For a comprehensive description of our policies and procedures, click the button below to view our Family Guidebook.

What types of classes do you offer?

Woolly Bears, ages 3-4: Half day program in Holliday Park

Tree Frogs, ages 5-6: Full day program in Holliday Park

Flying Squirrels, ages 7-9: Full day program and after-school program in Rocky Ripple

Scouts, ages 10-12: Full day program and after-school program in Rocky Ripple

Teens, ages 13-17: Full day program and after-school program in Rocky Ripple. Fire keepers program for teen mentoring. Overnights offered throughout the year in Rocky Ripple.

Adults, ages 18+: Workshops, Certifications and Clubs, offered throughout the year in Rocky Ripple and around central Indiana.

What is your teaching philosophy?

White Pine Wilderness Academy is an aboriginal technologies school at it’s core. Children will learn about the philosophies, traditions and craft from a variety of ancient cultures. We see the skills of wilderness survival as completely intertwined with the peoples who developed these technologies and arts. We will tell stories from a specific culture that connects a lesson to a skill they are learning, and play games that help develop the awareness, physical strength and attention skills needed to be a naturalist and practitioner of the survival arts. Adults who have an interest in primitive skills are encouraged to incorporate the same activities into their practice. Please contact us if you have more questions

Is each class different or will my child be doing the same thing next time?

We have several families that enroll their kid in more than one day a week at White Pine. In the case of Tree Frogs and After-School, each class day has a different lesson plan prepared by that instructor. In the case of Flying Squirrels and Scouts full day programs, instructors typically prepare a similar lesson plan for both days of that week. 

However, with nature as our classroom, each day is filled with new adventures that change the course of our day. It is very typical for even just the weather to vary from day-to-day in the span of one week, which changes the lesson plans slightly each time. Each class moves through similar stories and guilds, but in it’s own unique way. Families that have a kid enrolled in more than one day a week tell us that the differences are plenty enough to keep their kid interested and engaged week after week.

Our Core routines revolve around shelter, fire, water, and food. We work on focus skills such as carving, fire building, and foraging. Awareness skills we cover include sit spot, bird language, and tracking. We cover wandering skills including navigation and reading the forest, as well as research and academic work like journaling and taxonomy.

Does my kid need camping experience?

No! All levels of experience are welcome at White Pine, whether your kid loves to camp or has been stuck to the TV. As humans, nature is built into our DNA. We’ve witnessed hundreds of kids take to it very quickly, as kids are far better prepared than any adult to start down the path of outdoor and naturalist education. The fun, community aspect of our classes allow kids to sail right past their comfort zone. Before you know it, kids who never wanted to go outside are lighting fires, tracking animals, and shooting arrows.

Can my teen attend an adult workshop?

Yes, teenagers may be considered on a case-by-case basis. We ask that any teenage participant be comfortable and capable in working in an adult atmosphere.

What should my kid bring to class?

Check out this list of suggested gear for your kid’s time at White Pine. Please know that all of the info below is a guideline for gear. Our years of work with children and being outdoors have provided some insight as to what works well. However, we will work with whatever you’re able to provide. Please do not put your family in financial hardship because of the cost of gear. Look for our Gear Swap event in the fall, where you can find lots of great secondhand gear.

Our Everyday Gear Requirements for attending White Pine include:

» Durable backpack, with multiple pockets and a place for a waterbottle

» 1+ carabiner, attached to backpack to hang on a rope in the field

» 1 filled water bottle (at least 32+ oz), LABELED with your kid’s name (This is one of the most frequently left-behind items, and we want it to return home with your kid!)

» 1 camp mug

» Planetbox Rover stainless steel lunchbox (or similar durable lunchbox) LABELED with your kid’s name

» Packed lunch (no refrigeration, boiling water, or microwave requirements)

» 2 healthy snacks (no refrigeration, boiling water, or microwave requirements)

» Change of clothes – 2 sets

» Plastic bags to transport soiled clothes


For specific Warm Weather and Cold Weather gear suggestions, please check out our Family Guidebook.

How does billing work for Forest School?

Our Forest School Year goes from August – May. A $50 non-refundable processing fee is due upon enrollment in Forest School. Tuition is then automatically withdrawn MONTHLY from the credit card on file. Monthly tuition withdraws will start on August 7, 2023.