Why Choose Our Camps?
Our Great Locations
Read more about Summer Camp Locations near you and use the map below to find driving directions.
What do you remember about nature from your childhood?
Likely it's about a special place that you would go and share with friends - making forts, climbing trees and more - all while getting muddy and wet, in all kinds of weather.
We bring these kinds of adventures to kids today, along with instructors who know a lot about nature and use great skill in reconnecting kids with the wonder of the world around them. We do this through stories, hands-on skills like fire-making, responsible introduction of wild edible plants and their poisonous look-alikes, as well as things most adults don't even know like the arts of wildlife tracking and bird language interpretation.
All of these skills are doorways into exploration of nature, and ultimately ourselves. The same confidence that kids acquire in learning about the hazards of nature and how to work with them translates into the rest of their lives and how they approach healthy risk-taking and learning in general. We look forward to the day when these kind of nature adventures are happening again spontaneously for kids in neighborhoods everywhere!
About our Summer Camp Staff
A Passionate Group Dedicated to Educating Kids
It’s our mission to bring nature education to kids everywhere, and our phenomenal summer camp staff is the secret to our success!
At Wilderness Awareness School Camps, our summer camp staff is family. Together we share spirit, energy and dedication for our summer nature and survival camps for kids and teens. We strongly believe that a camp is only as good as its personnel. We’re extremely selective, and we’re always looking for the perfect blend of experience, skills and passion for education. Check out our Summer Employment page for more information.
Who’s behind the scenes, making Camp run so well
We often smile when parents ask us, “So what do you do in the off-season” Truly, there is no off-season for the staff at Wilderness Awareness School Camps. Our Summer Camp Staff keep the gears in motion by working year-round from the home base of our Duvall, Washington office, located just 45 minutes from Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
Camp Directors – the Key to Quality…
No other nature and survival camp we know of features the depth of experience of our on-the-ground staff at Wilderness Awareness School Camps. We have a year-round Summer Camp Director dedicated to hiring phenomenal Individual Camp Directors and Camp Instructors who possess a strong combination of qualifications and talent. All of our weekly Camp Directors were, at one time, Summer Camp Instructors for Wilderness Awareness School Camps. Our Camp Directors have worked their way up the ranks and know what it takes to run what we are told are the best summer nature and survival camps anywhere. Each Camp Director actively manages a handful of camps, contributing both their expertise and their desire to continue this mentoring tradition to the staff, volunteers and students each summer.
Amazing Summer Camp Staff – How do we do it
Our high rate of return and feedback from our camp families confirms that our Summer Camp staff is comprised of the most experienced, knowledgeable and energetic camp staff anywhere!
“Where do you find such a skilled summer staff”
We have a secret. Well, not so much a secret as the perfect source: the unique learning community of our Anake Outdoor School. Adults from around the world are selected for this one-year training program in wilderness, nature observation and community-building skills. Some of our summer staff come from this first-year group. Many more have continued on to a second year of training, our Anake Leadership Program, where mentoring of youth and adults in nature education is the key focus. So, we are fortunate to be able to choose staff from folks we’ve personally known and spent extensive time with in the field for one or two years before they apply to work at our camps. Our goal is to ensure that every location is staffed with experienced, returning camp directors, assisted by both returning instructors and new individuals who bring a fresh perspective to camp. We interview many candidates and choose only those applicants who meet our strict criteria. We attribute the continued success of Wilderness Awareness School Camps directly to our careful staff selection process and comprehensive training.
“Why don’t you allow Counselors in Training to lead your camps”
We place Counselors in Training (CITs) solely as volunteer assistants. This guarantees that each camp student is instructed and supervised by paid adult staff members, age 18 and older. CITs are teenagers of camp age who are a huge asset to our camps. Their role as volunteers allows them the freedom to contribute enthusiasm and energy while learning from our lead instructors. In this way they have the perfect opportunity to prepare for a time in their future when they could be ready to lead camps with the quality we expect to deliver.
“How do you train your staff”
In addition to having met our strict qualifications for Summer Camp Staff hire, we also train our staff well before the start of camp, for a fun and intensive week of training. There is no substitute for seeing our staff in action! We actively support the best of the staff, creating a high rate of returning instructors.
“Do you run background checks on your staff”
Absolutely, but that’s just a start.
“Every camp says they hire the best staff, how can you prove it”
Here’s the bottom line: Senior staff directly monitor our camps, so we know first-hand that the work is extremely demanding. We provide an amazing work environment that includes high expectations, evaluations, innovative curriculum and teaching tools – and endless summer fun. We personally train our staff and then evaluate them consistently. The feedback we receive from Summer Camp staff is that they are pleased to be working for such a professional organization that also encourages an amazing amount of creativity!