Debris HutAncestral Knowledge uses nature and the wilderness as its classroom to connect our students with the ancient skills of our past.  Ancestral Knowledge is the first in the DC Metro Area to use earth based living skills, nature awareness, primitive technology, and wilderness survival to create an environmental stewardship between our students and the Earth.  Ancestral Knowledge offers adult and youth programs in a wide range of program topics from ancient living skills, survival and wilderness awareness to earth based philosophy and sustainable living.  Our programs guide our students along a path seldom traveled helping them rediscover the ancient ways that made modern life possible.

All of our programs intertwine two methods of teaching;  Experiential Education-“learning by doing” and Coyote Teaching-“guiding not giving”.  This allows our participants to develop a way of thinking that strengthens problem solving skills, self-reliance and increases your awareness of self and surroundings.

Ancestral Knowledge is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization is operated by a community of naturalists who specialize in native life skills and philosophies that support sustainable lifestyles.  We custom design our outdoor education presentations and programs to fit the needs of schools, community groups, families and individuals.

“Learn from the past, live for the moment, create a new future”

... recent activities ...

Woods Wise Day Camps are Underway in Greenbelt Maryland!

Forest Treasure

Our instructors had the pleasure of leading the Gray Fox and Thunderhawk Clans this past week at our Woods Wise I Day Camps, and we greatly enjoyed it. The students were attentive and enthusiastic learners all week – we were impressed and grateful. Our approach at Ancestral Knowledge is to weave together learning and play throughout the day, such that it feels to the kids (as we overheard one boy say last week) that ‘It’s always recess,’ despite the fact that we shared a wealth of important skills and knowledge.

Nature Journals

Every day featured some time for stories, carving and games, and most days included journaling; sneaking up on other groups; and ‘sit spot’ time – where kids would sit still and observe the woods on their own for a bit. We also enjoyed encounters with wildlife, including birds, turtles, snakes, deer and various interesting bugs. In addition we worked specific skills on different days, covering the fundamentals of wilderness survival. Here is a run down of some highlights:

Whitetail deer track found in camp central.

Whitetail deer track found in camp central.

Day 1: How to move quietly through the woods as a group, observing bird language on the go. Knife-safety, whittling techniques and practice. Finding and harvesting mulberries (white and black varieties), black raspberries, and wild greens. How to find potable water.

Day 2: Survival shelter part 1 – bed and framework. Fire-by-friction and 1-match fire structure demonstration. Song-lining for lost-proofing, part 1 – making the song-line.



Day 3: Survival shelter part 2 – roof/walls/insulation and door. Harvesting natural fiber and making it into cordage/string/rope. Throwing-stick, hoop&spear, “Jedi.” Song-lining for lost-proofing, part 1, following the song-line.

Day 4: Building 1-match fires. Making bamboo crafts.

Day 5: Building 1-match fires, part 2. Blindfold string-walk. Introduction to basketry. Stalking/sneaking game – with hose.

We hope to see everybody back soon!


Morning Story time at camp central

Morning Story time at camp central

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