Wolf Pack is a year's journey for a tribe of boys becoming men, aged 13-16 years. This year long experience is offered in 5 payment instalments of £190, but participants commit to all 5 adventures with a total cost of £950 (see further notes on payment below, including details of a fund I have put in place to support those who might find it hard to meet the full cost). They mostly take place over 3 days / 2 nights during half terms and school holidays through the seasons, in local woodland and also in some of England's best wild environments.
ENQUIRE USING THE PURPLE CONTACT BUTTON IN THE 'YOUR MENTOR' SECTION BELOW
Risk, challenges and adventure in the warm company of strong role models and fellow adventurers are vitally important for young people, to discover their huge capabilities and to develop a deep-seated self-reliance. Security is important for boys but its layers must be carefully removed in order for the young men to emerge. Yet the availability and encouragement of such experiences may often be limited, or crowded out by digital influences. Wolf Pack exists to facilitate deep encounters, learning through experiences in the natural world at the edge of comfort and ability, where the magic happens.
The adventure begins in the woods, travels through hills, valleys and moorland, navigates the river by Canadian canoe and culminates with a final Quest.
Skills learned include bushcraft (in particular advanced firemaking, regardless of initial experience level), campcraft, navigation, foraging, nature awareness - but the beauty of an expedition is that it tends to offer up exactly the lesson a person needs at the time... but often does not expect.
We invite you to come and discover the vast resources already inside you, learn new skills, make new friends, discover new possibilities and perhaps take an important step or two in the journey of manhood.
THE JOURNEYS (14 days in total):
April 6-8 - The Woods, Sussex: Establish the tribe, bushcraft, firecraft, expedition skills
May 28-30 - The Moor, Devon: An overnight expedition into Dartmoor - navigation, campcraft
July 19-21 - The Hills, Peak District: A two-night 'walkabout' expedition, travelling and sleeping light
Sept 21-22 - The River, Devon: Overnight canoe journey down the stunning Dart River estuary
Oct 29-31 - The Forest, Sussex: Culmination event including a Fire Quest
This youth programme has grown out of a long-running programme by WildWise (www.wildwise.co.uk); Chris is also a WildWise instructor and has run the Wolf Pack in Devon since 2016.
"It has positively affected his self-esteem; he’s faced some challenges and become acquainted with his internal fire. When we picked him up he was literally radiant... I can still see that change in him... He already has a calmer, more centred and purposeful air about him... Chris has inspired [my son] and made a deep impression on him... The programme was pitched perfectly." Sarah, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018
"The course has taught him new learning points in his self both in terms of his own body image and in terms of learning what he is physically capable of. He has flourished as a young man under the wing of Chris. Feeling that he could share his innermost thoughts with the leaders and safely within the group is a new experience." Shelley, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018
"The exceptional holding and challenge created by Chris and the team will get your son through stronger and more balanced... The exceptionally high skill base and depth of experience was breathtaking and highly valuable to both me and [my son]." Cat, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018
"The whole experience has been brilliant. [My son] has certainly been challenged and faced his fears. He’s learned skills, had adventures and been wonderfully supported through the whole thing. He’s grown in many ways... This is one of the few opportunities for boys to experience real challenge and adventure." Janet, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2018
"A challenging and uplifting journey into the natural world that triggers significant inner growth in a young person, resulting in a noticeable step up in self-awareness, self-confidence and a tremendous feeling of well-being after each event. I am hugely grateful for the mentoring and support my son received during these events, a special rapport that encouraged the best from the boys. They all have some very special experiences and memories to carry with them." Tania, Wildwise Wolf Pack 2017
NOTES ON PAYMENT:
- A discounted rate of £900 is available for those paying in full, rather than instalments
- WOLF PACK FUND: If this programme calls to you, but feels out of reach financially, then please do not turn away. I have a patron who feels this work is as important as I do, and we can have a conversation about how we can help make it work. Just get in touch with me and we can talk about it
- Travel to the Devon and Midland locations may be done individually or in carpools, or we may decide to contribute towards the rental of a minibus, and drive down more efficiently as a tribe (cost of any travel is not included in headline price).
If you are interested in the Wolf Pack programme, do please contact me to discuss further, using the purple button below in the section called 'Your Mentor'.
See my blog 'Insights from the Outdoors' at www.chrispacke.com for writings and observations pertinent to the matters Wolf Pack addresses.
Having run a similar and successful youth programme for the last 2 years in Devon with the outdoor company Wildwise, my strong desire now is to offer it to my local community here in Sussex. At the heart of this project is my desire for young people to experience freedom and the transformation that comes from it: the freedom that comes from a young man discovering his own power, shaking off imagined or unchallenged restraints, and making up his own rules about who he is and how he chooses to face the world as a man. I have been a bushcraft instructor for 5 years now (for 15 years I was an investment banker in London). I am also engaged in mentoring (through the charity A Band of Brothers and with individuals locally), as well as coaching and guiding, both adults and children. I have convened a consistent men's fire circle in the woods for over 3 years, I own a woodland where I carry out small scale forestry / conservation projects, and I'm also involved in performing sketch comedy. I have done writing, cartooning... even rap songs. I have hiked all my life and spent many years mountaineering before having children and shifting my time in nature to the more easily accessible woods. Whatever the landscape, I have built up a massive respect for the powerful medicine contained in expedition-type journeys, and the glorious, valiant struggle they often serve up. Wolf Pack allows me to blend all of these influences into this deep, sustained offering. Throughout this programme I will be supported by Arthur Dyer. Arthur has worked with children and young people in a variety of contexts: In social care and the homeless sector as a support worker and Activity Coordinator; As a Games teacher and Club leader in State and Steiner Schools, running after-school and holiday language clubs in Hackney, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Arthur is a trained storyteller and has coordinated projects with young people (Not in Educataion, Employment or Training) in Birmingham, supporting and encouraging them to realise their massive potential. He works as a mentor for the outdoor organisation, Cultivating Curiosity, bringing his enthusiasm for movement, play and story into the woodland setting. He is particularly interested in how to a create and nurture a hearth, a fireside culture of warmth and trust, where people are heard, held and celebrated in their wholeness.
Min 13 years old
Max 16 years old
Wolf Pack does not seek to prescribe any learning outcomes; there are broad aims which meet each individual differently, and these are usually best approached sideways
Such broad aims include the development of self-reliance, a young man's expanded awareness of his capabilities, and a sense of what might be his most pressing current themes in his journey of manhood
By the very nature of the programme, a wide range of physical, mental, emotional and social skills will be called upon and inevitably refined. These will be discovered and explored along the way
By the end of Wolf Pack, these young men will have equipped themselves with confidence and willpower, life skills, practical skills, broader horizons and many tales of their heroic deeds
Public Liability Insurance
First aid training
First aid kit
Please note it is the responsibility of the parent to satisfy themselves about the adequacy of the safety measures. This platform is merely an introducer and does not verify the items listed here.
My experience consists of a leisure activity, on a specific date(s), and therefore the 14-day ‘cooling off period’ under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 does not apply.
Wolf Pack requires a strong commitment from families sending their son to join, and also a high level of commitment from the organisers. We form a tribe and journey through the 5 experiences as a cohesive group - when one tribe member misses a journey, the whole tribe feels it, so absences are highly discouraged unless strictly necessary. My intention is to arrange a group meeting for prospective participants, where full understanding of the programme can be reached, to facilitate a decision by the young man, rather than the supporting parent, that he chooses to commit to the programme. Open communication, between the leader Chris Packe and parents, will be maintained throughout the programme, and we will be able to work through any natural jitters or unexpected events and respond appropriately together. After booking, I will send you additional documents including terms of participation (various acknowledgements and understandings around how we will operate), along with brief questionnaires around health and intention. Detailed event information will be circulated in good time ahead of each event.
Chris used to climb mountains and work in the City until he had children, took off the tie, stopped travelling so far away and promptly fell in love with the woods and its associated crafts. As a result, he found himself in Forest Row. As well as sharing the love of bushcraft and adventure in Sussex and Devon, Chris also finds himself owning a piece of woodland, which is now a rather exciting biodiversity project for him. He also does work that would probably be described as coaching, mentoring and guiding. Sketch comedy, writing, cartooning, songwriting and storytelling spring up quite a lot too. And there seems to be a forest garden sprouting in his backyard.