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Trackers VW Apprenticeship

Teen bus and beetle repair course

Some things are timeless; friendship, the freedom of the open road, the confidence of self sufficiency and the wisdom that comes from exploring at your own pace. In this apprenticeship, students are guided through repairing and maintaining a classic air-cooled Volkswagen microbus and beetle. Along the way they learn tool use, engine repair, and How to Keep their Volkswagen Alive.

Once it is ready for the open road, our Trackers Adventure Bus becomes their vehicle of discovery. Driven by their instructors, they embark on road trips to the wild places of Oregon, where they practice their skills, find new ones, gather materials and shape the story of their journey.

The Apprenticeship

The Trackers VW Apprenticeship goes above and beyond shop class. While mechanical capability are develops, VW apprentices treat the open road as their classroom, and create a culture of support, adventure and self-sufficiency.

Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
VW Apprentices learn the use and care of tools, how a classic air-cooled VW works, and how to build and repair systems such as the fuel and ignition system, brakes, electrical and wiring, interior and paint. They learn how to adapt and customize their vehicle to suit their needs, and the flexibility and confidence that comes from being able to perform your own roadside repairs.

Freedom and Self-Direction
When the Trackers Adventure Bus is ready, the apprentices choose the direction, destination and goals of their road trips. Guided by their mentors, they plan routes, meals, fuel and gear needs, determine travel times and carry out their expeditions!

Tales of Friendship
Road trips have long been an avenue where lifelong bonds are forged and grown. Together VW Apprentices face the adventures, and challenges from which legends are made. They shape and share those stories with each other, and the culture around them. With dust at their heels, and wind in their hair, they set their gaze toward the horizon and exclaim “There, we will go home there”.

How it works

Mentoring Weekends One weekend a month for ten-months Apprentice train with expert instructors at our epic outdoor locations. We provide transportation. Apprentices Grade 1-4 do nine field days. Apprentices Grade 5-12 do four overnight expeditions, two in the fall, another two the following spring, along with five additional field days. See below for class schedule.

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 Thursday) with a chance to share in related activities such as acorn processing or weaving gathering baskets. During this time we work on the Trackers Adventure Beetle and Bus. They can even choose to expand into other new skills or participate in our Open Archery Range (every Thursday, Friday, Saturday).


3 Single Field Days
One Saturday every month, 9am-5pm. 
4 Weekend Overnights Friday Evening to Sunday
See below for class schedule


Tuition is divided into ten monthly payments after a $50 deposit.

Monthly Payment Plan

Grade 9-12 $50 deposit, then ten monthly payments of $144 (total $1495)

Reserve your place with a $50 deposit. Tuition is divided into 10-monthly payments. First payment is due September 10. Contact Us to set up.

Family Discount- A 10% discount is available for siblings registering together.
Returning Apprentices get a tuition discount based on year of attendance.

Please Note: Discounts cannot be combined. Contact Us to learn more.


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


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, care for animals, and harvest from the wild; all while caretaking for the land and forest.

Program comes with...

  • One year membership in the Apprenticeship Program, Skills Club and Open Archery Range
  • Skill building weekends once a month - monthly weekend overnights or single training days
  • Mentoring with expert instructors at Trackers
  • Guild hoodie
  • Skills Evenings free every Thursday
  • Open Archery Range free every Thursday, Friday or Saturday

Class Schedule

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

Grade 9-12 Weekend Dates

September 23-25, 2016
Weekend Overnight
October 21-23, 2016
Weekend Overnight
November 19, 2016
Field Day
December 3, 2016
Field Day
December 10, 2016 Family Holiday Party
January 27-29, 2017
Weekend Overnight
February 18, 2017
Field Day
March 18, 2017
Field Day
April 28-30, 2017
Weekend Overnight
June 3, 2017
Field Day and Graduation Celebration