Course Information

Rangers Retreat

I'm moving forward with a dream of mine - a new type of class. This one isn't for everybody. In fact, this isn't for most people, but if this is for you - welcome to the Rangers Retreat!

Let me provide a little backstory to place things in context. Ever since I was a little kid, the realms of fantasy and medieval European history have captivated my imagination. I wanted to be a knight and I even made little castles out of paper, cardboard and tape. Reading books like the Lord of the Rings and watching countless adventure movies only whet my appetite as a teen. Of course, survival skills have been a passion of mine for more than 30 years, and I have never failed to honor and appreciate the ways of my Native American ancestors. When I started hiking and backpacking as a teenager, I really started paying attention the one type of character - the master of the outdoors - and that was the ranger. Here was an individual that combined and embodied so many of the disconnected and incongruent things that I loved. Rangers possessed the woodcraft and outdoor skills of a survival expert. They fought like knights and they knew the forest like a Native. Here was everything I loved, all rolled up in one package!

Now, jump forward 2019. Thanks to the support, encouragment and help of many friends, I have built a "ranger training program" from the wilderness surival and self-reliance topics that I love (and routinely teach at my woodland camp). And now I'm proud to offer the very first Rangers Retreat, which will run on June 13-14, 2020. Class starts at 9 am on Saturday and runs overnight until 5 pm on Sunday (each season).       

This event will kick off a series of weekend classes, packed with all the hands-on skills that a ranger would need in the wild. We have four retreats planned for the next four seasons - each one with a unique theme and content. While each retreat will focus on core survival skills (like shelters, fire building, foraging, archery, martial skills and awareness), there will be specialty skills tied into the theme for each season (for example, the "fire and metal" themed retreat in December will include blacksmithing).

But wait, there's more.
In addition to learning survival skills at our private woodland camp, we'll also enjoy a feast on Saturday night and some insanely fun foam weapon combat (we'll provide the weapons and training).

The June Retreat will have a "plants and animals" theme and run like a normal 2-day class for us (starting at 9 am on Saturday, camping over Saturday night and starting again around 8 am on Sunday morning. Class will end around 5 pm on Sunday). And even though there are many extras (and guest instructors), we're offering each Retreat at our normal 2-day tuition rate ($267). Here are the skills and activities you'll enjoy throughout the June 13th-14th event:

· Learn lean-to shelters, water procurement & disinfection (plus how to collect water from plants)
· Fire making and fuel from the wild, the (ancient) history of matches (and tricks for their use)
· Summer foraging, tree identification and a medicinal plant hike
· Campfire cooking (including the basics of camp cookery and campfire bread)
· Saturday night feast - Herb and rabbit stew, nice crispy bacon, bread, cheese, sausage, dessert and more
· Perception skills, including awareness practice and animal tracking
· Martial skills, including archery and lessons in self-defense from a professional instructor
· Special theme content for June will include trapping with snares and how to field dress a small animal
· Last but not least, we will include some fantasy-style fighting throughout the weekend.

To make the retreats feel fully immersive into the world of the ranger, we're encouraging ranger type clothing and camping gear to complete the aesthetic. Loaner garb and even some "period" camping gear will be available for the first few who need it. Space is limited. Questions are welcome.

Look like a ranger, feast like a ranger, fight like a ranger - be a ranger for the weekend!


Events are currently planned for:

June 13-14, 2020, Summer - Plants and animals theme (animal tracking, snare trapping, animal processing, plant medicines and more)

September 5-6, 2020, Fall - Camo and combat theme (how to make camouflage, bow making, ambush tactics, man tracking and more)

December 12-13, 2020, Winter - Fire and metal theme (blacksmithing, make your own flint & steel fire kit, camp cooking with cast iron and more)

March 27-28, 2021, Spring - Wood and fiber theme (cordage production, fiber arts, wood carving, friction fire, fishing and more)


Each of these events will be our normal 2-day rate of $267. Class size is limited. Contact us for details. 


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