So, the two things that I would get from the WAS Residential Program (hereafter known as WARP):
*a built-in community
*knowledge, including Kamana 2 and 3
*the expertise of the instructors
I’ve just about finished Kamana 2. I just have a few more Field Inventories to do, which I’ll finish up in my few weeks off this summer. It will cost me less than $500 to get all the resources I need for Kamana 3. That program is expected to last 5 to 10 months, so about the length of a school year, give or take. If I finished it in 5 months, it would cost me about $400 to move on to Kamana 4, which should take 8 to 16 months.
So, I don’t need WARP in order to get that knowledge.
Kamana doesn’t come with a built in in-person community. It does come with an active online community, and Student Services, which gives me access to a real live person that I can call to discuss experiences and problems with the program. That would cover some parts of the instructor expertise issue. I have certainly learned this year as an Apprentice that a long-distance community is not the same thing as an in-person community. It’s hard to be a full member of an orally-based tradition when you’re not within hollering distance. However! There are people who live near me. Yes, that’s right. I might live in the middle of nowhere, but there are a surprising number of other folks who live out here in the middle of nowhere also. I’d wager that a few of them are into naturalist studies. I know for sure that there are a lot of hunters out here. I bet a few of them wouldn’t mind getting together once a month or so to sharpen up those tracking skills. This would not be as good as having a community that shares a bigger picture perspective on the world, but it would be better than nothing, and it would be a way to have in-person feedback about the things I’m learning. And it’s always possible that I would meet some like-minded souls out here in the sticks. Also, there is an active homeschool community out here in Onalaska. I could easily leave up some flyers or something at the local Homeschool Store.
So, here’s what I’m saying. I could pay $10,000 for WARP. Or I could pay between $500 and $900 for a do-it-yourself WARP where I would get to stay on our fabulous property, live with the person I most want to live with in the whole world, and figure out how to make money in my non-study time. Hmmm. I think it might be worth it to me to save $9500 (you say that, NINE THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED! dollars), and put in a little extra work to create myself a community of sorts.