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MEET THE TEAM

Resiliency. Adaptation. Harmony.

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ABOUT OWL EYES WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival is a “traveling” wilderness survival school that seeks to connect people of all ages to the landscape in hopes to protect and restore our natural world. OEWS strongly believes that in order to see the natural world as “home”, we must experience hands-on activities that lead us to see the forest as a positive and safe place to be. These activities range from shelter building, fire skills, wood carving, foraging, animal tracking, and many other skills that ALL of our ancestors participated in. Through the practice of wilderness survival skills, we learn to connect with ourselves as we discover what is truly important to us. OEWS provides judgement free learning where you are encouraged to come to a class and be who you are. If you are an inexperienced nature lover and would like to gain intro level skills, if you are an avid hunter who would like to deepen your survival skills and be challenged, or if you would like to gift your child a fun birthday party they will learn a lot from, book a class with Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival!

Founded in 2014 by Tim Swanson, Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival seeks to empower, inspire, and connect people of all backgrounds to the natural landscape.

 

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ABOUT TIM SWANSON

FOUNDER & LEAD INSTRUCTOR OF OEWS

From a very young age, Tim Swanson held a strong interest in spending time outdoors. As a child, he would be outside identifying insects, building shelters, and looking for animal tracks. Throughout high school, he found activities such as hide tanning, foraging, and backcountry camping. He attended Unity College from 2010-2014 where he received a double Bachelors degree in Adventure Education Leadership and Adventure Therapy. While attending Unity College, Tim was the Training Officer for the volunteer search & rescue team as well as the President of the college's primitive skills club. After receiving his degree, Tim worked as a field guide for various wilderness therapy organizations in Vermont and Utah. While in between shifts working wilderness therapy, he taught animal tracking and foraging at local conservation lands. Through leading these educational walks, Tim started Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival

Tim has extensive professional training in leading backcountry wilderness expeditions, and hundreds of nights in the field leading groups of teenagers and adults. Tim's specialties are ultralight backpacking, stone age living skills, fly-fishing, and foraging for wild plants. He also has a strong background in many wilderness activities including rock climbing, cross-country skiing, and whitewater canoeing.

Tim has over 20 years experience as a practitioner of wilderness survival. He has trained and taught in various environments including deserts, rainforests, mountains, and coastal habitats. Tim has taught wilderness skills professionally across the United States in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Utah, Colorado, Washington, and Arizona. He has adapted his survival style of teaching to encompass and combine recreational backcountry activities and stone age living skills. 

 

Classes with Tim Swanson have been described as supportive, humorous, and very informative. Tim has turned his passion into a career and constantly pushes his skills to their limits to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. 

PUBLICATIONS

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CERTIFICATIONS

  • Bachelors of Science in Adventure Education Leadership

  • Bachelors of Science in Adventure Therapy

  • CPR & AED

  • Wilderness First Responder

  • CyberTracker Animal Trailing Level 2

  • CyberTracker Animal Track & Sign Level 1

  • CyberTracker Animal Tracker Level 1

  • Leave No Trace Master Educator

  • Recreational Avalanche 1 

  • 4-H Shooting Sports Shotgun Instructor

  • 4-H Shooting Sports Archery Instructor

  • FEMA Incident Command System 100

  • Massachusetts Sportfishing Award

  • National Rifle Association Sharpshooter

  • AMC 4,000 Footer Club NH48

ABOUT EMILY MERLINO

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Emily grew up building forts and wandering trails near her childhood home in Massachusetts. In high school she explored those trails running and finding quiet places to rest and practice yoga. She attended UMass Lowell for a Master's degree of Clinical Lab and Nutritional Science, spending several of the next years working a corporate job in the pharmaceutical industry. This lifestyle didn’t suit her and she ran back to the woods. Emily enrolled in a ecological restoration graduate certificate program, started volunteering for the Midstate Trail conducting trail work and accepted an AmeriCorps mission with the North County Land Trust (NCLT). This was the most important course correction of her life. As a land steward for NCLT, Emily maintains the trails and habitats on the properties and has built a community of volunteer trail stewards to support this work. Her supportive programming and community engagements energize people from different walks of life and connects them to the great outdoors. Emily enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, running and Nordic skiing.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Master of Clinical Lab and Nutritional Science

  • Wilderness First Aid

  • Chainsaw Safety 1

  • Wildland Firefighter

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