Delve deeply into ancestral skills, cultivate a caretaker relationship with the land, build community skills and activate your own wild awareness.
The 2023 program runs from June 5th to October 2nd
An Overview of the Program:
You will live in a community of human and non-human kin in a wild village in the woods. You will learn new skills that will enrich and inform your daily life; that may look like sewing up some bark tanned leather shoes or adding a new wild food to your meal. We personalize our instruction to cater to your passions and innate gifts. If you find yourself on fire about a certain craft or skill, we will empower you to nurture it. Welcoming these skills back into our lives in a big way is a vital part of stepping into being a caretaker of the earth.
As animals, humans are designed to participate in nature by meeting our needs through these skills. The land relies on us to do so. Using your mind, your senses, and the feelings in your body, you will discover how to let the land speak through you. As the land shows you how to be in right relationship with her, you will naturally start to retrain your senses and feel more wild in your body. You will start feeling the forest instead of only seeing it. The animals soften into your presence and you soften into theirs. When you can channel this ability, it changes how you harvest the birch bark for baskets, what you do with the hide scraps from hide tanning, and where you plant the oak trees for future generations. If you tune in deep enough, the wild animals might even start offering themselves to you as your next meal. You will become aligned with the land in a deep way. It’s a profound relationship that all of our early ancestors had with the land they were born from.
As land stewards, we will not only focus on tending the physical land, but also nurturing each others inner landscapes and innate gifts. By learning more authentic ways of communicating, celebrating our accomplishments and break-throughs together, and practicing seeing things from each other’s perspectives we can help one another uncover more of who we are. You will use disagreements as opportunities to learn about each other’s needs. Committing to experiencing joys and challenges together creates a deeply rooted trust, which is a true treasure in our modern world, but you must be willing to wade into the sometimes mucky waters.
Developing competency & relationship to each of these skills activates a connection that your body has been longing to remember. This land, these skills, and the community will awaken you to the power of who you’ve always been. It is your birthright to reclaim this for yourself, to live as a fully alive and wild human; full of love and deep connection to the natural world.
List of Skills:
The first month of the program, we cover the foundational skills. In July and August, the group selects which workshops from this list they want to cover, and how in depth they want to cover them. The last month of the program is unstructured independent learning, to allow students to go deeply into particular skills they are excited about.
- Land stewardship techniques; including permaculture, nurtureculture, agroforestry and ancient indigenous care taking technologies
- Sensory Awareness Skills
- Shelter Building
- Blacksmithing Knives
- Buckskin, bark tanning, fur-on pelts and other ancient ways of tanning skins
- Community Skills
- Making Clothing & Sewing techniques
- Traditional felting techniques and felted clothing
- Wild fibers, primitive spinning tools & weaving on handmade looms
- Water procurement, purification, storage and utilization
- Bark, Rawhide, and Wooden watertight containers
- Primitive Pottery
- Knife and tool skills/safety
- Basketry; made of wild gathered materials
- Kayaking, canoeing, sailing
- Friction fire Methods; bow drill, hand drill, pump drill and others.
- Fire making/tending skills and coal carrying
- Primitive Cooking
- Wild edibles; harvesting, processing and cooking from the land & sea
- Medicinal Plants and medicinal plants
- Hunting and Trapping techniques
- Rawhide crafts and braiding techniques
- Animal processing
- Bone tool making
- Stone tools; pecked and ground as well as flintknapping
- Camping/tarp skills and knot tying
- Mat weaving with cattail or grasses
- Camouflage, tactical awareness, concealment, and stealth skills
- Tracking and animal behavior
- Bird Language
We teach most of these workshops ourselves, but value bringing in various guest instructors to share their wealth of knowledge and unique perspectives, including Penobscot peoples as they are the original stewards of this land.
Sleeping: For the first part of the program you will be living in the sleeping setup you bring with you. You can build a shelter after the shelter building session if you choose. There is an earthlodge that folks can take turns sleeping in as well. You may also choose to sleep in your tent during the whole program if you would rather focus your energy on other skills.
Kitchen Setup: We have a primitive cooking setup with a fire pit and rocket stoves to cook on. The kitchenware is provided and you will work towards making your own bowls and utensils to use throughout the program. There is drinking water and sink setup gravity fed by spring water.
Bathroom/Shower Setup: There is a primitive composting toilet system and tick checking station. For bathing, you can choose between two different streams. There is even a waterfall five minutes upstream if you want a primitive high-powered shower on a hot summer day. There is also a cast iron tub you can light a fire under during the colder months.
Food: We provide the majority of food. There are gardens full of cultivated plants and edible “weeds” available to you, and many areas throughout the land, neighboring land, and the ocean that you can harvest wild food from daily. We buy bulk organic staples from the local coop, as well as a small amount of fruit. You will be scavenging road kill, fishing, or killing animals for meat; meat is generally offered 2x/week. Please plan financially for things like coffee, personal snacks, or meals out. All participants take turns cooking meals for the group in cooking teams of two.
Monthly, Daily and Weekly Rhythm:
The first month we progress through the foundation skills following the sacred order– awareness, shelter, water, fire, food. We move through each one until you feel a deep-rooted reverence and competence for what it means to live with the earth.
The following two months will follow the same rhythm but be composed of the workshops the group collectively decides upon.
The following is to give you an idea of the different components and general rhythm of what your day to day will look like for the first three months. It is lose framework that we use to make sure your time living here is a good balance between intensive learning, play, and free time.
Your Sit Spot: This is your sacred learning place that we encourage you to visit almost every day through out your 4 month experience. Here you will practice different awareness techniques, meditations, giving offerings, care-take, and sitting quietly observing what is happening around you. This place becomes a portal for you to learn how to be in relationship with the land on many levels.
Morning&Afternoon instruction blocks: We have workshops every morning Monday-Friday, that sometimes extend into the afternoon. These are a mix of hands on skills and educational lectures.
Check-in meeting: One day a week we hold a check in meeting to get a sense of how people are feeling, work on inner skills, and to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Community Gardening Hour: Every friday morning for 1hr, we all give the gardens some good lovin’!
Rest Day: Rest days are for taking care of personal needs, timeless wandering, canoeing out to the islands to catch fish and explore or working on projects that you’re excited about. Saturday and Sunday are the designated rest days.
Community activity or game: Usually once a week we play fun stealth games, have a guest teacher, or engage in fun naturalist activities like star gazing or going owl spotting/calling.
- 7am:Wake up & spend half hour doing a sit spot.
- 8am: Communal Breakfast
- 9:00am–12:00pm: Tracking in leaf litter.
- 12:00pm-3pm Communal Lunch, rest time or a short canoe out to catch fish for dinner.
- 3pm-5pm: Hanging out together, weaving a birch plaited baskets or folding pine bark baskets.
- 6pm: Communal Dinner.
- 7pm: fire stalk awareness game
The last month, will still contain a weekly check in meeting and some community activities, such as fun camouflage and awareness games. We will switch from structured workshops to unstructured independent projects, but will be available to help answers questions and give guidance when needed.
Cost & Financial Aid:
The cost of the Program is a sliding scale of $4,200-$7,500.
We want this program to be available to anyone who feels called to be part of this experience. We ask you honestly evaluate whether or not you can afford it, and to stretch financially to do so (keeping in mind we need financial compensation to run the best version of this program). Black, indigenous, latinx, non-binary people and women qualify for scholarships if needed. If you want to donate to the scholarship program to help someone else attend, please contact us!
Want to Sign up for the Program?
To apply, fill out the appliction below! Please be thorough so we get a better glimpse of who you are, what you care about and why you want to do this program.If we feel like you might be a good fit for the program we will set up a phone interview so we can ask questions and answer any questions you may have. Your acceptance is not guaranteed, as there are only 8 spots available.
Click here to fill out the application!