July 7-12, 2019 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.
Ages 9-13: No prerequisite.
Ages 13-17: No prerequisite.
Ages 18-28 may participate in the Wilderness Survival Training & Trek running simultaneously.
Register below for this theme, in its 21st year, which is excellent for hands-on learners. Please note that this week is located in a beautiful forested wilderness setting, far from the city. If a participant has not camped outside in a forest away from towns/parks before, s/he will need to gain that experience prior to attending this camp week, either on your own or at one of our camps located in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. Other requirements for acceptance include 1) participant must have a serious desire to attend, 2) participant must have absolute commitment and easy ability to follow our agreements for participation, and 3) certainty that homesickness will not be an issue, especially after dark. The first of these three is true for all our camps. The second and third are better dealt with in our camps located in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area where we have more latitude to work with unforeseen homesickness and behavioral issues. 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 or check out our camp weeks in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area the first week of July and again in August.
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:
- Practice the Critical Order of Emergency Survival;
- Learn the 10 Essential items to always carry with in a wilderness setting;
- Learn the Top 10 Lost-proofing, Navigation & Orienteering Skills;
- Practice constructing practical survival shelters [bivouac bed, plastic tarping] in timed emergency scenarios;
- Learn the proper way to use fire steels and matches; practice fire construction/lighting;
- Learn the Top 10 Hazards in nature and what to do during animal encounters;
- Honorably Harvest the Top 5 Most Important Survival Plants;
- Learn how to purify water using iodine, filters, and seeps; practice boiling water in a metal water bottle;
- Learn Knife Safety and how to use other tools;
- Practice wilderness medicine emergency response scenarios;
- Introduction to skills offered in our Zombie Apocalypse Survival Challenge, and our Traditional Living Skills Camp.
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: After working to leave-no-trace at survival locations, campers will have brunch in the field before helping to facilitate a set of survival workshops reviewing and expanding skills learned this week.
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!
Arrival, Directions & Transportation Options:
Complimentary Sunday Arrival Option: Meet us between 4:30-5:00 p.m. 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 on Sunday in time for tent set-up and camp orientation from 5:00-5:30, followed by food from 5:30-6:00 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. Camp starts with introductions at 6:00 after which accompanying family/friends are welcome to depart.
$45 Sunday Puyallup Arrival Option: Meet us at the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Sunday between 2:00-2:30 p.m. so that participants can travel with us to our camp location. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
$65 Sunday Tacoma Bus/Amtrak Arrival Option: Book your Bus/Train Arrival into Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle between 2:00-3:00 p.m. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
$95 Sunday SeaTac Arrival Option: Book your Airport/Bus/Train Arrival into Seattle-Tacoma on Sunday in time to meet our pick-up vehicle at 1:00 p.m., but be sure to call or email us with arrival times before confirming your plans. Pick-up at baggage claim unless unaccompanied minor, then at unaccompanied minor waiting area. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
Weekend Departure Options:
Complimentary Friday Departure Options: Normal pick up at Sahara Creek DNR Horse Camp is between 3:00-4:00 with final departure by 5:00. Alternatively, family members who have the day free and can travel out to our primitive survival location in the morning are invited to participate in camper-facilitated survival workshops from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Leaving in the morning is the best way to avoid traffic from the Seattle area, as traffic going south from Seattle on Friday afternoon triples the normal travel time. If picking up between 3-4 p.., leave the Seattle area by noon, or choose one of the following alternative options:
$45 Friday Evening Puyallup Departure Option: Depart from the Wolf Campus, 1026 14th St SW in Puyallup on Friday between 7-9 p.m. after participants travel back home with us. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
$115 Saturday Morning Puyallup Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday and depart before 12:00 noon on Saturday in Puyallup. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
$145 Saturday Afternoon Bus/TrainAirport Departure Option: Participants can stay overnight with us on Friday, and then get dropped off at the Airport, Bus or Train Stations in Seattle or Tacoma on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in time for afternoon flights. Drop-off at ticket counter unless unaccompanied minor, then at gate. (discount for multiple friends/family members)
Full Weekend Stayovers are $275 if you would like to stay over and attend next week’s Wildlife Safari – Tracking the Oregon Dunes.
BACK-TO-BACK SPECIAL! NEW CAMPERS: Register for at least three 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.
2019 Overnight Youth Camps are $775 for returning campers registering by December 31st, or $780 for everyone registering by February 10th, $785 by March 20th, $790 by May 5th, $795 by June 10th, or $800 thereafter if space remains available. 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 Wilderness 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 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. 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)
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 Bureau, Yelp & Google 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 and FAQ’s
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.