Anake Leadership Program

A second year of Advanced Training

KidsI signed up for the program expecting to learn about a unique nature education model and ended up taking away so much more…I learned about leading out a students’s gifts and came to a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses as a mentor… I have never in my life had so much fun learning.-Stephanie Etley

For Wilderness Awareness School, helping people cultivate their own deep connections to nature, community and self is an essential first step. Where our real power lies is in our ability to help people learn to facilitate this process of discovery and connection for others, and this is the main focus of the Anake Leadership Program, our second year of training.

The essence of our approach to mentoring and leadership training is Learning by Doing—as an ALP student, your training is based on assisting the instructor team at one or several of Wilderness Awareness School’s world-renown, on-going intensive nature mentoring programs. These various programs serve students ranging from 4 years old to adults, providing ALP students with the invaluable opportunity to work with students of  different ages and experience levels. For the full 9 months of the  school year, teams of ALP students spend either 2 or 3 days a week in the field assisting and being trained by skilled and experienced Wilderness Awareness School instructors.

Outdoor Leadership School Graduates
Supporting this core experiential training are three different supplemental training tracks:

The Weekly Seminar: Each week, ALP students come together for 1-2 hours to reflect and share stories of their experiences, gain deeper learning and realizations through directed inquiry with an instructor, and to support each other in the individual learning goals and challenges that each student is facing.

Advanced Training Series: Once a month, ALP students spend either a weekend day or a full weekend with a Specialist Instructor studying advanced skills. This series is designed to further develop the skills and knowledge of the ALP students (a little more “me” time), and topics range from advanced instructional techniques, to further survival, tracking, ethnobotany and awareness skills.

Cultural Facilitation Intensives: Three times a year—once at the beginning, and twice near the end of the ALP program—students immerse themselves in a week-long intensive program dedicated to creating the full embodiment of the mentoring culture of Wilderness Awareness School, what we often refer to as “The Village.” Participants live the culture that they are being trained to help create in the world, and in so doing “get it in their bones” by developing a felt-sense of what a healthy, nurturing human culture feels like.

Options for additional training for ALP students:

For students seeking even more advanced naturalist training, Wilderness Awareness School offers several Intensive Training Programs designed to allow ALP students to participate while doing their ALP training. These programs involve 9 or 10 weekend sessions through the school year (Sept through May), and currently include the Tracking Intensive and the Survival Intensive.

Additionally, for those students who qualify, there are opportunities to work as summer instructors, and even as summer camp directors, during the summer between the AOS and the ALP year, and the summer after the ALP year.

Requirements for participation:
Because ALP training involves assisting Wilderness Awareness School instructors in running real-world programs, students are required to have a minimum competence in the core concepts of Wilderness Awareness School’s core curriculum (AOS certification or equivalent)  AND have a basic competence in working with groups of students. For students coming to the program without any previous background in group management, we offer a volunteer opportunity during the summer between the Anake Outdoor School year and the start of the Anake Leadership Program that will provide students with the necessary experience to participate in the ALP. This consists of a week of training, and three additional weeks volunteering as an assistant at one of Wilderness Awareness School’s summer camp programs.

Course Registration Details

Apply Now When? August 2015 - August 2016
Where? Our land in the foothills of the Cascades near Duvall, WA
Who? Ages 18+ How much? $2,850 - Instructor Training Track or $1000 Apprentice Track
Prerequisites: Any year of the Anake Outdoor School

Additional Details

Cost $2850 - annual tuition price for full Instructor Training Track, which includes all training and course materials. Limited scholarship funding is available. Total tuition cost includes a $250 non-refundable deposit which secures your place in the program; due June 1st. The remaining tuition is due in quarterly payments of $867 on Sept. 1st, Dec. 1st, and March 1st.  $1000 - Limited Apprenticeship Track option available.

Dates/Schedule August 2015 - August 2016. The Advanced Skills Classes meet on 10 Sundays over the course of the year, which are 6 hour days (9:00 am – 3:00 pm). Weekly field practicum days can happen on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday depending on the course you are working with.

2015 Tentative Dates
Summer Camp Training June 22-26th
Advanced Art of Mentoring August 31-September 4th
Weekend Mentoring Dates: TBD
2016 dates TBD

Prerequisite The Anake Leadership Program is for graduates (from any year) of the Anake Outdoor School or those students with significant training in outdoor education and deep familiarity with Wilderness Awareness School's mentoring philosophy.

To apply or for more information...

To apply, download the Anake Leadership Program Application in PDF file format, complete it, and turn it in or mail it in to our office. The application deadline is April 15, 2015.

NOTE: If you plan to apply for a scholarship, please submit a scholarship application along with your application for the Program (download a Scholarship Application in PDF file format and turn it in or mail it in to us).

Meet Your Instructors

Nate Summers


Nate Summers, M.Ac. has been with WAS since 1997. Nate’s journey with ancient living skills started as a teenager, and this exposure to stone-age living sparked a life-long interest in anthropology, hunter-gatherer lifestyles, and indigenous cultures. Nate has served as both Youth Programs Director, Adult Programs Director, and as a core instructor in most programs for WAS. He has also worked with King County Parks and the Seattle Parks Department.

Nate practices internal martial arts, Chinese Medicine, wildcrafts herbal medicine, and is the proud father of two daughters, Katie and Tara, 8 and 1 respectively. He holds a Master’s degree from NIAOM, and B.A.’s in both Anthropology and Asian Studies from the University of Illinois. He has served as faculty for the Desert Institute of Healing Arts, the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, and as adjunct faculty for Prescott College. Nate likes to fish, practice internal martial arts, go on adventures with his daughters, and gather wild foods and medicine.