Community School

Meet Your Instructors

Ages 13 to 18

Linne Doran: Duvall, WA

Payment Plans Available

9:00 am to 3:00 pmrnSeptember 19th, 2020 – May 29th, 2021

We have a lot of fun in nature, a refreshing change from regular life where you can just let go of whatever else is going on and just relax and have a good time… and be aware and connected with the earth, I feel comfortable there.

Rutah, age 14

Thank you for all you do for our children. It is a blessing to have adults who care deeply about our children and who are passing on their love for the world and people around us.

Dawn Behm, Parent
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Wilderness Awareness Community School is a weekly program that helps teenagers to engage their natural intelligence and awaken their innate abilities to perceive and connect with the world around them. Our students immerse themselves in intensive, experiential studies of nature from both scientific and indigenous perspectives. While the program was designed to meet the needs of homeschooled children, it is open to any teen with an interest in nature. Our approach to studying nature combines modern scientific understanding with the more first-hand connections that ancient cultures had with the natural world.

Over the course of the year, our teen wilderness course focuses on many topics, including:

  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Mammals and tracking
  • Birds and their languages
  • Plants and their uses (edible, medicinal, utilitarian)
  • Aidless navigation
  • Trees and primitive living skills
  • Ecology and community
  • Specialized skills such as harvesting and preparing medicinal plants, preparing fleece and making felt blankets, carving, and basketry

We explore these topics using a powerful, comprehensive curriculum. We begin our inquiries experientially, taking students into the natural world where they can see, smell, hear and feel the subject matter. To this experiential understanding, we add a cognitive component as our students research the current topic through books, field guides, lectures and other resources. 

Our educational philosophy focuses on:

  • Creating centered, healthy, self-motivated young adults who are able to think critically for themselves
  • Developing in those teens the confidence and inspiration to dream a vivid vision of their own future and the skills and enthusiasm to pursue that vision
  • Teaching a comprehensive naturalist curriculum that allows students who are so inclined to become skilled naturalists and master trackers
  • Encouraging students to identify their unique gifts and passions, and to explore them with confidence
  • Mentoring delivered by experienced wilderness and naturalist instructors who have a deep understanding of the unique needs of teens
  • Using Coyote Mentoring, a widely-respected educational philosophy developed at the Wilderness Awareness School, to encourage creative thinking rather than providing answers, help students develop problem-solving skills and self-sufficiency, and encourage a much deeper level of learning.

Our instructional staff includes:

  • Experienced instructors
  • Apprentices who offer additional instructor support
  • A larger community of amateur and professional naturalists, artists, crafts people, teachers, elders, and young people
  • One lead instructor per 8 students
  • Staff trained as Coyote Mentors
  • Compassionate educators who encourage each child’s respect for self, others and nature
  • Experienced Wilderness First Aid and CPR certified professionals

Meet Your Instructors

Manon McPeters
Charlie Serra
marina rivera-dominguez
chris smith