Program Specifics

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The schedule for the program is similar to a college schedule. The Skills Apprenticeship Program typically begins the first week of October and ends the second week of June, with a break for winter holidays and a week for spring break. Class is held from 9 am to 3 pm Mondays and Tuesdays.

Requirements & Eligibility for the Program

There are no special requirements or prerequisites for eligibility for the Apprenticeship Program.


Tuition for the apprenticeship is $7,800 for the entire year. This includes 32 weeks of regular class, class materials, field trips, and instruction. It also includes almost a full month of additional classes - Backyard BlacksmithingSurvival TrekSurvival TechniquesWild Edible PlantsPrimitive Fishing, and Arrow Making. This does not include room and board (see the Room & Board section of this page). At this time we are unable to offer any financial assistance, although we hope to in the future. (see the section on Local Employment). Flexible payment options are available.

Program Structure

Class is held from 9-3 Monday and Tuesday, totaling 12 hours per week. Students are expected to work outside of class on certain projects, but the amount of time spent can vary. Although it can be as little as 1 hour per week, some students choose to spend more time. Optional field trips may extend a class day or take place in the evening. Class itself is a mixture of instruction and guided hands-on experience. This may include workshop time indoors, guided plant identification and foraging walks, or a trip to the woodworking store. Students participate in several open enrollment classes, from one-day weekend classes in the classroom to week-long classes at other locations.


The Instructors for the program are Frank and Karen Sherwood, both former head instructors at the Tracker School for fifteen years. Additional guest instructors come in throughout the year.

Class Size

The Apprenticeship Program is designed to be small, allowing for a more personal learning experience for students. We accept up to twelve students each year.

Room & Board

Students are responsible for their room & board. There is plenty of housing available in the greater Seattle area, and students have even come by bus from as far as Bellingham (almost two hours north of Seattle). Past students have lived in places such as North Seattle, Kirkland, Issaquah, Carnation, Duvall, and Snoqualmie. Available housing can usually be found by checking Seattle area papers online. Please contact us if you don’t know where to start, and we can help get you started.

Local Employment

Students support themselves in a variety of ways throughout the program, including jobs such as food service, house sitting, or painting. One of the reasons the program is held on two consecutive days is to allow students more flexibility for working


The Apprenticeship is based out of a classroom in the Sherwood’s home, about twenty minutes east of Seattle, WA. Trips into the field are held throughout the year to nearby wild places, as well as Lower Puget Sound, the Pacific Coast, and Eastern Washington.

Visiting Class

Prospective students are always welcome to visit class. Please call us ahead of time so that we can schedule your visit.

Applying to the Program

Download, print, and fill out an Earthwalk Northwest application, and mail it with a letter explaining your interest in the Apprenticeship Program, along with your $500 deposit.