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 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 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 knowledge...life 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 is fully involved with curriculum development, staff training, and camper/parent communication, along with community awareness. Claire co-creates programs with Ben to support our students and summer camp kids in authentic outdoor childhood.
Direct contact: Claire@tribalwisdomacademy.com
All TWA staff have the highest possible screening and DOJ/FBI background checks.
Staff manager Devin Laming has a genuine passion for teaching prehistoric living skills to children. With a B.A. in Psychology, Devin is able to integrate positive psychology into inquiry-based learning. Devin has extensive experience in coaching advanced archery, tomahawks, primitive fire making, and tool skills. Devin with his wife and son live in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Mentor Monica Lemmon grew up in Santa Clara, now studies foreign languages and linguistics. This is the second year that Monica has been working at TWA. Monica nurtures a sense of adventure while guiding children in outdoor maker projects.
Mentor Rebekah Castro is studying at West Valley College to become a Registered Nurse. As a TWA Mentor for the second year, Rebekah teaches at our summer camps and at our school year Maker Labs.
Mentor Terra Hyke studies environmental education and interpretation at Humboldt State University. Terra enjoys sharing her love for nature with children, and appreciates the world that she sees through the child’s lenses.
Mentor Taylor Avoy grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, she is now working on her degree in public health at the University of Nevada Reno. Taylor loves to bring her hometown children back to nature. She is looking forward to creating happy summer memories together with your family this summer.
Mentor Kenny Price is studying to become a music teacher at West Valley College. Kenny grew up as a homeschooler, and he understands that the key to passion in education is in allowing the child to develop their talents. Kenny also works as the TWA school-year Maker Lab at Coyote Grange Hall.
ABOUT FOREST ARCHERY COACH BEN WALKER
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.
Page 77 of THE BULLETIN OF PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 1, #4.
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!
Tribal wisdom academy china camp
In 2018 Ben and Claire Walker have exported the TWA child-centered curriculum to mainland China! Camp Nature Joy is a brand new residential summer camp designed by Tribal Wisdom Academy Executive Director Ben Walker. The below team of mentors are are pioneers in TWA's education philosophy and mentoring methods. The ongoing fine example of the Silicon Valley kids at TWA Los Gatos has inspired families around the world to seek the social skill learned through authentic outdoor childhood.
Year-round staff in china:
Joey Pedorza, Historic Skill Specialist. Joey believes in creating a safe student-community where kids are free to try new things. In his classes all experiences, including mistakes and failures, are valued as learning opportunities.
Samantha Durham, Natural Science Teacher. With a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Sami firmly believes that learning natural sciences is a journey of personal discovery. She mentors students to value asking lots of questions rather than have them memorize facts and data.
Archery Instructor Sebastian is from Columbia. At our huge archery range in China, he has already taught over 400 campers, as well as visiting dignitaries. Sebastian is also our Rocket Science Lab Teacher. He empowers local Chinese interns to take command of these signature classes at Camp Nature Joy.
Blacksmith John is from Sweden and brings many traditional skills to the camp program. His focus is on training the campers and the support staff in safety with tools and fire. John’s class for next summer is our new Mars Rover Science Lab, as part of our exploration into the tools of modern astronomy.
To inquire about going to summer camp in China in 2019 please email firstname.lastname@example.org