Connect with Nature
Transform your life
Since 1999, the Anake Outdoor School has provided a field-based immersion program for adults committed to deepening connections with nature, community, and self. Based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this 9-month experience provides leading-edge tools for becoming an empowered and nature-connected human living in the 21st century.
Our unique approach to learning and develoment has three interwoven elements:
The synthesis of these three elements results in a dynamic creation of community that supports learning, exploration, and growth. Participants hone wilderness skills, develop empathy for the natural world, and acknowledge the unique gifts they have to share. Our world is facing complex problems, and is calling for connected and resilient humans offering creativity and vision. The Anake Outdoor School gives you the tools to live a more connected, fulfilled life.
Please watch our introductory video to get a sense of how these three elements weave together to create a transformational experience:
Curriculum: Eight Areas of Study
The Anake Outdoor School provides a holistic approach to understanding the natural world, which is facilitated through eight core areas of study. While we distinguish between these areas, the true power of Anake lies in the integration of these subjects in an immersive experience. These eight areas build on each other throughout the year, resulting in a strong set of fundamental skills as well as a profound sense of belonging. Students will finish this training with an end-of-year Rite-of-Passage resulting in a greater understanding of their purpose and a clearer awareness of their passions and vision for their lives.
Cultivating Deep Nature Connection
In this component of the course students develop a rich understanding of plants, trees, mammals, birds, and other living beings of our bioregion. Through integrating strong nature connection routines, students come away with the knowledge necessary to succeed as a well-rounded naturalist with strong relationship to the natural world.
- Learning about the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest
- Practicing nature journaling and research techniques to deepen your knowledge
- Developing authentic relationship rooted in gratitude and appreciation for the natural world
- Gathering tools to teach yourself and others about the natural world wherever you go
Personal Awareness and Expression
Look within yourself and explore the important parts that make you who you are. Parts that help you move forward, and those that hold you back. What are your blocks and blind spots? What are your natural gifts and talents? As your self-awareness deepens, you will develop your capacity to share and express yourself, resulting in healthy and resilient relationships with yourself and with others.
- Engage in solo practices of self-reflection
- Track themes and patterns in your life
- Develop your passions, skills, and understanding of their values
- Cultivate your capacity for deep listening in conversation
- Develop courageous and authentic self-expression while one-on one and in groups
The Art and Science of Wildlife Tracking
Interpreting Patterns of Life
Unravel the mysteries of tracks and sign left behind by the living world. This part of the course is designed to ground students in the art and science of tracking wildlife. Emphasis is placed on the development of accurate track and sign identification and interpretation skills. Students will have the opportunity to pursue advanced tracking techniques such as aging, event sequencing, and animal trailing.
- Learn accurate track identification
- Interpret animal gaits and track patterns
- Explore ecology and wildlife landscape use
- Learn to follow animal trails
- Gain tools for aging and event sequencing
Permaculture and Land Stewardship
Designing and Tending Regenerative Landscapes
In this component of the program, you will learn to integrate design systems based on ecological principles that create resource-efficient and productive human environments. Through tuning in to what the land needs, you will receive a framework for consciously designed landscapes that mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature. Students will receive an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate at the completion of the curriculum.
- Understanding ecological processes
- Sustainable and regenerative design and productivity
- Human uses of plants and trees for food, tools, and medicine
- Fundamentals of ecological economics and political structures
- Global perspectives on permaculture and land stewardship
Mentoring and Peacemaking
Participate in a powerful and dynamic relational model for working with children and adults. This part of the course teaches students the principles of our community- and nature-based approach to mentoring and leadership. While immersing in a multi-generational community of support, students will explore a diversity of relationships across difference and tune into their own innate gifts and ways of being. This provides the foundational knowledge and experience necessary for becoming an effective outdoor instructor, mentor and leader.
- Techniques and strategies for powerful nature mentoring
- Use team building and collaboration as the foundation for learning
- Grow capacity to give and receive reflection and feedback
- Work with conflict as a gateway to deeper connection
- Initiation and Rites of Passage as cultural tools
Natural and Cultural Heritage
Exploring Lineage and Ancestry
Explore the amazing natural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. We will hear from both modern and ancestral perspectives on what it means to connect individually and culturally to place. Explore how history, landscape, and people have informed and affected each other through time.
- Become familiar with heritage species that hold importance in the Pacific Northwest
- Explore aspects of your personal ancestry
- Explore perspectives on how cultures have deeply connected to place
- Gain an understanding of the role of ceremony within place-based culture
- Learn universal cultural elements that facilitate deep nature and community connection
Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft
Skills for Living with the Land
Practice skills that can save your life. This component of the course engages students in the practice of wilderness survival, including the key elements needed for surviving in the outdoors with and without modern tools. Furthermore, you will practice skills that will prepare you for longer-term wilderness living settings that can deepen your connection to the earth.
- How to build an emergency shelter
- How to locate and procure safe drinking water
- Make fire in challenging situations, including fire by friction
- Guidelines for harvesting plant and animal food from the land
- How to improvise with human made and natural materials
Bird Language and Intuitive Awareness
Sharpening Sensory Perception
This area of the course focuses on a variety of nature awareness skills that sharpen your capacity to perceive the world through all of your senses. Students practice activities that build greater sensory acuity, train the body to move fluidly, and develop empathetic connection to nature. This ultimately cultivates a feeling of safety and belonging wherever you are.
- Learn to perceive animal disturbance patterns through Bird Language
- Learn to move quietly and safely through the forest
- Develop routines that cultivate and hone intuition
- Practice concealment and natural camouflage
With 35 years of combined experience at Wilderness Awareness School, our core instructional team's collective field time and facilitation translates into a rich learning experience. The three core instructors of the Anake Outdoor School facilitate the overall progression of the program and serve as your primary mentors. They teach the core competencies of the programs, and work with the renowned adjunct and guest faculty to provide mastery-level instruction. They each bring their own areas of speciality and enthusiasm. A large part of the magic of Anake is the diverse and complementary interaction of these vital teachers.Meet the Instructors
Why Choose Anake?
As you can see in the curriculum section, there’s a lifetime worth of skills to learn and practice. But there’s a bigger reason for attending the Anake program: we want you to be a confident and empowered human being fulfilling your highest potential.
Imagine waking up in the morning excited to go to class. Think of how different life could be if you were passionate about what you were learning. What if your teachers knew you as an individual and cared about your growth?
Imagine a strong connection to all of your classmates and a learning community that encourages your personal growth. What would it feel like to be to a contributing member to a vibrant community?
The Anake Outdoor School is a transformative, holistic learning experience. Get started on the journey by filling out an application today.
At a Glance
I knew for years I needed to do this. I'm so glad I finally made the leap.
My year in Anake was filled with powerful teachings in a joyful atmosphere.
Coming here helped me to find wonder, amazement, and joy again.
An incredible, life-changing experience.
The most valuable gift I have ever taken from Anake is a deep and powerful sense of my own belonging, connection, and worth in this world.
I came here to learn survival skills and then go off into the woods on my own. Now I've come to realize that having community is the strongest survival skill of all.
Ready to Apply?
Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-2019 School Year! Take the first step in transforming your life by filling out an application. Still have questions? Contact us or visit our FAQ page.Apply Now