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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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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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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Xander

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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boy climbing tree

Heartfelt Farewell

Five years ago, we were preparing to move from Minnesota to Washington so that my husband could attend naturopathic medical school. Moving cross-country, with young ones in tow, to a state that I had never even visited, I was busy researching activities for our children to be involved in when we arrived. I remember wondering […]

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Kaveh at Foxes

Hope in this Bittersweet World

Wilderness Awareness School is one of those vital organizations that gives me hope in this bittersweet world. They don’t play by mainstream rules; they commit to their holistic, nature-stained values, and we are all better for it. Discovering WAS years ago felt so right that it was like a homecoming. Kaveh was immediately met, seen, […]

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Leo sitting on vine maple

Cultivating a New Generation of Leaders

Fifteen years ago I had the opportunity and honor to plant a Tree of Peace with Chief Jake Swamp at Linne Doran. The tree is a Thuja plicata, Western Red Cedar, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Western Red Cedars grow with what’s called a central leader. A couple of years ago I […]

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Happy little girl

Developing Self-Reliance and Confidence

We joined the Wilderness Awareness School 7 years ago. We stumbled upon this gem when we moved to the Pacific Northwest and I was looking for an engaging “activity” for my daughter. At the time, Emily was 4 years old and she entered the Roots and Wings Program. We were impressed by the school’s focus […]

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