HomePublicationsTrue TracksWinter 1998

True Tracks - Winter 1998


Coming Next Summer: Tom Brown Jr's Coyote Camps
For young men and women
By Tom Brown, Jr.

We are asked all the time: "Do you have programs for children?" I'm happy to announce that beginning next summer, we will. We are calling these classes, "Tom Brown, Jr.'s Coyote Camps."

We will be holding three separate classes at a beautiful facility in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in New Jersey that is run year-round by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). In fact, the classes will be run in cooperation with that organization.

Two classes will be held for teenagers, ages 13-17, while a third will be for children ages 8-12. Teenagers will be able to attend the classes on their own, however, the 8-12 year olds must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Tent or cabin sites will be available.

Jon Young, my first student ever, has been running children's programs in the state of Washington for years and he will be the head instructor for the Coyote Camps. His program will be similar in many ways to our standard class, although there will be variations due to the age differences. He will be joined by other qualified instructors and volunteers.

While we are still finalizing some of the details, I can tell you that the 1999 camps will each run six days and five nights. The teenage camps are set for July 25-30 and Aug. 22-27. The pre-teen camp is scheduled for Aug. 15-20. The teenage camps will be run at the same time as our standard class so that parents and their children can schedule accordingly if they wish.

I can tell you that I am very excited about our Coyote Camps and that I can't wait for the summer to come. The Coyote Camps add another very important dimension to our school as we continue to grow every day.



Tracker School celebrates 20th anniversary
with 2nd annual holiday bash in Pine Barrens

For the second straight year, Tom and Debbie are hosting a Nature Christmas Party in the Pine Barrens.

Last year more than 100 people, most of whom were area children, attended the afternoon event. Everybody had a great time, even if it was a little chilly.

This year's party, open to all Tracker students, their families, and friends, will once again be at the Jo~eph A. Citta Boy Scout Camp in Brookville (where philosophy classes are held) . Mark down Sunday Dec. 20. The fun begins at 1 p.m.

In celebration of our 2Oth anniversary, we are planning a number of special activities for both kids and adults.

There will be lots of games for the kids and even some prizes. Most fun, though, we'll be helping them make edible gifts for the animals (adults can join in, too!) and then adorning our very own part of the forest with these goodies for the animals. Tom will tell stories over a campfire and many other activities are on tap.

There will be refreshments galore, as well, from hot apple cider to all sorts of treats.

This is a very special event and we know you'll enjoy it.



Tollefson named head chef, volunteer coordinator
By Dan Hirshberg

Rather than prepare Tequilla Chicken or Cedar Bake Salmon for a late night dinner crowd at a posh restaurant, Canadian native Mark Tollefson has decided that he'd prefer to prepare meals for the hungry students at Tom Brown Jr.'s Tracker School.

In September, Tollefson was named the head chef and volunteer coordinator by Tom and Debbie Brown.

Tollefson was the former head chef and manager at the Wild Rover Restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and the General Manager of the restaurant at The Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith, British Columbia. He had also been the chef at the Olympic View Golf Club in Victoria.

A 1990 graduate of Malaspina College with a degree in Hospitality Management, Tollefson is in charge of coordinating and preparing all meals during Tracker classes. In addition, he is the coordinator of volunteer helpers.

"1 got tired of working in restaurants," Tollefson says simply. "After taking some time off from cooking, this job offer came up and it didn't take long for me to say yes. I've always strived to be close with nature and with this job I am certainly am."

Tollefson also appreciates the challenge.

"As a chef, this is a real challenge," he admits. "But just because classes are held in a wilderness setting doesn't mean that I can't prepare restaurant-style meals."

To contact Mark about volunteering for future classes, drop him a line in the mail or give him a call.




Sticks and stones

Congratulations to Ruth Ann Colby. Our "water loving" instructor got married Oct. 24 on the farm. Her husband's name is David. Good luck and may you enjoy a rainbow's worth of good times together.

Tom Brown appeared on the CNN show, "Talk Back Live," in October. He talked about the school and the Eric Rudolph case, among other subjects.

Tom. by the way, will be the keynote speaker at the New Jersey Environmental Educators Conference on Jan. 15. The conference is titled, ironically, "Making Tracks 2000." The conference will be held at the College of New Jersey in Trenton. Tom's topic: "Utilizing our knowledge of the past to better prepare for the future ... environmentally." Tracker School will also have a booth set-up both on Friday (Jan. 15) and Saturday.

Roswjtha Augusta, one of our students, was instrumental in posting four roadside turtle warning signs along the Dulles Greenway outside of Washington, D.C. The signs say, "Give Them A Brake!" and have a drawing of a turtle on them. "I'm hoping these (signs) will touch the hearts and emotions of people," she was quoted as saying in The Washington Post. "If motorists coming and going to work are bombarded with the signs, they will start noticing the little turtles." Augusta was moved to the effort after seeing many dead turtles along the busy highway.

Tom's book, "Grandfather," has been released in Japan (in Japanese). Early indications are that it is selling very well.




Winter 1 / Winter 2 Openings exist

There are still openings for the Winter 1 and Winter 2 classes in January.

These two classes replaced the 10-day winter course, which proved to be a scheduling problem for many students. Each class will be a week, with Winter 1 from Jan. 3-9 and Winter 2 from Jan. 10-16. Students may take the courses back-to-back if they wish. The Winter I/Winter 2 format will allow us to reemphasize the winter survival aspects of the course, and still have time for some advanced skill work. We will cover several specific winter skills, such as snowshoe making, mukluk making, winter trapping, several new bows, and winter camouflage and hunting techniques.



New Tom Brown Jr. Book!!
"The Science and Art of Tracking"

Tom's love for tracking and its connection to the spirit world of nature is the topic of his newest book, "The Science and Art of Tracking" (Berkley Books), which will be released this February. A field guide style book, Tom talks about the lessons he has taught us about tracking and expands upon them.

"Tracking lets us unlock the secrets of each animal we follow, and in turn, to become more aware of our own place in nature and the world. It is a journey of discovery that engages the senses, awakens the spirit, and enlightens the soul." he says. The book will be available in bookstores, as well as through our office.



Pilot Program for Trackers

Since Jon Young's Wilderness Awareness School was founded 15 years ago, the core of our mission has been training trackers "to have a tracker on every street corner" who is able to teach the children about Nature in the way that Tom Brown, Jr., taught one of our founders -- Jon Young -- during his childhood.

As such, it is with great excitement that Wilderness Awareness School announces the availability of the Shikari Tracker Training Program. Produced through Jon and Tom's collaboration and using the same methods and routines that Jon followed during his childhood mentorship under Tom, this independent training program guides students who wish to learn the Art of Tracking for themselves to self-sufficiency.
Since we are in the final phase of pilot testing for this program, we are making it available for a short time for only $179.



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