Anake Outdoor School

Connect with Nature

Transform your life

Since 1999, the Anake Outdoor School has provided a field-based immersion program for adults committed to deepending connections with nature, community, and self. Based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, this -month experience provides leading-edge toolds for becoming and empowered nad nature-conencted human living in the 21st century.

At a Glance


Duvall, WA

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3 days/week, 9a-3p + expeditions

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  • College Credit
  • VA Benefits
  • PDC Certificate
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38 students create a powerful learning community

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Our Approach

Our unique approach to learning and develoment has three interwoven elements:

  • Knowledge

  • Connection

  • Growth

The synthesis of these three elements results in 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.

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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 int he integration of thes subjects in an immersive experience. These eight areas all 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 cilminate this training with and end-of-year Rit-ofPassage resulting in a greater understandinf of their role in the communities and a clearer awareness of their passions and vision for their lives.

Naturalist Studies

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 their lives
  • Develop their passions, skills, and understanding of their values
  • Cultivate their 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

Community Leadership

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
  • Using 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?

We know that attending the Anak program is a big decision. We also know that there are other schools operating under a similar model. Knowing which option is best for you can be a challenging decision. Here are some reasons why you should consider attending the Anake Outdoor School - along with questions you should ask any school you are considering.


Questions to ask: What are the experience levels of your staff? How long have they been with your organization?

We are the pioneer of the yearlong nature immersion program for adults. Now in it's 18th year, we have over 400 graduates across the globe. While other schools use a similar educational model, many of those organizations have trained their staff at Wilderness Awareness School and have used the Anake Outdoor School as a model for their programming. You likely only get to do this sort of experience once in your lifetime. Experience isn't everything, but making sure you do your research is important to getting the most out of this opportunity.

Another layer of experience is the people who hold the basket of your program. In short, we put a priority on retaining highly trained instructors. To become an Anake Instructor takes years of training. Our three core Anake instructors have over 30 combined years of teaching experience at Wildereness Awareness. That does not include any of the adjunct instructors or guest instructors. These guides bring their own individual passions and areas of expertise - as well as the ability to powerfully mentor you on this journey. The staff makes all the difference in the world. See more about our Instructors here.


Questions to ask: How many of your graduates end up staying in the area? What are other learning opportunities in the area?

While this is huge buzzword, what does community mean? Here's what community actually looks like at Wilderness Awareness School. Many of our graduates move here for the Anake program and end up falling in love with the Pacific Northwest. With a thriving economy (aka jobs) and being close to massive tracts of gorgeous wilderness, the school is in an ideal location. Community looks like many layers of students in the local and greater Seattle area. Community looks like diverse learning opportunities that extend well beyond the first year of training. Community looks like a wide range of people to share your unique gifts with - including other students, 2nd and 3rd year apprentices, instructional and administrative staff at the school, our council of elders, and the larger supportive community as a whole.


Question to ask: What job opportunities does your school provide after graduation?

If you want to immediately turn your newfound set of skills into a career, the most common path is becoming a teacher. Besides Anake, we have many programs for adults and youth that need qualified instructors. The most abundant need is with our youth programs. We have close to 2000 children participate in our summer camps every year. If you want a job teaching, there's a good chance that you'll be invited to teach at our summer camps. This provides a foot in the door for teaching at our school AND dozens of other wilderness schools and outdoor education organizations in the local area and beyond. There are many other job opportunities in the area as well.

Another question we often receive is "What can I do with this knowledge?" Anake Outdoor School Alumni have received college credit, or achieved success with careers as naturalists, park guides, or in nature immersion education, or have even gone on to start their own schools. Some have returned to their jobs or found a new area of passion to pursue.

Others have transitioned back to civilian life, healed wounds or experienced personal growth through nature connections and awareness. What ever you do with your Anake journey, you'll find a fierce curiosity is sparked within you, and the collective experience is deepened.

See the video to learn more about what makes the Anake Outdoor School the right choice for you!

I knew for years I needed to do this. I'm so glad I finally made the leap.

Paul 12

My year in Anake was filled with powerful teachings in a joyful atmosphere.

Kim 09

Coming here helped me to find wonder, amazement, and joy again.

Kaye 15

An incredible, life-changing experience.

Justin 13

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.

Brett 04

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.

Denny 10

Ready to Get Started?

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-2019 School Year! Please know that we will start the official interview and enrollment process on Nov 1st, 2017. Let us know if you have questions in the meantime!

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