August 7-11, 2023 Overnight Youth Camp at Lake Sammamish for ages 10-15 with prerequisite of any previous overnight or day camp with us
During the day, your overnight camp group will work in tandem with our Advanced Herbal Medicine day camp, and then stay overnights to go deeper into the arts of foraging plants, processing medicines, and more. Get hands-on experience with the Top 10 Most Important Plants for health and survival: roast fresh cattails over the fire; fry nettle chips, grind natural flour, and make teas, decoctions, poultices other medicines for health and well being, all of which you will take home when you depart.
We will also spend time in the evening cooking wild edible dinners and focusing on personal health and relaxation with our unique spa day. By the time this incredible week ends, you will be well on your way to becoming a knowledgeable herbalist and wild gourmet chef!
Camp Goals & Skills Covered
The goal of this expedition is to provide participants with hands-on learning about Wild Edible Foods & Herbal Medicine. Skills covered include:
- Honorably harvesting, processing and storing the Top 10 Edible Plants; including cooking with cattails, native hazelnuts and more.
- Understanding plant characteristics (astringents, etc.) and harvesting, processing and administering the most important medicinal herbs of the northwest;
- How to make fire, cook over an open fire, and “rock boil”;
- How to make rope from stinging nettle, cattail; cedar bark, and fire weed;
- How to make a medicine pouch to fill with your personal herbs, drying and storing salves, oils, tinctures and other medicines to take home;
- How to purify water naturally for cleansing wounds and making teas;
- Practice wilderness medicine emergency response scenarios;
- Learn Easy Plant Drawing and complete Journal Entries on your healing plants, and on corresponding poisonous plants;
- How to make a medicine pouch, dream catcher, and small collecting basket;
- Learn knife safety so you can carry a knife for harvesting.
Herbiology by camper Ashley Tee –
You can eat herbs, they taste good too,
But pick the right ones, or they could poison you,
You can make tinctures, pesto or fritters,
And watch out, make sure not to eat the critters!
You can also make balm, tea or coffee,
Maybe you can also make hazelnut toffees!
And if you like this herby rhyme,
Then come on down: it’s harvest time!
Ages & Prerequisites
This camp is designed for ages 10-15 with one of the following prerequisites: either one overnight camp with us earlier this summer or in past years, or at least two day camps with us, or completion of our Wild Cooking & Herbology day camp earlier this summer plus additional screening application upon registration. Older teens may also attend if accepted into our IIT Youth Mentoring Program.
Pick-Up & Drop-Off Times, Camp Schedule & Directions
Please arrive between 8:30-8:45 am on Monday morning, and pick-up between 4:00-4:15 pm on Friday, 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. 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.
7:00-8:00 Wake-Up & Help Make Breakfast (Tues-Fri)
8:00-9:00 Breakfast & Clean-Up (Tues-Fri)
9:00-9:30 Songs, Stories & Stretches (Mon-Fri)
9:30-12:00 Morning Lessons with snack break at 10:45 (Mon-Fri)
12:00-1:00 Lunch & Games (Mon-Fri)
1:00-3:00 Afternoon Lessons with water break at 2:00 (Mon-Fri)
3:00-4:00 Camp Crafts, Creek Time & Berry Picking (Mon-Fri)
4:00-5:00 Take Turns Making Dinner & Studying Ethnobotany (Mon-Thu)
5:00-6:00 Dinnerime (Mon-Thu)
6:00-8:00 Evening Lessons & Field Trips (Mon-Thu)
8:00-9:00 Campfire Songs, Stories & S’mores (Mon-Thu)
Camp Directors Kim & Chris Chisholm are on site all week 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.
We exceed the state’s pandemic era guidelines for overnight camps (pdf) and to start camp, participants must pass our health screening before being allowed to exit vehicles. 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 in 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.
Tuition for this camp week is $985 including all meals and most camping gear, although participants are encouraged to bring their own pillow, sleeping bags, pads, and tent if they have them already. We accommodate almost all food restrictions (our staff has many) but you may want to send along food for campers who are picky. For those who are on a tight budget, we have plenty of tents, sleeping bags, pads and other gear on our recommended packing list for overnight camps. Or click here to apply for financial aid from the Max Davis Scholarship fund administered by the Conservation College. Tuition includes hoice of orienteering compass, recommended field guide, firesteel and other outdoor essentials depending on number of camps attended, age and availability.
Returning Camp Families: Reserve spaces anytime by sending $200 per overnight camp deposits via Zelle to “email@example.com” with a note on camper names, dates and theme choices, or call us anytime at 425-248-0253 ex 1 or ex 2 to register over the phone with a credit card. We recommend making deposits by January before spaces fill.
New Camp Families: Registration opens on January 2nd. In the meantime, click here to join our notification list for priority placement. After the new year, our PayPal registration system will appear below and you can use it to register, or see other options below for returning camp families. After making camp deposits, 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, or choose our Bilingual Chinese-English Registration Form PDF / Word Doc) – one per new participant (again, not needed for returning in future years) – and we’ll need you to email it back for review by January 31st to maintain your reservation; otherwise, we will refund your deposit and open your space to our waitlist on February 1st.
Deposits are non-refundable unless we refuse your registration (but if you cancel, we save all deposits as a credit for you to use in future years, or we can move the funds into our scholarship account if you prefer) so the best practice is to make the minimum $100/camp deposit to register, and wait to pay the remaining balance during your camp week via Zelle (free from your online banking account) to “firstname.lastname@example.org” in order to save us transaction fees, or use PayPal to the 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: 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 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 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.