boy tending a fire

Truly Grateful for the Gift of Nature

One of the greatest gifts in life- especially in our increasingly wired society- is to have a deep connection to nature.  In a world that’s always changing, nature is our one constant. We can rely on the sense of well-being that comes from basking in the sunshine, the awe that comes from absorbing the sheer […]

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WAS Youth Program Foxes

Spending Time in Nature

I believe in taking a deep breath of fresh forest air. I believe in feeling free as you romp through the trees. I believe in cooling your feet in a chilly mountain stream and letting your worries wash away with the current. I believe in spending time with nature. My family has lived in a […]

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Founding the Coyote Club

Sometimes the impact of what we learn and do in life is like a rock thrown into a small pond: a big splash before the water settles. Other times, it’s like a tsunami: a foundational shift that spawns a quiet wave swelling slowly on the horizon, which grows as it progresses. Nature Instructor Training was […]

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Patrick in the wild

Tracking Wolves, Finding Myself

I began my journey with Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) by boarding a plane, alone for the first time, to track wolves in the Idaho backcountry. I was a freshman with a fascination for wolves and that first true wilderness experience was transformational. I went from liking nature to considering nature to be an essential part […]

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Finn at Jackals

Rekindling His Fire

I am so grateful for the opportunity my son, Finn, has had to spend Fridays in Duvall with the Jackals, learning from his environment and from the strong community of teens and mentors. Last October, shortly after Finn started at a new school that wasn’t a good fit for him, his little fire burned down […]

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Travis Bitters

The School That Ties Everything Together

Like most of you, I have spent a lot of time in all types of classrooms.  At university, I studied literary theory, plant taxonomy, ethnobotany, and even how to ride a horse. In the Army, I went through jump school, language school, and how-to-soldier school. However, the most significant school for my career as a […]

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Snowshoe John

Life After Anake Outdoor School

I’m John Gasparich, a graduate of the 2008-2009 Anake program, and an apprentice the following year. I met my wife, Khylynowey, during the Anake program. After my apprenticeship, my wife and I moved to Canada, to the farm where she was raised. In the first year of living on the farm, I built Khy and […]

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Happy WAS students

Muddy and Happy

Our family heard about Wilderness Awareness School through word of mouth. Friends had tried the program, spoke very highly of it, and when we looked into it further we knew it would be the perfect fit for our oldest, Henry. Henry has loved being outside since infancy. We have many memories of strapping him to […]

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Mountain Caribou Initiative Team

Nature Connection as a Gateway for Change

In 2005, I came to Anake Outdoor School to find an empowered connection to the living world. Over a decade later, I am fortunate to work here helping people as they find that for themselves. It was here that I deepened my love for this part of the world, and made connections with amazing friends […]

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Finding His Place

It’s hard for me to find words for the kind of impact Wilderness Awareness School has had on our child. Like the program itself, the changes we have seen in him are deep and far-reaching. This is his fourth year with WAS and we can’t imagine his life without this adventure or these people. He […]

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