Formerly our Counselor in Training program.
This programs begins with 1-week of outdoor leadership training followed by 3-weeks as a Leader in Training (LIT) with younger campers. Work with some of the best outdoor educators to develop key leadership skills. This may include wilderness survival scenarios, designing garden plots or working with your team to ensure campers feel comfortable, safe and happy.
First time LIT's or those under the age of 15 do their 3-weeks of field training at our day camp programs located in Southeast Portland, Northwest Portland, or West Portland. These camps start and end each day at one of our various headquarters located in different neighborhoods. During the day, they head out in school buses to local green spaces for their adventures. They return home each day.
Returning LIT's or those over the age of 15 have the opportunity to also do their 3-weeks of field training at our overnight residential camps in Sandy, OR. These camps start on Sunday afternoon and end Friday afternoon. LIT's remain onsite during that time. Other LIT's may be eligible for residential camp even if they are not returning, if they are over the age of 15 and have had experience with Trackers overnights as a camper in past years. Please contact us in advance of registering to connect with our Camp Director about this opportunity.
When you register for the Leader in Training Program you learn as a member of our Four Guilds. LIT's may choose to train intensively in one Guild or across the Guilds. Our Camp Director sends you a Welcome Packet after registration and works with you to choose and secure your 3 Field Training weeks and themes. Skills of each Guild include:
Rangers Guild Wilderness Survival, Wildlife Tracking and the Curriculum of Shadows: Invisibility & Stealth
Tuition includes a 1-week of overnight training in leadership and traditional skills. Plus a 3-week commitment as a Leader in Training in Trackers Summer Camps.
You can download our program information packets:
Important forms we will need for program registration:
We leave on our our Trackers Buses from 4617 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon at 1:30pm on Sunday and return at 2pm every Friday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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."
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.