Are Those Mangos? No, its a Paw Paw!

pawpawPaw paw trees produce the largest native fruit in North America, and as you can see in the photo below they look sort of like small green mangoes. During this time of year the fruits are ripening, and the kids in our Homeschool Naturalist programs are loving them! In addition, paw paw trees bless us with bark that makes effective cordage and wood that is most useful in friction fire kits. Identification of edible and useful plants is one of many skills your kids could be learning with us here at Ancestral Knowledge! The next Homeschool Naturalist Program starts Oct. 31st, and sessions run for 6 weeks.

Summer Camp Fun!!! WOOT!!!

Well it’s that time of the year we have all been waiting for!  That’s right it’s time for our summer overnight camps! We are having a blast with a great group of kids.  So far they have learned how to gather the proper sized firewood, build the proper structure, ignite it using only one match, and how to use the fire to cook their food.  The campers have also learned how to safely and properly use a knife, carved their very own rabbit stick, and learned how to move silently through the forest. Today they will start making friction fire kits (bow drill) and learning how to make basic stone tools.   Afterwards we are going fishing and camping out under the stars along the Shenandoah River where they will use fire as a tool to burn and scrape wood to make eating utensils.  Oh yeah, We can’t forget the scout log (pictured above).  Well that’s a secret but I am sure your kids will tell you all about it when the return home stronger, more confident, and full of stories of adventure!

Travel Without Time or Destination!

So many people talk about wanting to connect with nature, achieving oneness, or grounding themselves. There are so many programs and organizations advertising nature connection (we sure have them). I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but in my opinion no program or workshop can make that happen, it’s too personal of a journey.  However, I do believe that workshops and programs can lead you to the trail head, point you in a direction, or give you the vehicle to get you there, but there is a catch!  It definitely isn’t as easy as a click of a mouse and it won’t happen overnight!  I can say, learning wilderness skills and increasing my awareness have been part of the best years of my life! When I experienced the feeling of oneness and connection for the first time it was only for a moment!  And it wasn’t in a program or class, it was with a group of friends practicing what we learned from a program we all had attended.  Once you experience it, what then?  You want more, you need more, you want it to last longer, but how?  In my experience I have found that I feel one with the earth, myself, and connected to those around me when I am regularly working on skills and projects from the days of our ancestors. Whether it’s bow making, animal tracking, or studying wild plants, these skills form a direct connection to the earth, our ancestors, and our deeper selves. Another way to achieve this is by venturing out without time or a destination.These traditions are some of the keys that open the doorways to the past, present, future & inner peace! Take the journey, leave the watch and phone behind. Learn to travel without time or destination and most importantly enjoy yourself!

At Ancestral Knowledge we are dedicated to helping people find their passions!  If you would like to get started on the personal journey of a lifetime let me know how we can help you get started. 
Thanks for reading!
PS-  Check out one of our programs below! They are perfect for all skill levels from beginner to advanced.  They will surely add some fun and adventure to your life!


Future Primitives- Teen Skills and Leadership Training is under way!

We are so excited to have full enrollment in our Future Primitives program!  We are having a great time hanging out and working on our projects.  We have had three meetings and we have already accomplished so much!

So far everyone has made their own personal bow drill kits and we even had a PFF! (Personal First Fire)  Everyone has established a sit spot and began their nature journals, making entries about the weather and the animal activities they have experienced while visiting them.  We have erected a sundial to track the earths movements to increase our directional awareness.  We have lit several fires during our emergency fire drills, one participant came prepared with a steak to learn how to cook on an open fire.  let’s not forget about the GAMES!  You never grow to old to play games, but now they involve sticks and stones, bows and arrows, and the occasional blindfold!


Family Programs

We offer programs and events that are the perfect way to spend time with your family while enjoying the great outdoors….

MAPS Meet - Mid Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering

The Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering (MAPS Meet) is the perfect place to disconnect from the stress of modern life and reconnect to the natural world. If you are a seasoned outdoors person or a novice, we have a host of expert instructors who will teach you on your level of understanding. There are over 100 workshops available in many topics including; primitive skills and technology, food storage, herbalism, bushcraft, hunting, wilderness survival, earth based skills, nature awareness, and more. Take a gander at our schedule of workshops.  2018 Schedule coming soon!

Price: $50.00

Date: May 25, 2018

Monthly Clubs

Ancient life skills don’t come easy to everyone after participating in a workshop, attending a camp, or program. We have come up with two ways to help assist you in honing your skills and help motivate you to spend more time getting to know that which you have already learned. These skills can be and should be a part of your deeper self, but it only happens through “dirt time”. Join us once a month to get that “dirt time” you deserve.

No events available...

Outdoor Education

Bring the Ancestral Knowledge outdoor education experience to your school, group, or organizations. We offer programs, presentations, field trips, and hands-on workshops that are fun and engaging for all ages.

Hands-ON Demonstrations

Our Presentations are one of a kind!  We present a combination of natural displays and primitive survival skills demonstrations. Our displays include handcrafted primitive tools such as; bows and arrows, natural baskets, utensils, cordage, stone tools, and much more. Our presentations are student interactive as we pass around many primitive tools and natural materials for discussion and investigation, at the same time engaging students with questions about each item. Finally we stimulate the students’ ancestral knowledge by involving them in a primitive skill, like a fire by friction demonstration in which we recreate the magic of primitive fire as if it was discovered for the first time.

We can come to your location for a half or full day of presentations.
Pricing: 1-3 hours $375, 4-6 hours $525

Field Trips

Our field trips take you deep into the forests of our local park systems to explore the ecosystems within. While participating in our field trips the students are assured to lean several nature based skills including; animal tracking techniques, nature awareness, plant and tree identification, and basic survival skills.  Students will also learn how to move in the forest properly to increase animal sightings.  Toward the end of the trip several primitive skills are demonstrated including fire by friction and basic stone tool making.  Time permitted, the students will have a chance to try their luck at making a fire by friction, the way our ancestors used to do it.

Customized Field Trip Pricing; $375 (8-14 participants), $575 (15-24 participants), $775 (25-40 participants)

Custom Workshops and Programs

Are you interested in exposing your class or group to ancient life skills?  Look no further, Ancestral Knowledge offers a wide range of primitive, traditional, and nature based skills programs and workshops.    We offer our unique outdoor education programs to the Boy/Girl Scouts of America, Public/Private/Charter Schools, Homeschool groups and Universities.  We design a programs that suit your specific needs. Topics include but aren’t limited to; nature awareness, basketry, soap stone carving, natural fiber technology, bow and arrow production, stone tools (flint knapping), hide tanning, pottery,wilderness survival, animal tracking, and wild edible plants.

We can work one-on-one or with large and small groups of youth and adult participants.

Custom program pricing per day: 8-14 participants $375 (1 instructor), 15-24 $575 (2 instructors), 25-40 $775, (3 instructors) These prices are subject to change based on subject matter and material fees

Please contact us if you would like more information or want us to customize a demonstration or program for you!

Teen Workshops & Programs

Our teen programs are designed to provide powerful and dynamic experiences that will help your teen become self motivated, inspired, creative, and independent. Through hands-on skills, nature immersion, and leadership training our teen programs help our participants transition from being kids to becoming responsible young adults. These programs are for all genders between the ages of 12-17.

Future Primitives- Primitive Skills & Leadership Training for Teens

Our Future Primitives- Primitive Skills & Leadership Training Program enures that your teen ages 12-17 will have the necessary life skills and leadership training to successfully transition from adolescence to adulthood. While participating in this 10 week program we will use ancient and modern life skills and technologies to guide your teen toward becoming a confident leader and a self motivated reliable team player. Using ancestral mentoring practices and a mix of earth based and modern living skills we will walk the razors edge of the modern and ancient world. Working from this place allows for guided growth through the challenges of daily life and the power that comes from the freedom of choice. Participants will learn advanced life skills of our ancestors that provided a healthy relationship between ones self and the earth.

When: 11am-4pm every other Wednesday. Please refer to our calendar for specific dates. Program begins Feb 14th
Ages: 12-17
Registration Fee: $650 (includes $150 materials and tool fee)

Price: $650.00

Date: January 17, 2018

Youth Fire by Friction Workshop - The Bow Drill Method (Feb 18 & 25)

Come and learn the ancient art of fire by friction and ignite the fire within you. This 2-day workshop focuses on friction fire by the bow drill method and includes several other skills such as proper knife carving and fire building. Learning how to make a friction fire opens a vast world of possibilities and will give you a new appreciation for the art of fire making and tending.

Time: 12 pm-5pm
Ages: 12 and older

Price: $75.00

Date: February 18, 2018

Wilderness Experience (July 8-13)

The Wilderness Experience Camp is the foundation to our overnight camps. While attending this week-long overnight camp, everyone will build their own friction fire kit and survival shelter.  Campers will also learn; ancient navigational skills, how to cook over a campfire, and how to make their own utensils, . We will wander to our favorite fishing spots and cool off while exploring the secluded mountains streams and waterfalls.  Oh and for those who like a challenge, the SCOUT LOG!

This experience will expand your child's comfort and confidence levels as we camp in the Shenandoah Mountains on a 1400-acre private wilderness sanctuary near Harpers Ferry, WV.

Price: $600.00

Date: July 8, 2018

Earth Skills or Wilderness Experience Overnight Camp (July 15-20)

In the Earth Skills Camp you will learn the ancient skills that our ancestors used to thrive in nature on a daily basis. Each camper will develop the focus and confidence that these skills unleash!

This camp features advanced skills like primitive pottery, archery, stone tools, hide-tanning and overnight mock survival experiences. We will wander to our favorite fishing spots and cool off while exploring our secluded mountains streams and waterfalls. 

Price: $600.00

Date: July 15, 2018

Forest Scout or Earth Skills Overnight Camp(July 22-27)

Forest Scout Camp is a week long adventure  where you will experience what it means to be the eyes and the ears of the forest.  Learning how to disappear into the forest without a trace we will use skills like; natural camouflage, stalking and movement, night time navigation, and advanced tracking and awareness to reach our objectives.

We will split up into two teams and practice Scout activities and play Scout games that help hone each campers skills in awareness, stealth, and invisibility to prepare for their final mission, infiltrating the others camps to capture their treasures! This camp is modeled around the ancient Scout skills shared by Tom Brown Jr and takes each camper on an exciting Scout adventure. 

Price: $600.00

Date: July 22, 2018