Wildlife Search & Rescue 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;
  • July 31 – Aug 4, 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 14-18, 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.

This camp theme is excellent for exploratory learners, but not recommended for autism spectrum students, as the itinerary diverges daily based on wildlife “finds” and other learning opportunities.

Wildlife Search & Rescue celebrates its 26th year this summer. Enjoy the Hans Jensen Group Camp where athe animals hide in their dens during the day before coming out at night to roam the fish hatchery and neighborhoods. Yes, we’ve found resident bear dens, investigated cougar scratching posts, watched bobcats hunting rabbits, heard coyotes yipping after catching prey, foxes marking their trails, owls dropping countless pellets, meditated on osprey diving for salmon … and those are just the big creatures.

Each day, we will explore the field for wildlife tracks and sign. Every find will be used as a lesson to gain better understanding of who made the track; why it made the track; where it made the track; when it made the track; and what it was doing when it made the track. You will discover what it is like to be a bird or other animal by using sensory awareness skills to interpret what is happening around you. Participants will learn to understand and use the language of the birds and will practice interpreting bird language through a series of experiments.

We will work together to make plaster casts of our favorite animal tracks; craft tracking sticks; safely move through the woods; and investigate trails, lays, larders, and other signs of life. This camp is full of exciting, interactive, challenging and cooperative games. Campers will learn to work as a team to develop skills of leadership, cooperation, patience, orienteering, dexterity, and fun. Additionally, our staff, some of whom are Search & Rescue volunteers, will teach you how to navigate in the wilderness and track people!

Camp Itinerary

Itineraries are subject to some amount of change based upon location, weather, instructor preference, and natural resource availability.

Monday: Awareness, Navigation and the Art & Science of Tracking

Morning Session: Awareness Skills, Wildlife Safety, Arts of Tracking
Lunchtime:
Bring & Eat Lunch from home, then our After Lunch Activities (ALA) include choice of Archery, Games, Sprinkler & Creek Time
Afternoon Session:
Animal Forms, Order of Survival, Lostproofing

Tuesday: Bones, Skulls, Hides, and Teamwork

Morning Session: Wildlife Journals, Animal Families, Hides & Skulls
Lunchtime & ALA:
(see monday description)
Afternoon Session:
Teamwork, Hand Signals, Scouting Expedition

Wednesday: Birds, Insects, and Amphibians

Morning Session: Language of the Birds, Animal Tracks & Sign
Lunchtime & ALA:
(see monday description)
Afternoon Session:
Insects & Spiders, Reptiles & Amphibians

Thursday: Trailing, Scats, and Casts

Morning Session: Trailing Animals, Scatology, Scent Marks, Browses, Lays
Lunchtime & ALA:
(see monday description)
Afternoon Session: 
Plaster Casts, Beaver Dens & Dams

Friday: Human Tracking, Animal Rescue, and Celebration

Morning Session: Secret Spot, Human Tracking, Animal Rescue Medicine
Lunchtime & ALA:
(see monday description)
Afternoon Session:
Wildlife Tracks & Sign 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.

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