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Wilders Apprenticeship: Year-Round Mentoring

Wild Plants, Folk Craft & Restoration Gardening

Join our Wilders Guild! Live the life of folk craft, animal care, gardens, and restoring the land.
A school-year program that teaches skills 1 weekend-a-month.

Apprenticeship

Make new friends while learning skills of ecological leadership. Share in adventures with a team of like-minded peers. With dedication and hard-work, an Apprenticeship can grow into a life-long study of ancient ways:

Wild Plants Delve into the incredible world of wild plants. Learn skills of identification and safe harvest of wild foods—developing a connection to the land through seasonal cycles of growth and restoration.

Homestead Craft Learn crafts of woodworking, natural building, animal husbandry, outdoor cooking, and even artisan cheese making. Train both to sustain the Village and help build it.

Animal Care Learn to care for the animals of the farm: goats, chickens, sheep and more. Explore how they help us restore the land. Make fiber art projects into beautiful and useful crafts.

Gardening Tend to the Wilders Garden. Grow food while learning principles of soil restoration and ecology. Journey into a world where wild plants run through our gardens as our gardens grow through the wild forest.

Our Apprenticeship Mentors are experienced educators teaching authentic and traditional skills. They are facilitators of thoughtful growth through the power of nature and community.


How It Works

Apprentice Training Weekends 1 weekend-a-month, Fall - Spring
At our Monthly Training Weekends, Apprentices join a team of friends learning from expert Mentors. For flexibility, we offer many schedule options–see below for dates.

OPTION 1 Single Days - Training Weekends Available for Grades 1-4 and 5-12. Choose Single Day weekends either on a Saturday (grade 1-4) or Sunday(grade 1-12) schedule. The most flexibility for families.

OPTION 2 Overnights - Training Weekends Available for Grades 5-8 and 9-12. Choose all Overnight weekends—Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Our most immersive experience.

Graduation Day June, 1 day
Parents and family join Apprentices and Mentors for a community celebration of what we learned.

Optional Community & Family Programs Dates Vary
Apprentices and immediate family get free admission to Skills Evenings, Archery Range, and select Community Events.


Different Apprenticeship age groups have customized curriculum.
Grade 1 ∙ Grade 2-3 ∙ Grade 4 ∙ Grade 5-8 Grade 9-12

Tuition

Reserve your place with a $50 non-refundable deposit. Tuition is divided into 10 monthly payments. First payment is due September 10. We will contact you after you register to set up your Payment Plan.

OPTION 1 Single Days Available for Grades 1-4 and 5-12.
$50 deposit, then ten monthly payments of $94.50 (total $995)

OPTION 2 Overnights Available for Grades 5-8 and 9-12.
$50 deposit, then ten monthly payments of $174.60 (total $1,796, includes all overnights)

Family Discount 10% discount is available for siblings registering together.
Returning Apprentice Discount based on consecutive years attended.
Scholarships Limited scholarship awards are available for families in need. Contact Us.

Discounts and scholarships cannot be combined.

Location

Drop-off SE Portland Headquarters - 4617 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon
We provide transportation to epic wilderness sites where we cook by the campfire, build shelters, and harvest from the wild.

Choose Your Schedule

OPTION 1 Single Day - Training Weekends  8 field days + Graduation Field Day
OPTION 2 Overnights - Training Weekends 8 Overnights + Graduation Field Day

When signing up for Apprenticeships, be sure your child can make most of the weekends. Choose the Schedule that best fits your calendar; Due to group size limits, we do not allow switching between schedules.

Please Note Many schedules fill quickly, so choose soon after registration. 


Schedule Options

Single Day Grade 1-4 Schedule C

  • September 15, 2018 Field Day
  • October 20, 2018 Field Day
  • November 10, 2018 Field Day
  • January 19, 2019 Field Day
  • February 9, 2019 Field Day
  • March 9, 2019 Field Day
  • April 13, 2019 Field Day
  • May 18, 2019 Field Day
  • June 1, 2019 Graduation
  • *Bonus Day December - Optional Holiday Party

Single Day Grade 1-12 Schedule D

  • September 16, 2018 Field Day
  • October 21, 2018 Field Day
  • November 11, 2018 Field Day
  • January 20, 2019 Field Day
  • February 10, 2019 Field Day
  • March 10, 2019 Field Day
  • April 14, 2019 Field Day
  • May 19, 2019 Field Day
  • June 1, 2019 Graduation
  • * Bonus Day December - Optional Holiday Party

Single Day Grade 1-4 Schedule E

  • September 22, 2018 Field Day
  • October 27, 2018 Field Day
  • November 17, 2018 Field Day
  • December 1, 2019 Field Day
  • January 26, 2019 Field Day
  • February 16, 2019 Field Day
  • March 16, 2019 Field Day
  • April 27, 2019 Field Day
  • June 1, 2019 Graduation
  • * Bonus Day December- Optional Holiday Party

Single Day Grade 1-4 Schedule F

  • September 23, 2018 Field Day
  • October 28, 2018 Field Day
  • November 18, 2018 Field Day
  • December 2, 2018 Field Day
  • January 27, 2019 Field Day
  • February 17, 2019 Field Day
  • March 17, 2019 Field Day
  • April 28, 2019 Field Day
  • June 1, 2019 Graduation
  • * Bonus Day December - Optional Holiday Party

Overnight Grade 5-12

  • September 7-9, 2018 Weekend Overnight
  • October 5-7, 2018 Weekend Overnight
  • November 2-4, 2018 Weekend Overnight
  • January 11-13, 2019 Weekend Overnight
  • February 1-3, 2019 Weekend Overnight
  • March 1-3, 2019 Weekend Overnight
  • April 5-7, 2019 Weekend Overnight
  • May 3-5, 2019 Weekend Overnight
  • June 1, 2018 Graduation
  • * Bonus Day December - Optional Holiday Party

Frequently Asked Questions

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 is equally important as guided training. The primary goal of this training is self-sufficiency and competency. It is up to the Apprentice and their family to determine 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 Rangers Guild is about developing personal accountability for the larger community. Our perspective on "survival skills" entails trusting your well-being to knowledge, awareness, and respect for the wilderness and your teammates. Through this trust, 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 competency and a richer awareness of the world we live in.

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 camp 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 animal tracking fosters an incredibly functional breadth in puzzling together systems and understanding exactly how the world "works". The calm focus and diligence required for outdoor survival skills offers real experience in humility, patience, and thoughtful long-term planning. Our Curriculum of Shadows builds an incredible depth of awareness for both details and good timing (an often undervalued but very poignant skill set).

What is the role of program mentors?
Program mentors are the best of Trackers instructors and representative of the Rangers Guild. They are coordinators and developers of all logistics and curriculum in our field days. During the program they introduce diverse skills of the Rangers 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 Apprentice, checking in consistently to assess students' feelings of 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.