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Wilderness Year

Are you ready for an ADVENTURE?

Jump into the adventure of a lifetime with a series of paradigm-shifting weekends in the wilderness! Wilderness Year is made up of four seasonal courses that can be taken individually or together for a full 12 months of outdoor adventure. The Spring and Fall sessions each include four meetings with two overnights while the Summer and Winter sessions include two meetings with one overnight meet-up. 

WILDERNESS YEAR is designed for individuals seeking to deepen their knowledge of earth skills and nature awareness in a supportive learning environment.

The year-long weekend format of this series offers diverse tastings from all that our local bioregion has to offer, paired with the secrets of wilderness survival, served up in four courses, taught by seasoned outdoor educators who bring over 30 years of field knowledge to the table.

Are you ready?

For over ten years Primitive Pursuits trained adults seeking to deepen their connections to nature and improve the health of their community through nature mentoring. Participants have included parents of youth participants, school teachers, recent college grads, retirees, city folks, country folks and all kinds of people looking for meaningful ways to implement stewardship and environmental leadership in their lives. See their testimonials here. For the first time, we are now offering a weekend format to make these experiences even more accessible!

Wilderness Year includes twelve monthly weekends, divided into four seasonal courses: Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021. Each course season may be taken separately and offers skills and experiences that are unique and relevant to the season. They are all appropriate for both beginners and experienced outdoors people: there are no prerequisites. Whether choosing one season joining us for all four, participants of all experience levels can expect to gain skills that are both personally and professionally valuable. Participants will also receive a certificate upon course completion.Instructor Team - Wilderness Year weekend adventures will be led by Wren Anjali, Jed Jordan and other special guests. Wren and Jed bring over 30 years of combined field teaching in both youth and adult outdoor programs. As with all of our programs, having a team-teaching approach will allow us to pack a lot of content into each weekend while also meeting participants where they're at, offering individualized instruction when needed.

What to expect - Each day at Wilderness Year you can expect to have an adventure in the wild with a supportive group of peers learning and facing challenges together. We'll follow nature's lead while practicing core routines of awareness, discovering our strengths and learning how to observe and respond to changes taking place in the natural world. We'll step out of our daily routines and into the unknown, to experience wonder and to feel uplifted in gaining new competencies in the outdoors.

In this adventure we see ourselves as Stewards: to the land and its resources, to ourselves and each other. Inner as well as outer tracking are key elements to survival. Stewardship supports self-connection as well as contribution, tying this moment to a greater good. Through the cycle of the seasons we commit to growing and developing as leaders, mentors and decent human beings.

Wilderness Year is a great experience to have in tandem with a seasonal apprenticeship or a casual volunteering position with Primitive Pursuits. It's also a great resume builder for getting into the outdoor education field. And, as a member of our community, we hope you will join us for other related educational and outreach events throughout the year.

The longer sessions of Spring and Fall are $850 each and the shorter sessions (Summer and Winter) are $450.

Session Dates and Details:

Spring 2020

March 28 – 29
April 18 – 19 (overnight)
May 9 –10
June 6 – 7 (overnight)
Fee: $850.00

Summer 2020

July TBA
August TBA
Fee: $450.00

Fall 2020

September TBA
October TBA (overnight)
November TBA
December TBA (overnight)
Fee: $850.00

Winter 2021

January TBA (overnight)
February TBA (overnight)
Fee: $450

Spring Season 2020

Gimme Shelter!

March 28 – 29

Eco-wellness starts here! Exploring our primary survival needs, with a focus on shelters for all occasions and basics skills for thriving in the outdoors, practical and tactical. As a group, we’ll get to know each other as we get to know the wooded world, and we’ll introduce our core routines of awareness and connection. Group members will set personal goals with a skills checklist. You will also receive a high quality camp knife, along with instruction in carving and basic tool safety.

Fire It Up!

April 18 – 19 (overnight)

There must be fifty ways to make a fire. On this overnight trip, we’ll cover the most reliable and transferable methods for building a fire from natural materials almost anywhere your feet can take you. We’ll cook meals on a campfire, with and without modern cookware, and we’ll explore the social inheritance of using fire as a means of personal development and creating community. You will go home with some stories to tell and all the tools you need to practice and master the ancient art of making fire.

Water You Waiting For!

May 9 –10

Time to jump in. Even in this land of abundant waters, we’ll acknowledge the importance of clean water and the many ways it supports life. We’ll visit special places where the water runs clear, and we’ll explore ways to purify drinking water using only what nature provides. This weekend we’ll also introduce spring edibles, plant medicines and the many uses of natural materials uniquely available during this season of flowing cambium and unfurling leaves. Spoiler alert: It’s worth the wait!

Forage Ahead!

June 6 – 7 (overnight)

On our last overnight adventure of the spring, we’ll harvest wild foods to our heart’s content and release the inner outdoor chef. Along the way, we’ll cover a breadth of techniques in primitive cooking, tool-crafting and wilderness safety. As we celebrate abundance and growth, our feasting and foraging will bring together all the skills we’ve learned together. Finally, we’ll spend some time around the fire assessing our strengths, telling stories of transformation and forging a more clear path for our lives.

Jed Jordan

Founding Director

Primitive Pursuits co-founder and senior administrator, Jed Jordan is an aspiring tracker, passionate educator, and devoted farmer. Jed lives in Danby, NY, with his wife and two youngest children. His family operates a small u-pick berry farm, Rogue Creek Farm, where he also raises honeybees and nut trees, among other homesteading activities. Jed has been an Environmental Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County since 2003 and is also an adjunct lecturer at Ithaca College, in the Environmental Studies & Sciences Dept. where he has helped develop and teach an Environmental Sentinels course for the last ten years.

Wren Anjali

Program Coordinator

Wren has been enjoying their life-long passion for nature with others for many years providing deep nature connection and primitive skills offerings at schools and conferences throughout the Midwest. “I feel blessed to be able to devote myself to what I love the most: living in service to the Earth and serving in the world as a nature-connection mentor, primitive skills teacher, healing practitioner, music-maker and storyteller. Supporting experiences of transformational growth and healing in nature settings is some of my most cherished work. In my soul I carry a deep understanding of humanity’s opportunity to restore/re-story a life-fostering essential reality for these changing times. This is what I sing about, dream about, live for and pray for.”

Need a trail guide?

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