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Mariners Apprenticeship

Fishing, Kayaking & Mariner Craft

The Mariners Guild is a community of anglers, kayakers, foragers and survival experts. They are wise in the ways of the water, studying the fish, plants, and currents. Join them and begin your study of the ways of the Mariner.

A Mariners Apprenticeship

Through a combination of fishing our local waters, learning about the tides and weather patterns, and kayaking, apprentices become one with the water. The values and respect for our oceans and rivers that apprentices learn stay with them for their entire lives.

Activities may include but are not limited to:

Fishing Students learn how to fish using several different styles and techniques including fly fishing and conventional rod-and-reel.

Foraging Finding our own foods and vegetables to eat is very rewarding! We teach sustainable harvesting techniques. The freshest mussels, clams, limpets, crabs, kelp and several varieties of wild greens and berries make for memorable feasts.

Kayaking or Boating Learn basic techniques for launching, maneuvering and landing your craft. Work together to build new Canoe or Kayak for the team.

River-Shore Survival Learn the basics of shelter, fire and water. Fire making is a staple skill taught and practiced every weekend as we use it to cook our catch, purify water and stay warm. Potable water is always available, however; we teach several methods to collect, filter and purify water for drinking.

Cooking/Preserving Each weekend we teach how to clean, cook, preserve and process our catch. Whether it be fish, greens, shellfish or wild berries, we study the safest way to either cook for immediate consumption, or preserve to eat it at a later date.

How it works

Mentoring Weekends One weekend a month for nine months apprentices train with expert instructors at our epic outdoor locations. We provide transportation. Apprentices grade 1-4 do single day field days. Apprentices grade 5-12 do four overnight expeditions, two in the fall, another two the following spring, along with four additional field days.

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).

Mariner Banner

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."


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

Grade 1-4 $50 deposit, then ten monthly payments of $94.50 (total $995)
Grade 5-12 $50 deposit, then ten monthly payments of $124.50 (total $1,295, includes overnights)
Reserve your place with a $50 deposit. Tuition is divided into ten 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 Apprentice Returning Apprentices get a tuition discount based on year of attendance.

Field Days
One Saturday or Sunday a month, 9am - 4:30pm. See below for a full class schedule.

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.
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 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.

Program comes with...

  • 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

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

Mariners - Saturday Grade 1-4

September 23, 2017
- Field Day
October 28, 2017
- Field Day
November 18, 2017
- Field Day
December 2, 2017
- Field Day
December 9, 2017- Optional Holiday Party
January 27, 2018
- Field Day
February 17, 2018
- Field Day
March 17, 2018
- Field Day
April 28, 2018
- Field Day
June 2, 2018
- Graduation Celebration

Mariners - Sunday Grade 1-4

September 24, 2017
- Field Day
October 29, 2017
- Field Day
November 19, 2017
- Field Day
December 3, 2017
- Field Day
December 9, 2017- Optional Holiday Party
January 28, 2018
- Field Day
February 18, 2018
- Field Day
March 18, 2018
- Field Day
April 29, 2018
- Field Day
June 2, 2018
- Graduation Celebration

Mariners - Schedule A Grade 5-12
September 8-10, 2017 - Weekend Overnight
October 6-8, 2017 - Weekend Overnight
November 4, 2017 - Field Day
December 9, 2017 - Optional Holiday Party
January 13, 2018 - Field Day
February 3, 2018 - Field Day
March 3, 2018 - Field Day
April 6-8, 2018 - Weekend Overnight
May 4-6, 2018 - Weekend Overnight
June 2, 2018 - Field Day and Graduation Celebration

Mariners - Schedule B Grade 5-12
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 - Field Day and Graduation Celebration

Frequently Asked Questions Mariners 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 Mariners 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 Mariners Guild. The are coordinators and developers of all logistics and curriculum in our field days. During the program they introduce diverse skills of the Mariners 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.