Trackers Village: Wild Plants, Folk Craft & 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, folk craft, 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 folk craft. 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 expresses a very ancient relationship with the land.
At the heart of this program is our monthly weekend campouts. On these weekends the entire village gathers to learn skills from core Trackers Educators and recreate the village. It is where we track herds of elk, plant gardens, restore willow wetlands to make baskets for many generations, cook over open fires and rekindle our relationship to the land.
This program includes…
- Village Campouts & Skill-Building Workshops one weekend a month
- Learning with core instructors of Trackers Earth
- Free entry in our Trackers Club programs for general activities
- Community potlucks and gatherings
Membership in the year-long Trackers Village also includes our Trackers Club with skills evenings every Thursday. When you attend Trackers Club the $5 entry fee is waived while additional fees for specific activites such as blacksmithing may apply. The Village also offers potlucks and gatherings featuring a trade blanket for handmade crafts and more.
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, Folk Craft & Restoration
The Trackers Village Program includes monthly Village Campouts and our Trackers Club with weekly skills evenings.
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.
$225 Trial Month for first adult participant
$149 Trial Month for each additional immediate family member
$1,795 for first adult participant
$949 for each for 2nd immediate family member
$749 for each for 3rd immediate family member
$649 for each for 4th or any additional immediate family member
Children 5 and under are free. They must participate in the program while under a parent’s supervision the entire time. For youth participants 6 and older see our Youth Village Program
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 10-monthly installments. Payment plans do require a 1-year membership contract.
Contact Us for payment plans
Village 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. Trackers Club Evenings take place at our location in SE Portland.
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 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 2nd 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 12-14, 2014
October 10-12, 2014
November 7-9, 2014
Optional Family Holiday Events December 13, 2014
January 9-11, 2015
February 13-15, 2015
March 13-15, 2015
April 10-12, 2015
May 1-3, 2015
May 29-31, 2015
Optional July 4 Picnic July 4, 2015 (day only)
Trackers Club is an opportunity for consistent practice and support while learning the skills of Trackers Earth. It offers Evenings at the Scout Pit with expert instructors in our Four Guilds for general activites (specialized activities such as blacksmithing may be an addtional cost).
Skills Evenings Every Thursday of the Month
Come learn the skills of our Four Guilds. One minute you could join a Rangers Guild instructor teaching fire with no matches and the next you could be spinning wool with the Wilders. All this, plus an indoor archery range to regularly loose arrows. You bring a personal project to work on or join our instructors as they facilitate a group skill.
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 May, 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.