Give your child the gift of our Wildlife Search & Rescue day camp which is excellent for exploratory learners 8-15 (and seven year olds okay with older sibling at camp). Prerequisite: Any prior day camp or workshop with us. Please Note: New autisum spectrum students are encouraged to enroll our Wilderness Survival Craft camp the week prior: our wildlife tracking curriculum requires a lot of flexibility as we follow tracks and bird calls, so it’s good for those who like to follow a schedule to get used to Wolf Camp a bit before attending this less predictable week.
Instruction runs from 9:00-4:00 with drop off between 8:30-9:15, and pick-up between 3:30-4:30. Campers are grouped with others closest to their age within our hallmark 6-1 average student-teacher ratio that’s so critical for safe and profound outdoor experiences this year. You can also check out our day camps at Lake Sammamish.
Wildlife Search & Rescue is or original day camp theme and will celebrate its 27th summer in 2023. Camp takes place at the wild Clark’s Creek Park where 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 bears, watched bobcats hunting rabbits, heard coyotes yipping after catching prey, owls dropping countless pellets, herons fledging their young from dozens of nests, river otters and beavers going in and out of the creek, weasels hunting rodents around the farm … 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!
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, Chill Time, Sprinkler Games & Swimming (creek wading) Afternoon Session: Animal Families & Forms, 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, Lay 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 Jeopardy, Review and Closing Ceremonies.
Meet at the Clark’s Creek Park – South Shelter, 1710 12th Ave SW, Puyallup WA 98371 located one mile west of the Puyallup Fairgrounds. The best arrival time is 8:45-9:00 am, and the best departure time is 3:45-4:00 pm.
8:30-9:00 Check-Ins & Morning Care (no early check-ins available)
9:00–9:15 Songs, Stories, Stretches & Late Check-Ins
9:15-11:45 Morning Lessons with snack break at 10:30
11:45-1:15 Lunch, Games & Archery
1:15-3:45 Afternoon Lessons with snack break at 2:30
3:45-4:00 Best Pick-Up Time
4:00-4:30 Aftercare & Late Pick-Ups
Kim & Chris Chisholm guide skilled staff instructors at our hallmark 6-1 student-teacher ratio that’s so 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!
Hygiene protocols will remain the same as last year as long as there is still no evidence of Covid transmission in the outdoors with plenty of room to spread out. To start each day, campers must pass our health screening before being allowed to participate in camp. If there are reports of group participants who came in contact with an infection, we may provide n95 masks for participants of that group to wear when 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 train campers with proper hand washing after campers exit toilet facilities with doors left open between uses when possible to ensure ventilation.
Full vaccinations are strongly encouraged – we follow the scientific consensus – with tetanus shot (usually given as part of the normal Tdap vaccine series) considered the most important in the field of outdoor education. Otherwise, we know that due to our 100% outdoor setting, combined with health screenings, contact tracing, supervised hand washing, bathroom ventilation, mask use when exposure has been reported in a group, and individual/family style tenting at overnight camps, the risk of disease transmission has been negligible at Wolf Camp, so other vaccination records are not required. Please click here for full details on our health and safety protocols during the pandemic era, and see the latest CDC summer camp guidelines.
$495 is our full tuition rate in Puyallup, but we operate on a sliding scale and we don’t turn anyone away from being able to attend at least one week of camp due to financial reasons. Just email us and let us know how much you can contribute to the cost of camp, or to apply for financial aid from the Conservation College via the Max Davis Scholarship fund, click here and submit answers to their 8 simple questions. If your camper has physical disabilities that make other camps inaccessible, please call to discuss the accommodations we have available and register over the phone at literally any contribution level. To contribution to the Conservation College – Max Davis Scholarship fund, click here.
You will need to pack a healthy lunch, water and substantial snacks every day. Tuition includes t-shirt at your first camp with us, then in subsequent camps a choice of orienteering compass, recommended field guide, firesteel and other outdoor essentials depending on number of camps attended, age and availability.
Registration (opens November 20th for returning camp families, and January 20th for new camp families)
STEP 1 – Reserve your spots in camp by making $100 deposits per camper per week via one of the following methods:
• Zelle to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with a note including camper NAMES, AGES, CAMP DATES & THEMES, plus your EMAIL & PHONE since Zelle doesn’t otherwise share that with us;
• Or call us between 9am-9pm at 253-225-1547 with a credit card to register over the phone;
• Or use the PayPal system appearing below after January 20th;
STEP 2 – If this is your camper’s first year with us, complete our once-in-a-lifetime Registration Form WITHIN ONE WEEK of making your deposit, otherwise we will have to refund you and give your spot(s) to others. You can use our Microsoft Word or PDF registration form, or make your own copy of our Google Doc form, or choose our Bilingual Chinese-English Registration Form PDF / Word Doc – one per new participant. We’ll need you to email it back to us for review within one week to maintain your reservation. Again, skip this step if your camper has attended anything with us in the past.
STEP 3 – Pay balance before or during your summer camp week. We’ll email you an invoice this spring with camp prep info and balance payment options (Zelle, PayPal, Check, Credit Card) that can be done in advance or during your first camp week. All payments are non-refundable unless we refuse your registration. However, if you cancel (at any time for any reason is fine) we will save your payments as credit for you to use in future years, or you can choose to have us move the funds into our scholarship account if you prefer. The best practice is to make the minimum $100/camp deposit to register, and then wait to pay the remaining balance during your camp week via Zelle to “email@example.com” saving us time and transaction fees, or you can PayPal us at that same email address, or give us a check or have us run a credit card on site during your camp week.
Or 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: Payments 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 a no-show without prior notice, or asked to leave a program for inappropriateness as determined by our kids, youth and adult agreements for participation.