Trackers Village: Wild Plants, Homesteading & Restoration Immersion
Create a Village - Restore the Earth, Cultivate Sustainable Community
Help create a village as you spend 1-year studying wild edible and medicinal plants, homesteading crafts, village gardens and sustainability and restoration of native landscapes. Our Trackers Village Programs helps you develop a deeper understanding and connection to community and the natural world.
Life of a Wilder
At the heart of our Wilders Guild is a life rooted in the land and all that grows there. This is more than horticulture, permaculture or sustainability. Our purpose is the renewal of native plants and their habitats. We accomplish this restoration by integrating harvest, village livelihood and abundance into how we see and interact with the land.
Restore the Earth
The Wilders Guild pairs seasonal wildcrafted harvest with traditional homesteading crafts. Students get hands-on experience in everything from natural building with local materials to animal husbandry and mushroom cultivation to accelerate the building of dynamic soil.
Wild plants run through our Gardens as our Gardens run through the wild places. Wilders do not stop at the edge of where we grow our food. We pattern our care and cultivation by the story of the forest and its village. The Wilders Garden express a very ancient relationship with the land.
This program includes…
- Village Campouts & Skill-Building Workshops one weekend a month
- Learning with core instructors of Trackers learn more
- Full membership in our Wilderness Skills evenings, Nature Saturdays, and Open Archery Range
- Community potlucks and gatherings
- A 5% discount discount on all other Trackers programs, camps, and products in the camp store*
- Includes over 80 potential program days, including 20 program overnights
Membership in the Trackers Village also includes our Wilderness Skills Club days with skills evenings, nature Saturdays, and access to our indoor range. The Village also offers monthly potlucks and gatherings featuring a trade blanket for handmade crafts and more.
*early registration discounts are not included, discount cannot be applied retroactively or to programs outside the start of the year membership
Community & Kid Friendly
The Trackers Village Program works for the entire community. During Village Campouts every member Trackers core staff is available as mentors. You benefit from learning with our top instructors, some of the best in the field of sustainability and outdoor skills.
Because we have so much staff support available during these programs, children and families are not only welcome but encouraged to attend. To learn more about our options for families, visit the main Trackers Village Program page.
Option Work Study
For individuals interested in pursuing a livelihood outdoor education we offer a work study option learning as an assistant in our youth summer camps. This application based program is solely for students with education as a career goal and can help meet tuition for the entire Trackers Village program and beyond. Learn more
Trackers Village : Wild Plants, Homesteading & Restoration
The Trackers Village Program includes monthly Village Campouts, our Wilderness Skills Club with skills evenings, nature Saturdays, and an open archery range.
The Trackers Village staff includes nearly everyone from Trackers. Founders, core staff and many members of the Trackers community attend. It is a learning environment rich with in-depth knowledge and experience, diversity, and opportunity.
You can save by enrolling into the full-year program. If you need to first experience the Trackers Village and its program, you can register for a trial month that includes one weekend Village Campout and all Wilderness Skills Club events (5% discount on Trackers programs is not included in the trial month).
$225 Trial Month for first adult participant
Discounts available for additional family memembers. Learn more about our family version
$1,795 for first adult participant
Discounts available for additional family memembers. Learn more about our family version
2nd year or Returning Immersion & Apprenticeship Students
Returning Trackers Immersion & Apprenticeship students and their families receive a significant discount for participating in the program, with the expectation of being truly helpful to the village.
We not only offer payment plans, we strongly encourage them. Our goal is to make this program accessible to as many people as possible and we recognize a payment can accomplish that. You begin with a $100 non-refundable deposit to reserve your place and when the program begins, the remainder of your year membership is billed in 12-monthly installments. Payment plans do require a 1-year membership contract.
Contact Us for payment plans
Scholarships are available for families in need. With scholarships, program, camp, and store discounts are no longer available. Apply now
LocationVillage Campouts take place at Camp Trackers, 80 acres of incredible Pacific Northwest forest on the southern edge of the Bull Run watershed. Our argoforestry plan is instrumental to our curriculum. From mushroom cultivation to micro-scale timber harvest, this is a classroom where you live with the land, tending to it as you would your own village. A shuttle provides transport options from SE Portland to the Village Campouts. Wilderness Skills Club Evenings and our Open Archery Range takes place at our location in SE Portland. Wilderness Skills Saturdays take place at the Bull Run Education Center in Sandy, OR.
1-year program Payment Plan Tuition $100 deposit with 12-monthly payments
1-month trial First adult participant Tuition $225
1-year program First adult participant Tuition $1,795
1-year program Scholarship Tuition Reduction determined by need
1-year program Work Study Tuition Work Study Learn more
At the core of our program is our Village Campouts - think of them as summer camp for all ages. This is where we come together every weekend to learn and celebrate community. Village Campouts occur one weekend nearly every month and when you arrive is flexible. There is always something fantastic happening to jump in on.
Typical Village Campout
Friday evenings begin with everyone arriving. We offer family style camping and there is a Friday Campfire featuring storytelling, informative talks, music, and more.
Saturday we all jump into Guild Activities. Guild Activities are where we learn and teach in the program, sharing skills of the Four Trackers Guilds. You choose where you go and what you do. Wherever your inspiration takes you to contribute to the village.
Activities could include training in wilderness survival and primitive living skills, fishing, harvesting and processing acorns, garden design and creation, building split rail fences for the animals on the homestead, developing skills for subsistence hunting, preparing a wild gathered feast for the village, making bacon, tracking the local elk herd, making a bow, blacksmithing, archery, milking goats, and much more. The possibilities are endless as we work through and adventure to care for the village we choose to create.
Saturday evening features a grand Village Feast with plenty of outdoor cooking over the campfire and wholesome healthy foods including locally sourced meats and vegetables as part of all our meals.
Our Saturday village celebration ends with an evening campfire produced by run by our Artisans Guild of music, theater, and more. If your simply feeling the needy to relax and talk, you wander to the separate Rangers Campfires encircling and keeping watch by the village.
Sunday continues our Guild Activities with a focus on building the resources of the village. We discuss our goals for next weekend and what we wish to create.
Schedule of Village Campouts
Village Campouts are overnights unless otherwise noted and typically occur the 3rd weekend of every month except in June (it’s the first weekend due to our summer camp programs), July (we are only doing a single day July 4 village picnic), and December (for our holiday open house and events).
September 19-21, 2014
October 17-18, 2014
November 14-16, 2014
Optional December Holiday Events December 13-14, 2014 (day only)
January 16-18, 2015
February 20-22, 2015
March 20-22, 2015
April 17-19, 2015
May 15-17, 2015
June 5-7, 2015
Optional July 4 Picnic July 4, 2015 (day only)
August 14-16, 2015
Wilderness Skills Club
The Trackers Wilderness Skills Club is an opportunity for consistent practice and support while learning the skills of Trackers Earth. It offers Wild Craft Evenings at the Scout Pit with expert instructors in our Four Guilds and monthly Wilderness Skills Saturdays.
Wilderness Skills Saturdays 1st Saturday of the Month
This event focuses on field time getting hands-on skills tracking, training in bushcraft and other outdoor skills, or shooting at our outdoor archery range. Our tracking instructors help you learn to identify and interpret wildlife sign while practicing awareness techniques for trailing animals. Unique among wilderness skills club programs, Trackers offers a friendly and focused environment where you learn as a team. It takes place in a private forest campground 45-minutes from Portland. Due to occasionally challenging winter road conditions at our Sandy location, we take hiatus from Wilderness Skills Saturdays in December, January, and February.
Wilderness Skills Evenings 2nd Thursday of the Month
Located in Southeast Portland, the Trackers Scout Pit has four Guild Rooms and an Archery Range. One room for Wilders and their homesteading crafts, basket making and medicinal plants. Another is for Artisans, blacksmithing or maybe working wood. Then there are the Mariners, brewing mead or building a kayak. Finally you have the Rangers, bow making, fire by friction, flintknapping and more. All this, plus an indoor archery range to regularly shoot in. You bring a personal project to work on or join our instructors as they facilitate a group skill.
Open Archery Range Every Saturday
We feature and open archery range at our indoor range in SE Portland where you can come and use our bows and get tips from our archery mentors.
The specific evenings of weekends of these extracurricular program days could be subject to change during the year. No Wilderness Skills Club the days or weekends of or weekends following...
Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Spring Break, Easter, Memorial Day
Potlucks & Trade Blankets Final Fridays
Nearly every month, Trackers holds a community-based potluck and gathering at our SE Portland location. Every member of the village comes together to share food, celebrate community, shoot arrows in our archery range, and sometimes offer new skills. We often feature holiday specific themes with costumes or cooking contests along with our famous trade blanket where you trade-up your wares Barter Town style. These are community based evens and not an official part of the program. Since it is open to all, these are nights you can bring a friend to introduce the community.
Core Immersion Courses
1-year Trackers Village Program 1 weekends a month September to August, and ongoing skills evenings and days year-round. Discover an incredible connection with nature and community. For one year join the Trackers family as we celebrate, work and learn together as a village. Learning takes place through projects that help create the village. During monthly weekend campouts and wilderness skills days you choose from hands-on activities within our Four Guilds.
1-year Environmental Educator Training Program 3-9 weeks in the summer, 1 weekends a month September to August, and ongoing skills evenings and days year-round. Study to be an outdoor skills instructor with Trackers's unique model of environmental education. This program combines learning as an assistant in our Summer Camps with our Trackers Village Immersion.
Specialty Immersion Courses
8-months Archery Training Immersion 1-weekend a month immersed in the sport and art of archery. Our instructors provide expert coaching in archery fundamentals while bridging into more advanced skills.
2-months Hunting Immersion A course on the practice, ethics and regulations of subsistence hunting. This program takes place over a series of evenings and weekends.
Youth Apprenticeship Courses
Trackers Apprenticeships are the opportunity for youth to work with highly experienced mentors in wilderness skills and sustainability.
Ages 11-17 Rangers Apprenticeship Youth work with experienced mentors to develop authentic outdoor skills applicable to all aspects of life, learning, and leadership.
Ages 6-10 Junior Rangers Apprenticeship Youth learn the arts of animal tracking, wilderness survival, tracking and silent movement through the woods.
Ages 7-17 Archery Apprenticeship Intensive training program for any teen or youth interested in archery as a practice and art.