It’s the strong, healthy, inquisitive and skillful children of the pioneer days that built the world that we have today. We will need those kinds of people to merge with future technologies and lead world populations sustainably forward.
— Ben Jamin Walker

Tribal Wisdom Academy VISION

  • Allow children to have an actual childhood that is full of real adventures.
  • Create unstoppable self-directed lifelong learners that can get into any career or college that they choose.
  • Focus on moral character and sustainability.
  • Help families find a balance between self-reliance and community. 
  • Train kids to thrive in any world future with an intertwining of paleolithic survival skills and modern day life-skills.
  • Connect students with how the natural world provides all of our food and raw materials, in today's advancing technological world.
  • Have a lot of fun.

The summer Camp Mentor team

 Ben Jamin Walker (Moose)  Founder & Director

Ben Jamin Walker (Moose)
Founder & Director

Ben Jamin Walker travelled in over 30 countries, lived alone with tribes that include the Kung San Bushmen of the African Kalahari in 1984, the Cree Nation of sub-arctic Canada, tribes in the deep jungles of Honduras (and many other tribes) and then returned to teach. In his lifetime of learning traditional life-skills directly from tribal peoples, Ben has personally realized that these are the skills that our human minds and bodies were designed for. Even our personal attraction to these vital skills appears to be naturally innate. These wilderness survival skills are surely how humans were designed to reach maturity, and these are the original skills that historically developed our brain and body to it's full design-potential. Ben focuses on giving our young students real skills and experiences, with the vision that they can one day become solid adults and teach their grandchildren, as mankind has done throughout history. 

As a teenage Boy Scout in the 1980's, Ben worked all summer at BSA Camp Winton for three years. And in 2002 Ben was the the Scoutcraft Director at BSA Camp Chawanakee. Ben has also taught at 3 camps for Scouting Mexico in the costal jungle of Mexico's Central Pacific Coast. Ben has extensive experience at many-many other camps as well, including camps created and directed by Ben himself. 

Ben retired in 2014 after 15 years of working as a professional Naturalist for Merced County Office of Education's Yosemite 6th-Grade Camp at Green Meadows Outdoor School, where he taught an average of over 2,000 boys and girls per school-year out in the woods since 1999. 

Besides being recognized as a prehistoric survival skill expert, Ben Jamin Walker is also the inventor of Knot Fu, an artful and much easier and systematic way to tie knots. Ben specializes in teaching a great variety of ancient and modern skills which we believe every human should master before adulthood.

As Director of Tribal Wisdom Academy in the Silicon Valley of California, Ben is fulfilling his global lifework to study/discover and provide what children naturally need during childhood to become solid adults. We focus on the developmental skill-based experiences needed by children to thrive. 

 Claire Liu  Co-founder & Director of Admissions

Claire Liu
Co-founder & Director of Admissions

Claire Yue Liu Walker was born and raised in Mainland China. She lived her early childhood through adolescent years with 10-hour school days (plus homework). But then in her college freshman year, Claire realized that life is not about getting a perfect academic score that will lead to somehow using that is actually quite unpredictable.

After college in Beijing, Claire came to America and earned a Masters in Sociology at Lehigh University. She did her sociological research practicum in "The Positive Outcomes of Summer Camp". Claire also established an international camp agency in 2011 called "Global Discovery Ventures LLC" to bring Chinese campers to residential summer camps in New York and Virginia.

Here at Tribal Wisdom Academy, Claire has been an innovator in experiential education, alternative schooling, summer camps, and youth development programs. Claire co-creates programs with Ben to support our students and summer camp kids in authentic outdoor childhood.

Direct contact:  

All TWA staff have the highest possible screening and DOJ/FBI background checks. 


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Mentor Rebekah Castro is studying at West Valley College to become a Registered Nurse. And as a TWA Mentor she taught our summer camp kids about kindness and innovation. Plus right now during the 2017-2018 TWA school-year, Rebekah is teaching our Maker Lab classes at local public schools. Click HERE for details on those classes. 

Mentor Monica Lemmon grew up in Santa Clara, now studies foreign languages and linguistics. Previously, Monica worked as a summer camp mentor at Happy Hollow Zoo. At Tribal Wisdom Academy she nurtures a sense of adventure while teaching skills and woodworking.

Aimee Cogliandro2017

Mentor Aimee Cogliandro grew up in San Jose, and is now working on a degree in psychology at the University of Arizona. Here at TWA, Aimee supervises the camp kids while they build forts and projects in our Forest Adventure Playground. Aimee guides campers in social development.


Mentor Isabelle Wilhelm

grew up in Boulder Creek, and is now a sophomore at San Francisco Art Institute majoring in photography. Isabelle has a year of experience being a teacher's assistant for 4th & 5th graders at San Lorenzo Valley Elementary, and served as a leader at YMCA Camp Campbell.

Mentor Adam Kagel learned leadership and mentoring while serving as a summer camp Cabin Leader while growing up in Los Gatos. Now working on a degree in Engineering, Adam shares his talents by teaching kids to safely use tools and build treehouses, forts and maker projects. Adam is also our Archery Rangemaster.



Ben Jamin Walker is an NFAA & USAA Certified Level 2 Instructor for students with interest in Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD). 

And besides direct experience with tribal peoples in wilderness lands around the Earth, Ben has extensive expertise in traditional bowyer and arrowsmithing skills, and is referenced in:

  • Pages 21 and 57 of The TRADITIONAL BOWYER'S BIBLE, Vol. 2 & 3. 
  • Articles in the first 2 issues of PRIMITIVE ARCHER MAGAZINE, plus Vol. 2, issue 4.
  • Article in THE BACKWOODSMAN MAGAZINE, Vol 15, #5.
  • Several full length newspaper articles in the US and Canada. 


Your lifetime of adventure begins now!