Holistic Survival School's mission is to facilitate deep, Nature connection through the teaching of Earth-based skills and ancestral knowledge (see below). By facilitating these connections to self, community and Nature, HoSS strives to change the hearts of people by re-establishing our lost connection with the Natural World.
HoSS strives to be the voice in our culture that beckons us to come back to the land. With love and compassion we promise to meet each student where they are and help them take steps toward living a more "eco-centric" life, as our ancestors have lived for millennia.
Earth based SKills we teach:
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Hide Tanning (natural leather brain and bark tanning, animal skins)
Fire by Friction (fire with sticks)
Mindfulness, Awareness & Mind-body connection
Flint Knapping (making stone tools)
Atlatl skills (spear throwing)
Inner tracking (self-awareness)
Cordage (fibers and rope from natural materials)
Camouflage and Stalking
Throughout thousands of years of nomadic life, people have carried just about everything they need in woven baskets. Just as one might develop a relationship with their hiking pack that they have hiked the Appalachian trail with, a pack basket is one of those beautiful and functional crafts that will carry the stories of all your adventures.
The earth is bursting with color!- offering us a vibrant palate to discover and steep into. Golden rod, Blackberry, Osage Orange, Black Walnut to name a few. In this two-day workshop we will explore the diversity and richness of color found in our local plants, mushrooms and lichens. We will slow down, dive deep and connect to earth around us; weaving our creativity with the natural world and the four elements.
For most of human history the relationship of people to prey has been one of the most important aspects of life and culture. In our region, a local and subsistence diet relies heavily on the ability to procure meat for the people--thusly it is one of the most historically ceremonialized and revered elements of society. Over the past decade we have been studying the art of tracking and hunting and have come to our own deep and enlivened relationship to the hunt. It is a process of extensive observation, serious time getting to know one's landscape, and developing an ongoing conversation with both prey and all that share its territory.
Join us for a five day intensive in the art of bow making and traditional archery. How amazing is it that in our human history humans have devised countless brilliant methods of reducing a single piece of wood to such perfect form so as to send an arrow hundreds of feet per second, thousands of times over and over again! It is an opportunity to get to know one stick better than any other piece of wood you have yet to meet, and a gateway into a relationship to trees that goes much deeper than identification.
Join Luke McLaughlin in learning the ancient art of making Buckskin from deer hides. In this four day class, students will turn one deer hide into soft, supple and durable buckskin. Students will learn each step of the process with real, hands-on learning. Once the hide is complete, the every participant will keep their finished product (valued around $250).
The abundance of autumn is one of the greatest joys in homestead life. Whether you are growing this food yourself or harvesting wild foods, the fruits of a year's growth is well earned and most welcomed. Now it is time to think like a squirrel! Did you know that squirrels go so far as to dry mushrooms for winter storage? We humans have spent thousands of years perfecting recipes and methods for preserving most foods we consume throughout the winter months and through the following spring. If you have ever eaten canned blueberry jam or dried meats in February that you harvested months prior, you know how gratifying it truly is to prepare wild and wholesome foods for the eating later on. In this class we explore a few methods (both modern and traditional) for putting by the fall harvest.
We as a species have forgotten how to live on our local landscape. For the vast majority of human history, we have relied on our direct environment for our food, water, shelter, medicine, teachings, myth, and connection. The intention of this class is to experience living as our ancestors did. Through this experience we will gain greater connection to ourselves, each other and the Earth. These are the skills of our ancestors and it is a gift to learn them. We will learn these physical skills while we also learn the greater emotional connection that our ancestors felt that helped them live a life of harmony and balance.