from washington outdoor women
Washington Outdoor Women
Teaching Women outdoor skills since 1998
When the Washington Outdoor Women program was formed in 1997, we asked Karen Sherwood to join our team of instructors. Her inaugural classes in 1998 were a natural for WOW, which teaches outdoor skills to women through hands-on workshops. With her first class, Wild Edibles and Wilderness Medicine, Karen established her value to WOW and quickly found a place in the participants’ hearts. Her gift for teaching is unsurpassed. Karen possesses an incredible amount of knowledge. You’ve heard there’s a reason for every living thing and we think Karen knows what all of those uses are! But she also knows just the right amount to impart without overwhelming. Karen’s style is so engaging that even while students are preparing Stinging Nettle Soup, Acorn Muffins or Dandelion Root Coffee in her Cooking With Wild Foods classes, they’re still learning about the beauty and abundance of the natural world.
Over the years, the WOW team and instructors have increasingly been impressed with Karen’s preparation and attention to detail, even for a half-day class. Anyone who invites Karen to teach can rest assured her presentation will be flawless. She will have thought of everything. She will arrive early, come prepared with supplies and hand-outs, know exactly how to gauge the time for each item on her syllabus, and leave students wanting to know more. We’ve seen it happen year after year.
WOW participants consistently rate Karen’s classes as excellent. Students in her Herbal First Aid class highlight the products they make in the classes—healing salves for bruises, scrapes, and other trail-side injuries. Those who take her Wild Edibles and Wilderness Medicine class usually rave about the walk through the forest where they learn to identify local medicinal plants and integrate wild foods into everyday meals. In Karen’s newest class, Cordage Making and Cedar Bark Weaving, students will learn to make rope—and individual lanyards—by using local plants. A highlight of this class probably will be the needle pouch they weave from cedar bark.
We speak for the entire WOW team and our sponsor, the Washington Wildlife Federation, when we say it is an absolute pleasure working with Karen. We could sing her praises for many more pages, but we’ll let some of the WOW participants do it for us:
“Karen did a fantastic job of detailing plants and their applications used for First Aid. More than I hoped for!” Herbal First Aid
“Excellent instructor! Besides great fun, Karen sent us home with valuable material and very helpful references. Outstanding class!” Wild Edibles and Wilderness Medicine
“Instructor knowledge and preparation were above and beyond what I expected. Very well done! I look forward to taking more classes from Karen.” Cooking With Wild Foods
Kate van Gelder,WOW Program Co-founder
Ronni McGlenn, WOW Program Co-founder and current Program Director
P.O. Box 1656 ~ Bellevue, WA 98009 ~ www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org
FRom the Schleining foundation
From Tom Brown Jr. of the tracker school
P.O. Box 173
Phone: (908) 479-4681
After working at the Tracker School for over 15 years, my head instructors, Frank and Karen Sherwood, have decided to move back to Washington State and begin teaching their own classes throughout the United States and Canada. Part of me hurts to see them go, for it is like losing a part of myself and my school, yet, I know that they must now strike out and follow their Visions.
Trying to write a letter of recommendation for Frank and Karen is much like trying to write a letter of recommendation for Grandfather, Stalking Wolf. I just do not feel that I am worthy enough to write that kind of letter. Through the many years of struggle at the Tracker School, Frank and Karen have been more than just head instructors, much more. They are my family, my brother, my sister, confidants, partners, and most of all, my dearest friends.
I feel that Frank and Karen’s classes are a tremendous compliment to the Tracker Classes. They fill a huge need and in my experience, they are the best out there. I cannot recommend these classes enough to my students. Karen’s Herbal Studies Classes, Frank’s Tanning Classes, and their Primitive Arts Classes, impress me, and as you all know, very little impresses me.
Most of all, Frank and Karen are very much like me, in that they teach from experience, not from theory. When they were not teaching at the Tracker School, they were working on their skills, living their skills, and thus brought those skills to a level of excellence I rarely see. Even though they have physically left the Tracker School, they are still a big part of the Vision, still an inspiration to my school. I will miss them, we all will miss them. Now, seek them out, take their classes, just as you sought Grandfather, and you too will be amazed and inspired.
All Good Medicine,