Trackers Outdoor School & Field Trip Program Portland, Oregon
A Custom Field Trip
There is no other Outdoor School like Trackers. We provide field trips and outdoor learning activities that build upon your curriculum in environmental sciences, history, anthropology, traditional living, nature connection and more. Our custom day and overnight field trips are finely crafted to meet the needs of your class. We offer both day or overnight programs with flexible schedules.
5 reason to choose Trackers Earth Outdoor School...
1) Real Skills, Real Experts Our instructors are more than camp counselors, they live the skills they teach.
2) Transportation Provided We transport your kids to our site in our school buses
3) Essential Safety Our risk management policies lead the field. Learn more on our Safety Blog
4) Smaller group sizes We have some of the best staff to student ratios of any outdoor school
5) Competency is Respected We believe children are capable of so much more than our world asks of them. We raise the bar of accomplishment while gently guiding them to connect to the natural world.
You and your students join us at any one of our sites, your own field study area or even for a presentation in class. Trackers educators and field specialists take you through curriculum that we design with you. Please see below for a list of topics.
Whether at our own site or one of your choosing, Trackers offers overnight adventures like no other educational program. Our standards of safety and the collective skills of our staff far exceed conventional environmental education. We also offers a unique perspective on community building within our programs. Our highly functional models of collaborative learning foster both confidence and competency with your students. We do more than simply teach about natural sciences and traditional life skills, we create a culture of learning and immersion you and students will never forget.
Trackers Outdoor School Programs
Ages All Tuition is dependent on customized programming
3-hours to all day, several days to week-long, specialists to ongoing
Choose from our sites or invite us to yours
Below is a sample cost for basic programs with minimum group size of 6 or more students. Discounts are available for larger groups. Bus transportation is provided upon request (at cost of fuel, local programs only).
1-3 hours In-Class Seminar $10 per person
2-3 hour Field Experience $25 per person
6-8 hour Field Experience Full-day program in any of the topics above, $57 per person
Overnight Field Experience Overnight program adding our topics
$85 per person for the first night. Each additional night $75 per person. Meals & simple lodging included***
*Depending on availability of core instructors and locations
**Please not that cost will vary on location and scale
***Less rustic lodging may include rate increase
The Trackers Difference
Trackers takes it up a notch. We are under the belief that students learn more when truly challenged. The canned response of environmental education is often simply learning games, cue cards, hikes, props and educational kits. From primitive living skills to life on a homestead, from tracking animals to wild edible plants, with Trackers, your students get true hands-on experience.
Real Skills, Real Instructors
At Trackers we keep it real. Your students experience the life of the wild firsthand. We do more than find and cast prints in the sand. Our expert trackers are capable of so much more. We safely take them on an adventure down trails of the black bear, deer and the Marmot Valley's great herds of elk. We sojourn across meadow, creek and epic forests.
Campers make their own fire by friction kits. Our instructors show them how to build shelters that can be used in wilderness living scenarios. Aquatic ecology and life is taught by a fishing pole in hand. Metal is plied and art is fashioned by the blacksmith forge. The bend of a tree limb is hewed for a traditional wood bow. Even the games we play run from a rich tradition of improv theater and social change.
Learning by Doing
The potential paths to adventure is infinite. The bottom line is that your students "learn by doing". They learn with masters of their crafts. They learn from the organization most practiced in elevating the expectations and competency of youth. They learn in a place where real world challenges mean new found confidence.
We prefer to put our energy into working with your school and students long-term. We offer ongoing mentoring services that can combine in-class, day programs and finally a vital overnight experience. We become your partner, taking your students through several terms or seasons of learning. The level of mentoring can include independent study work and even support them through their entire academic career.
Do you just want someone with legitimate experience in traditional skills to come into your classroom or self developed outdoor school experience? Do you want a flintknapping expert to come teach your students about lithic tools and studies? Do you need an expert tracker to help study a wetland habitat? Do you need a kayak guide with traditional hand built kayaks to come during your own trip to the Oregon Coast? From our highly competent and diverse staff Trackers can find you the specialist who will best meet your needs. Your students learn from more than simply great outdoor educators, they spend quality time with experts in their field.
We Go to You
We can run Outdoor School programs nearly anywhere in United States and even the world. Our team goes to where you and your students need us. Also, with expert trip leaders experienced everywhere from Africa to South America, we can even facilitate your international adventure.
If travel expenses for our entire team is cost prohibitive for your budget we may recommend a smaller and local wilderness school for you to work with. We can send a lead Trackers Coordinator, helping to train and partner with their staff to insure your students get the best programming possible. For the west coast we recommend you connect with our local offices...
Trackers Guilds: The Ultimate Outdoor Camp
Under the safe guidance of Trackers instructors the skills campers learn directly affect the village. Through the tutelage of the Rangers Guild they may carve a fire by friction set to light our community campfire. With the Wilders Guild they could milk a goat to make cheese for dinner. Or they could join the Mariners Guild for a fishing trip to local lakes, brining their catch back to feed the village. Below is a list of potential activities...
Rangers Guild The Rangers Guild are scouts of the forest. Campers train 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 train outdoor fitness arts through fun stealth games. Rangers are also master naturalists, they know the language and sign of all birds, beasts and plants that live in wild.
Wilders Guild Named in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Wilders Guild offers homesteading activities. Campers 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, weave baskets, spin, knit, use plant dyes and other natural materials for coloring fabric and sew their own clothing.
Mariners Guild The Mariners Guild trains the skills of the water and sea. Mariners may research ocean life and create aquariums and terrariums to learn about aquatic creatures. They could tie knots and even partake in artistic knot work.
Campers may even get an opportunity to help out building a canoe or other traditional skin on frame boat in the wood shop. Most importantly, the Mariners Guild goes fishing and kayaking! While they may not guarantee a catch, campers always have a good time sitting by the shore and casting. With the Mariners Guild you can always count on them to come home with a safe adventure on the water and a tall tale about the "big one that got away."
Artisans Guild The Artisans Guild encompasses a diverse range of craft and skills. They are storytellers and crafts people. Instructors trained in the dramatic arts teach theater improv games that build confidence, creativity and teamwork.
Artisans also offer incredible craft activities: from safe and successful metal working projects for younger kids to more challenging blacksmithing techniques for older students. Every week we offer free choice woodworking projects, plus campers have the opportunity to express their own story through painting and other art media.
Topics We Cover
These topics are an overview of what we do real well. Though our expertise is not limited to these skills. Many of our staff of well cultivated renaissance interests. If you have need related to natural sciences or traditional skills, there's a good chance we do it very well (if not, we'll direct you to who does).
Wildlife Tracking and Ecology includes but is not limited to…
• Trailing specific animals or species
• Nature and ecological mapping
• Wetland assessment
• Core skills of tracking
• Nature awareness tools
Primitive Skills, Wilderness Survival and Ancient Technologies includes but is not limited to…
• Flintknapping and lithic tools
• Fire by friction
• Temporary wilderness survival shelters
• Long-term primitive living shelters
• Stone, bone and wood tools
• Primitive pottery
• Primitive fiber arts: rope making and more
• Basket weaving
• Wilderness Survival Trips
• Building a Primitive Living Village
• Hide tanning
• Bowmaking and bowyer arts
• Archery, atlatls and more
• Sustainable harvest
• Care for and intensification of native plants
Marine and Aquatic Ecology and Relationships includes but is not limited to…
• Marine or aquatic ecology
• Shellfish and sea vegetable harvest
• Primitive fishing for removal of invasive species
• Marine navigation
• Mariner folklore
• Knot tying
Traditional Boat Building includes but is not limited to…
• Traditional skin-on-frame kayaks
• Traditional skin-on-frame canoes
• Traditional skin-on-frame umiaks (20 person whaling vessels used in the arctic)
Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants includes but is not limited to…
• Plant taxonomy
• Herbal and medicinal medicine making and applications
• Harvest for abundance and long-term wilderness living
• Preservation and storage methods: drying, canning, fermenting and processing
• Utilitarian uses of wild plants
• Plant fiber arts and applications
• Historical and cultural uses of wild edible and medicinal plants
Wildland Conservation: Remediation, Restoration and Intensification includes but is not limited to…
• Mycology as remediation
• Soil conservation and restoration
• Restoration and intensification of native habitats
• Removal of invasive species
• Permaculture design principles remade for the explicit conservation of native habitat
Folk Crafts includes but is not limited to…
• Fiber arts and loom weaving (basic)
Homesteading Crafts includes but is not limited to…
• Natural sustenance gardening
• Cheese making
• Alternative and sustainable energy
• Basic charcuterie
• Clothing making
• Food preservation
• Natural building
• Apple pressing and fall harvest
• Building a log cabin or longhouse
Theater Arts includes but is not limited to…
• Improv games for exploring collaborative social dynamics
• Stage presence: the art of presentation and delivery
• Stage and theater production
• Intensive storytelling arts