About us | Trackers Earth Portland, Oregon
Trackers Earth offers camps and outdoor programs for all ages. We provide innovative education in nature connection and authentic outdoor skills. Camps and classes include outdoor skills, wild plants, archery, restoration and much more. Our organization and education models are collaborative. Our purpose is to create a village of connection to the land, accountability, common sense, and limitless enthusiasm.
Trackers camps and outdoor programs have been recognized by several awards including best camp voted by parent’s with Red Tricycle and NW Kids magazines and an industry specific award for creative programming by the American Camp Association.
Tony and Molly Deis founded Trackers Earth in 2004. Tony based Trackers on his personal work in outdoor education since 1992 while teaching and developing programs for local outdoor education organizations. Since then, referrals from both parents and students has grown Trackers into one of the largest and most well respected summer camps and outdoor programs in Portland, Oregon and beyond.
Tony often says that Trackers has more in common with his big Italian family than conventional outdoor education. We are made up of compassionate individuals who focus on caring for their family and yours, competence and eloquence in all that they do and of course, gathering together for great food.
At Trackers we are champions of land and village. We are navigators of an epic world that needs to exist. We are a community where we remember the celebration of hearth, family, respect for the land and a timeless human story.
Our labor, profits, joys and hopes are directed to generating resources that help create a village of epically happy people connected to nature.
What is Trackers Earth?
Trackers is a family organization. We are not simply limited to one family. Like a true village, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, aunties and uncles, grandmas and grandpas from many different kinds of families work side-by-side for the greater good. We value instilling care and respect for the natural world and the community we serve. With Trackers you often get the feeling of "old friends that just met".
Since its beginning Trackers has helped lead the way in standards of risk management for outdoor camps and programs. Trackers also consults with other outdoor programs and camp organizations, helping them to improve their own best practices for safety and risk management. We cultivate experienced and mature staff that allow us to teach real skills and respect for the land. We seek to bring environmental education back to inspiring adventure with new and leading standards of care, responsibility and personalized learning. Learn more about our safety policies, programs and philosophies from our blog.
The Four Guilds
Story is at the heart of all great education and adventure. We believe our lives on this Earth can be epic in both play and learning. All of Trackers camps, classes and productions can also be seen as great theater. Throughout our adventures you get to take part in one or more of our guilds: Rangers, Wilders, Mariners and Artisans.
The Legend of the Ranger
The Rangers are hunters and scouts for the village. They are versed in the arts of wilderness survival, tracking and awareness. In their listening they find a silence, one that compels them to protect what is Wild. Flow is the Way of the Ranger. They follow the trail of the cougar, deer and other animals. With finely honed senses they become the eyes and ears of the village, living completely with the land and tending to it as if an invisible ghost.
The Remembering is here. There was a time you forgot who you were, how it feels to release an arrow, the music of the bowstring resonating, the route of your blood, the path of those who came before. You felt you were asleep for a long while. The world engined on. Then, one day, you woke up.
The Way of the Wilder
The Wilders are caretakers. They tend to the balance of their village. They listen to the land as they help abundance flow. They guide the needs of the people into harmony with the needs of all life around them. The tools of a Wilder is remediation through mycology, animals, plants and life itself. They change the land by asking and courting certain ways of life to grow and take root.
The Remembering is here and its time to ask ourselves the question: Do we own the land or do we belong to it? A place can be like our family, familiar and sewn into the day to day of our lives. As people we can define ourselves by how we care for that family and village. This kinship is reflected in how we tend to the Earth and the Wild that sustains us.
The Tale of the Mariner
The Mariners run the waterways. They build boats, fish and connect our world by wind and sea. A Mariner charts their course by the stars. By trade and salty wisdom they demand respect for the rivers and oceans and all the life in their depths. Wind on sail powers their movements across nearly three quarters of our planet. Paddle by muscle takes them up rivers, on lakes and the all water veins that run through the mountains to the valleys. They hold law for those that bring ruin to the waters, recognizing the sea as the source of all life on Earth.
The Remembering is here. We have forgotten about the ocean. It has lost an awe and mystery to us. Though, the vastness of its depths weather you in a way unmatched by any force on this Earth. By storm and calm, by power and emptiness, the sea changes you.
The Story of the Artisan
The Artisans are theater, music and fine crafts folk. Their trade and circus opens our eyes to both noble purpose and subtle, quiet reflection. They carry the stories that remind us of where we've been. They tell the tales that reveal to us who we truly are. The Artisans are our Storykeepers, travelers bare-of-foot, walking and sleeping under the twilight sky. They evoke drama and humor born by living root in the land. They recall a timeless grief and praise from the very stars above. Their gift is played in celebrations marking the seasons for the children in our stead, asking the moments between these festivals to be filled with a fantastic passion for the day to day of life.
The Remembering is here. Our Story is one of love, forgetting, and an unknown future. This haze we walk through must be assailed. These fears with which we burden ourselves must be shaken loose. At center stage is our very survival, and the choices we make will soon become the Story we Remember.