Ever wonder what we actually do out there?
Our all-outdoor wilderness education and nature immersion programs combine ancient skills with modern mentoring tools. In addition to building skills we build community and hope that each and every participant will take what they learn back to their own communities.
In all seasons we work to deliver an experience of connection with the natural world by teaching skills that have served our ancestors since the dawn of time.
We do this through exploration and experience in the natural world. We are outside in all weather and all seasons, witnessing firsthand how plants and animals change and adapt with the earth’s turning, including us!
We believe that if we can help people to feel a part of the world around them, and help them to ask great questions, then wherever they go they will have the tools to feel at home in and learn about their environment.
While our experienced instructor teams design a different theme for each season and prepare activities for each day, we are also very student-centered, following individual interest and the teachings of the earth in the moment. Participants are encouraged to bring their own interests and to share them, as well as to explore the group focus for the day.
Epic games, quiet time to connect with a “sit spot,” making fires, noticing what’s different this week outside and inside of themselves, and unstructured free play are all a part of a typical day.
There is a lot of freedom and confidence that comes from learning fundamental skills for not just surviving, but thriving in nature with only the natural materials that surround you.
Consider the Primitive Skills listed on the panel below. How might you feel differently in the landscape once you have some of those mastered?
"I envision my smooth split wooden weavers gleaming through dappled woodlands, with my clay bowl and coal burned spoon nestled safely in a patterned embrace..." A.V.N., Wilderness Year Participant
NATURAL NAVIGATIONKnowing how NOT to get lost, how to to find your way and feel at home no matter where you're going. Does moss really grow on the north side of a tree? No compass, no smart phone... no problem!
MAKING FIREMastering the art and science of creating fire with raw materials gathered from the land. Building smokeless fires in all types of weather, and forming habits of fire safety. Beyond rubbing two sticks together, fire making provides an experiential learning platform for tree identification, resource extraction, ecology, physics, body mechanics, teamwork and more.
WILDCRAFTINGGathering foods from the wild, learning how to identify plants, understanding invasive species ecology and native species regeneration, plant taxonomy, and of course, eating your vegetables! Learning these concepts under the magical invisibility cloak of FUN is education at it's best.
WILDERNESS COOKINGWhere wilderness survival becomes outdoor recreation! There's no better way to tame the uncertainties of life than to purify your own water and cook your meals healthfully over a fire without pots or other modern amenities.
TOOL CRAFTINGThe hallmarks of cultures are the technologies derived from the landscapes around them. It is by re-inventing the wheels of our past that we come to know who we are. Whether by hunting, gathering or just creating comfort in the wild, we learn to solve life's challenges by crafting tools from the raw materials we've gathered with our own hands.
HAZARD IDENTIFICATIONPerhaps one of the most overlooked survival skills! Knowing how to see and identify the things that can bring you harm and get you into real trouble is where we often begin; not to frighten, but to empower one to explore the world safely.
SHELTERSFind a natural shelter, or build your own for survival, concealment, wilderness living or just plain fun. Shelters are home base for any survival situation and are great containers for exploration, growth and sharing.