The Trackers Village
Residential Wilderness Living & Traditional Skills Program
Full-year Residential Living Spend 1-year, 7-days a week living in hand built shelters, shepherding goats for land restoration, planting and wildcrafting your food from the land and learning the way of the Trackers Guilds, the Rangers, Wilders, Artisans and Mariners.
The program takes place on the Southern Oregon Coast
The Residential Village: Full and Complete Immersion
It begins July 1 and ends June 15th the next year. You begin by constructing and living in a primitive debris style shelter during the summer. During this time you are studying basic natural building and constructing a larger more long-term underground and rocket-stove powered shelter for two. Students are also tending to gardens, livestock, fishing and simply celebrating a life of connection with land and community.
The village diligently works together to meet all of their food and survival needs from the land, strategically replacing any manufactured materials in camp: blankets, clothing, food, fire and more. The goal is to go from surviving to thriving well before the end of the year.
Creating a Hobbit Village
Natural building is a large focus of the instructional time in this program. The goal is to transition our long-term winter shelters to building larger village structures. The best way to put it is that we're here to recreate the Shire, building infrastructure that makes a life of living on the land more simple and rich. Finally, students have the option to participate in the Place Based Education Immersion program becoming part of running a summer camp the following year at this very site.
Land and Local Food
About Meals We do our best to have nearly all program foods comprised of almost entirely wild and local resources. This means a large portion of the program is actually wild harvesting and growing from the land. Holding the program on the Oregon Coast greatly improves the bounty available to us. From fishing to seaweed harvest, from crabbing to abundant maritime forests, the sea offers a wealth of living with the land.
Natural food preservation techniques form a core of the program. We begin to create a pantry and larder that can truly feed an entire village. We also yield food from the local permaculture farm this program is held at. Fresh vegetables and fruits will be relative to the season. We become part of the cycle of planting and harvest at the farm. Every season we take a large animal from our own herd to practice traditional forms of butchering and meat preservation.
Since being a hunter-gatherer and horticulturist (a Ranger and a Wilder) is about living with the local diversity of the land, all of our meals could contain a full range of fruits, meats, spices and vegetables. This makes it impossible to accommodate specialised diets such as vegetarianism and other food restrictions for community meals. We will happily accommodate all dietary needs by leaving a key station in our primitive kitchen open for students who find they may require other options. This additional food must be planned, purchased and brought ahead of time by students of their own accord. Community pans will not be distinguished or separated according to diets.
Please Note Since harvest laws limit us and we do not yet have successive yearly cycle to stock up on every staple, we will may occasionally buy staple food with a focus on organic quinoa (a whole protein grain).
All Expenses Paid
This program is truly residential. While there are obvious indulgences we cannot cover such as eating out in a restaurant (it is healthy to treat yourself on a program such as this) or your own travel to and from the site (such as on holidays), your tuition does cover both intensive instruction, program materials, local sustainable food and the site where you live. These could be important factors when comparing that to the costs of other traditional immersion skills programs out there.
Summer Wilderness Survival Village Summer only options are available (see below).
Scholarships or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program
We have scholarship or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program awards available of up to 10%-50% or tuition for students in need. Due to limited funds of awards we recommend you apply early to increase your chances of acceptance. Submit a scholarship or Our Outdoor & Environmental Educator Training Program application
Register for Trackers Village: Residential Wilderness Living & Traditional Skills Program
Tuition & Payment Plans
Tuition includes primitive living arrangements and program food. Plus, course reader materials. Our payment options include...
A $1200 deposit is required to secure acceptance in the program.
You Can Pay in Full Immediate full payment gives you a 5% discount off all tuition. Half of this amount is non-refundable immediately upon payment. We will need 3% courtesy fee for all credit card charges.
You Can Pay With A Plan After the initial deposit, the balance remaining is paid at the beginning of each term attended.
Contact Us to Learn More
Typical Days and Village Rhythm
Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday typically are days where we go about the key duties of maintaining the village. This is also where village residents cross-train skills from the different guilds.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are when key skills instructors come in to teach for their guilds. Outside of its role in the Wilders Guild, every student also will get intensive training in natural building arts as we design and create the village.
Warning Thorough research and design has been put into the planning and development of this fully residential program. Our experience with various long term programs and residential sites more than prepares the Trackers community for this experience. That said, this is a first year program. It is also a very intensive and shared communal experience. We are only looking for participants who are willing put their hand and will to the work. We are looking for people willing to weather any challenge. There are limited positions in this program and we will be very judicious about who is chosen. Please do your part in weighing if this is a good fit for you.
Are You a Ranger or a Wilder?
The Trackers Village is made up of Rangers, Wilders, Artisans and Mariners. This diversity of experience is essential for the village to thrive. Students choose where their focus will be and during instructional days they train with their guild. Currently we only offer options for the Rangers, Wilders and Artisans Guilds. The Mariners Guild is present throughout the entire program as most students will be fishing and foraging on the seashore for their food.
The Rangers Guild Rangers are hunters and protectors of the village. They are versed in the arts of wilderness survival, tracking and awareness. In their listening they find a silence, one that compels them to protect what is Wild. Flow is the Way of the Ranger. They follow the trail of the cougar, deer and other animals. With finely honed senses they become the eyes and ears of the village, living completely with the land and tending to it as if an invisible ghost.
The Wilders Guild The Wilders are caretakers. They tend to the balance of their village. They listen to the land as they help abundance flow. They guide the needs of the people into harmony with the needs of all life around them. The tools of a Wilder is remediation through mycology, animals, plants and life itself. They change the land by asking and courting certain ways of life to grow and take root.
Each Guild is comprised of three core studies. Depending on which guild you choose, your training on instructional days is focused in these areas.
Rangers Guild Core Studies...
Wilderness Survival and Primitive Skills Wilderness survival is an awareness that not only keeps you alive, it allows you thrive and find a deeper connection to the natural world. Primitive skills and traditional arts take it further, exploring an ancient and timeless relationship with the land. This program gives you thorough training in the fundamentals along with bridging into more advanced arts of wilderness living.
Wildlife Tracking We track to find the animal. The ancient art of tracking requires deep awareness and connection to the natural world. It is about seeing the wild as though it is family. This immersive course fully covers all aspects of the art and science of wildlife tracking: interpretation, ecological analysis and most importantly, the ability to actually trail the animal you are tracking over any terrain. Graduates of this course develop a set of critical tools rarely found in any wildlife sciences or tracking training program.
The Curriculum of Shadows: Stealth and Nature Awareness A forest is place of light and shadows. Understanding this baseline camouflage not only helps you better see the secrets of the wild, it also takes you into an entirely new world of observation and awareness. This is where the Rangers Guild takes you down the rabbit hole and into a world of stealth, shadows and invisibility. Learn how the principles of flow applies to both primitive and modern living. From stalking silently through the woods to creating and executing a business plan for a sustainable livelihood, the Way of the Ranger is a silent and effective way of providing the protection that your village needs to thrive.
Wilders Guild Core Studies...
Edible and Medicinal Plants For over 1 million years of human history humans have been feeding and tending to the health of their family by harvesting and living from a "Wilders" garden. This part of the course develops a community for gatherers, gleaners and medicine makers. We cover how to live by wild plants along with how to caretake and intensify these resources. All this plus homestead food preservation and medicine making.
Homesteading Crafts Train skills in self-sufficiency applicable to both the rural and urban village. Go beyond the apathy of the modern lifestyle while working with local resources and your own two hands to provide for you and your family. As the year goes by, you build your own self-sufficiency with hands-on projects. Spin and weave your own clothing, milk goats, make cheese, plant sustenance gardens, blacksmith hand tools and even write a business plan for fiscal self-sufficiency. Every weekend is your chance to learn from experts in the their craft and the real world applications of each skill.
The Hunter-Gatherers Garden: Restoration, Remediation and Intensification Hunter-gatherers thrive, they don't simply survive. We must remediate, restore and intensify our long-established native landscapes. Permaculture has brought forth a phenomenal set of tools for systems that put human beings at the center of a deliberate plan and design. Unfortunately these more complex food and human living systems are often not fully integrated into the flow of the wild. The Way of the Wilder begins where permaculture leaves off. Wilding fully embraces an animated relationship with the land. Through this immersion you discover a deep place of flow with the land and through a language old than words you engage in a deep and ever-shifting conversation in nature. All the elements that affect an ecosystem are given our respect and astute study. Water, earth air and fire our are the core of who we help the land reshape itself from a monoculture to a place of regenerative stability and diversity of life. In this program we use the ancient art of tracking to take observational and awareness skills to the next level. You truly become the Wilder who is a part of the very land you caretake for.
The Artisans Guild: Place Based and Environmental Education Program
This is an optional program that occurs 1-weekend a month in Portland, Oregon. Village Residents accepted into the Artisan Guild track take Rangers or Wilders Core Studies while also attending the Place Based and Environmental Education Immersion Program 1-weekend a month. They train the art and method of how traditional communities fostered a culture of nature connection, sustaining family and land over many generations. Village residents who are also part of the Artisans Guild participate in developing and implementing a Trackers Guild Summer Camp during 2012.