"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs more defenders"
-Edward Abbey


POSTONED UNTIL 2021 Grades 6-12

Becoming an adult has always been a trying process and can be overwhelming for teens who are not prepared to enter independence with confidence. This extracurricular school year program meets once per month on weekends


Students will take on projects such as blacksmithing knives, making their own bows, and making traditional backpacks. Each month they will accompany a small team of instructors on camping trips where they will learn skills like knife safety, making fire by friction, archery, animal tracking, bird language, invisibility, awareness, shelter building, game processing (optional), hide tanning, and campfire cooking. Each student will be asked to act in the best interests of the group by contributing their effort towards helpfulness, respect, problem solving, and conflict resolution.


The motto of this group is, "I am because we are." We encourage both individual expression and team work as we learn to live together as a village. The program is marked at intervals during the year with rites of passage meant to show them where they have been, where they are now, and what they can work towards in the future. Each student is encouraged to push themselves to learn and, as they return each year, help teach the younger students therein becoming elders in the village.


We teach that there is joy in responsibility and reward in applying hard work to difficult tasks. Our mentors honor each students process of learning to become an adult and respect that experience as highly individual. Our curriculum is designed as self directed learning, meaning we foster the strengths we see in students as they work to accomplish each goal they set for themselves. Fox Walkers is a truly unique mentoring experience unlike anything you will find in other extracurriculars. Join this fun, creative, and empowering program now!


Greater Bay Area

San Rafael, Oakland, Daly City, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz

Weekends Only

$250 per month or $2000 per year

Internships and Scholarships available for qualifying students

Students will also accompany instructors one weekend per month on camping or day trips to national or state run wilderness areas or one of our educational campsites at farms or nature connection centers near the bay. On these trips students will learn the skills necessary for basic camping, backpacking, and wilderness survival. Here's a brief list of possible skills:

  • Knife safety/Carving

  • Fire Making/ Friction Fire

  • Archery

  • Bow Making

  • Blacksmithing

  • Leather Working

  • Sewing

  • Natural Dyes

  • Food Preservation/ Fermentation

  • Gardening

  • Raising animals for food

  • Bike Repair/Maintenance

  • Local Plant ID

  • Simple Woodworking

  • Knife Making

  • Hide Tanning

  • Basket Weaving

  • Environmental Science/Ecology

  • Stone Tool Making

  • Wildcraft/Bushcraft

  • Bird Language

  • Animal Tracking

  • Knife safety/Carving

  • Fire Making/ Friction Fire

  • Archery

  • Shelter Building

  • Animal Tracking

  • Stealth and Camo

  • Axe and Saw use

  • Bird Language

  • Forest Ecology

  • Wild Plant ID

  • Campfire Cooking

Each month that we are unable to meet as a result of the Covid pandemic and shelter in place orders will be prorated. You will not be charged for months that we are not meeting.

Monthly payments for months that we do meet are not based on attendance. This is a flat fee program whose profits directly support underrepresented students. Except in extenuating circumstances refunds will not be issued for missed classes. Each refund request will be handled on a case by case basis.

BOWS is a queer owned and operated business. We welcome students of all race, nationality, sex, gender, religion, sexual preference, relationship style, age, and ability. Nature is for everyone.

Created, licensed, and copyrighted by

Dane Nelson

Black Oak Wilderness School Incorporated

Established November 2017

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