Youth Programs

Ethan Runnels Scholarship & Community Model

History of the Scholarship

Ethan Runnels Scholarship

Ethan Runnels left a lasting impression on both his friends and everyone he met through his kindness, gentle nature, and clever, playful humor. He lost his life to the White River in 2009 while on a canoe trip. Though this was a great loss to the community his spirit continues to impress and inspire all of those who knew him.

Ethan was a devoted practitioner of wilderness skills and experienced a direct relationship with the natural world. He interacted with nature through self-reliance, respect, and awe. The White Pine Wilderness Academy is an extension of his vision to share the value of the natural world to others. With this scholarship we hope to enable a great number of children to form a relationship with nature and wilderness skills in a way Ethan would appreciate.

How Your Contribution Will Be Used

White Pine Wilderness Academy, formerly Eehsipana Urban and Wilderness Survival School, has been expanding wilderness knowledge and experience for people of all ages for years. Our Summer Wild Camps are one of the most popular programs we offer. These camps introduce children to the natural world in a way that fosters a deep respect, expansive knowledge, and perspective of abundance towards nature. These camps build cooperation, self-reliance, self-esteem, and emotional maturity through wilderness skill and experiential learning. The funds you contribute will be used for a scholarship created in Ethan’s name to allow financially disadvantaged children to attend the Wild Camps at the White Pine Wilderness Academy. We believe that these lessons and experiences should be available to all.


Community Pricing Model

We rely heavily on our community to assist in making our programs more accessible and sustainable. We think it is incredibly important that our staff are paid well for their time here as the under-appreciated training and time that it takes to do this work is extensive. We appreciate everyone who can and has given to help make our programs increasingly more accessible.
We have been able to make quick opportunities available to our families and community. While registering for a program anyone can request a reduction in tuition by simply answering household income and size. Most interactions translate into immediate support of either 20% or 40% of the tuition cost.
The work of this mission is invaluable to us, our communities, and the Earth. We are glad to be able to be active agents in this empowerment and cultural shift. Please, reach out if you are interested and able to contribute!