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Frequently Asked Questions for Short Courses

Listed below are answers to questions that relate to our weekend, week-long, and day-long courses. For questions related to the Wilderness Certification Program, please visit the Certification Program FAQ.

What kind of weather can I expect?
What kind of camping and accommodations are available?
What kind of amenities are on site?
Should I bring food, is any provided?
Is water available on site?
How do I get to Alderleaf?
What airport is closest? Are there buses in the area?
Where should I park?
Are there private areas?
Are there quiet hours?
Do you have a library?
Are pets allowed?
Is smoking allowed?
What should I bring?
Can children participate?
Do you offer any discounts?
How do I learn more?


What kind of weather can I expect?
Western Washington has a temperate climate, which means we have cooler summers and warmer winters than many other places across the country. Summer temperatures often range from the 50s at night to the 70s and 80s during the day. Typical winter temperatures range from the 30s and 40s at night up to the 50s during the day. While our summers are typically dry, light rain is common in fall, winter, and spring. We recommend bringing layered clothing, rain gear, and hiking boots for varying weather conditions.

What kind of camping and accommodations are available?
Participants in our short courses (day-long, weekend, and weeklong classes) may camp out at Alderleaf for the duration of the course. There are designated tenting spots throughout our forest (marked with numbered wooden stakes). You may also camp out along the edge of the meadow behind the green classroom building. It is also possible to camp in your vehicle in the parking area during your course, though there are limited level spots. Please note that we do not allow crashing on the floor in any of our buildings. Please let us know if you plan to camp out during your course. Though many students camp during the course, you are welcome to travel home at night or stay at a hotel/motel in the area. There is a Best Western Inn and Guesthouse Inn in downtown Monroe for those coming from afar that prefer not to camp out.

(Please note, camping at Alderleaf is not available for participants in multi-month programs including AWCP, AWSP, and WIAP, as our facilities do not have the capacity for long-term guests).

What kind of amenities are on site?
Our indoor classroom contains a bathroom with a sink and toilet. The bathroom remains unlocked 24 hours a day while classes are in session. In summer, we enjoy taking a dunk in the creek. If bathing near the creek, be sure to rinse with only biodegradable soaps and at least 50 feet away from the creek using a bucket. For drinking water, there is a spigot located outside the indoor classroom. There is wireless internet access and electrical outlets for charging phones and laptops in the indoor classroom. There is not a public computer available. Cell phone reception at Alderleaf is good for most cell phone carriers.

(Please note that the shower is not available to participants in multi-month programs including AWCP, AWSP, or WIAP, as our low-producing well does not produce enough water to handle long periods of high use).

Should I bring food, is any provided?
Please bring your own food while attending classes at Alderleaf. Bring bag lunches that can be eaten in the field and do not require cooking. For breakfasts and dinners, feel free to cook over our outdoor campfire in the meadow behind the green classroom building. Please bring your own firewood if you plan to have a campfire. You can also travel into town for breakfast (before class) or dinner (after class), though there is typically not enough time to do so during lunch.

Is water available on site?
Yes. All of the water from our sinks and spigots is potable. The best location to fill water bottles is at the spigot located on the outside of the southwest wall of the indoor classroom. Alderleaf receives water from a low-producing on-site well. With careful management there is plenty during short courses. Please be mindful of water usage and conservation, especially during the dry season.

How do I get to Alderleaf?
Alderleaf is eight miles outside of downtown Monroe and four miles outside of Sultan. We send out driving directions once you register for a course. Most course participants drive to Alderleaf, though you can also ride the bus system to Sultan and walk the last four miles. To learn more about the local bus systems, visit Community Transit and Metro Transit.

What airport is closest? Are there buses in the area?
The closest major airport is the Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEATAC). To travel from the airport to Alderleaf you can rent a car, take a taxi, or ride the bus system and walk the last four miles from Sultan. To learn more about the local bus systems, visit Community Transit and Metro Transit.

Where should I park?
Please park in the parking spots along the driveway that are marked for student or guests with small wood signs, then walk to the green classroom building at the end of the driveway. Please do not park in the spots labeled as reserved or for residents.

Are there private areas?
Yes. Alderleaf is also home to several staff and other residents. Please feel free to enjoy the entire property while being respectful of personal space around the houses and cabins on the western portion of the site. Though we are in a rural/wilderness area that borders the Cascade Mountains to the east, we do have neighbors to the northwest and south. Please respect the private property of our neighbors.

Are there quiet hours?
Yes. Quiet time is from 10pm to 7am. Please be considerate of others by keeping noises and voices low after 10pm.

Do you have a library?
Alderleaf has a small reference library in the indoor classroom. This is a private collection that we are happy to share with you while you are in class. You are welcome to use the books, though please do not take them outside of the classroom. Please put them back to the correct shelf when you are done.

Are pets allowed?
Alderleaf values the diversity of wildlife that inhabits our site and thus pets are not allowed. Please refrain from bringing pets onto the property.

Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the Alderleaf land except for the one designated smoking spot marked along the north trail. Please be sure to fully extinguish butts and take them with you.

What should I bring?
For all classes bring a notepad and pen, bag lunch, water, and warm layered clothing including rain gear. For our survival classes you will also need a sturdy knife with a three to five inch long fixed blade. If you plan to camp out overnight, be sure to bring the appropriate camping gear, such as a tent, sleeping bag, food, cookware, etc… (please note that the classroom and library are not to be used to sleep in).

Can younger family members attend classes? Are children welcome to participate?
Most of our short courses (day-long, weekend, and week-long) are family friendly in that family members under age 14 may attend a course with you (they would also need to register), as long as you or another adult agrees to supervise and be responsible for them (if children become disruptive they may be asked to sit out certain activities, which is at the discretion of the instructor).

Teens, ages 14 to 17, may register and attend short courses without supervision, as long as they are responsible, truly interested in participating (not being required to attend), and a parent or guardian signs a medical/waiver form.

The cost for children to attend with a parent are as follows: under 4 years old = free; 4 to 8 years old = 50% off; and 9 and older are at full price.

Do you offer any discounts?
There are three ways to receive a 10% discount for our short courses (day-long, weekend, and week-long courses):

1. Early Registration Discount: Register at least two months prior to the start date and receive a 10% discount; or

2. Family/Friend Discount: Register together with a family member or friend at the same time and receive a 10% discount; or

3. Multiple Class Discount: Register for more than one class at the same time and receive a 10% discount.

(Please note: To receive a discount, you must register by phone or postal mail, as our online registration system is unable to calculate discounts)

How do I learn more?
Please feel free to contact us if you have more questions. We're happy to help out and answer any questions you have.


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