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Required Gear for all Classes:
-Basic Kit
-Complete Kit
-Ultimate Kit
-Water, Snacks, and Lunch
-Adequate Clothing for Weather and Bugs

Tim Swanson
Wilderness Survival Skills Instructor
Shirley, Massachusetts
Email to book a class or event!
  • Private One-on-One 
  • Homeschooling
  • Scout Groups
  • Birthday Parties
  • Library Workshops
  • Nature Center Groups
  • Museums
  • Corporate Team Building
  • Public Venues
  • Conservation Commissions


Every custom course is priced specifically to that course. Many factors determine the price once I know: the duration of the program, the number of participants, course content and distance of travel.


Please feel free to ask me any questions that you have through email. Contact me to scheduling a cool class! Thank you for your interest in learning with Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival. Please consider following me on Facebook and Instagram @owleyeswilderness.

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  • What are class prices?
    Public classes offered by OEWS on Event Brite have different prices, and may have sales occasionally. Check out each public class to see the listed price. For venues and anyone booking a private class, follow this list: PER PERSON PRICING: This pricing list is for all classes that do not otherwise follow my homeschool programs or special programs. There are no rental fees on gear, but you are encouraged to bring your own gear. This price does not include the travel/materials fee. 1-4 Students- $195.00 for a 3 hour class - Total, not per student $360.00 for a 6 hour class - Total, not per student 5+ Students- $45.00 per student for a 3 hour class $80.00 per student for a 6 hour class Weekend Overnight Survival Programs (Friday-Sunday) $450.00 per student - 5 student minimum HOMESCHOOL/MULTI-WEEK PROGRAMS: If you are booking one of my multi-week programs, refer to this pricing list. These prices include material fees. Each class is 3 hours. Students must complete 4 unique programs to be eligible for the Alula test and certificate. Wildcrafter: $220.00 per student Survivalist: $300.00 per student Bushcrafter: $315.00 per student Hunter Gatherer: $220.00 per student Specialist: $265.00 per student Alula Test: $100.00 per student *Each homeschool program must have a minimum of 5 students
  • Is there a Travel fee?
    Yes. A travel fee is applied if you would like an instructor to come to your location or a public land near you. Any "special permission" locations that OEWS has a direct relationship with do not have a travel fee. There are our locations in Pepperell, Townsend, Groton, and Lincoln. TRAVEL TIME: My pricing list does not factor in additional costs with travel time. This list reflects my drive ONE WAY and how much it will cost ADDITIONAL to class price. Up to 30 minutes: $0.00 30 minutes to 1 hour: $50.00 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes: $100.00 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes: $125.00 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes: $150.00 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours: $175.00 Over 2 hours of driving one way: Let’s communicate the best options. *Traffic can affect these times. **This pricing factors in total driving time (ex. You are paying $100.00 for 2 hours and 30 minutes of travel, not 1 hour and 15 minutes).
  • When do students pay for class?
    The total fee for class must be paid prior to the start of class. Payments can be made through PayPal, Venmo, or with cash.
  • I can't afford a class, what should I do?
    Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival will not exclude anyone because of financial hardship, as these skills should be accessible to anyone. I used to offer free classes in the past, but they always had low or no attendance so these stopped for the time being. There are a few options if you would like to learn and cannot afford a class: 1. Contact your local library, nature center, or museum and request they host a class with OEWS. They often host events that are free to the public. 2. Sign up when there are early bird discounts on public classes. 3. Work-study positions can be made available, but understand these are on a first come first served basis and are rarely offered. Usually weekend classes allow 1 work study student. 4. I sometimes hold volunteer days in which I ask for volunteers cleaning up trails and sites from special use locations. A free class is always offered after these experiences.
  • How do I book a class?
    If you would like to book a private class, you can e-mail me your request and information and we can get something fun started. You can also head over to my Calendly to reserve your time, pay the deposit, and be on the calendar. I also offer public classes found on my Eventbrite.
  • Do classes get canceled in bad weather?
    “Bad” weather is an ally when training for survival. Assume that classes will run rain or shine unless lightning poses a risk, roads are dangerous due to snow, wind conditions are unsafe, or wildfires affect safety. I bring a tarp to rainy classes for shelter, please dress accordingly.
  • Is there a scheduling deposit?
    Yes. In order to book a class, I require a NON-REFUNDABLE scheduling deposit of $20 an hour (a three hour class will cost $60 to book) through my booking calendar. This deposit goes towards the overall cost of the class in which you can pay the rest right before the class. Because classes are usually booked months in advance, it is hard to book another class when one is canceled. This deposit shows that you are serious about attending and have all intentions of taking the class. In the event that I need to cancel a class, I will refund your deposit.
  • When can I book a class?
    Mondays through Fridays in 3 or 6 hour classes. I ask that you be mindful that I like to book 2 classes a day (morning and afternoon, or one 6 hour class). If you need to book a class in the middle of the day, consider a 6 hour class. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for 6 hour survival classes. My weekends fill EXTREMELY fast (usually 6-8 months in advance). I am definitely flexible if you would like to book something less, then 3 hours, or something different than 3 or 6 hours. Weeklong, or full weekend classes can also be scheduled.
  • What are the age requirements for classes?
    All ages are welcome. I leave it up to parents to make the decision for their child if they are mature enough for a class. I require the parents of their child to attend the class for many reasons. The main reason is that I will not stop a class to address behavioral situations and kindly ask the parents to handle any basic needs of their child. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO RESTRICT A STUDENT’S USE OF TOOLS IF I FEEL THERE IS ANY DANGER. Adult classes are strictly for adults or very mature minors who come with an adult. Adults learn very differently than children so if a class is geared for adults, I will teach the class for that learning style. Age tends to be a tricky comparison as all students come with different maturity levels. I have had 7 year old's far surpass adults in their 40's with carving skills (I'm completely serious).
  • Where are classes held?
    I have special land use permission in Groton, MA (Groton Conservation Trust), Pepperell. MA (Peter Fitzpatrick School), Townsend, MA (Townsend Historical Society), and Lincoln, MA (Lincoln Conservation Department). I also have a great partnership with the Moose Ridge Wilderness School in Upton, ME where I hold a lot of weekend classes. I encourage students to meet me in woods that I am familiar with. If you would rather me travel to you and meet in your yard or a public nature area near you, that is fine, but my travel time will make the cost a bit higher. I always follow laws and regulations so there may be class topic restrictions. I ask that class time is longer than my total travel time. I need to be within easy access to my vehicle and I need to be legally parked.
  • What other services does OEWS provide?
    Although there are many classes listed, this is not everything Owl Eyes offers. Tim carves wood and frequently things are for sale at the STORE There are also patches, stickers, hats, and t-shirts available. Tim has also lead MANY backpacking, canoeing, backcountry cross country skiing, and rock climbing trips. He is always excited to be apart of those if there are any venues looking for an instructor. At no cost to you, you may also send it good quality photos of animal tracks, or wild plants and we will do our best to help you identify them. Any topic in the HOMESCHOOL programs can also be turned into a 3 hour stand alone class for adults.
  • Where are most classes held?
    Most of OEWS' classes are held at people's property who wish to have the class. These are usually birthday parties or homeschool groups. Adult courses happen at various venues or where we have land use permission in Townsend or Groton. Tim can travel to anywhere in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Connecticut. If you are a venue further away and wish to host an elongated class, please reach out with inquiries, you are responsible for covering airfare.
  • Can you fly to our location?
    YES! Every now and then, I fly to a venue in a different state. This requires a non-refundable deposit to cover plane flights, travel fees, etc. The venue is responsible for transportation, food, and lodging when I am at their location. All the skills taught by Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival have been practiced and developed to work in different environments, so location is not an issue.
  • What materials are required for class?
    Please refer to the RECOMMENDED GEAR page for a list and links to recommended gear. Depending on the topic, students usually need a knife, fire starter, and gloves at a minimum. Class topics like tracking and foraging do not require gear except warm, layered clothing, water, snacks, and a notebook/pen if you wish to take notes.
  • How should I dress for class?
    I like to dress in three layers: BASE LAYER. Long Johns. This layer should be a thin wool long sleeve shirt and pants. INSULATING LAYER(s). Fleece, wool sweaters, puffy jackets, hoodies. Wear multiple layers when its cold out. ENVIRONMENTAL LAYER. Rain jacket/pants that fit over all of your other layers. Ponchos also work great as they are loose and can fit over a backpack. Please bring TOO MUCH clothing to class. Especially for winter classes. You can always leave things in your car. Layering allows you to be comfortably warm. Not too hot or not too cold. I like to wear pants and long sleeves when there are mosquitoes as bug spray has proven not to work for me. It happens all the time when I see students show up in tank tops and shorts and cover themselves in bug spray, and still get destroyed by mosquitoes. Bug head nets are handy as well. Please dress comfortably but warm. Wool socks and winter boots are essential for winter classes as we are frequently standing for a while working on a skill.
  • Are waivers required?
    Yes. All students need to sign a waiver for themselves, or parents/ legal guardians need to fill one out for their child. These will be available in person before class, or can be emailed to you to print out and send with your child.
  • How do I check for ticks?
    After class, shake out all of your clothes (its a good idea to bring a change of clothes in a bag). Check every surface of your body, unfortunately, ticks like to hide in the places you don't like to look. This is a good way to make close friends! I always shower and do my laundry right after a trip in the woods if I suspect any ticks. I have a very good idea about the tick habitats in the locations I teach in and may warn you about ticks after class. If there is a lot of grass or underbrush, there tends to be more ticks than open, mature forests. If you find a tick in your skin, pull it out with tweezers and kill it. DO NOT put essential oils or burn the tick if it is still in your skin.
  • I had a great time at class, now what?
    Most OEWS classes set you up with a bunch of skills to practice on your own at home. You are encouraged to develop your skillset in whichever direction you wish. If you wish to come back, please check out our CALENDAR for upcoming classes, or reach out to book your own private experience. We always appreciate positive online reviews and if you could tell everybody you know about us, that is MUCH appreciated! Please follow OEWS on social media! @owleyeswilderness
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