Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering

2016 MAPS MEET the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering (May 27-30)

Date: May 27, 2016

Price: $225.00


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.

The MAPS Meet is a community based event that has met annually for 15 years and is the second longest running skills gathering on the East Coast. Get a taste of the Mid-Atlantic Regions premier Earth Skills gathering from this article featured in The Washington Post Magazine .

The MAPS Meet is held about one hour outside of DC in the scenic Shenandoah Mountains on the border of Virginia and West Virginia along the Shenandoah River.

This gathering has limited spaces available and you must preregister to attend the event.


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You and your family will benefit from attending this event in so many ways;

  • Over 100 different workshops for adults!
  • Daily Youth Programs
  • Meet new people with shared interests!
  • Learn and experience ancient traditional skills at your level of understanding!
  • Discover skills and abilities you didn't know you had!
  • Surround yourself in the beauty of the oldest mountains in the world!
  • Bond with your family and friends over the knowledge and skills of our ancestors!
  • Breakfast and dinner included!
  • Make memories that will last a lifetime!
  • Learn vital life skills that have been passed down for generations!
  • Experience deep nature connection!
  • Learn from the experts in the field!

"I couldn't believe how much I learned in such a short period of time. The instructors are very knowledgeable and everyone was so friendly.  Next year I am bringing my family and telling friends." - Tammy - MAPS Meet Participant


671 FLOC Way
Harpers Ferry,
Map and Directions

Families of four or more can receive 10% off of the total registration! Please contact us for the coupon code.

Event Fees:
Ages 12-70 Ages 7-11 Ages 4-6 Ages 71+
Friday-Monday $225 $150 $40 Free
Fri- Sun or Sat-Mon $175 $125 $30 Free
Saturday-Sunday $125 $100 $20 Free
One Day Pass (dinner only)
$75 $50 $10 Free


Meals Included: Thur Fri Sat Sun Mon
Breakfast 7:30-8:15am
Dinner 6:15-7:15pm
      • Participants provide their own lunches. There is space for coolers to be stored.
      • Additional event details will be provided to all registered attendees prior to the event.

MAPS Meet will be held May 27-30th. Attendees can check in on Thursday evening from 4:00pm or later. A large selection of workshops will be held throughout the day beginning Friday morning, and will continue through the afternoon of Monday the 30th.

Printable Event Information 2016 MAPS Meet registration packet, FLOC Map (more info can be Found in drop down menu above)

In the press: The Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering was featured in the The Washington Post Magazine.

Enjoy MAPS Meet and other AK videos on our Youtube channel

Location:  FLOC Outdoor Education Center 671 FLOC Way Harpers Ferry, WV 25425  .


We recommend that you bring your own tent or tipi to the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering. However, if you don't have a tent, for an additional fee there are some accommodations available for groups & individuals.

- Camping- you are welcome to set up a tent in the designated camping areas. Camping fees are included in your registration fee. If you don't have camping equipment tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags are available from FLOC for $20/group of four. (equipment is limited please contact us for availability)

- Screened cabins sleep up to 6 people. cabins are shared not private. space is limited to 48 bunks total. Cabin rental fees are; $20/person/night to reserve a bed (fee applies to all ages).

      • Cabins must be reserved prior to the event.
      • Cabins come with cots and mattresses. You will need to bring your own sleeping bags, sheets and pillows to use with the cots.
      • All lodgings must be swept and cleaned before you leave.

cabins3To reserve lodging you must return to this page after registering for the event and click the button below.

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Work Trade Program

There are 10 Work Trade positions available for the Mid Atlantic Primitive skills Gathering. Work Trade is a great way to participate in the event and support the community and event. When you participate in the Work Trade program you must be available from 10am May 24th through May 31st at 4pm. If you are interested in a work trade position please read, complete, and submit the Work Trade Application.


Jacob Elmslie

JacobJacob Elmslie- Has been attending primitive earth skills groups since his first visit at MAPS meet in 2008. It changed his life and began making bamboo flutes by first learning through attending many gatherings and then through practice. Jacob also spent five years as a middle school art teacher. Now He has combined his love for primitive skills and teaching experience to help others find their creative side and make flutes. "growing up I was never very musical, but I fell in love with the wood flute because of its beautiful sounds and ease of play". He travels from Michigan to bring you his skills and experience in making flutes and is grateful for being able to return to MAPS as an instructor this year to share.

Michelle Gienow

MichelleGienowBaltimore-based photojournalist Michelle Gienow runs Enchanted Forage, a small (one-woman) business providing sustainably and respectfully harvested wild foods to Maryland, DC and Virginia chefs and restaurants. From an early age she was fascinated by edible plants, both cultivated and wild, and also drawn to primitive survival skills, learning first on her own and then in community. Michelle has been a MAPS instructor since 2011, focusing on practical home approaches for gathering and keeping wild foods. She and her two young sons live in northern Maryland, where they hunt and fish and work toward living off the grid.

Todd Elliott

Todd Elliott is a freelance biologist, naturalist, lecturer, primitive skills instructor, and performing artist. His research has focused on studying global biodiversity and interrelationships in nature. These studies have taken him to remote corners of the world and allowed him to learn from indigenous people and to explore diverse ecosystems on six continents. Todd has discovered and published organisms new to science and is currently writing a field guide on the mushrooms of the Southeastern United States for Timber Press. Todd teaches on a range of subjects centered around primitive skills, foraging, ecology, traditional life-ways, and the human interface with the natural world. To learn more about Todd’s work visit: http://toddelliott.weebly.com/

Tim Murphy

My name is Tim Murphy and I am a newer instructor with AK. I am originally from the Washington DC area and have spent the majority of my adult life exploring the American west. I have a BA in Wilderness Leadership (Prescott College '99) and have guided in both adventure education programs and wilderness therapy. The majority of my carer has been working in various capacities in wilderness therapy. I have guided in Montana, Utah, Colorado, and Vermont. I have over 1300 field days working with groups in the woods. Working with AK I am learning to work with a younger population than I have worked with in the past. I recently returned to the DC are to be closer to family and to attend the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work in the fall.

Josh Ulrich

My name is Josh Ulrich and I grew up in Arizona climbing, exploring, hiking, throwing dirt clods, rooting up bugs, and filling my parents' pockets with cool rocks. I was the type of kid who would stop cold in the middle of a game of one-on-one basketball with my brother to watch an osprey bring fish back to its nest, or lose track of time trying to sneak up on him in the woods. My love of nature inspired me to get my B.S. in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware. As I started getting involved with the Earth Skills community I realized I'd rather examine an animal's tracks than fit it with a radio collar, or use exotic invasive plants for food and cordage instead of spraying them with herbicide. I love sharing what I've learned with all who share my passion.


Sara Corrigan

Sarah Corrigan- Sarah is an herbalist and primitive skills practioner who has a focus on ethnobotanical studies.  Informed by these land based arts, she finds they offer the rewards of self reliance through skill, responsibility and gratitude through growing and gathering, and the awe and wonder of things through the beauty of the natural world.  In effect, that this interaction can educate us to being more capable, responsible, and healthier human beings.  As a student and an educator, she remains passionate about continous learning, and facilitating a student's relationship to the natural world through supporting their own learning processes.
B.A. Art History, Drew University, 2005
Vermont Center of Integrative Herbalism Clinical Herbalism 3 year program

Brad Salon

Brad Salon - My work at Roots combines my love for wilderness and adventure, hard work with good folks, building with my hands, and constant problem solving.  Although I have a love for all the skills I have devoted possibly too much time to flint knapping stone tools and find ever increasing complexity and challenges to pursue with that skill.  I have a love of bow building, archery, and hunting, a skill that has tested me on every level. The skills of tracking and awareness are brought to bare in every skill I work. The Scout classes are near obsession for me, but you will see that should you attend.  Learning to connect these skills to the present day, to the present conditions of the world, I strive to re-evaluate and grow my perspective. My work is done in the company of friends, all determined in their own ways to make the world a richer, healthier place. I started teaching wilderness skills in 2000. Aside from there skills I have a deep love for telling stories through the mediums of picture and video.
B.A. Individualized Studies, Goddard College, 2006

Julie Martin

Julie Martin has been practicing Primitive & Survival Skills full time for the past 11 years and teaching for the last five. Raised on a farm southern Ontario, animals, wild edibles, organic gardening and traditional food preservation were a daily part of her childhood. After 15 years as an actor, singer & writer, a serious car accident caused Julie to re-evaluate her life and she left the bright lights to re-focus her life around the earth-centered skills of her youth. While friction fire was Julie's "gateway" into Wilderness Survival (and is still her favorite skill), she has developed a passion for flintknapping, plants, pottery, and for passing along the true ease and simplicity of all the skills of our ancestors. Her new “Feral Females” workshops are dedicated to encouraging more women to discover the same joy, excitement, strength and power in these skills that changed her life.
Julie co-founded Practical Primitive with Eddie Starnater in 2007. Together they follow their vision to provide a place where adults can receive hands-on instruction in a small group setting from instructors with a depth and breadth of skills, knowledge and understanding.


Eddie Starnater

Eddie Starnater is one of the top Primitive and Survival Skills experts in the United States, and has been practicing and perfecting Primitive and Survival skills since childhood. Over the past 40 years Eddie has become a Master Flintknapper, competitive archer, expert bowyer, tracker, primitive potter and maker of all types of baskets, containers and primitive weaponry. His expertise in wild plants and primitive traps allowed him to perfect his wide range of Wilderness Survival skills on countless survival outings in many eco-systems around the country, and while living for months at a time in a long-term shelter in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. After teaching primitive skills for over 20 years Eddie tired of the huge class sizes and lecture format of schools that had become more focused on “notebook knowledge” over hands-on learning. Eddie founded Practical Primitive together with Julie Martin in January 2007. Their small-group, adult-only workshops provide an unparalleled opportunity for those who wish to learn quality skills, hands-on, from one who has dedicated the majority of his life to working, learning, and perfecting and passing on the Sacred Primitive Arts.


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Lauren Jacobs

lauren JacobsA life long lover of mythopoetic narrative, Lauren Jacobs uses surrealism to discuss links between body, emotion, wilderness and architecture in her art. In this discussion between person and place, she has collaborated often with environmental and community outreach programs, and has been involved in wilderness studies and urban permaculture for over a decade.

Jacobs received her Bachelors of Fine Art from Maryland Institute College of Art, after double majoring in sculpture and fiber art, and her Masters of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she concentrated in fiber sculpture. She currently teaches fine and applied art courses at Art Institute of Washington and Northern Virginia Community College. Her work has been in over 50 exhibitions and counting, and can be seen at the Artist’s Undertaking Gallery in Occoquan, VA, where Jacobs is a co-op member.

Nick Neddo


Nick is an artist, author, naturalist, primitive skills educator, and craftsman.  He has been teaching people wilderness skills professionally since 2000.  He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from the landscape, which is the topic of his new book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food and dirty hands.

Sara Henry

Sara learned how to make baskets in 2011 from Nancy Basket, and she’s been hooked ever since.  Each time she saw Nancy at a gathering afterward, she would show her the new baskets she had made and Nancy would critique them, giving her tough love advice on how she could improve.  It was a big day for Sara when, while she was assisting Nancy in teaching at the Firefly Gathering intensives, she showed Nancy a basket and the feedback she received was a firm “good.”  She has been teaching several styles of basketry for over two years at gatherings across the southeast.  She is passionate about empowering students to go out into the forest and experiment with what they find in their own bioregions.  So much beautiful and functional art can be created if we open up and play with the natural materials all around us!

Josh Roberts

JoshJosh Roberts discovered his passion for wilderness survival skills  in Vermont in 1998. Through Tom Brown Jr's books he was inspired to practice survival skills which lead him to pursue these skills as a vocation.  For over 15 years he has  gained experience in this field with various summer camps, organizations and schools in over ten states. These include The Vermont Wilderness School, The Wild Earth Programs, The Roots School, The Institute of Natural Learning, The Fairview Lake YMCA, The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and The Student Conservation Corp among others. Josh's goal in life is to share his passion for the benefits of wilderness survival skills.   He received his Bachelor of Arts  in Adventure Education and Environmental Studies from Prescott College in Arizona.

Josh has been working with Ancestral Knowledge in the DC area since the spring of 2012. Before moving to the DC area he taught similar survival programs in the Swanguak Mountains of New York. He is currently involved in instructing and  developing Ancestral Knowledge’s home school programs, it’s summer camps and his own survival skills workshops. Josh has been actively involved with Mid Atlantic Primitive Skills youth programs and plans on continuing that involvement.  He enjoys flintknapping as well as pursuing his interests in permaculture, primitive archery, wild edible foraging, guitar playing and snowboarding.He is best known for his warm personality, fire making skills, his mentoring and teen rites of passage programs, as well as his dedication to teaching  wilderness survival skills.

Wendy Nufer

wendy nufer

Keith Grenoble

keith grenoble

Jan Marcario

Cindy Suter AKA Bluefeather

suterI have been involved with The MAPS Meet (Mid-Atlantic Primitive skills) since the very first event. In the beginning, I helped co-organize the events and am now an instructor. I have become personally fond of working with dried gourds.

At these events I will teach working with a dried gourd to make a beautiful finished bowl. I will also have a few gourds for sale in the trade store.

“I find it so fulfilling to watch young participants return year after year and now come to teach others. It is such an Honor to have met so many kindred spirits and friends. I feel so Blessed to be a part of this.”

Doug Elliott

EPSON scanner imageDoug Elliott is an herbalist, naturalist, storyteller and author. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore, and traditional ways of relating to the natural world.

For many years he made his living gathering and selling herbs. In recent years he has performed and taught from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN and has conducted workshops and programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has taught regularly at the Gaia and the International Herb Symposiums, the Green Nations Gathering, and Omega Institute. He has trained rangers for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from Down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C.

He regularly writes articles for regional and national magazines. He has authored five books and produced a number of award winning recordings of stories and songs.  His first book, WILD ROOTS, An Underground Botany and Forager's Guide, has been around for thirty-five years and is considered an "underground" classic. He is occasionally seen on PBS-TV and the History Channel.    www.dougelliott.com

Tom Brown III

Tom, otherwise known as “T3”, has been a practitioner and teacher of primitive technology, wilderness survival, tracking, and nature observation since an early age. Trained from birth by his father, Tom Brown, Jr., founder of the world-renowned Tracker School, Tom is one of the world’s foremost instructors of primitive technology and primitive wilderness survival.

For several years, Tom traveled the United States practicing the arts of primitive living throughout many different wilderness areas, as well as practicing his urban survival techniques in major cities across the country. Upon returning to Tracker School in 2003, he became head instructor and helped educate thousands of students from all over the world. In late 2009, Tom formed Primitive Arts Collective in order to take his teaching to a broader audience. He currently teaches workshops and lectures throughout the United States, helping to educate people in ancestral traditions and keep alive the skills that were once at the core of daily life.

Tom is an avid hunter and fly angler, and is accomplished as an archer and marksman. He is also a master of the throwing arts.

Joe Murray - Founder

joe murrayJoe is a degreed anthropologist as well as a professional pilot. He has completed over 18 levels at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School. He has been an important part of Ancestral Knowledge from the beginning. Joe has studied youth mentoring, naturalist studies and native philosophy with Jon Young, Noguchi, Paul Raphael, Gilbert Walking Bull an Oglala Lakota, and Ingwe an Acomba elder. Joe has been teaching children and adults in these subjects for six years — He has instructed for Tom Brown Jr. Coyote Tracks summer programs for children, ages 8 to 18, for three years, and continues his association with them as an on-call instructor. Joe is also responsible for setting-up Wilderness Living Training for the University of Maryland Outdoor Recreation Center Staff. He has instructed students at the University of Maryland, heads a local Tracking Skills group, mentors individual home school students and teaches at the annual Maryland Area Primitive Skills (MAPS) Meet. In 2004, Joe taught a Primitive Skills Series for the nonprofit organization Boys-To-Men. Most importantly, at the age of 32, Joe is still a kid, and as such, is a favorite instructor for the kids – earning their respect and enthusiasm for the fun-and-games as well as the serious philosophical subjects.

Bill Kaczor - co-Founder/ CEO 2007-Present

Bill is the CEO and founder of Ancestral Knowledge. Bill has worked and studied intensively with the masters in the fields of; youth mentoring, naturalist studies, primitive technology and tracking. He has been teaching children and adults in these subjects since 1998 — For five years Bill worked as head instructor Children of the Earth Foundations- Coyote Tracks summer camps, and two years as the assistant director. He has instructed students at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Rivercane Rendezvous, Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering (MAPS Meet), Bill has instructed for 5 years at Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School teaching primitive traps, bow making, flint knapping, pottery and hide tanning. In 1999, Bill chose to leave his skateboard/snowboard business and dedicate his life to teaching these skills. Shortly afterward, Bill designed and was granted an after school and summer program for the 21st Century Learning Community in Public School District 150 in Peoria, Illinois. This program was successful in that it led the children to a respect for nature, respect for themselves and others, self-discipline and adventure. Bill is a specialist in bow making, stone tool technologies, hide tanning, fire by friction and hunting.

Read what Tom Brown Jr said about Bill

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