There is still time this summer for a great adventure at Channel Rock. This experience runs from Aug 1st and Aug 9, but attending part of the workshop is also an option!
While Libba and I have been busy assembling a wonderful cooperative to collectively own Channel Rock, we also helped put together a week long workshop in Nature Awareness and Tracking, August 1-9th. Perhaps you can make it or know someone that would be perfect to attend. This is going to be an amazing awakening.
In the words of our teacher, Tom Cochrane:
Tracking and wilderness awareness represent profound methods used by native peoples to understand their place in the world, enhancing their survival and enjoyment of life. All of us are descended from people who had deep knowledge of these skills; humanity has lived by them for most of its existence.
Thousands of years of hard won lessons have been lost and abandoned under false impressions that the knowledge, skills, and abilities of our ancient ancestors are no longer needed in modern society. The truth is that people practicing these ancient skills sustain a degree of freedom and security that is generally lost in modern society..We need to learn from the ancients for traversing the turbulent times we face and to create a viable future, closer to the land and better integrated within the web of life.
Physical awareness is the doorway to understanding mind and spirit. Ancient tracking skills offer a powerful pathway for learning to control mental levels of awareness. Intensive physical awareness opens a doorway to the more advanced skills of controlling levels of awareness and spirituality.
The source of the knowledge of this course comes through Stalking Wolf, an Apache Scout. As a young man, at the height of the genocide of his people, Stalking Wolf was given a surprising mission by his elders. He spent the next 60 years gathering knowledge, skills and wisdom of tribes from the tip of South America to the far North. In his eighties, he taught these skills and way of seeing the world to a young white boy, Tom Brown, Jr. This was the way the elders had seen to find a channel to people of industrialized cultures who had lost their ancestral ways of connecting to nature and needed alternatives to engaging in oppressive and destructive systems.
By reconnecting those of us living in industrial civilization to our roots in nature, we grow the resilience and wisdom necessary to build healthy and caring society. We aim to honor this gift from Stalking Wolf by participating in his mission to share these teachings widely.
Tom Cochrane, who is leading this workshop, carries this lineage as one of Tom Brown's most advanced students. In many places where he has lived, when someone was lost, Tom Cochrane was the go-to tracker find and rescue them (See bio below). Assisting Tom in the teaching will be the local 14 year-old naturalist and eco-activist, Tosh Harvey, who will have you eating from the wild as you walk. I will be a Teaching Assistant, but really a student along with you. What a privilege i have.
The schedule of activities give a good sense of the workshop
Go to bottom of the schedule page to sign up
Here is the brochure copy for the course
Learn To Thrive in The Wild
August 1–9, 2015
Travel in on the 1st by 4 PM, travel out on the 9th at 10 AM
Channel Rock Coastal Conservancy and Retreat Center, Cortes Island, B.C. Canada
Have you ever wanted to learn wilderness survival skills? To truly understand the natural world and learn to become one with any environment you enter? Many of us feel energetically exhausted from the constant busyness of modern life with the overwhelming demands of work, school and family and the constant bombardment of technology. If you are searching for an opportunity to reconnect with nature, to refocus and calm your mind and to nourish your body living close to the earth, here is that opportunity!
Join us at Channel Rock Conservancy and Retreat Center on Cortes Island, B.C. for a 9-day immersion in wilderness awareness and tracking with Tom Cochrane, a senior tracker and an expert on “reading” nature.
In this rare opportunity to work with Tom, learn core survival and tracking skills – especially honing a deep and heightened awareness of the ecosystem inhabitants around you. Helping out are and Gifford Pinchot and Tosh and Ryan Harvey, the latter two of whom have spent the last decade in Cortes Forests, as activists, wild foods enthusiasts and amateur naturalists. They will help to guide you in exploring the rich flora and fauna of Cortes Island – from wolves to slime mold. Rediscover a deep understanding of the intricate interactions of the natural world, largely lost in today’s urban world.
The price of $985 Canadian includes 8 full days instruction, meals, and lodging and boat pickup from the ferry or seaplane dock.
Partial scholarships available on case by case basis. Part time attendance available for full time Cortes residents.
To register call Linda at 206.780.2800. Also call Linda to apply for a scholarship or if you can only attend part of the course (which is totally okay!).
For more Course details and sign up
Channel Rock is a coastal conservancy in Klahoose, Sliammon, and Homalco traditional territory in the Discovery Islands of British Colombia. Within Channel Rock's 140 acres of bluffs and forest, and mile of coastline are several micro-climates and rare species and habitat. It boasts high biological diversity and provides important wildlife habitat and corridors; of note is the coastal wolf (which can be seen here digging for clams). The land itself is brimming with a natural beauty and bounty that is found in few places. August days at Channel Rock are marked by abundant food, long days and starry nights, bio-luminescent plankton, and meteor showers.
Channel Rock's eco-villiage is built around principles of deep ecology and permaculture. The heritage garden is surrounded by a ring of wood and cob buildings crafted from what the land itself provides. Our facilities were created to demonstrate deeply sustainable systems and function within the limitations of the land they are on while providing an experience of comfort and joyful community. Channel Rock is off the grid and only accessible by trail or boat.
The primary faculty for the Tracking and Nature Awareness Course is Tom Cochrane. Tom Cochrane grew up close to wilderness and learned tracking because it was part of life where he lived. He developed tracking skill as a teenager working in the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Team, where his tracking skills proved important on several search cases. As a teenager he was a founding member of the National Mountain Rescue Association.
When he was 14 he became serious about rock climbing. He spent several years as part of the cadre of rock climbers who developed the techniques to climb the big walls in Yosemite. He was a founding member of the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team. In service of his work with search and rescue, he studied the tracking methods used by US Boarder Control and Sheriff Departments across the western states. Then the breakthrough: He then discovering Tom Brown, Jr.’s Tracker School and became a long-term devoted follower. He continues to participate in advanced study with Brown.
From the time he was a young boy, Tom Brown, Jr., was trained by Stalking Wolf, a master tracker Apache Scout. The Apache knowledge of tracking goes well beyond what we normally think of as possible. Devotees of this method can not only follow tracks in difficult terrain, but also get detailed information about the animal or person from the tracks, such as how fast they are moving, what they are looking at, what they are carrying and whether they are hungry or fed, tired or fresh.
Tom Cochrane has worked extensively in Search and Rescue (SAR) finding people who have been lost in the wilderness.
- Mountain Rescue Association: Team examiner certifying teams in rescue methods.
- Maryland Search and Rescue Team: Tracker and trainer
- Appalachian Search and Rescue Team: Tracker and wilderness survival trainer
- Inyo County Search and Rescue Team: Board of Directors, lead tracker and trainer
- Churchill County Search and Rescue Team: President and lead tracker
- NASA Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team: Search and rescue, marine SAR, hazardous materials
- Vessel Assist: marine search and rescue
- Divers Alert Network: Underwater search and rescue
- Klickitat Search and Rescue Team
Tom has taught tracking at the University of Maryland and Stanford.
Basic survival concerns how to take care of yourself and those you love in the wilderness without using any of the tools of modern civilization. It focuses on what the Apache considered to be the sacred order to survival. People often look after their needs in the wrong order, which is deadly.
Modern humans are incapable of surviving in even relatively mild environments without shelter. First make shelter from what you can find. You’ll learn how to rapidly build a debris hut in which you will be warm and dry.
You can survive for a number of weeks without food, but water is a more urgent matter. Contamination is an increasingly challenging problem. You will learn to identify and to purify hazardous water using what you can find in the wilderness.
Fire is useful for warmth, purifying water and cooking. You will learn how to make fire with what you find, and to boil water and cook food without a pot.
In the long run, you need food. You will learn how to obtain food in the wild using ancient skills for both gathering and hunting.
Tracking serves as a profound form of meditation and awareness. It is not possible to see the subtle messages on the ground without heightened awareness. You will learn both how to identify animals by their tracks and to see what the animal (or human) was doing or thinking from their tracks.
A critical aspect of tracking is landscape analysis. We will develop a map of the paths and animal highways, where the deer sleep, etc. Understanding who is moving in the landscape and their paths and highways (different from ours) is essential for staying out of trouble, observing wildlife and hunting.
You will learn to walk in the woods with minimal noise and disturbance. You will learn to sense presence through means that are easier to teach than to explain.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of this workshop will be a greatly heightened ability to be aware of what is going on around you in the wilderness. This ability will translate to greater awareness in the city as well.
You will learn different states of awareness such as wide-angle vision and binocular, locked in vision. Animals respond to these states of mind. You will learn to control your state of awareness.
You will learn to know what is going on beyond your direct awareness by the way the birds and squirrels are talking. You will learn about circles of influence, with the effect of one creature’s movement spreading out like the ripples after a stone is dropped in a pond.
You will learn how to control and filter your awareness to critical items so as not to be shut down by the overstimulation of urban environments. You will learn to sense danger and to create a relaxed zone of personal safety around yourself.
Click Here for Nature Awareness and Tracking Video
By reconnecting those of us living in industrial civilization to our roots in nature, we can begin to break free from fearful dependence on oppressive and genocidal systems and live in the natural world as a shared home.
We are, as best we can, carrying out Stalking Wolf’s intent to revitalize our connection to nature.