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Leader in Training: Teen Leadership Program

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Leadership Training

Join our Leader in Training (LIT) program. Apprentice in outdoor leadership skills with Trackers Earth. Begin with one week of camp training followed by leadership experience helping to guide younger campers. Work with some of the best outdoor educators to develop your own connection to nature and community.

Incredible Skills

Along with leadership skills, your apprentice teaching also immerses you in teaching with Trackers Earth. You could be a Leader in Training at camps teaching wilderness survival, homesteading, archery, role-playing stories and much more. You are immersed in a culture of the Four Guilds of Trackers:

Rangers Guild Wilderness Survival, Tracking and Stealth
Wilders Guild Wild Plants, Homesteading Crafts and Restoration Gardening
Mariners Guild Navigation, Water & Ocean Harvest and Marine Ecology
Artisans Guild Storytelling, Fine Crafts and Place-Based Education

Summer Camps

Grade 9-12 Leaders in Training (LIT) Begin with one week of overnight leadership training at Camp Trackers. Meet new friends, learn outdoor skills and explore a leadership role with Trackers Earth and your community. Finish the program with three weeks of Field Training at our day or overnight camps, helping guide younger campers to develop skills in the outdoors. Every LIT can do field training with day camps. Eligibility for Field Training at overnight camps is limited to 15 years and up with prior LIT experience. You can spread Field Training throughout the summer. We schedule it after you register.

LIT Operations Guide

Grade 6-8 Jr Leaders in Training (jLIT) Junior Leaders in Training start with one week of overnight training at Camp Trackers. Make new friends, develop outdoor skills and start your leadership journey with Trackers. After overnight training, jLITs spend one week of day camp learning about mentorship with our Ages 4 - Grade K programs at our Southeast Location. This week can happen anytime throughout the summer. We schedule it after you register.

jLIT Operations Guide

More Questions

For a quick reference to our approach to safety, staffing, meals and more, please visit our FAQ Page.

Consecutive Weeks

For campers staying more than one week, we offer Weekend Adventures. With canoes trips to mountain lakes and trips to the Oregon Coast you see the best of the Pacific Northwest. Learn more

Register for Leader in Training

Contact Us to Learn More

Give us a call (503) 345-3312

Scholarships We have scholarship awards available of up to 10%-35% or tuition. Due to limited funds of awards we recommend you apply early to increase your chances of acceptance. Submit a scholarship application


After the 1-week Leadership Training, you share your skills for 3-weeks during the summer either as a LIT at our Summer Day Camps or the Camp Trackers overnight program.

Feedback to Grow By

At the end of each week the Program Mentor gives the Leader in Training a written evaluation of their performance. We cover how the student was able to teach basic to complex outdoor educational skills, plus their leadership accomplishments for the all important social structure of the camp. Our staff makes signed copies of each evaluation available for use in portfolios for college admissions and other learning and professional goals.

Leadership Options

There is no other outdoor program like our camps. It is one of the highest levels of experience you can get in education and the outdoor field. From School Bus Time Machine to Camp Trackers, being a Leader in Training at a Trackers Earth camp is like falling down the rabbit hole or stepping through the looking glass.

Day Camps
Trackers Summer Day Camps are epic adventures. They raise the bar for how a day camp runs. Our themes are always intelligent and engaging, weaving savvy social commentary, nature and great theater into fun and engaging experiences. If you ever assisted at any other day camp, be prepared for something completely different at Trackers. Our Summer Day Camps offer direct mentorship from a Program Mentor (Lead Instructor). Together you are team.
Overnight Camps
Because of the intensive nature of our overnight camps, this coveted learning opportunity is by invitation and appointment only. If you are returning LIT, and over the age of 15, than let us know about your interest in our overnight camps. If you are new to our program, have experience in leadership at other overnight camps and are over the age of 15, please let our Camp Director know that you're interested.

Safety and Standards

This program strives to be as fully inclusive as possible. Since the Leader in Training Program entails teens interacting with younger campers, however, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and a full refund is given. Times when this may occur is if LIT's break key safety policies that physically or emotionally endanger themselves, other campers or their leadership team. If there are discipline issues with Leader in Training Program students, we remove the camper from the program with no refund. LIT's receive a policy manual during Orientation Week.

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.

Rangers Guild

Rangers Guild

The Rangers Guild are the scouts of the forest. Students train in stealth, tracking, and wilderness survival skills. If you ever loved the books My Side of the Mountain or Lord of the Rings the Rangers Guild is where you want to be.

Rangers may build a shelter, learn to carve wood, safely make fire with no matches, craft simple bows, or play fun stealth games to build outdoor fitness. They can loose an arrow with keen aim and steady eye.

Rangers are also master naturalists. They know the language and sign of all birds, beasts, and plants that live in wild.

Wilders Guild

Wilders Guild

Named in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Wilders Guild offers homesteading activities. Students could make cheese from farm fresh goats milk to bring home or press apples in the cider press while dancing to fine fiddle music.

You may find a Wilder starting seedlings for planting in family gardens or even working on fiber arts projects.

They make pickles and preserves, help cook nourishing meals over a fire, weave baskets, spin, knit, use plant dyes and other natural materials for coloring fabric. Through their thoughtful care of the forests and the meadows, the Wilders bring balance cultivation and care of the natural world.

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Mariners Guild

The Mariners Guild trains us in the skills of the water and sea. Mariners may study water ecology to learn about aquatic creatures. They could tie knots and even partake in artistic knot work.

In the Mariner's wood shop, we may build a canoe or other traditional skin on frame boat. Most importantly, the Mariners Guild goes fishing and kayaking! While they may not guarantee a catch, Mariners always have a good time sitting by the shore and casting. With the Mariners Guild, you can count coming home with a safe adventure on the water and a tall tale about the "big one that got away."

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Artisans Guild

The Artisans Guild encompasses a diverse range of storytellers and craftspeople. Instructors trained in the dramatic arts teach theater improv games that build confidence, creativity, and teamwork.

Artisans also share their stories through craft and art: From safe and successful metal working projects for younger students to more challenging blacksmithing techniques for older students. The Artisans also express their own story through painting and other art media; they create beautiful and useful things with their leatherworking and woodcraft projects. Through their craft, stories, and incredible adventures, the Artisans will take you on an unforgettable journey.