Bird Language Skills Weekend Program Details

Saturday, May 4th –  9am-4pm
Sunday, May 5th – 7am-2pm

Please arrive at least 15 minutes early so you are ready to go at start time.

Tolt-MacDonald Park: NE 40th St., Carnation, WA 98014

Meeting Location: From the main park entrance on NE 40th St., park in the large lot on the left before entering the campground area. We will meet in the meadow adjacent to that lot. Find a map of our meeting location here.

What to Expect:
We will be diving deeply into the world of bird language during our two days together. In keeping with the experiential learning style of Wilderness Awareness School, expect a fun and engaging mix of active embodiment, storytelling, group sharing, and sensory awareness exercises interspersed with the more formal bird sit, mapping, and focused bird wanders.

We encourage you to be prepared for all types of weather and bring several layers so that you can be comfortable throughout the class. Expect to be outside for the entire day, possibly in the pouring rain. We recommend you not wear cotton as it loses its insulative properties when wet. Wool or synthetic clothing works best.

We are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for participants to learn these fun and important skills. For more about our values in this area, see our Equity Initiatives.

As this program is about nature connection, we will ask people to only use their electronic/smartphone devices discreetly on longer breaks. Feel free to leave them off the whole time! 

Health Precautions:
We ask all participants to stay home if they have signs or symptoms of Covid-19. Please see the following Dept. of Health Guidelines for an updated list of symptoms. All students are asked to quarantine or isolate if they have symptoms or a Covid exposure per the most up-to-date state and county guidelines. Please note that masks may be required OR may be optional. We will send an update about current health and safety requirements 2 weeks before the start date.

Class takes place on the 574-acre grounds of Tolt MacDonald Park in Carnation, WA, at the confluence of the Snoqualmie & Tolt rivers. It will run from 9am-4pm Saturday and 7am-2pm Sunday. We will be outdoors throughout the weekend; please dress appropriately with the expectation that you could possibly be outside in the rain all day. While the class isn’t overly strenuous, participants should be comfortable standing and walking on uneven ground, and sitting on potentially wet or muddy surfaces.

For those coming from afar, camping may be available on-site through King County Parks until the campground is full. The campground fills up fast, so reserve your spot early! Click here for camping information and reservations.

Food is not provided for this course. There will not be an opportunity to leave the program site midday to buy lunch, so make sure to bring a sack lunch and snacks. We do not have any way for you to refrigerate or heat your food, so please plan accordingly. If you wish to eat after the program ends for the day, ask your instructors for their restaurant recommendations.


Please bring the following items. This list is designed with your comfort and safety in mind, and takes into account the variable weather possibilities in Western Washington. 

Required Gear:

  • Notebook and pen/pencil (rite in the rain paper recommended)
  • Full 1-liter water bottle
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Daypack to carry gear
  • Clothing that can be worn outside, get dirty, etc. appropriate to the weather.
  • Appropriate footwear (closed-toe and waterproof preferred)

Optional Gear:

  • Wristwatch (We will be keeping track of time during our bird sits and having a watch can be helpful)
  • Binoculars
  • Crazy Creek/Camp Chair/Sit Pad
  • Bird field guides of your choice. We will have some to lend, but the more the merrier!
Wilderness Awareness School