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White Pine Wilderness Academy

White Pine’s mission is to address the effects of nature deficit disorder through reconnection to place, community, ancestry, traditional cultures, and skills. We do this by immersing our students in a week of village-focused activities, enthusiastic games, and guilds that progressively motivate our campers to explore mastery in ancient projects.

General Info:

Address: 531 W. 53rd. St. Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: (317) 774-6360
Website: https://whitepinewilderness.com/
Email: [email protected]
Dates: Weekly June 6th through August 5th
Hours: 9:00-3:00 or 9:00-4:00 for olders
Ages: 4-17

Q&A with White Pine Wilderness Academy:

What makes White Pine Wilderness Academy unique?

We are the only camp that offers a regenerative community model with comprehensive programming age 4 through adult. Tree Frogs (4-6) learn through storytelling, nature connection, camping skills and wandering through the riparian habitat of the White River. All of this is built into our unique three lineage model and international forest kindergarten approach. Every student will feel more resilient and empowered after a week in the wilds with us!

Tree Frogs can continue their journey of nature connection with greater and greater emphasis on skills and projects like fire-by-friction, archery, throwsticks, herbal medicine making, packing/caching, and more as they get older!


What activities are offered at White Pine Wilderness Academy?

We offer the opportunity for children to be themselves in a natural setting. We offer a ‘baseline’ environment that combines freedom, structure, lessons and traditional skills to explore their wild side. All students will be exposed to firemaking, wood chopping, plant ID, foraging, crafting, scouting, tracking, and storytelling. Older students have greater opportunity to propel into transformational rites of passage based on the knowledge and skills that inspire them!

What is the camper-to-counselor ratio?

Every Patrol of 10 campers has an Adult Lead Mentor, a teen Fire Keeper (mentor in training), and often an additional Adult Village Keeper (volunteer) . Every 2 or 3 patrols is supported by a Senior Camp Director. All told our ratios are typically in the 1 to 5 Mentor to student ratio.

How much time do the campers spend outside?

Except for emergency weather conditions, we spend the entire time outdoors. We also love to utilize tarps, yurts, and primitive survival shelters.


Does White Pine Wilderness Academy provide lunch/snacks or do parents need to provide them?

All campers are asked to bring their own lunch/snacks that can be eaten without microwave, oven, etc. Students will often get the opportunity to drink tea and eat popcorn from the fire throughout the week.

What is the typical daily schedule for campers?

Our day begins (add in 1 hour for campers older than 6)…
9:00-9:30 Arrival, free play, and organic connection with the environment and fellow campers
9:30-10:15 Opening Circle- Gratitude, Song, Directed Movement, and Story
10:15-11:15 Guild Time! When we get into the skills
11:15-12:00 Lunchtime, Natural Mystery, and Free Play
12:00-2:00 Hike, Wander, Explore, Games, and Connection with the landscape
2:00-2:30 Caretaking- cleaning up and giving back to the community and the land
2:30-3:00 Closing Circle- Rose, Bud, Thorn and preparing to go home


How old are the counselors and how are they trained?

All Lead Instructors are adults with extensive training in education and outdoor skills. They meet for training once per week to learn throughout the year. All Instructors hold an active Wilderness First Aid and iLEAD certification. All Instructors are trained in our Covid-19 protocols and how to address the needs of the pandemic as they are needed.

What accommodations are made for campers with special needs?

We can accommodate a wide range of behavioral and developmental needs if a coach or assistant is provided. However, we do not currently have the training or staffing to provide one on one support.

Do you offer financial assistance?

Yes. We offer a sliding scale with the opportunity for families to contribute to our mission to connect all children to the natural world and for families to request assistance by answering two questions about their household income and size.


Do you offer programs all year long?

Yes, we offer Forest School opportunities for home school or hybrid students. We are offering Tree Frogs (4-6 years old) programming four days a week in the 2022-23 school year. We also offer After-School programs for students 7-17 years old. The older students have the opportunity to go on expeditions in the backcountry with a chosen focus. We offer comprehensive teen leadership development as well as adult community classes and intensives.

Can parents visit camp?

All parents can get signed up for a tour. And there is an opportunity for everyone to volunteer. You can find out more by reaching out to [email protected]

Additionally our Closing Ceremony at the end of the week is open to parents and extended family.



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