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Introducing the...

INTENSIVE SKILLS PROGRAMS

2009 Hunter-Gatherer participants

World of the Hunter-Gatherer

New Jersey:  March – August (Meet Monthly)
Texas: September – June (Meet Every Other Month)

Delve deeply into the skills and resources needed to thrive in a Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle. Learn in a wholistic manner, leaving the randomness of individual skills behind. Discover a whole new way of truly becoming a part of the world around us all and test what you have learned in the full survival outing that is the culmination of the program.

 

  ›› Click here to Learn more about this program! ‹‹

 

Tools of the Hunter

›› NEW! ‹‹
Weapons: Tools of the Hunter

6 Months (October 2010 – March 2011)

The tools of the Hunter have changed over the eons, but throughout time their purpose has remained the same: To Protect and To Feed the Tribe.
In this brand new Intensive Skills Program we'll be taking inspiration from Hunters throughout history and around the world. You will learn to wield and become proficient with many different hunting weapons that have been used for thousands of years, by peoples across the continents. A fun and intense six months, we enourage men and women of all ages and skill levels to apply!

 

  ›› Learn more about this program below.

 

Obsidian Biface

Secrets in the Stone

4 Months (October 2010 – January, 2011)

There is a world within our own that few people in this modern life ever come to know. For millions of years rocks were what sustained our species — without rock, we simply would not have survived. Journey through millions of years of history — from the basic tools of early man, through the advanced flintknapping techniques of the Clovis and Folsom cultures, to the current methods used by modern knappers around the world today. Discover the Nine Basic Steps of Flintknapping that will open up for you a whole new world.

 

  ›› Learn more about this program and apply below.

 

Eddie shooting selfbow with stone-tipped arrow

World of the Bow

4 Months

Building the perfect bow is a lifetime pursuit, and making a truly great Arrow is even
more of an challenge! Beginning with learning to read the bark of a bow-wood tree, how to cut a stave, and what "straight" really means when chosing an arrow shaft, you will plunge full on into these ancient and traditional arts.

 

  ›› Learn more about this program below.

 

About the Intensive Skills Programs

Building a Trap

I have always had difficulty with the "randomness" of individual classes, and their lack of continuity and integration. This desire to bring a wholistic experience to the teaching and learning process has lead me to design these Intensive Skills apprenticeships.
Designed to be more than simply an immersion into primitive skills and survival, each specially designed curriculum provides a holistic structure to the learning, through which you will increase your knowledge and abilities exponentially. But even more important, you will gain a thorough and visceral understanding of the connections between the skills &mdash of how they work together!

Our focus will be on providing you with a solid base in the fundamental essence of each skill. By really coming to know a skill from the ground up you will discover how the whole of creation revolves around that understanding. A new way of looking at the world will begin to dawn, and you will see they ways in which you can pull knowledge from many different aspects, and pieces from many different skills, to bring them together into a whole new skill; a new and dynamic way of learning and understanding your connection with Creation, and with Earth Mother.

Requirements

Program Particulars

Building a Shelter

We want these to be programs in which it will be practical for almost anyone participate. As such, we have designed them in a way that will NOT require you to quit your job, be away from your family or uproot your life.

NOTE: A limited number of Residential spaces are available (New Jersey programs only) for an additional fee.
For more information on the residential aspect of the program please e-mail info@practicalprimitive.com

For upcoming session dates, tuition and application deadlines, see the program descriptions below.

Descriptions

The World of the Hunter-Gatherer

 Program Length:         6 Months
 Next Session:              March — August, 2011
 Location:                     Great Meadows, NJ
 Application Deadine:  January 31, 2011

Check out photos of the 2008 Survival Outing at our Pennsylvania camp, and the 2009 Survival Outing in the Adirondacks.

The Hunter-Gatherer program is offered at both our Texas and New Jersey locations. The application period for this year's Tribe has now passed.

The Texas program runs a little differently from it's New Jersey counterpart, but covers the same information and is taught in the same small group, hands-on, integrated learning style.

We are very excited about making the Hunter-Gatherer program accessible to a whole new set of folks in a whole new area of the country!

 

Preparing CordageFor most of our collective history our ancestors lived as Hunter-Gatherers, existing within the natural boundaries, patterns and balance of the earth. More than the skill and knowledge of that time has been lost to our modern selves; our very connection with the natural world around us has been severed, leaving many people feeling as though they are missing something very important in their lives. It is this connection that we strive to rebuild in the World of the Hunter-Gatherer.

Throughout the program we will approach the skills of our ancestors in a different way than you will find by taking regular classes. No one skill is learned in a vacuum — instead, each is woven into the next so that very soon you will see how basketry relates to shelter building, which relates to water, which relates to plants, which relates to traps, which relates to tracking, which relates to flintknapping, and so on and so on and so on. A large portion of this program focuses on becoming more familiar with the plant kingdom and our dependence on it. By the end of your time you will intimately know a minimum of thirty-five plants (but probably many, many more) and be able to prepare and use each one in multiple edible, medicinal and utilitarian ways.

By building this type of wholistic base of knowledge in the ancient skills you will be better prepared to face any challenge you may encounter, in any eco-system in the world. We will go deep into the principles that lie beneath each skill so that very soon you will come to realize that you do not need to know every design for every trap ever thought of — you will instinctively know the basis for the one you need to create for this situation, in this place, with these materials.

Digging DaciteAt the end of this intensive process you will have the opportunity to test yourself against what you have learned in a week-long survival experience that is the culmination of our program. The purpose of this outing will not be to live a perfect, easy, comfortable week — although we hope you will! Rather, it will help you to look honestly at yourself and your skills, see where the knowledge has permeated your being and where you are still in want of a more thorough understanding and further practice. It is during this experience that you will discover how much has truly become a part of you…

The Earth will take care of those who take care of Her — if you are ready to begin doing your part to help take care of the Earth, if you are prepared to work hard, get your hands dirty, try, fail, try again, become frustrated, keep going, and discover the absolute joy that comes with finding your true place, your true purpose within the bounds of Creation, then this program is for you.

During your program you will:

   Tuition:  $3800 (There is NO application fee. A $1000 deposit is due upon acceptance to the program.)
   Application Deadline:  January 31, 2011.

The application deadline for this year's World of the Hunter-Gatherer program has now passed.
Please check back in November for details on the 2012 program.

(Applications must be filled out in their entirety; incomplete applications will not be considered.)



Weapons: Tools of the Hunter

   Program Length:   6 Months
   Next Session:       October 2010 – January 2011
   Meets:                  2 day weekends (Saturday & Sunday) once per month

Throwing Atlatls

The tools of the Hunter have changed over the eons, but throughout time their purpose has remained the same: To Protect and To Feed the Tribe. In this brand new Intensive Skills Program we'll be taking inspiration from Hunters throughout history and around the world.

Over the past 100 years or so, modern hunting techniques have become very standard across North America and around the world. But hunting has a rich history throughout time and across the globe and with this program we aim to bring more of that ancient knowledge back into your hands. We will be working with a multitude of different hunting weapons over the course of the program, and our focus will be on teaching you how to use each one. While part of your homework will include making a few of the "smaller projects", such as slings and throwing sticks, our weekends together will be almost exclusively centered on learning to be effective with each weapon, under all sorts of different circumstances.

History has taught us that the more tools a person has in their toolbox, the more effective they will be at surviving and thriving under any circumstance. This program is designed to pass along the knowledge of these many tools that our ancestors carried with them in order to be effective and efficient hunters and protectors — if they weren't, none of us would be here! This is your opportunity to learn those same skills and perfect those same arts, that you too will be prepared for any situation, and will always be able to feed and to protect your tribe.

Learning to Shoot a Longbow

During your 6 months you'll learn to wield:

You will also learn the Basic Rules of Marksmanship, how to hit your target under pressure, how to work around obstacles, the importance of silence, maintaining stillness, and much much more.

This is going to be a FUN and intense program that will prepare you for all sorts of situations. We have decided to open it up to either 4 or 6 participants, depending on the number and quality of applications we receive and we encourage men and women of all ages and skill levels to join us!
PLEASE NOTE: We will only be working with targets. No animals will hurt during the course of this program.

   Tuition:  $2800 (There is NO application fee. A $1000 deposit is due upon acceptance to the program.)
   Application Deadline:  October 6, 2010

The application deadline for this year's Weapons: Tools of the Hunter program has now passed.
Please check back in July for details on the 2011 program.

(Applications must be filled out in their entirety; incomplete applications will not be considered.)



Lara Knapping

Secrets in the Stone

   Program Length:          4 Months
   Next Session:               November 2011 – February 2012
   Meets:                         2 day weekends (Saturday & Sunday)

"Primitive means First, not Worst." This quote from Scott Silsby is one of my favorites, and is more true when it comes to stone than in almost any other aspect of primitive skills. In truth, without stone we would not be here. Without stone tools we would not have survived. And when it comes right down to absolute basics, stone is the only thing we can't live without.

Many years ago I wrote an article for the very first issue of Primitive Archer magazine that was titled "Secrets in the Stone". When I decided to design an Intensive Skills course around flintknapping I could think of no better name for the program, and no better theme around which to build the curriculum. Over the last 25 years or so that I have been working with rock I have learned many lessons, and discovered many secrets that lay within the stones on which I worked. However, the biggest lesson that stone has taught me is that my meager human life span is not nearly long enough to learn all it has to teach. This program will the beginning of your own journey with stone, and will give you a jump start into a vast new world.

Secrets in the Stone

Beginning with the earliest and most primitive of stone tools, you will work your way through millions of years of history and discover how, far from being inferior, stone tools in many cases work as well as or better than their modern conterparts. From there I will take you through my specially developed 9 Step Knapping™ program, which will open up to you the entire world of points, knives, daggers and blades. We will move into the more advanced techniques of the Clovis and Folsom cultures, including fluting, and you will learn how to properly notch, haft and sharpen your points so that they can be used for display or for hunting.

The language of stone is the language of energy, and slowing down enough to hear and understand what the rocks are telling you will bring you many new insights into all aspects of your life. Working stone can be an empowering experience or a humbling one. Or both. This rock has been sitting and waiting for millions of years for you to pick it up. How patient can you be to learn what it has to teach you?

During your 4 months you will:

   Tuition:  $1395 (There is NO application fee. A $500 deposit is due upon acceptance to the program.)
   Application Deadline:  October 28, 2011

Click Here to Apply Online   
OR   
Print off your Application to Mail in

(Applications must be filled out in their entirety; incomplete applications will not be considered.)

After 4 days of knapping

 

World of the Bow

   Program Length:   4 Months
   Next Session:       To Be Determined
   Meets:                  2 day weekends

Building Bows

Building the perfect bow is a lifetime pursuit, and making a truly great Arrow is even more of an challenge! Beginning with learning to read the bark of a bow-wood tree, how to cut a stave, and what "straight" really means when chosing an arrow shaft, you will plunge full on into
these ancient
and traditional arts.

Our focus for this program will center around the bow, all that it represents, and all that goes along with the ancient hertiage and lineage of those who carried it before you. You will build your own self bow, harvest your own arrow shaft materials and craft your own arrows. You will learn to shoot instinctively and be able to do so from any position; whether on your feet, your knees, your stomach or back will make no difference.

During your 4 months you will learn:

   Tuition:  $1295 (There is NO application fee. A $500 deposit is due upon acceptance to the program.)
   Application Deadline:  August 18, 2009

Our World of the Bow program is not currently on the schedule.
Please check back for details on how to apply.



If you have any questions about the program feel free to give us a call, or send an e-mail to info@practicalprimitive.com.

Printable Application Form

To apply using the online application click here.
If you would prefer to mail in your application form, you may download a printable copy here. (This is a PDF file. Acrobat Reader is required.) Just click on the link to open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader, then click the "Print" button.
Please mail your completed application to:

Intensive Skills Studies Program
Practical Primitive
14 Sussex Lane
Great Meadows, NJ 07838