by Roy Gault
Oregon Statesman Journal
A Dream: Ever imagine building a shelter in the woods without the use of modern tools? Imagine making tools out of rocks and sticks? Imagine living in the wilderness without the benefit of a cooler full of food? Imagine blending with the woods to the point that you can touch a deer?
What: Coyote Tracks West Programs also known as Coyote Trails, one of the most unusual summer camps around, for ages 7 to 17; most programs include parents
Curriculum: Programs vary from a week to 28 days. There are 10 different courses, including Teen Experience, Way of the Woods, Coyote Scout and survival quests ranging from 14 days to 28 days. Two courses, Family Experience and Family Tracking Experience, are for parents, too. Students learn about the Sacred Order of Wilderness Survival -- shelter, water, fire and food -- and how to observe nature, track animals through stalking and natural camouflage and how to survive in the wilderness without the benefit of modern conveniences. Students also will learn how to make shelter, find water, make a fire, find food and make tools.
Where: Headquarters for wilderness survival programs for young men and women, and families, in the southern Cascades of Oregon, just outside Ashland
Leaders: Coyote Tracks West features experienced wilderness skills instructors and covers an array of survival techniques and teaches a respect for the Earth and its inhabitants.
June 19-25: Coyote Tracks Experience, an introductory class for ages 7 to 17
June 26-July 2: Family Experience, an introductory class for parents and young children
June 26-July 2: Teen and Youth Experience, the basics of wilderness survival
July 10-16: Tracking and Awareness Adventure
July 10-16: Family Experience, a family-oriented introduction to tracking, fire-making and finding safe water
July 10-16: Teen and Youth Experience, the basics of wilderness survival
July 17-23: Teen and Youth Philosophy, the path to inward exploration
July 30-Aug. 19: 21-Day Survival Quest, an adventure in Northern California where all skills are tested
Fees: Family Experience and Family Tracking Experience: $800 a week, $1,250 for a child with a parent or guardian, $500 for each additional participant; Teen and Youth Experience, Teen and Youth Tracking, Teen and Youth Philosophy, Way of the Woods and Coyote Scout, $800 a week, or $750 if the student is enrolled in two or more weeks; 21-Day Survival Quest is $2,200 a person.