Northwest NEWS

July 5, 1999

Valley Special

Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall sets summer programs

by Audrey Mintz, contributing writer

   DUVALL--Starting the first week of July and lasting until September, youth day camps and adult week-long programs are being offered by the Wilderness Awareness School. The school, which began in 1983 in New Jersey and relocated to Duvall in 1995, strives to foster people's understandings of their native environment.

   "Our youth camps focus on reconnecting kids back to the natural world," said Nate Summers, director of the summer day camp.

   By teaching tracking, outdoor survival skills, wandering without getting lost, moving silently through the woods, and language of the birds, the Wilderness Awareness School teaches young people how to feel comfortable in the wilderness while preparing them to learn from their natural surroundings.

   "The instructor to student ratio is great, with two instructors to every 8 to 10 students," Summers said. "Instructors are well-versed in the teachings of the natural world and all have experience teaching children."

   There are four week-long programs for youth ages 7 to 13 offered in Carnation, Kirkland, Seattle, and Everett.

   "All areas offer the student a beautiful and natural setting," he said.

   The adult tracking programs begin in August and take place in Idaho at the largest unroaded wilderness area in the contiguous 48 states, where over 100 wolves have been re-introduced to the area.

   "We train participants on how to track wolves in that environment," said Wolf Tracking Program instructor Pete Marshall. "Are they here? What are they doing? Where are they sleeping? What are they eating? Where are their core areas? These are the types of specific questions we want to answer."

   The Mystery of Tracking, designed to teach the beginning student about tracker journaling and methods of collecting data in the field; Advanced Wolf Tracking, offered to the experienced tracker; and Seeing Through the Eyes of the Wolf, for those more interested in wolves than tracking, are all offered this summer.

   For more information regarding these youth or adult programs, contact the Wilderness Awareness School office at 425-788-1301 or stop by their office in the bottom floor of the Whitfield Plaza building in downtown Duvall.