July 2-8, 2023 Wilderness Immersion Experience for ages 10-16 near Mt Rainier
You asked, and we answered, with this newly added, low-barrier camp we’re also nick-naming the Extraordinary, Unimaginable, Exceptional, Enchanting, Mind-Boggling, Mezmerizing, Magical, Miraculous, Wondrous, Virtually Superlative Out Of This World Wilderness Survival Training Experience, but we don’t want to set expectations too high (lol) so just know that’s it’s a great chance to get away from society, and return to the natural world as it was originally created.
Learn the skills your ancestors knew, opening a world of understanding and confidence for you in the wilderness. You’ll experience all the nature awareness and survival skills in which we specialize, and bond with new friends as you work together to overcoming challenges throughout the week, emerging ready to embrace anything life throws at you in the future.
Similar to our Survival Side of the Mountain camp taking place later in the summer, this week will provide participants with reliable and practical skills for emergency survival situations. Some of the skills will include:
- Practicing the Critical Order of Emergency Survival with and without the 10 Essentials;
- Top 10 Lost-proofing, Navigation & Orienteering Challenges;
- Building traditional Survival Shelters, such as the Wickiup and Thatch Hut;
- Building Low Maintenance Fires, and using the Bow Drill to make fire-by-friction;
- Spinning natural rope for your shelter, bow-drill kit, shoelaces, and fishing line;
- Learning Knife Safety and how to use other tools;
- Learning how to purify water using iodine, filters, and seeps; practice boiling water in a metal water bottle;
- Mitigating the Top 10 Hazards in nature and what to do during animal encounters;
- Practicing wilderness medicine emergency response scenarios;
- Eating the Top 5 Most Important Survival Plants and using the Top 5 Medicinal Herbs of the Northwest;
- Foraging for crawfish, grubs and insects and other critters legal and safe to harvest in the summer as sources of protein in survival situations;
One of the many things we’ll get deep into this week includes natural navigation, starting with skills to become lostproof and mastering map and compass orienteering. We’ll teach you our four step method of using map and compass which is simple and effective. You’ll practice following contour lines in the foothills of Mt. Rainier in order to stay above thick brush, while using beautiful cascading waterways as “handrails.” You’ll also be amazed by some of the incredible ways to walk in a straight line toward your destination on a map.
This newly added camp is open and available until filled for youth ages 10-16 who have previous sleepaway summer camp experience away from parents and school teachers, or at least one day camp or family workshop with us in advance of attending. Due to the wilderness setting of this camp, it’s not a week where kids can be trained to overcome homesickness or see how much behavioral progress they have made, but rather for youth who really want to be out there enjoying camp with us.
Camp Schedule & Activities:
Sunday Evening: Community Building & Icebreakers, Wilderness Camping Skills Training; Awareness Skill games like Owl Eyes, Fox Walk, Bear Nose & Coon Hands; 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 Challenge.
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: How to find directions just using a map with no compass; Using map and compass; Using GPS; Floating pin on leaf; Shadow tip method; Old school watch method; Sun time; Understanding how nature can show you the directions;
Thursday Afternoon: Navigational adventure following the rules of lostproofing and employing all the outdoor risk management that you learned this week, getting your group dropped off in the Mt. Rainier wilderness to find your way back to civilization;
Thursday Evening: Staying up late to orient by the stars and moon.
Friday Morning: Animal Tracks & Sign on river sand bars;
Friday Afternoon: Trailing Animals through field and forest;
Friday Evening: End the week with a campfire celebration on the sandy beaches of the Nisqually River.
Saturday Morning: Leave-No-Trace Restoration Work & Camp Celebration.
Your instructors have years of of Outdoor Leadership and Search & Rescue experience, plus a lifetime of hiking, camping, and enjoying nature to share with you. Camp Directors Ansley Roberts & Matt Hale are on site all week with Wolf Camp founders Kim & Chris Chisholm teaching groups and 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.
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 the week, campers must pass our health screening before being allowed to participate, and we still require all campers to carry masks in backpacks. If there are reports of group participants who came in contact with an infection, we require participants of that group to wear masks 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 supervise proper hand washing after campers exit toilet facilities – doors left open between uses 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, see the latest CDC summer camp guidelines, and the state’s pandemic era guidelines for day camps (2021-22 pdf will be updated if/when 2023 guidance is issued).Pick-up & Drop-off Times & Directions:
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. Camp orientations, tent set-up, and camp cooking with the help of parents goes from 4-5 pm, with eating and clean-up time from 5-6 pm before the first evening camp session starts at 6 pm.
Participants flying into SeaTac Airport for this camp will need to be accompanied by parent or guardian, but as noted below, we can provide transportation for participants back to SeaTac after the end of camp for an additional fee.
SATURDAY Morning Pick-Up Time: 10:30-11:00 a.m. at same location, and 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 will 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.
Tuition for this camp week is $985, 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. For those who are on a tight budget, we do have plenty of tents, sleeping bags, pads and some extra cooking gear as well as extra water filters (since those clog and break all the time if not used properly) so if you need help acquiring items, just let us know. Click here for the full packing list, and don’t forget to click on the second tab for food shopping. Or click here to apply for financial aid from the Max Davis Scholarship fund administered by the Conservation College.
STEP 1 – Reserve your spots in camp by making $200 deposits via one of the following methods:
• Zelle to “firstname.lastname@example.org” 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;
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 deposits 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.
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
Packing List for wilderness camps near Mt Rainier, and don’t forget to click on the second tab for food shopping.
Agreements for Participation in Camp
Homesickness Protocol & Prevention
Health & Safety in the Pandemic Era
Other FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions
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 others, depending on pandemic protocols. 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.
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