Join the Central Fire!

Practice ancient skills in a community of women! Three Saturdays, April 22, May 20 and June 17.

Registration is Open

Wilderness Skills Intensive

This course combines training in wilderness survival skills & bioregional knowledge with the most effective tools of mentoring. As part of a committed group that challenges, questions, explores, and plays together you will have many unique opportunities for personal & professional development.  

The Wilderness Skills Intensive (WSI) course combines training in wilderness survival skills & bioregional knowledge with the most effective tools of mentoring. As part of a committed group that challenges, questions, explores, and plays together you will have many unique opportunities for personal & professional development.

Upon completion, you will receive a certificate from Cornell Cooperative Extension reflecting up to 150 hours of dirt time (field experience), and a demonstration of standard competencies valued in the fields of primitive technology, wilderness survival and outdoor education.

This course is a great supplement for those enrolled in or graduating from a related degree program, and also an ideal entry into the field of informal experiential education. Previous experience in wilderness skills or survival are not prerequisite for this program.

Applicants should have a desire to spend a lot of time within a supportive, group-learning environment, as well as spending time sharing skills and passions with a wide range of people. It is important that you are physically able to endure playing rigorously in the woods for hours at a time. Please feel free to discuss with us any barriers to participation that you may have.

Primitive Pursuits has been a local leader in the nature awareness movement for ten years, and our year-round programs currently serve over 1000 participants annually. The skills gained in this program are highly valued in both traditional and outdoor education spheres.


We accept only 12 students. Once your application has been submitted we will contact you for a brief interview.

Previous graduates are invited to apply to become "ring two" participants.

Ring two participants will have the opportunity to work closely with the instructors and provide mentoring and one-on-one guidance with other participants. This second tier offering serves as a means for graduates to solidify their skills and advance their teaching abilities. Contact us for more information about this unique leadership opportunity.

2017 Course Dates:

Friday March 3rd through Friday June 17th, 9AM - 3PM

  • Friday, March 3, 2017
  • Friday, March 10, 2017
  • Friday, March 17, 2017
  • Friday, March 24, 2017
  • Friday, March 31, 2017
  • Friday, April 7, 2017
  • Friday, April 14, 2017
  • Friday, April 21, 2017
  • Friday, April 28, 2017
  • Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Friday, May 12, 2017
  • Friday, May 19, 2017
  • Friday, May 26, 2017
  • Friday, June 2, 2017
  • Friday, June 9, 2017
  • Friday, June 16, 2017

Course Tuition:

$1,450.00 total cost with a $300 deposit due upon acceptance.
Limited scholarships and payment options may be available.

Tell Me More! Apply

"Advancing my primitive skills along with permaculture studies and leadership has invited me into a world that I would have never imagined had I not joined the Primitive Pursuits family! You opened my eyes to a lifestyle, community and profession that I love and plan to dedicate the rest of my life to." C.W., Wilderness Skills Alumna



Naturalist Studies

Sensory Awareness, Animal Tracking, Field Identification, Plant Foods & Medicines, Bird Language, Forest Forensics & Hazard Identification

Wilderness Survival Skills

Mastery of Fire-Building & Friction Fire Techniques, Tool Crafting With Stone & Wood, Shelters for Survival & Wilderness Living, Camouflage, Aidless Navigation, Water Purification & Harvesting Wild Food Beyond Nuts & Berries

Teaching & Mentoring

Sharing Stories, Giving Back, Teaching Others, Spinning Threads, Following the Way of the Coyote & Finding Your Niche

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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