Friday, August 18, 2017

Our Rovers programs are for our youngest campers: Age 4 – Grade K. They adventure out to the forest to learn outdoor skills with our expert educators. Find Rovers camps…

Camps in All Locations

New for 2017 This year, programs for younger campers are available in all our Summer Day Camp locations. Now you can choose camps for Age 4 – Grade K at:

SE Portland     NE Portland     W Portland

Real Outdoor Adventure

We recognize that our youngest campers crave the adventures and challenges only Trackers can offer. In all our camps for preschool and kindergarten age children, we teach real outdoor skills!

Camps include: Story Adventures, where kids explore a fantastical world of imagination. Forest Camp, where they learn wilderness survival, wild plants, and more.

Expert Leadership

kelsey-150For the 3rd year in a row, Kelsey returns as our Rovers Coordinator. Kelsey has been with Trackers over 6 years. She has supervised our after school, apprenticeships, overnight camp programs, and more. She has a Masters Degree in Outdoor Education and teaching credential. Her extensive educational background and experience with Trackers Earth makes Rovers one of the Best Camps in the Known Universe.

See you outdoors,
Molly Deis
Trackers Earth
Founder & Mom

Now ends March 8, 2017

Quite a few parents called, concerned they missed the early Summer Camp discount. This happens every year. So what made this time unique? Many felt distracted and caught up with current events. We empathize and want to do something about this. We’re extending the 10% discount through March 8.

We believe Forest Skills foster compassion, self-accountability, and long-term thinking. Values we need in today’s world.

Compassion Through tracking animals, kids discover empathy. They understand how the mouse needs shelter to survive. They also feel that the coyote is hungry, and must feed her pups.

Self-Accountability Wilderness survival teaches kids to own their choices. Nature does not build a fire for you, but the wilderness does provide us with the resources to do so. As they learn to Pay Attention to nature, children cultivate awareness, knowledge, and resiliency.

Long-Term Thinking Through proper harvesting of wild plants, kids learn to think beyond the short-sightedness found in many of our present-day “leaders”. Harvesting willow for baskets can create more abundance in the years that follow. It can also help create better habitat for wildlife, and more resources for generations beyond our lifetime. Thus true long-term thinking also means caring for the community of both the human and more-than-human world.

Of course, extending our discount won’t necessarily save the world (at least by itself). Yet it is one fun opportunity we can put out there among all the news. One message just to let you know, at Trackers Earth we are dedicated to helping parents create an awesome planet for our kids. One of compassion, self-accountability, and a common vision that cares for our future generations.

Sincerely,

Tony Deis
Trackers Earth
Founder & Dad

Register for Portland Summer Camps

Register for Bay Area Summer Camps


News Trackers Earth (Portland)

News Trackers Earth (Bay Area)

  • New day camp locations at the Berkeley Marina (West Berkeley) and Rudgear Park (Walnut Creek) are available. Both sites feature outdoor nature play during pick-up and drop-off.
  • We offer Adventure Travel Expeditions. Locations include the California Coast and Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Grade 5-12 Our Residential Overnight Camps now bring our Trackers Kids from California and Oregon together! Discover Camp Trackers on the western slopes of Mt. Hood and it’s evergreen forest in beautiful Sandy, Oregon. Pre-registered Airport Transfer service available for all students.

Featured Summer Camps for Saving the World

 

camo-285Wilderness Survival Camps

Nevertheless, we teach young women to persist… with bows and arrows, campfire and wild plants, stealth and wilderness survival. BTW, we also teach young men to be thoughtful through these same skills.

Learn more >>

 


foam-arrow-285Secret Agent Camps

Sign up for Secret Agent Camp and your kids can help to stop an evil megalomaniac from taking over the country and destroying the world.

Learn more >>

 


rovers-285Rovers Forest Camp

Age 4 – Grade K Walls? Where we’re going, we don’t need walls. Outdoor skills for our younger campers: wilderness survival, wild plants & more. Age 4 – Grade K now in all SE, NE & W locations.

Learn more >>

NE Portland Location

We’re excited to announce our new NE Portland camp location at Rose City Park Elementary (2334 NE 57th Avenue). As part of our ongoing relationship with Portland Public Schools, we are using this site while Grant High School is under construction.

Rose City Park Elementary has excellent parking and provides walkability options for families in Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Drop-off and pick-up is behind the school at the playground, providing the opportunity to utilize its nature play area for even more outdoor activity.

Our SE Portland site is still at our main headquarters near 99E and our W Portland site is still at West Sylvan.

Overnight Expeditions

Our overnight programs now offer multiple new locations through our mobile camps! New to Summer 2017, choose from six different expeditions through fantastic wilderness areas. Themes include building a 20-foot hand-crafted boat while fishing on the Oregon Coast, a two week Cascade Survival Expedition, and a trip around the San Juan Islands.

Or you can join the Tracking Through Time Traveling Roadshow, an adventure spanning seven states in the American West while learning about paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. Unlike any other, this is a journey where we track wolves and antelope, rediscover ancient cliff dwellings, and follow the trails of 190 million year old fossilized dinosaur footprints. Oh, and this camp takes place during a full solar eclipse which campers will experience while in the Casper Mountains.

Not ready to hit the road? We also still offer local residential camps at Camp Trackers Overnight Site in Sandy, Oregon.

 

Happy New Year!

Our work moves in seasonal cycles. We recently finished up our Winter Break Camps (you can check out the photos here). Here are some events the Trackers Family is looking forward to in the coming year.

In 2017 the first Kindergarten Class of the Trackers Forest School will graduate and this September will feature both Grade K and 1. We are also adding something truly unique—an Outdoor Middle School (Grades 6-7). We follow an interdisciplinary approach and combine real-world skills with academic excellence. This is an exciting new direction in education for ourselves and our community.

But never fear: Our award-winning Summer Camps will return for their 12th year! Along with old favorites, we have crafted new themes for older campers such as pottery, rock climbing, and mobile overnights.

The summer program that has our educators most excited? The Tracking Through Time Traveling Roadshow: Solar Eclipse Edition. Campers traverse seven states in the American West, tracking wolves and antelope, checking out ancient cliff dwellings, and following 190 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur footprints. In Casper Mountain, Wyoming they will witness a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event—total eclipse of the Sun!

Finally, building upon our Guide to Knives & Woodcarving, Trackers Books will launch new field guides for kids that include archery, animal tracking, navigation, and fishing. All part of our ultimate mission to empower children and their families to make forest craft an integral part of their lives.

It’s been a busy year and this is only a short summary of what’s to come. I look forward to seeing you all at camp, school, homeschool, and other programs. I am grateful and excited to be on this journey with our incredible staff, students, and all the families we serve.

Thank you,
Molly Deis
Trackers Founder & Mom
Wilders Guild

 

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We are deeply saddened by the loss of our large pavilion shelter at our educational center at the old Roslyn Lake Campground. This building was a beautiful, historic part of the land and its story. It was a place our students have come to gather and care for.

Last night we received a call informing us that the structure was on fire. No students or programs were onsite at the time. Despite the quick response of the Sandy Fire Department, the shelter was destroyed. Fortunately, the fire was contained. No other areas of the property were damaged and no injuries were sustained.

Our staff and students share a feeling of profound loss right now. It is believed vandals may be responsible for this and other damage on the land. We will keep the community updated as the investigation continues.

Trackers wants to thank the Sandy Fire District for their fast and heroic work last night and continuing support.

Sincerely,

Tony Deis
Trackers Earth
Founder

Support the Outdoor School for All campaign!

There is a place called “Outdoor School”.

Look around the land of Oregon. We Oregonians value a life connected to the outdoors. Our connection—perhaps even our obsession—with all things green blooms from a culture where diverse “schools of outdoor education” have thrived for nearly half a century.

Many a 6th grade Oregonian has taken a bus down country gravel roads, through enchanted forests, to wild havens where they shared meals in longhouse dining halls, studied along the banks of the Sandy River and tracked down the trails of blacktail deer. They spent a week learning about plants, animals, water and earth.

There was a time when nearly every 6th grader in Multnomah, Washington and other Oregon counties attended Outdoor School. They spent 6 days in cabins in the “wilderness”, living and learning with peers, guided by larger-than-life teachers with names like Digger, Sorrel and Shade. One life-changing week spent walking the trails of Pacific Northwest forests. One week not stuck inside four walls. Not sitting in sterile rows. Time outside with the spiders, leaves, dirt, rain, sun and life.

There’s data to prove it but more importantly, the joy it cultivates for nature connects our community. Ask anyone who’s been there: an impression was made. Something was left behind. Oregon is a more interesting place because of Outdoor School.

Even our founder, Tony Deis, started teaching at Outdoor School. Many of our summer camp staff work at Trackers in the summer and Outdoor School in the fall and spring. Trackers Earth and our families owe a lot to this Oregon institution and tradition. Please help it continue for all our kids.

In recent years, funding for this magical experience has been in under attack. As conventional school funding dropped, so did Outdoor School funding. A full week of Outdoor School was cut to a few days, or even just one. No more overnights with stars and crickets. And not every kid in Portland gets the opportunity to discover their own week of incredible adventure.

It is a crisis that has snuck up on us. Few parents are aware of the cuts, or of how Outdoor School makes our lives better by weaving a web of connections between our community and nature. Without Outdoor School, the Pacific Northwest may well lose what is most valued about our community. We may lose what makes us us.

We could start by simply refunding the old program. But the Outdoor School for All campaign goes beyond just returning to the past. It seeks to forge a better future. It doesn’t stop at Outdoor School for a single school district, but proposes to remake education, fundamentally weaving it into the outdoors and nature. Outdoor School for All seeks to provide a whole week of outdoor education to every child across Oregon. A quintessential Oregon experience for every Oregonian.

And we can do it with no tax increases. The proposed measure redirects a small portion of lottery funds to provide Outdoor School for every child in every area of our state.

Trackers Earth strongly supports this cause. We ask you to join us by learning more and signing the petition.

LEARN MORE  SIGN PETITION

For our part, we’re donating 15% of all May sales of our new outdoor education book, Trackers Earth Guide to Knives & Wood Carving, to the Outdoor School for All campaign!

Outdoor School is the awesome secret all Oregonians can share. It helps define who we are as a state and as a people. It’s the mettle and the heart of our green blood. Outdoor School needs to do more than live on, it needs to grow. Join us in raising our voices to help make this happen. To support Outdoor School for All.

 

S-hook forged in blacksmithing camp

Last year’s quotes and reviews Trackers Earth Portland summer camps:

It sounds like she was in heaven today. I love the wonderful outdoor experiences she had and she was so excited to ride on a bus! This is my first time at pick up and I was very kindly personally escorted to pick up my daughter.
-Andrea, Parent

Thank you for a very positive first camp experience! This is the largest group activity my son has been involved with, and he came home with amazing tales and tidbits everyday. We weren’t sure what to expect and now can’t wait to come back!
-Meredith, Parent

My son was very chatty when he came home, which is always a sign that he had a great time.
-My son was very chatty when he came home, which is always a sign that he had a great time., Parent

Stella had an amazing day at Rangers camp. She recalled clearly every detail of the day and indicated that she had the most fun of any camp she’d been to before. Was very excited for the next day
-Steve Marx, Parent

She loved everything they did at trackers. She is shy n timid by nature so I was not sure how this week would go for us. However the experience was everything I had hoped for her and blew her away. She was ways asking me to drop her off early n she wanted to stay late. Having a female instructor was pivotal for her first experience. Maybe not necessary for all little girls but was great for us. From here on out will be no problem what the sex of the instructor is because she feels like she can do it. we can’t wait to do more. Very Excited. VERY impressed how organized this was. The morning drop off should have been a disaster but it was so professionally managed from those outside, to the map, to those inside, that it was a piece if cake. Everything was great.
-Nazy Sharifi, Parent

Steven has really enjoyed this camp. It was a great way to start his summer. This camp is great compared to other non-Trackers camps. I have never seen Steven so happy (and tired) at the end of the day.
-Yin Bo Tooze, Parent

So many highlights– my daughter’s favorite was going to a farm and throwing watermelons over a fence to feed the pigs. Where else could she ever do this?
-Barbra Fisher, Parent

Emma had a great time. She was a little nervous before going about the archery component, but really got into the week. She really enjoyed the camo component. She also loved the animal walks and being able to be in the forest. Every time she is with you she gains confidence and appreciation for nature and her skills.
-Anna York, Parent

Tori had an awesome time at CTV. This was her second time and she had an idea what it would be like. Her summer had not been a “dream summer” and had been somewhat stressful. She came back calmer and so peaceful. Very zen. We went and got ice cream when she got back (she was craving something sweet) and commented on how “loud” the city seemed after being away from all the noise for a week. That’s awesome. She said it felt like she’d been gone for a month, but in a good way.
-Kristen Nguyen, Parent

Owen is not a child who likes camps or trying new things. That said, he LOVES Trackers! The instructors are very inspiring to him, the freedom in the outdoors, the slathering himself with mud….he loves! Thank you :) The way Owen describes the staff is sort of god-like. He has mentioned the firm but compassionate way they have handled tough situations with children’s behavior.
-Amy, Parent

Everyone that we came in contact with from the parking attendants to the camp counselors was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Danielle loved learning new skills, especially archery, wood carving, casting a fishing line, and learning more about animals and wilderness survival. She didn’t like the games as much, but still stretched herself a bit by participating. I could see her confidence growing over the course of the week, as she’d relay the events of the day to me. She wanted me to be sure to pass along how much she really enjoyed her camp counselors, Casey and Derek. They were wonderful all week – willing to listen, share the days events and just seemed to have great attitudes and a bunch of positive energy. The place itself was a veritable beehive of positive energy, which I loved. We also had a nice experience buying Danielle’s new Morakniv at the camp store. The woman who worked there in the mornings was extremely helpful and knowledgeable in helping us decide which knife Danielle should choose, as was Casey. I also enjoyed my brief conversation with Chris Codino at the beginning of all this, when she took the time to answer my questions. At camp, I also loved the fact that her counselors always had something interesting going on during check-in and check-out times. Many thanks to everyone for making our week at your camp an exciting and special time. I really love your mission and all the positive, helpful attitudes that go along with it. Keep up the good work.
-Julie Brabandt, Parent

He started nervous and excited. Every day he had a new story to tell of exciting things he did. He keeps asking if he can go back. For me the biggest difference was his interest in computer games. Before the week of camp, he would beg to play with electronics every day. During the week of camp and after, he wanted to play outside and practice stealth. He started begging for a bow and arrow.
-Andrea Leech, Parent

Ben played stealth games on Monday. He came home the dirtiest we’ve ever seen him, caked in mud and joy. We thought, perfect!, and then sent him straight to bath, smooth, MUCH better location than last year, especially parking
-Alice W, Parent

 

1-weekend a month, September to June

Announcing our 2016 – 2017 Youth Apprenticeships.
We’re excited to offer new apprenticeships along with old favorites.
Program demand has increased in recent years. We recommend reserving your place early.

This coming year we also have some new apprenticeships along with our old favorites:

Age 4-Grade K Rovers Apprenticeship
Our youngest campers have spent the year pushing the edges of their experience and skills in the outdoors. This year’s Rovers program has grown into one of the most profound.

rangers-apprenticeship

Grade 1-4 & 5-12 Rangers Apprenticeship
The skills of stealth, archery and wilderness survival. The Rangers Apprenticeship has become a powerful team and leadership experience with training in our wildest arts.

Grade 1-4 & 5-12 Wilders Apprenticeship
Gardens, animals, homesteading and tending to the wild. Our Wilders have delved into folk craft and traditional skills while growing into a program that truly cares for the village.

Grade 1-4 & 5-12 Mariners Apprenticeship
2015 was first year of our Mariners Apprenticeship and it was resoundingly epic with days by the water, kayaks, fishing, and more. This year features overnights for older Apprentices.

Grade 5-12 Artisans Apprenticeship
2015 was also the first year of our Artisans Apprenticeship. It has been as close to real magic as we can get. The Power of Myth woven with earth based arts and crafts offer the promise to truly create ambassadors and leaders for a culture that needs to exist.

vw-apprenticeship

Grade 9-12 New! VW Apprenticeship
Apprentices develop mechanical genius by fixing up an old school Volkswagen Bus and Super Beetle. They then take road trips foraging for wild foods and practicing outdoor skills.

Grade 5-12 New! Trackers Chef Apprenticeship
Apprentices master the culinary arts through adventures foraging for wild edibles and cultivating locally grown foods. They cook over an open campfire, developing a vital part of community leadership: nourishment, great flavor and the table we share.

Grade 2-5 & 6-12 Archery Apprenticeship
Bows and arrows. We utilize one of the largest indoor ranges in the area (at Trackers), along with our private outdoor ranges (very unique). New this year: Make a bow in the program!

blacksmith-apprenticeship

Grade 5-12 Blacksmithing Apprenticeship
Our fastest filling apprenticeship. Rashelle Hamms, our new Blacksmithing Mentor, offers personal and individual instruction for every student, while also building core competencies.

Grade 9-12 Bladesmith Apprenticeship
Arrowheads, Knives and Axes! Apprentices focus on forging bladed tools. They learn to design and shape each blade, honing it to the appropriate sharpness.

Turning 18 years Wilderness Immersion
These programs are for 18 years old and up. We know many our students and campers are graduating this year and have found our immersion programs serve as a perfect Gap Year opportunity. The weekend versions can even be complementary to college attendance.

wilderness-immersion-2

 

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Housewarming Celebration September 27, 4pm-7pm – 4617 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon First and foremost, we want to invite your family to a Housewarming Celebration for our fantastic new home in SE Portland. Join us for music, apple cider pressing, our open archery range (free for the evening) and more. Plus, bring a potluck dish while also enjoying grilled sausages with refreshing tasty beverages. RSVP on Facebook

The Community Art Project

Admittedly, at Trackers we feel both excited and nervous about our new space. When you walk into the building it shouts big and updated; not scrappy and tough (remember the Scout Pit). We know this will benefit our programs, students and community; yet we need help warming up the place.

We want our new home to be yours!

This summer I had many great opportunities to talk with different campers, parents, adult students and staff. Some had attended Trackers for years and with others, it was their first time. I learned a-lot in these conversations. People told me stories about how they take what they learn beyond our programs, bringing Trackers into their lives through incredibly creative ways.

What does that mean? Kids talked excitedly about “playing” Trackers at recess (and in Minecraft)! Parents told me about camping trips where their children foraged wild salads for the family meal. I even received awesome pictures of both kids and adults setting scenes with their new Trackers Minifigs (dorky yes, but we love it). Finally, I met people who adamantly identified with one of our Four Guilds while sharing stories of planting blue elderberry in their Wilders Garden or watching a coyote pass silently in their Rangers Camp.

All these tales went beyond our “school” and blew my mind. I honestly had no idea of the impact our staff has made until I could step back and see it from another perspective. But it also made me realize that our new home needs to become a place where the community could truly gather to share their stories. Thus the Village Wall was born!

The Village Wall

The Village Wall acts as a simple and profound community art project. During our Housewarming (Sept 27) bring a photo of you or your family living, playing and working as part of the Trackers Village. It could show you loosing arrows in your backyard archery range, representing with your Trackers t-shirt in front of the Leaning of Tower of Pisa, crafting a forest or folk project, helping friends prepare a wild feast, or whittling with your kids. All Trackers, everything you.

We plan to place all the photos on a single wall*. So harvest that nettle, break out the cheese pot, or simply unicycle on down while wearing your Trackers hoodie. I’m excited for everyone to help us create a Village mosaic; one the fills our new space with stories of creativity, humor and adventure.

BTW Feel fee to write small story on the back of your picture. You can also drop photos in our mailbox or also post on our virtual wall by tagging #trackersvillage

*BSG Post-Caprica style without the apocalyptic overtones


 

Who All Trackers families and friends
When Saturday – September 27, 2014, 4pm-7pm
What Potluck with Trackers supplying free sausages, refreshing beverages and the fixings as well as chips
Where Trackers Earth’s new home, 4617 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon

RSVP on Facebook