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 and Black Oak Wilderness School.

Established November 2017

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Learn to navigate the world with awareness, mindfulness, and confidence. Through wilderness survival and traditional skills education, young adults work together in community and as individuals to achieve goals beyond what they can imagine.


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 full school year program meets every other week on Wednesdays, and one full weekend per month to learn the skills of living both independently and as a community working towards confidence and a better relationship with the natural world.


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 we set for them. Fox Walkers is a truly unique mentoring experience unlike anything you will find in other extracurriculars. Join this fun, creative, and empowering program now!





Students meet every other week  starting in August and continuing through June. 


These classes will focus on crafting, blacksmithing, leather working, and woodworking. Occasionally students may be asked to meet at an East Bay Regional Park for lessons on skills like Archery, Friction Fire, or Tracking and Stealth.



Every other Tuesday from 5pm until 7pm


Students will meet the last Friday of each month (excluding December and January) and be transported to one of our educational campsites for a weekend of survival and traditional skills learning. They will return to our shop in Oakland on Sunday at around 3pm. All of our camping sites are within 3 hours of Oakland.

Aug 30th-Sep 1st

Sep 27th-29th

Oct 25th-27th

Nov 22nd-24th

Feb 28th- Mar 1st

Mar 27th-29th

Apr 24th-26th

May 29th-31st

Jun 22nd-26th (optional summer week, additional $800)


No class will be held during school holidays.


MONTHLY- $250 (due before the first of each month.)

YEAR IN FULL- $2000 (one time payment)

In order to secure your students spot in the program, you must make the initial first month payment plus the security deposit. You may pre-register your student free of charge until July 1st. We will contact you via phone or email before the class fills to confirm your registration and collect payment. If payment is not received before the requested date then your students spot will go to the next in line. Registration is open all year.


There are no refunds issued for missed classes. This is a fixed fee program designed to cover the expenses of instruction, materials, site use, food, and transportation for all students, all year. We have put careful effort into making the program as affordable as possible while maintaining the highest levels of safety and program quality. This cost also contributes to our scholarships for students coming from under represented communities.