primitive/traditional living skills
-The John C. Campbell Folk Art School in Appalachian North Carolina offers practical classes on everything from blacksmithing, basketry, instrument-making, weaving, gardening, and woodcarving to a variety of things that are less applied-arts and more decorative art. They offer a work study program in which you get one week of free classes for every two weeks of work (only limited spaces available). They also give 50% tuition on all classes to full-time residents of the surrounding counties of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
-The North House Folk School on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota has classes in a gamut of traditional skills like basketry, boat building + sailing, clothing, fiber arts, food, instrument making, ecology, outdoor skills, building shelter, woodworking, and blacksmithing. They have a scholarship fund for students who would not otherwise be able to study; also, instructors have in the past arranged to teach classes for free to groups who have offered to donate the materials produced to the North House School for later sale. A paid sailing internship and a paid traditional craft immersion internship are available.
-The Driftless Folk School in southwest Wisconsin offers classes on a wide variety of homesteading skills like herbal medicine, permaculture, building, woodworking, dyeing, blacksmithing, music-making, and cooking and food preservation. A paid work/study program is available.
-The Ozark Folk School in northern Arkansas offers classes in blacksmithing, wood carving, weaving, pottery, herbalism, quilting, and a whole bunch of other crafts. They also have masters offering to take apprentices (for free) in the fields of pottery, cooperage, blacksmithing, knifemaking, weaving, soap making, wood turning, spinning, leather work, costume design, wood carving, quilting, basket weaving, printing, gunsmithing, broom making and herbal gardening. (Call the Ozark Folk Center craft director at 870-269-3851 for more info on the apprentice program.)
-The Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia offers classes in a number of skills like Appalachian Architecture, basketry, blacksmithing, felting, knitting, herbalism, uses of wild plants of Appalachia, instrument repair, dying, and stonemasonry. They also offer an apprenticeship program (open only to residents of West Virginia) and a scholarship program.
-The Alabama Folk School in northern Alabama offers classes in pottery, woodcarving, organic gardening, music-playing, basketry and other crafts and arts. They offer some discounted rates for locals.
-The Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding in the Bay Area of California teaches how to build wooden boats, boat design, timber harvesting, celestial navigation, etc. They offer classes and a three-tier apprenticeship program (the two most advanced levels of apprenticeship have limited work-exchange opportunity).
-The Carpenter’s Boat Shop is a Christian commune in Maine that offers apprenticeships to learn how to build and sail wood boats.
listing of primitive skills schools:
–Teaching Drum is an intense, immersive 11-month primitive/wilderness skills school in Wisconsin. One of the best known in the country.
–Wilderness Awareness School in Washington state offers classes on things like tracking, edible wild plants, and wilderness survival, as well as 9-month intensive programs, a teacher-training program, and a home-study course; 25-50% scholarships available. This program comes recommended by Starhawk.
–Wild Roots is a 30-acre homestead in western North Carolina, focused on traditional living and primitive skills; they occasionally hold events and are looking for long-term collective members and shorter-term experiential visitors. They also have an extensive listing of primitive skills gatherings around the country here, many of which have work trade opportunities.
–Feral Futures is a free and informal annual primitive gathering that teaches primitive living and rewilding skills as well as anti-civilization strategies and tactics.
–Rivercane Rendezvous and Falling Leaves Rendezvous are two annual primitive skills rendezvous held in LaFayette, Georgia (along with a new one in the U.S. Virgin Islands)
–Firefly Gathering annual summer primitive skills gathering in the mountains of Western NC; some work trade might be arranged.
–Dancing Hawk School of Simple Living in Oregon, offers intensives and workshops dedicated to bridging rural culture and traditional native lifeways. They also offer a free-tuition, year-long internship for those under the age of 23.
–Rabbitstick and Winter Count Gatherings are two annual primitive skills gatherings in Idaho and Arizona during the fall and winter.
-The Ancient Arts Center in Oregon teaches classes in wilderness survival/traditional skills, akaido, farming/gardening, and ethnobotany/herbology. They offer free (besides the cost of food) live-in internships.
-Wilderweekends, in Chatham county of central North Carolina, are four-times yearly events based on the un-conference model; people come together to teach each other and learn together wilderness, primitive, and traditional skills. They are free with dumpstered food, or otherwise a minimal donation towards collective food costs is requested. Contact Hope for more information at hope.donnyclark <at> gmail <dott> com
disaster relief and emergency first response
-The Survivalism Conference, hosted by the Colorado Street Medics, is a gathering of workshops, trainings and national strategy planning for radical and antiauthoritarian approaches to preparedness and disaster response. In Colorado, might or might not become an annual event.
-The Mycoremediation Seminar taught by Paul Stamets teaches how to use mushroom to catalyze environmental and ecological restoration after human or natural disasters.
–Aerie Medicine offers excellent wilderness first responders and wilderness EMT trainings, as well as a semester-long wilderness medicine course. They have given some scholarships, for example, to people working in the desert with No More Deaths. They also accept Americorps Education Awards, Veteran’s Benefits, and U.S. Department of Education Financial Aid. They can arrange to travel to give trainings to groups.
-The Wilderness Medicine Institute teaches Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness EMT, and Wilderness First Responder courses. They accept AmeriCorps education awards and Veterans Benefits, offer a full tuition scholarships for people who speak American Sign Language, and offer partial scholarships on the basis of financial need and merit for some courses. The have courses in a wide variety of locations throughout the U.S., also in Australia.
-Also, for those becoming volunteers, many volunteer fire departments will pay for EMT training. For example: http://hvfd.com/join/index.html
–Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT): the U.S. government will pay to train groups of people as disaster first responders. Totally free.
-The Medical Reserve Corps “is a volunteer group of medical professionals that are committed to bettering their communities through medical service in times of disaster as well as ongoing service to healthcare needs throughout the year through education and prevention initiatives. Members of the MRC receive training on how to properly respond to a disaster and are called upon to provide much needed help.” The MRC is not restricted to conventional medical professionals. The site also enables you to locate or form a local unit.
-The Urban Permaculture Guild has taught some classes to train “Permaculture First Responders” to use permaculture in disaster relief efforts. Info on past courses here and here.
–Karlo Berger provides pandemic preparedness trainings for holistic and integrative healthcare practitioners. The three classes of trainings offered are Trainings for Caregivers (holistic schools, continuing education programs, and groups of caregivers), Preparedness Planning Services (for caregivers, group practices, schools, and professional associations), and Consulting Services (to Boards of Health and Medical Centers who want to reach out to holistic caregivers in planning for pandemics).
-The Aftershock Action Alliance is available to arrange Disaster Response/Emergency Response skills shares, at request.
-The Northeast Anarchist Network (NEAN) also offers workshops on grassroots disaster relief, in exchange for trainer food and housing, and help with the trainer’s transportation costs.