Trackers Summer 2024 Plans
By Molly Deis, Founder & Mom
As we launch Trackers 2024 Summer Camps I am filled with a deep sense of nostalgia and gratitude. Today, our past will shape our future. This year Tony (Trackers co-founder) and I plan to reconnect to our roots. Here’s our 2024 news:
- Trackers International – A Youth Trip to Africa: Back in the day we used to offer Trackers International tours for adults. We traveled to the Galapagos, Botswana and more. Today, I’m thrilled to announce a return to Trackers International, but for youth. What’s most exciting about this trip is that we’re partnering with Wild Latitudes, led by Tony’s mentor, Steve Robertson. Tony worked with Steve at the Portland Audubon and his influence was key to developing the action-packed, unique programming of Trackers.
- Overnight Leader-in-Training (LIT) Camp Returns: For years our Leader-in-Training program helped develop the next generation of Trackers. Trackers Skills are best learned in a multi-generational community where older mentors contribute to the learning of the younger Trackers. Simply wanting to learn a skill because it’s cool limits motivation and drive. But Service—doing a skill for your family and community—nurtures the fortitude and resilience needed to make it happen. Just as Tony learned from Steve, we are bringing this mentoring experience back to Trackers.
- Introducing the Wizards Program: In our quest to build a multi-generational learning community, we’re excited to expand our Wizards program (from the middle English Wys for Wise). In this program we hire educators and skills specialists who have 40+ years of experience. The Wizard’s role? Roam our camps like Gandalf, mentoring staff and kids while enriching our experience with wisdom and stories. We’re bringing in Wizards to be elders helping connect our community. If you know a highly experienced person who meets these requirements, encourage them to apply here.
Coming back to our roots, we are planning to reduce camp size. It’s been a fantastic couple of years at Trackers. Yet during one July weekend after a demanding 60-hour workweek at camp, Tony and I found ourselves discussing this in between phone meetings while hiking. As we made our way down the trail, Tony paused and asked, “Why don’t we make Trackers the size it was ten years ago? While we value helping as many families as possible, I also want a more personal experience for our team, families, and kids.” That decision means our 2024 Trackers Camps will be on the scale they were in 2014. This idea not only made me smile, but it also felt practical.
These updates mark a pivotal shift forward in deepening our focus on the core skills of Trackers. They open doors for Guardians (parents) seeking more than an adventurous daycare alternative. They revive our Leader-in-Training programs and bring in experienced elders as Wizards, rekindling the spirit of old-school mentorship. This is our path forward evolving Trackers into a wilder, skills-based school that celebrates the natural world we are all a part of.
See You In The Forest,
Founder & Mom