Wilderness Awareness School
Nature Connecting Movement
Wilderness Awareness School, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1983, is an internationally-recognized leader in outdoor education. Our mission is to help children and adults cultivate healthy relationships with nature, community and self. We are based in the foothills of the Cascade mountains about 45-minutes outside of Seattle, WA.
Through nature connection and cultural mentoring, we provide transformational experiences that awaken people's unique gifts, deepen their relationship with nature, and empower them to enrich the health of their communities. Our community of students includes people of all ages who understand and thrive on their connection to the natural world around us.
Founded by the late Ingwe (Norman Powell) and Jon Young, Wilderness Awareness School is recognized as one of the primary inspirations for the contemporary nature connection movement. Our founders have long been acknowledged for their thought leadership. Their philosophy is our guide as we continue to provide opportunities for children to discover the natural world around them, and for adults to explore, gain confidence in, and reconnect with the environment.
Wilderness Awareness School is internationally recognized for its mentoring teaching style, its naturalist training expertise, and its focus on connecting students with nature, their community and themselves. Our wilderness education courses draw on traditions from indigenous cultures world-wide, emphasizing nature as teacher, routines to enhance awareness, storytelling, self-motivated learning, and tracking as an interpretive tool. Our approach trains youth and adults to blend the awareness of a native tracker with the knowledge of a wildlife biologist.