Methow Valley Bird Language Weekend

Saturday, September 28 –  9am-4pm with optional evening activities
Sunday, September 29 – 7am-2pm

Group Campground available for check-in as of Friday September 27th, 2:30 pm

Pearrygin Lake State Park: 625 Bear Creek Rd, Winthrop, WA 98862

We will be diving deeply into the world of bird language during our time 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, rain or shine. 

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.

We will spend the weekend at the secluded group campground and area trails of 1,186-acre Pearrygin Lake State Park outside Winthrop, Washington. Potable water and a pit toilet is available at our campsite, however there is no electricity. Flush toilets and showers may be accessed in the main campground about a half mile from our site. Our camping area accommodates tents only, a short walk in from the parking area, so will not accommodate vehicle camping or RVs. Those with RVs or wanting to extend their stay on either end can find park reservations information here. Those wanting to make other lodging arrangements in the area, such as in the nearby town of Winthrop, are welcome to do so.

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 packable lunches and snacks for our class days, as well as breakfast and dinner food. There is a BBQ/ firepit at the campground that may potentially be used for cooking morning and evening meals, however, fire bans are common in the region so best not to count on it.

Park address: 625 Bear Creek Rd, Winthrop, WA 98862 

Meeting Location: Group Camp #1. There is limited parking available at our campsite, so please carpool if possible. If you might be interested in carpooling from the Snoqualmie Valley, email Heather with where you will be coming from and your preferred timing, and she can help you connect with others. Once we fill the small parking lot at our site, additional vehicles will need to park in overflow parking about ¾ mile away in the main campground (though you may drive in to drop off gear).


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 fall in north-central Washington. 


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


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


  • Tent w/rain fly and ground tarp
  • Sleeping bag and pad (w/temperature rating appropriate for season)
  • Toiletries and personal medications
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Food and cookware for the weekend (including packable lunch food, containers for lunches, snacks, stove, cookware, cooler, etc.)
Wilderness Awareness School