Community School

Ages 13 to 18

Linne Doran: Duvall, WA

Payment Plans Available

9am – 3pm
September 13th, 2024 – May 23rd, 2025

“We have a lot of fun in nature, a refreshing change from regular life where you can just let go of whatever else is going on and just relax and have a good time… and be aware and connected with the earth, I feel comfortable there.”

– Rutah, age 14

Thank you for all you do for our children. It is a blessing to have adults who care deeply about our children and who are passing on their love for the world and people around us.

– Dawn Behm, Parent

Wilderness Awareness Community School is a weekly program that helps teenagers to engage their natural intelligence and awaken their innate abilities to perceive and connect with the world around them. Our students immerse themselves in intensive, experiential studies of nature from both scientific and traditional perspectives. Our approach to studying nature combines modern scientific understanding with ancestral ways of connecting with the natural world. 

This course focuses on many topics, including:

  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Mammals and tracking
  • Birds and their languages
  • Plants and their uses (edible, medicinal, utilitarian)
  • Aidless navigation
  • Trees and primitive living skills
  • Ecology and community
  • Specialized skills such as harvesting and preparing medicinal plants, preparing fleece and making felt blankets, carving, and basketry

We explore these topics using a powerful, comprehensive curriculum. We begin our inquiries experientially, taking students into the natural world where they can see, smell, hear and feel the subject matter. To this experiential understanding, we add a cognitive component as our students research the current topic through books, field guides, lectures and other resources. 

Our educational philosophy focuses on:

  • Creating centered, healthy, self-motivated young adults who are able to think critically for themselves
  • Developing in those teens the confidence and inspiration to dream a vivid vision of their own future and the skills and enthusiasm to pursue that vision
  • Teaching a comprehensive naturalist curriculum
  • Encouraging students to identify their unique gifts and passions, and to explore them with confidence
  • Mentoring delivered by experienced wilderness and naturalist instructors who have a deep understanding of the unique needs of teens
  • Using our widely-respected educational philosophy, we encourage creative thinking rather than simply providing answers. Our goal is to help students develop problem-solving skills and self-sufficiency, fostering a deeper level of learning and connection.

Our instructional staff includes:

  • Experienced instructors
  • Apprentices who offer additional instructor support
  • A larger community of amateur and professional naturalists, artists, crafters, teachers, elders, and young people
  • A targeted 1:10 adult to student ratio
  • Staff trained as Coyote Mentors
  • Compassionate educators who encourage each child’s respect for self, others, and nature
  • Experienced Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified professionals

Meet the Instructors

Jesse Phillips
Omer Gil
Siana Stutchbury

Wilderness Awareness School