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Artisans Apprenticeship

Leadership, Fine Craft & Story

There was once a Great Forgetting. We need a Great Remembering.

Join our Artisans Guild.
Save the world through storytelling!

9-month program Quest for ancient knowledge and seek the mysteries of the wilderness. Follow the tracks of animals and read the secrets of nature. Weave those trails into epics that inspire and teach our village.

Through hands-on skills, train in natural woodworking, leather craft, fiber arts and blacksmithing. Make new friends and learn with experienced mentors. Develop confidence through outdoor leadership.

The Apprenticeship

The Artisans Apprenticeship goes beyond just a club, it immerses you in the ancient art of tracking and the power of myth. Through dedication your training can grow into a life-long study in a deep set of ancient arts:

Fine Craft Apprentices learn green woodworking skills with basic hand tools. They also craft by the forge, weave baskets and work leather to create functional craft and art for the village.

Tracking Apprentices quest for the secrets of wildlife as they train to become master trackers. These “animal stories” and "forest memories" shape and reshape the art of storytelling at its most primal level.

The Remembering This is the study of leadership and ecology. Apprentices walk the "barefoot way" through all the elements, questing for the wild heart of the village. They journey through epic rites of passage. By long wilderness sits and mental and physical conditioning, they draw from a timeless well of experience. Artisans help the village remember what it means to be human living connected to the land and each other.

How it works

Mentoring Weekends One weekend a month for ten-months apprentices train with expert instructors at our epic outdoor locations. We provide transportation. Apprentices do four overnight expeditions, two in the fall, another two the following spring, along with four additional field days. See below for class schedule.

Commitment and Service

Becoming a true Artisan is lifetime pursuit and a rite of passage. Many students have come back for multiple years of study and membership in the Rangers Guild. Personal mentorship insures all levels of learners are welcome and benefit from this diversity.


Time

September - June This program runs September to June. Field days are usually from 9 AM - 4:30 PM.

Skills Evenings & Open Archery Range There are also learning opportunities every week. Apprentices and their immediate family get free admission to our Skills Evenings (every Thurs) and our Open Archery Range (every Thurs, Fri, Sat).

Artisans Banner

Artisans Guild

The Artisans’ Guild act as ringmasters in an invisible circus, one that opens our eyes to noble possibilities. They are the storykeepers; travelers bare-of-foot, walking and sleeping under the twilight sky.

They recall a timeless grief and praise from the very stars above. They ask one and all: please, always... Remember Our Story.

Grade 5-12

Field Days One Saturday every month, 9am-4:30pm. See below for class schedule
+ 4 Weekend Overnights Friday evening to Sunday. Two in fall, two the following spring.

Tuition

Reserve your place with a $50 deposit. Tuition is divided into ten monthly payments of $124 (total $1,295, includes overnights).
First payment is due September 10. Contact Us to set up.

Family Discount A 10% discount is available for siblings registering together.
Returning Apprentice Returning Apprentices get a tuition discount based on year of attendance.
Discounts typically cannot be combined. Contact Us to learn more.

Scholarships

We offer limited scholarship awards for those families who may need financial assistance in attending the apprenticeship program. For more information Contact Us.

Location

Drop-off is at our SE Portland location - 4617 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon. We provide transportation to epic sites. Our private locations allow us to fully practice the skills of Trackers Craft. We cook by the campfire, build shelters, and harvest from the wild; all while caretaking for the land and forest.

Program includes...

  • Skill building weekends once a month - monthly weekend overnights or single training days
  • Mentoring with expert instructors at Trackers
  • Skills Evenings, free every Thursday
  • Open Archery Range, free every Thursday, Friday or Saturday

Class Schedule

2 Fall Overnights, 2 Spring Overnights, 4 field days

When signing up for Artisans Apprenticeship be sure your child can make most of the weekends. Apprenticeships average one weekend a month.

September 15-17, 2017 Weekend Overnight
October 20-22, 2017 Weekend Overnight
November 11, 2017 Field Day
December 9, 2017 Optional Holiday Party
January 20, 2018 Field Day
February 10, 2018 Field Day
March 10, 2018 Field Day
April 20-22, 2018 Weekend Overnight
May 18-20, 2018 Weekend Overnight
June 2, 2018 Graduation

Frequently Asked Questions Artisans Apprenticeship

Does this program require prior experience?

No, in fact our Apprenticeships works best with varying levels of experience. Similar to a martial arts dojo, more advanced students are occasionally charged to help teach a skill to beginning students. With oversight from a guild mentor, this proven method helps creates a true learning community.

How much time commitment will my child need to give to independent study?

This is up to you. This time spent training away from mentors is purposeful and equally important as the guided training. The primary goal of this training is self-sufficiency and competency. It is up to the apprentice and their family how much time is spent. We encourage but do not require an average of 2-hours a week of personal study working on skills projects, tracking (parents may need to take their kids to a greenspace) and more.

What does my child get out of this? Do they become an awesome outdoors person?

Yes and more. The Artisans Guild is about developing personal accountability for the larger community. Our perspective on "village" skills entails trusting your well-being to knowledge, awareness, and respect for the wilderness and your teammates. Through this we innately cultivate a great sense of purpose and responsibility. This is not disciplined study simply for self-discipline sake. It is about profound experience that cultivates a richer awareness and competency for the world we live.

What am I getting my child and our family into?

Trackers offers really "fun" summer camps. We are often touted as one of the best out there. Yet the Rangers Apprenticeship goes far beyond that one week experience. At Trackers our legacy originates from a deep well of outdoor skills best learned through intensive apprenticeship. The depth of this training is akin to and, in many respects, more encompassing than a martial art. Training here will exceed anything found in most "scouting" programs. It requires great focus and diligence on the Apprentice's part. We also believe such rigorous study in nature based skills actually enhances academic and physical capability. The ecological thinking inherent in tracking fosters an incredibly functional breadth in puzzling together systems and exactly how the world "works". The calm focus and diligence required in cultivating and caring for the land offers real experience in humility, patience, and thoughtful long-term planning.

What is the role of program mentors?

Program mentors are the best of Trackers instructors and representative of the Artisans Guild. The are coordinators and developers of all logistics and curriculum in our field days. During the program they introduce diverse skills of the Artisans Guild, providing ample foundation for your child to practice during independent study if they are so motivated. They also tailor their curriculum and mentoring to each individual student, checking in consistently as to their feeling and well-being in the program. They are often a phone call away when your family has a question about a skill, best places to embark on independent study, or how your child is doing in the program.