Frequently Asked Questions


Q:Are their sibling discounts or scholarships available?
A:4 Elements Earth Education and it's Fox Walkers youth programs offer many partial scholarships each year. As a non-profit educational organization we strive to meet the needs of our community and we average about 15% of our participants are on partial scholarship. We are fortunate to have supporters in our community and across the nation that enable us to offer scholarships to families needing financial assistance. For more information on our scholarship program please visit our Scholarship page.

Almost all programs offer a sibling discount of 10%. During any session, one child from a family will select a full price ticket and all additional siblings can be registered selecting the 10% sibling discount ticket.

Q:As a parent or caregiver what is the orientation we will receive?
A:?You are welcome to join us as a new Parent for a portion of the first session or for the entire first session. This will give you an idea of what we are about.
General Guidelines for Parent Orientation:
Turn off cell phone. Be a part of what we are doing.
Do not distract away from the group.
Please be aware of our Coyote Teaching principles, as these are somewhat different than most "institutionalized" educations systems.
Please help with supervision in general and taking trips to the out house with kids.

* note for Young Fox Walkers* - for children ages 4-6, please make sure kids are potty trained.

Q:Can I be a volunteer?
A:?Let the instructor know of your interest and sign up through our SUPPORT US page. We will review the role of a volunteer at an agreed upon time.

General Guidelines for Parent Volunteers:
Be sure to sign in each day you volunteer at the VOLUNTEER clip board sheet in the Yurt.
Turn off cell phone. Be a part of what we are doing.
Do not distract away from the group.
Please be aware of our Coyote Teaching principles, as these are somewhat different than most "institutionalized" educations systems.
Please help with supervision in general and taking trips to the out house with kids.

Q:What are Earth Skills and why should they matter to us and our children?
A:?“Earth Skills are a blend of the ancient arts of tracking, wilderness survival, and nature awareness. Earth Skills immerse the student into the environment, giving them first-hand experience of how to “read” the landscape as a steward of the Earth.
Through our programs, a re-thinking of our relationship to Nature begins to occur; Nature is not simply a “resource” that we control as a product, but a relationship we must cultivate.

Students are introduced to the world of the unseen and eternal, tapping into ‘the spirit that moves in-all things’ as awareness and skills are woven together to serve as a foundation for creating visionary leaders.”

Rick Berry
Executive Director, 4 Elements Earth Education

Q:What are the Fox Walker guidelines?
A:?Our program is giving the power back to young people through building their own relationship with nature. Nature is our teacher and we as instructors only guide and facilitate learning. To do this effectively and well, we have some ground rules.

Safety: students must be safe from harming themselves, each other, and the land.
Listening: To make sure this happens, students must listen to explanations about safe use of tools at Fox Walkers. We use knives, axes, shovels, files, rasps etc., and students must show that they fully understand and can operate their tools safely.
Distracting: To make sure students are safe and can listen, students are given two warnings if they are distracting the group to the point that others cannot listen to the directions.

In the event of unsafe or distracting behavior students are given 2 warnings and on the third a call will go to you to pick them up for that day. We will then speak with you about your child's behavior, and go from there.

Each Session we go over rules with students so they all can become aware of them.

Q:What are the program pickup and drop off guidelines?
A:?Drop off:
Drop off for your child is no earlier than 15 minutes before the program starts. If you arrive earlier than 15 minutes, please supervise your child or group of children you are with until 15 minutes before the program starts. Generally, instructors are gathered near the pear tree in the front meadow and in the case of rain, we may be under tarps near the pond.

Pick up:
You are welcome to meet up with us 5-10 minutes before the session ends and join us at ending circle. Frequently, we will be near the pond or in the meadow. There are occasions that we do our ending circle other places and your child will meet you in the parking lot or meadow area at the end of the session.

If you are running late (over 15 min); we will call the phone numbers listed on contact sheet. We will stay with your child in the meadow /pond area until you arrive. If this happens more than once we will speak with you about charging you a late fee per minute you are late.

Q:What is a Fox Walker?
A:As a Fox Walker, your child will gain hands-on instruction in the ancient arts of wilderness survival, animal tracking, and nature awareness. Led by founder Rick Berry and the 4EEE Instructor crew, Fox Walkers exposes children to the stories and teachings of Grandfather Stalking Wolf, a Lipan Apache elder who wandered the western hemisphere for 60 years and handed down his teachings to the well-known author and teacher Tom Brown, Jr.

At Fox Walkers, we weave Grandfather’s philosophy of Earth-living into all the skills we teach. Our Fox Walkers curriculum subtly engages students in a spontaneous flow of interactive learning opportunities that:
Strengthen powers of concentration, observation, and endurance
Provide access to deep reservoirs of self-confidence and self-knowing
Cultivate intimate, respect-full relationships between students, the Earth, and all who dwell upon her
Empower, inspire, and prepare students to become active, responsible caretakers of the Earth

As a result, Fox Walkers experience a different type of education. Encouraged to sit and read nature like an open book, they are rewarded by the magic of the natural world. At Pata Panaka Village, they learn how to care-take a home – where the bedroom is the bark hut and the living room is outside. They refer to going up and down the hill as “upstairs” and “downstairs”. They begin to have a deep understanding that the Earth is our home, that our home is much bigger than they once thought, and that care-taking this home is a great honor and responsibility. Many Earth-skills are shared during Fox Walkers classes. Some of these include:
Fire-making - More fire making, hand-drill, group drill, pump-drill, no knife....
Shelter building - Other shelter designs
Animal tracking - More animal tracking, track casts, naturalist studies, bird language
Camouflage - Advanced camouflage
Rock work - Get into pressure flaking obsidian
Stick and dart throwing - Atal Atal spear throwing
Bird language - Quickie Bow and Arrows
Awareness games - More awesome Awareness games and adventures
Food prep, Acorns and Mazanita - Carving figure four trap and baited t-bar snare (non-lethal)

Q:Who are we?
A:?Four Elements Earth Education, a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, was founded by Rick Berry to guide children, families, and teens toward a pure connection to the Earth through direct experiences in nature.

Rick's own mentor, also known as 'The Tracker,' Tom Brown, Jr. learned the ancient arts of wilderness survival as a child from a Lipan Apache elder named Stalking Wolf. Rick studied with Tom for years and spent a decade as director of Tom's Children of the Earth Foundation in New Jersey.

In 2010, Rick started his own program, Four Elements Earth Education, on the West Coast. Throughout 4EEE's programs, Rick and his instructors use outdoor adventure, storytelling, and hands-on experiences to teach nearly forgotten wilderness survival skills.

As students' practical survival skills build, so do their powers of concentration and observation, as well as their sense of responsibility as stewards of the Earth and all her systems.