Big Bear Village

Ages 13-16
Dirt. Food. Gnarly. Experience the most epic nature camp experience we have to offer.

Visit Big Bear Valley…

Lost in the old coastal mountains is a land where the water runs clear and clean and the Coho Salmon come to spawn. Ancient trees stand tall and regal. This is a place where black bears den and raise their young and where cougars travel the ridges looking for food. In this hidden valley is where we will build Big Bear Village.

“This is the first time we have picked up our daughter from overnight camp and found her connecting with so many kids… She came home feeling really good and really positive. Thank you!”

Big Bear Village is a unique and unmatched outdoor experience. Students begin their week with an immediate immersion into nature as we jump right in to Miller Creek and go exploring. (Eat lunch before arriving to camp.) The explorations and challenges grow from there. Students will practice basic outdoor survival skills through practical application. The group will build primitive shelters and every student will be given the opportunity to spend the night in one, should they choose. Every night our campfires will be lit by the ancient bowdrill technology. During the Gnarly Hike kids will get to challenge themselves to complete a really challenging all-day route. Campers will also have a choice of several electives such as archery, tracking, ethnobotany, and more.

Each night at Big Bear we have a special night activity planned. These range from the always-popular Invisible Capture the Flag to the challenging Blindfolded Drum Stalk. During every night activity our instructors will be on hand to support campers to become more comfortable and confident in themselves.

Kids at Big Bear are also expected to put in some work to support their fellow campers. Each day at Big Bear campers will have rotating responsibilities to help camp function smoothly. This may include assisting our amazing kitchen staff in preparing gourmet meals for the camp. We have developed relationships with many local farms and food producers to provide our campers with wholesome foods which the majority have been organically grown right in the South Willamette Valley.

For the older students (13-16) we have a couple of extra activities planned. Mid week the older campers will be given the opportunity to connect with their food in a way that most modern people never do. Campers will be given the choice to participate in butchering several meat rabbits which will help provide food for the camp. Those who choose to participate will be guided through the entire process from live rabbits all the way through cleaning and preserving the meat as well as tanning the hides. We honor and respect the wishes of every camper in regard to their comfort level of participation in this activity and nobody is ever asked to do something they are not comfortable with. Some of the meat preserved from these animals will be saved for the final overnight expedition. Kids 13-16 will also embark on a specially designed “survival” overnight on the last night supervised by our staff. Campers will be challenged to work as a team to make themselves as comfortable as possible while spending the night outside–relying on the knowledge and skills they’ve gained over the week to create solutions to all of their needs.

Lodging at Big Bear Village will consist of tents and yurts. Students will bring their own sleeping bags. Instructors will sleep in or next to the tents and yurts.

Included with your tuition is our locally designed and screenprinted Whole Earth Nature School t-shirt, a custom nature journal, and your choice of pocket field guide. (Whole Earth Nature School stainless steel water bottle available for $20 cash at camp, while supplies last.)

Camp begins at 2pm on Sunday and ends at 4pm Friday.  Parents/relatives are invited to the Camp Showcase Friday at 3pm.

Campers 13-16 will:
Practice target archery
Build survival shelters and have the opportunity to sleep in them
Make wooden spoons or bowls
Challenge themselves on the “Gnarly Hike”
Learn full-body natural camouflage
Play stealthy night games
Songs and stories around the big camp fire
Juggle bamboo swords
Assist with cooking and clean-up
Make fire by friction
Butcher whole rabbits for camp meals (This is an optional activity. A vegan alternative activity is also provided.)
Test their skills with a supervised overnight “survival outing”

And more!

© Copyright - Whole Earth Nature School, Created by Alicia Kristen