisite for ages 9-17.
This is our original overnight camp started in 1998 with inspiration from our favorite childhood book My Side of the Mountain. Whether you choose the “ethnobotany group” or the “wildlife group,” all participants will begin the week together at our privately rented outdoor camp near Ashford, WA to focus on survival skills, then by mid-week, hike two miles to a more wilderness location and set up separate Ethnobotany & Wildlife camps.
While a number of specialized skills will be introduced to each group, our goal this week is to provide all participants with a full set of pragmatic skills. We will challenge participants to perfect the basics – like finding springs and purifying water, camp stove cooking (everyone learns to use their own stove and to prepare, pack and cook their own meals for the week), building real practical survival shelters, and mastering the fire steel with natural tinder, no matter the weather or season.
We’ll spend time practicing building good habits – something that’s key to survival, and a missing part of many other survival training programs. We always carry our 10 essentials when we hike, and we train participants to progressively live with fewer and fewer of them by removing one per day. At the end of every survival trek, we return with a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, what it takes to survive in true emergencies.
Go deeper into survival skills by focusing on the arts of foraging plants, processing medicines, and more as we travel to one of the best and most beautiful places to live off the land. Get hands-on experience with the Top 10 Most Important Plants for health and survival: roast fresh cattails over the fire; fry nettle chips, grind natural flour, and make teas, decoctions, poultices other medicines for health and well being. In addition, if you would like to take your survival skills to the next level and embark on a 1-2 day “solo trek” within walkie-talkie communication of your instructors, choosing whether to live off the land without food, shelter and/or modern water containers.
Although we will forage for crawfish, grubs and insects which are a safe source of protein in survival situations, laws don’t allow harvesting game during the middle of summer. What we will do is prepare you in every possible way for hunting and fishing in the fall, as well as teach you primitive harvesting methods like traps for small game, and weirs to funnel fish into catch basins. Most important, we’ll share secrets to finding animals that few people know, especially bird language which points out where animals are moving, and how to follow fresh tracks. You’ll learn to find deer, elk, bears, bobcats, cougars, coyotes and so many more animals which are an integral part of the landscape.
Camp Goals and Skills Covered:
Ethnobotany Group will focus on skills introduced in our Wild Chefs & Herbal Medics curriculum.
Tracking Group will focus on skills introduced in our Trackers of the Animal Kingdom curriculum.
Groups will begin together to review wilderness survival skills, providing participants with reliable and practical skills for emergency situations, including:
- Practicing the Critical Order of Emergency Survival;
- Learning the 10 Essential items to always carry with in a wilderness setting;
- Learning the Top 10 Lost-proofing, Navigation & Orienteering Skills;
- Constructing practical survival shelters [bivouac bed, plastic tarping] in timed emergency scenarios;
- Learning the proper way to use fire steels and matches; practice fire construction/lighting;
- Learning the Top 10 Hazards in nature and what to do during animal encounters;
- Honorably Harvesting the Top 5 Most Important Survival Plants;
- Learning how to purify water using iodine, filters, and seeps; practice boiling water in a metal water bottle;
- Learning Knife Safety and how to use other tools;
- Practicing wilderness medicine emergency response scenarios;
- Introduction to skills offered in our Primal Apocalypse Survival Challenge.
Ages & Prerequisites:
Ages 11-16 with prerequisites of any day or overnight camp week with us in a prior year, and a special application questionnaire due within two weeks after registration. If you haven’t attended Wolf Camp before, please consider our day camps this year and see our 2023 Overnight Camps Schedule when we hope to return to normal programming without prerequisites for ages 9-17.
Notes: This theme, celebrating its 25th year, is excellent for hands-on learners. The week is located in a beautiful forested wilderness setting, far from the city. The prerequisite is necessary to ensure that all participants have adequate experience prior to attending. This is not a camp week where kids can be trained to overcome homesickness, or see how much behavioral progress they have made. If you are not sure about the requirements, call us to discuss at 425-248-0253.
Kim & Chris Chisholm are on site all week directing our professionally-trained staff instructors who make up our hallmark 6-1 average 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.
Pandemic Era Health Protocols:
Arrival, Departure, Directions & Transportation Options:
SUNDAY Afternoon Starting Points & Times: Drop-off between 4:00-5:00 at the Faith Baptist Church Campground, 28514 SR 706 East, Ashford WA 98304, located 6.5 miles past Elbe WA and one mile before the town of Ashford on the road to Paradise on Mt. Rainier.
SATURDAY Morning Pick-Up Time: 10:30-11:30 AM.
- $1,175 to attend and sponsor a camper receiving financial aid via the Max Davis Scholarship fund administered by the Conservation College. Eligible for $200 tax write-off and matching-donation programs.
- $975 is our normal 2022 Tuition which includes $100 to in-house financial aid disbursements. Please note that camp is now one day longer than in previous years.
- $775-$875 if you were not able to attend in the previous two years due to the pandemic, or camp is unaffordable at the higher rate this year.
- $275-$675 if you successfully apply for a scholarship to attend camp.
Expenses you may incur for this course are for travel to and from the site, food and gear (although we have extras in case you can’t acquire something, just let us know). You will also need health insurance, so check with us for recommendations on inexpensive temporary insurance if necessary. Graduating campers also receive a t-shirt at their first camp with us, then either an orienteering compass, firesteel, survival knife, recommended field guide, or other essential depending on availability, training and camps attended.
We recommend registering in late winter before initial spaces fill. We open additional spaces in the spring as returning staff confirm their summer schedules, so please email us to get on a priority placement list if you’re not quite ready to register yet.
To register, use the PayPal system below or go directly to PayPal and send a deposit to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with a note on camper names, dates and theme choices. Or send a deposit via Zelle (free from your online banking account) to “email@example.com” in order to save us transaction fees. You can also send a check deposit payable to Wolf Camp, 1026 14th St. SW, Puyallup WA 98371, or call us anytime at 425-248-0253 ex 1 or ex 2 to register over the phone with a credit card.
Since our overnight camp requires previous attendance this year, we’ll use the Microsoft Word or PDF or Google Doc Registration Form you already completed, but will have you review the health history and re-sign the liability release.
Email us to be put on our our list for this program in the future.
Refund Policy: Deposits ($100 for day programs, $200 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 is needed 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 cases of natural (weather, geologic, wildfire, etc) disasters, grid failures, epidemics, government shutdowns, conflicts or curfews, or other unforeseen emergencies making it unsafe 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. Reasons include the expenditure of funds (property rentals, advertising, materials, admin staff time, etc.) long before programs take place, i.e. deposits make it feasible for Wolf Camp to schedule programs in the first place, but our mutually understood agreement is that Wolf Camp will run the program at the safest available time in the future. Finally, 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.