June 30 – July 6, 2024 Overnight Youth Camp near Mt. Rainier for ages 11-17 with prerequisite of one previous overnight camp with us
This week is a combination of emergency survival training and traditional living skills. It’s filled with a variety of challenges where you take nothing for granted, learn to adapt, and focus on making good decisions in challenging circumstances.
The camp is an intensely fun way to put your survival knowledge to the test, designed to replicate a life “off the grid” without the luxuries of the modern world. 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’ll explore community living and traditional skills, gaining proficiency with the arts of foraging, shelter building, water purifying, food preserving and fire carrying as we travel into the wilderness to live off the land.
Take your wilderness skills to the next level, even going out on a guided solo Survival Trek if you like. We will challenge everyone to perfect the basics – like finding springs and purifying water, cooking over fires as well as camp stoves, building real practical survival shelters, mastering the fire steel with natural tinder, and seeing what it’s like to live off plants growing wild in Pacific Northwest forests, fields and wetlands.
Participants will begin the week together at our privately rented outdoor camp to focus on survival skills, then by mid-week, hike two miles to a more wilderness location and set up “solo trek” locations within walkie-talkie communication of your instructors, choosing whether to live off the land without food, shelter and/or modern water containers. Beginning with our 10 essentials, 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.
In the end, we will return with a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, our modern luxuries. While a number of traditional skills will be explored, the primary focus of this week is on community; what it means to be part of a community and “what it takes” to flourish. Instructors will guide and advise the group; ensure participant safety and well-being; and lead guided activities. The group will decide how intensely to best tackle community challenges, such as access to clean water, food, and shelters.
Advanced Wilderness Skills & Survival Trek Itineraries
Sunday Evening: Community Building & Icebreakers, Wilderness Camping Skills Training, Campfire Songs & Stories
Monday Morning: Camp Breakfast Training, Nature Awareness Skills Training & Games, Wildlife Safety & Wilderness Risk Management Training & Scenarios
Monday Afternoon: Camp Lunch Training; Plant Walk to the Nisqually River; Wilderness Hygiene Training; Wildlife Trackers Training & Return To Camp;
Monday Evening: Camp Dinner Training, Language of the Birds, Traditional Fire Making, Songs & Stories;
Tuesday Morning: Optional Dawn Chorus, Off-Trail Animal Tracking;
Tuesday Afternoon: Wildlife Conservation Training; Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants;
Tuesday Evening: Knife & Saw Trainings; Fifteen-Minute Fire Challenges
Wednesday Morning: Order of Survival & Natural Navigation Training; Wilderness First Aid Training & Scenarios;
Wednesday Afternoon: Water Purification Training; Bow Drill Fire by Friction Training; Participants returning from last year may embark on solo survival treks;
Wednesday Evening: Scout Bubble Bivi Bed Eagles Nest Hobbit Hutch Challenge
Thursday Morning: Map & Compass Orienteering Challenge; Pack & Move to Primitive Camp; Participants ready to go may embark on solo survival treks;
Thursday Afternoon: Trailing Animals through field and forest;
Thursday Evening: Animal Tracks & Sign on river sand bars;
Friday Morning: Embark on solo survival trek or scout conservation challenge;
Friday Afternoon: Improve survival shelters;
Friday Evening: Solo wilderness camping;
Saturday Morning: Leave-No-Trace & Camp Celebration.
Ages & Prerequisites
This camp is for ages 11-17 who have attended at least one previous overnight camp with us in the past, or have been accepted into our IIT Youth Mentoring Program. If you don’t know whether you are ready for the Advanced Wilderness Skills & Survival Trek, then we recommend attending the Out-of-this-World Wilderness Skills Camp instead which is taking place simultaneously.
Pick-Up & Drop-Off Times & Directions
SUNDAY Afternoon Starting Points & Times: Arrive 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. You’re welcome to arrive between 4-5 pm for tent set-up, with our camp orientation and camp cooking from 5-6 pm before dinner clean-up and prep for our first evening session. We recommend parents depart about 6 pm.
Alumni flying into SeaTac Airport for this program may arrive Saturday in the p.m. or Sunday in and a.m., and we will provide airport transportation as well as food/meals for an additional fee.
SATURDAY Morning Pick-Up Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m. at same location. Please note that we will be returning that morning from our primitive camping location, located a mile down the gravel road along the Nisqually River, where we spend the second half of the week.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY Transportation to Puyallup or SeaTac Airport after camp…. For an additional $95 we can provide lunch and transportation to Puyallup for pick-up anytime between 2:00-5:00 pm on Saturday, or for $195 we will provide lunch and dinner plus transportation to SeaTac Airport anytime in the late afternoon or evening. For $245 participants can stay overnight with us at Blue Skye Farm and be picked up in Puyallup anytime Sunday morning or afternoon, or for $295 participants can stay overnight with us at Blue Skye Farm and get dropped off at SeaTac Airport anytime Sunday morning or afternoon.
Camp Directors Kim & Chris Chisholm are on site all week teaching groups and directing 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.
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) required since it’s considered the most unmitigated risk for 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.
Tuition for this camp week is $1,075 and as part of the wilderness skills training, you will need to purchase personal food and cooking gear, hiking boots, and water filter for your camper, as well as practice meal preparation, tent set-up and water filtration in advance of attending. Click here for the full packing list, and don’t forget to click on the second tab for food shopping. If your budget is tight this year, please click here to apply for financial aid from the Max Davis Scholarship fund administered by the Conservation College.
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 deposit per camper per week via one of the following methods:
• Zelle to “email@example.com” with a note including camper names and ages, camp dates and theme, plus your EMAIL & PHONE since Zelle doesn’t automatically share that with us;
• Or call us between 9am-9pm at 425-248-0253 ex 1 or ex 2 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. If your camper has attended Wolf Camp in the past, a new registration form is not needed, but we will email a questionnaire for your camper to submit as application for this year.
STEP 3 – Pay balance before or during your summer camp weeks. 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 deposits to register, and then wait to pay the remaining balances during camp via Zelle to “firstname.lastname@example.org” 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.
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.
Camp Preparation: Agreements, Packing List and FAQ’s
Most Asked Question: What are bathroom and sleeping arrangements like? Bathrooms are primitive, and we train campers in wilderness hygiene and private outdoor bathing methods as part of their learning experience. We provide camping tents, and campers may have (or bring) their own, or share one with friends/family members. We recommend you bring your own pillow, sleeping bag and foam pad, although we have extras if needed. Click on packing list above for more details.