What does it take to be a Coyote Trails instructor?2018-07-29T07:23:47-07:00

All Coyote Trails Instructors:

  • Are at least 18 years of age.
  • Have taken the Fox Trail, or have tested out with equivalent skills & knowledge.
  • Show passionate interest in advancing their own skills, (one way is by engaging in the other trails of study)
  • Understand long-term cultural mentoring, what it takes to mentor each and every learner in a class and also have a working knowledge and felt sense of what it is like to be mentored
  • Show passionate interest in evolving as a better teacher
  • Worked on Instructor Teams as an Instructor-In-Training with CTSN (for at least one season)
  • Have attended CTSN staff training at a minimum of once every two years.
  • Have a working, usable understanding of ‘Coyote Teaching’ and its effectiveness

Qualities of a Coyote Trails Instructor:

  • Passionate about wilderness skills, teaching, and learning
  • Personable and articulate
  • Enjoys working with kids and adults
  • Supports light-hearted teaching environments
  • Teaches with humility
  • Takes initiative
  • Conflict resolution and safety prevention skills
Do you have driving directions to the Coyote Trails Nature Center?2018-08-02T15:57:57-07:00

The center is located in the heart of the US Cellular Community Ballpark at 2931 South Pacific Highway, Medford, Oregon. Once inside the park, follow the signs to the center.

Northbound on 1-5:

Use Exit 24 (Phoenix Exit)

Turn Left onto Fern Valley Road from the freeway off-ramp. Proceed 0.5 miles. Turn Right onto Hwy 99 at the stop light. Proceed 1.6 miles. You’ll pass the traffic signal at East South Stage Road. In one block, turn Right onto the U.S. Cellular Community Park road, just before the Harry & David Field sign. Follow as the road curves; the second road (not driveway) on the Right will lead you to the Coyote Trails parking lot on the Left.

Southbound on 1-5:

Use Exit 27

Turn right at end of offramp, onto Garfield St. Proceed 0.4 miles. Turn Left onto S. Pacific Hwy (OR-99). Proceed 1.7 miles. You’ll pass the Grange Co-op. Just past Les Schwab Tires you’ll see a Harry & David Field sign on the left. Merge left into the left turn only lane. Immediately past that sign, turn Left onto the U.S. Cellular Community Park road. Follow as the road curves; the second road (not driveway) on the Right will lead you to the Coyote Trails parking lot on the Left.

Questions? Contact Us

Do you provide scholarships?2018-09-05T08:19:06-07:00

Yes – Coyote Trails believes in offering these teachings to everyone who seeks them. Our Board of Directors works year-round to ensure proper scholarship funds exist and we do our best to help all who need assistance. Please print an Application for Financial Assistance
and return it to us promptly in order to be considered for aid, our scholarships are on a first come first served basis. You may also inquire about a payment plan.

How are skills developed at Coyote Trails?2018-07-29T06:38:27-07:00

We learn through the experience and adventure of new things. All instructors at Coyote Trails School of Nature are trained in the art of living within the wilderness. Together we will learn a grander appreciation of the natural world around us and attain higher levels of self-reliance and confidence in the outdoors.

tree So what are Primitive Living Skills? These are the skills needed to be able to walk out into the woods, build a shelter, find safe water, create a fire and locate good food. All the things you would need to not just survive but thrive in the woods, or for that matter, anywhere you find yourself. We still need shelter, water, fire and food but today we just turn a knob, walk in the door, flip a switch and open the fridge. However, not so long ago our ancestors had to master these skills and adapt them to whatever terrain they may have traveled across. At Coyote Trails School of Nature we find that by reintroducing these skills we open doors to new ways of learning and opportunities to reconnect with the natural world.

Nature Observation: You’ll be shown how to observe nature on a deeper level and learn the basic philosophy of holding a positive outlook in any given situation. Skills will include silent movement, understanding bird language, the means of camouflage, and the methods for becoming one with your surroundings. You will learn how to immerse yourself in the natural world.

Tracking: You will learn the basics of tracking, including track identification and analysis, track dynamics, animal markings, scrapes and chews, sign tracking, scat identification, the proper use of resource field guides and how to follow an animal’s trail through all substrates.

Wilderness Living – The following wilderness skills will be covered:

  1. Shelter: techniques for constructing the debris hut, wicki-up, thatching, mud hut, cave dwelling, and pit dwelling.
  2. Water: finding water using a solar still, sink hole, plants, and various other water gathering methods.
  3. Fire: making a fire using primitive methods including the bow drill, hand drill, as well as how to build a proper fire.
  4. Food: finding food from both plants and animals found in North America ranging from desert to mountain terrain. Collecting, preparation, and cooking will be covered, though in the interest of conservation only a sampling of such food will be prepared.

Tools: making stone tools, cordage, bow drills, spears, digging sticks, cooking utensils, bowls, and many more.

trapTrapping: trapping animals using primitive snares and deadfalls. No animals will be harmed or trapped during the course, but participants will understand how to build and set traps and will practice non-lethal methods for a better understanding of the techniques.

Tanning: the primitive ways of tanning a deer hide; brain tanning, and making rawhide, as well as many useful items that can be made with a hide. Due to safety concerns, no brain will be used in the tanning of hides. Students will gain the knowledge and experience through alternative methods.

Wilderness Ethics: The peace found through wilderness and the caretaker approach to living in balance is discussed as the underlying philosophy surrounding all of the skills taught and learned.

How do I donate to support Coyote Trails?2018-07-29T06:38:35-07:00

Secured by PayPal

To donate by mail, send a check to:
Coyote Trails School of Nature
2931 South Pacific Highway
Medford, OR 97501

Coyote Trails provides free professional assistance for Estate Planning and Legacy Gift Giving.
Contact us for details – we will be happy to arrange a meeting with you.

How do I sign up to be on your email list?2018-07-31T14:14:21-07:00

To receive the Coyote Trails newsletter, you can sign up right here!

After signing up, you’ll receive an email to confirm your subscription.

Newsletter Signup

How do I volunteer with Coyote Trails?2018-07-31T14:16:48-07:00

Would you like to volunteer and share in a rewarding experience? Fill out a volunteer application today!

We offer day, week-long, or entire summer volunteer programs at our semi-remote wilderness campus and/or at the Coyote Trails Nature Center in Medford, Oregon (including helping to maintain the trails, landscape, cleanliness of Bear Creek and more). This is a worthwhile opportunity to experience our positive learning environment and to gain insights and first-hand knowledge in nature-based education skills! Equally, any student who has successfully graduated from a particular class is welcome to apply as a volunteer the next time this same class is offered. These spaces fill early so not all who apply will be accepted. Additionally, you must be at least 14 years of age to volunteer.

It’s our volunteers who help make the difference. We sincerely appreciate all the positive help from our dedicated and professional volunteer staff.

Thank you!!

Volunteer Application
Long-term programs for individuals2018-07-30T17:51:57-07:00

Long-term programs available for school requirements, individuals, and homeschool groups. Applications required. Contact our office.

Program Title Grade Level Topic Length Max Number Dates Offered
The Way
of the

Graduated high school or 18 years of age. Traditional living skills and caretaking. Continual study over time. Year-long. Multiple seasons 7 Year-long (contact office for projected dates)
Volunteer: Nature Center 9th-adult Non-profit office assistance, grounds assistance None N/A Spring, Fall, Winter
Summer Internship 9-12th Traditional living skills & teaching. Must take Fox Trail prior to or summer of; required to live on site. Minimum 4 weeks none Summer only
Practicum and Projects 9-12th,
College +
Traditional living skills, caretaking, long-term school project Multiple seasons 16 Spring, Fall, Winter
What books and support materials do you recommend?2018-07-31T14:26:19-07:00
  • For preschool through early elementary: Picture books by Joseph Bruchac.
  • For young elementary children and early readers: “One Day in the Woods” by Jean Craighead George and all picture books by Byrd Baylor such as “I’m in Charge of Celebrations.”
  • For older elementary and middle school ages: “The Light in the Forest” by Conrad Richter, “Hatchet” and “Guts” by Gary Paulsen; “Geronimo” by Joseph Bruchac; “The Education of Little Tree” by Forrest Carter; “My Side of the Mountain” and “Julie of the Wolves” by Jean Craighead George and absolutely her new “Pocket Guide to the Outdoors” based on “My Side of the Mountain.”
  • For high schoolers: “Ishi, Last of His Tribe” by Theodora Kroeber; “When the Legends Die” by Hal Borland and “Tracker” by Tom Brown Jr. “What the Robin Knows” by Jon Young; “Illustrating Nature” by Irene Brady.
  • DVD’s: “Alone in the Wilderness” by Bob Swerer Productions. “The Great Dance” by Jeremy Evans.
  • For Adults: The movie, “The Great Dance” by Jeremy Evans; “Practical Tracking” by Liebenberg et al; “Animal Tracking Basics” by Young & Morgan; “Grandfather” by Tom Brown Jr.; “What the Robin Knows” by Jon Young; “Tracking and the Art of Seeing” by Rezendes; “Wesley the Owl” by O’Brien.
Is financial assistance available and how do I apply?2018-07-31T15:27:59-07:00

Our mission is to assist all in obtaining equal access to these teachings. As a public non-profit, we survive on donations alone. For those in need of assistance, we encourage a convenient monthly payment plan. Every effort is made to offer Aid Packages to those families in need of assistance. If you are interested in a class but are unable to meet tuition, please read and return the Financial Assistance Application. We will promptly get back with you.

Each year, financial assistance is on a first-come, first-served basis. So our advice is to return them as soon as possible upon registration of a course.

What jobs are available with Coyote Trails?2018-08-01T14:03:58-07:00

Coyote Trails’ curriculum is designed and implemented as the most advanced learning experience available. We do not compromise on innovation, performance, or appeal. Nor do we compromise our commitment to hiring and developing the best from around the world. We work in small, focused teams which, much like our teachings, are agile, efficient, and focused on excellence. We are driven by work that contributes to a global impact and are passionate about our future in the educational industry. The pace is fast, the work is stimulating, the structure is limited, and innovation is expected. Do you question tradition and constantly think of ways to improve the status quo? Do you thrive in environments where brilliance is common and a challenge is the norm? Do you have a strong passion to teach? Are you excited by challenge because you’re amongst the best in your field? If so, you’d be in good company at Coyote Trails School of Nature.

What does it take to become an instructor with Coyote Trails?

If you would like to work in a highly rewarding and positive atmosphere, please contact us.

Camp Headwaters

Head Cook/Nutritionist

Applications for a full-time summer head cook/nutritionist are due by February 1 of the present calendar year. If you want to work and live in a semi-remote wilderness camp, apply by contacting us. This is your chance to turn your outdoor passions into a career.

Responsibilities and Duties: The Cook/Nutritionist’s position is to facilitate with all meal preparations, order and organize all necessary food and supplies, and help serve meals. The nutritionist assists the staff and organizes the volunteers in clean-up, and ensures all kitchen related activities are carried out safely and in a sanitary manner.

Qualifications: The Cook/Nutritionist needs previous food preparation experience for groups of 45 or more and needs to obtain an Oregon Food Handlers permit. A current certification in CPR/WFR is a plus. To be considered, excellent organizational and communication skills and sanitary habits are key.


Full-time instructor position applications are due by March 1 of the present calendar year. To apply you need to have graduated from at least the clickFox Trail Adventure” class. Please contact us.

General Responsibilities: Instructors teach primitive skills, crafts and lead activities by example and personal experience. They are directly responsible for the well being and actions of the students under their care. The instructors monitor the health, learning environment and all key issues that the students are experiencing at any given time. Instructors maintain the ongoing role-modeling that is so crucial to the development of student’s abilities during their stay at Coyote Trails.

Qualifications: Previous experience working with ages 7-21 in a wilderness skills program and experience with the teaching of ecological principles and related philosophies; experience of living as a positive role model and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with the ability to supervise volunteers; basic knowledge of wilderness skills and crafts and the ability to demonstrate and hold a strong foundation of ethics and morals. Must be at least 18 years of age and have a current Wilderness First Responder or equivalent backcountry medical training.


Here you get to test your skills, be directly mentored by the instructors and staff, and really push your learning limits; all in a highly positive and rewarding wilderness camp environment. Position priority fills on a first come basis.

“Four Seasons – Year Long Caretaking”: Applications are due by February 1 of the present calendar year. The next open position begins the first of June. If you have always wanted to practice and live the Earth skills then contact us to arrange for a personal interview. Graduated students from clickThe Trails of Study” receive top priority.

* Coyote Trails accepts employees from all walks of life, of any gender, race, religion, sexual preference, or ethnic background. We accommodate those with disabilities to the best of our ability. Please consult with us and/or your physician if you have questions.

Who do you accept into your programs?2018-07-31T14:53:28-07:00

Coyote Trails accepts students from all walks of life, of any gender, race, religion, sexual preference, or ethnic background. We accommodate those with disabilities to the best of our ability, however, due to the strenuous nature of some activities, not everyone can attend. Please consult with us and/or your physician if you have any questions.

Does Coyote Trails offer teachers training seminars?2018-07-31T15:56:56-07:00

Coyote Trails offers special weekend Teachers’ Training Seminars as well as in school classroom visits. It is in the expansiveness of Nature that students come alive and learn to listen what is being said between the words, to see the space between the leaves, and to embody a new way of learning. Our experience and feedback from both public and private school teachers has been remarkable. Students learn to interact with each other outside their usual classroom setting and dynamically engage each other, resulting in a much more productive and receptive student.

Training Seminars

Nature connection education is crucial for all teachers. Nature connection helps students in a myriad of ways by providing inspiration, motivation and focus. Connecting to the local landscape allows students to write, experiment, synthesize and evaluate curriculum in a hands-on manner. Just using some of the simple and quick techniques learned through Coyote Trails School of Nature can ignite student passion and fuel learning in a very deep way.  Please don’t take our word for it – read some our teacher’s letters of recommendation.

What is the success of our curriculum through your schools, Coyote Trails Adventure Club or our frequent visits to your class?

“Nature connection is a permanent and daily exercise utilized in our program. The result has been increased interest in the class, increased awareness, and most importantly an increase in student vitality. When combined with sit-spot journaling we have seen an increase in writing scores on state assessments.” – Jason Imbrognio, Middle School Teacher

What can I expect from the Coyote Trails staff?2018-08-01T14:04:18-07:00

Coyote Trails staff has years of experience working with students ages 2 to 70 plus. All staff members receive proper background checks and have been ongoing participants within the Coyote Trails Programs. We are professional educators, naturalists, and business professionals. We are punctual, provide clear communication and are all open and caring individuals.

Staff members will work with you on a regular basis so that a personal relationship of trust and mentorship develops between staff and students. The Coyote Trails staff presents the skills for your students at a level that best meets their needs for learning and success. We are equally invested in the personal lives and goals of each individual student we work with.

Check out our staff here