Wild Cooking & Herbology Day Camps at Lake Sammamish

  • July 24-28, 2023 for ages 8-13 with no prerequisite, and seven year olds ok with older sibling at camp;
  • August 7-11, 2023 for ages 10-15 who have completed Wildlife Search & Rescue in a prior week or year, and qualified nine year olds ok if attending with an older friend or sibling;
  • August 21-25, 2023 for ages 8-13 with no prerequisite, and seven year olds ok with older sibling at camp;

Click here to join the list for priority placement prior to when registration opens on January 2nd, or for campers returning from prior years, just email us.

Give your child the gift of our Wild Cooking & Herbology day camp which is excellent for focused learners, as it is like a mini college course on herbalism (although very hands-on) and therefore not recommended for adhd students. You can also check out our day camps in Puyallup.

Instruction runs Mon-Fri 9:30-3:30, with complimentary drop off as early as 8:30 and pick-up as late as 4:30. Camp is designed for ages 7-13 within our hallmark 6-1 student-teacher ratio that’s so critical for safe and profound outdoor experiences.

Wild Cooking & Herbology celebrates its 25th summer this year. Enjoy the Hans Jensen Group Camp, our privately-rented wilderness park across from the East Lake Sammamish boat launch in Issaquah, and explore the endless fields, forests, streams, ponds, and backyards to discover wild foods and medicines of the Pacific Northwest.

Campers will work with more than even the top 10 most important plants of their area, and be able to identify their look-alikes. The kids will also learn to start and use fire safely, cook with ancient and modern methods, spin natural rope, purify drinking water, and come home with oils and creams they blended with herbs to heal common ailments, among other accomplishments.

We wish parents could watch the unfolding of this camp week, because the journey for these young chefs and healers is amazing. From discovering wild foods and medicine, to investigating their properties, to fully utilizing their gifts, and finally being able to tell their true stories, campers develop more real skill than you might imagine.

Camp includes optional wading/swimming and games/archery during lunchtime, depending on annual park rules, camper safety tests, weather and other conditions.

Camp Itinerary

All itineraries are subject to some amount of change based upon location, season, instructor preference, and natural resource availability.

Monday:

Morning Session: Introductions; Plant Walk – ID Nettle, Cedar, Plantain; Awareness Skills
Lunchtime: Bring & Eat Lunch from home, then our After Lunch Activities (ALA) include choice of Archery, Chill Time, Sprinkler Games & Swimming (creek wading, or go to lake for swim tests on days lifeguards are available)
Afternoon Session: Ethical Harvest; Harvest Plantain for Salve & Leaf Rubbings; Cedar Leaf Rubbings; Plant Fact Cards; Lightning Safety

Tuesday:

Morning Session: Mint Tea; Observe Fresh Mint Specimens; Mint Bouquets – Lavender, Lemon Balm, Basil, Rosemary; Bath Salts – Lavender & Spearment; Try Mint Sprays
Lunchtime & ALA: (see monday description)
Afternoon Session: Plant ID by Smell; Leaf Venations & Arrangements; Scavenger Hunt of Venation & Arrangement; Herbal Tag; Intro to Top 10 Wild Foods

Wednesday:

Morning Session: Observe Fresh Parsley & Sweet Cicely Specimens; Parsley Spice Samples; Make Fennel Candy & Fennel Tea [Decoction]; Learn about Poison Hemlock; Sketch Poison Hemlock, Label its Key Characteristics
Lunchtime & ALA: (see monday description)
Afternoon Session: Seaweeds; Nettles; Make Nettle Tea [Infusion]; Nettle Saute; Make Seasoning from Sesame Seeds, Ground Nettle, Ground Bullwhip Kelp; Make Nettle Shampoo; Finish Top 10 Wild Foods

Thursday:

Morning Session: Harvest Stinging Nettle; Top 10 Wild Foods Cook-off with Survivalists; Cattail Discussion & Fried Rhizomes; Finish Herbal Salve
Lunchtime & ALA: (see monday description)
Afternoon Session: Introduction to Dandelion; Harvest Dandelion; Make Dandelion “Coffee”; Elderberry Syrup; Week Overflow

Friday:

Morning Session: Pine & Rosehip Tea; Review Top 10 Foods & Medicines; Practice Herbal First Aid Scenario; Gratitude Ceremony
Lunchtime & ALA: (see monday description)
Afternoon Session: The Herbal Market & Closing Ceremonies

Daily Camp Schedule

Returning camp families please note that we are adjusting our schedule this year to begin earlier and to create a new small-group ending period. This will allow for even greater learning and instruction time, while also ensuring we complete all prepared curriculum before the temperature rises on hot summer afternoons. Please email or call us at 425-248-0253 anytime with questions about the schedule, pick-ups or drop-offs. During the camp week, text the cell phone number(s) found in your prep email.

8:30-9:00 Check-Ins & Morning Care (gate opens at 8:30)
9:00-9:30 Songs, Stories, Stretches & Late Check-Ins
9:30-12:00 Morning Lessons with snack break from 10:45-11:00
12:00-1:00 Lunch, Games & Archery Option
1:00-3:00 Afternoon Lessons with water break and shifting stations at 2:00
3:00-4:00 Early Check-Outs, Camp Crafts, Creek Time & Berry Picking
4:00-4:30 Aftercare & Final Pick-Ups (all-staff meeting starts at 4:30)

Camp Leaders

Camp Directors Kim & Chris Chisholm are on site all week directing professionally-trained staff instructors at our hallmark 6-1 average student-teacher ratio that’s critical for safe and profound outdoor experiences. Read our FAQ’s for more details and check out camp testimonials dating all the way back to 1997!

Drop-Off Directions

Drop-off as early as 8:30 and pick-up as late as 4:30 at the Lake Sammamish Hans Jensen Group Camp, 4460 East Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Issaquah WA 98029. The land is managed by the state park but not generally open to the public.

Suggested arrival times are between 8:45-9:00 and suggested departure times are between 3:15-4:15. Look for the hard-to-spot gravel driveway ACROSS THE STREET from the East Lake Sammamish BOAT LAUNCH – by the park ranger’s house – NOT THE MAIN PARK ENTRANCE.

Check-In & Health Protocols

We have designed small day camps in 2022 to serve ages 7-13, grouped by age but with contact tracing primarily in mind. After the pandemic era ends, we plan to increase our capacity again, separate siblings into their own age groups, and return to serving children as young as 5 or 6 years old.

We exceed the state’s pandemic era guidelines for day camps (2021 pdf will be updated when 2022 guidance is issued) and child care facilities, and to start each day, campers must pass our health screening before being allowed to exit vehicles. Parents may walk the property to see the lay of the land, but until pandemic restrictions are fully lifted, cannot accompany children to camp groups.

Hygiene protocols will remain the same as last year, but mask policies will be updated depending on whether there is any new variant or surge, and still no evidence of Covid transmission in the outdoors. We will still require campers to carry masks in backpacks, and likely have them wear masks in restrooms at least.  If there is another surge, we would require masks whenever a line, or when seated less than 3-6 feet from others. As before the pandemic, we will continue requiring hand sanitizing whenever sharing tools and materials, before entering toilets, and we supervise proper hand washing after campers exit toilet facilities. Please click here for full details on our health and safety protocols during the pandemic era and see the latest CDC summer camp guidelines. As before the pandemic, we train campers in specialized “outdoor safety and awareness” skills and encourage appropriate boundaries, with redirection from staff when encroachment occurs.

Full vaccinations are strongly encouraged – we follow the scientific consensus. However, as part of that, we know that due to our 100% outdoor setting, combined with daily health screenings, contact tracing, supervised hand washing and mask when necessary, the risk of disease transmission is negligible at Wolf Camp, so vaccination records are not required at day camps. We do require vaccination records at overnight camps so participants can be partnered according to the wishes of parents and participants.

Camp Tuition

Please choose your contribution level for Summer Day Camp weeks at Lake Sammamish. It’s fine to mix and match prices if registering multiple children/weeks, and please include discounts of $5 off per additional week you attend this summer, $5 off per additional family member attending this summer, and $5 off for successfully referring other families who register campers this summer.

  • $695 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.
  • $595 for our 2022 tuition rate reflecting a longer instructional day this year, and it includes $100 to fund in-house financial aid disbursements.
  • $495 if you were not able to attend in the previous two years due to the pandemic, or camp is unaffordable at the higher rates this year.
  • $195-$395 if you apply for a Max Davis Scholarship. When the Conservation College or other funding source can’t cover a need, we provide in-house financial aid to ensure everyone who applies can access at least one Wolf Camp week.

Tuition includes all expenses except food and personal gear. You will need to pack a lunch, water and snacks every day. Tuition also includes organic t-shirt at your first camp with us, then either an orienteering compass, recommended field guide, firesteel or other essential depending on number of camps attended, age and availability.

Registration

Click here to place your name on the waitlist and if you receive notification that space becomes available, register by going to Zelle or PayPal and send a deposit to “kim@wolfcollege.com” with a note on camper names, dates and theme choices, or 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.

After making a deposit, we’ll need you to complete a once-in-a-lifetime Registration Form (Microsoft Word or PDF or make your own a copy of our Google Doc) which you can open on your computer, fill out – one per new participant (but again, not needed for returning campers) – and email it back to us before summer, or send with a check to our home office (not the camp address) at the address in previous paragraph. Or choose our Bilingual Chinese-English Registration Form PDF / Word Doc.

Balances can be paid anytime before or during drop-off at camp. Use any of the methods shown above or below, or use Zelle (free from your online banking account) to “kim@wolfcollege.com” in order to save us transaction fees. You can also use that method to make your initial deposit, but send an email at the same time because our bank doesn’t reveal your contact info on our end.


First – Choose Payment Option:
Next – Choose Camp Dates/Theme:
Names & Ages of Participants:
And Your Cell Phone Number Thanks!







Email us to be put on our list for this program in the future. We always keep your information absolutely private, and will never share it.

Refund Policy: Deposits 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 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.

Day Camp Preparation: Agreements, Packing List and FAQ’s

Day Camp Packing List

Day Camp Agreements for Participation

Health & Safety in the Pandemic Era

Other FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

Most Asked Question: Lunchtime? – Bring your own lunch from home, and then enjoy our After Lunch Activities (ALA) include choices of Archery, Creek Wading, Berry Picking, Reading & Naps, Shelter & Sprinkler Games.

Have you ever attended one of our programs before? Please review us on our Better Business Bureau, Facebook, Yelp & Google pages.

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