Workshops, Schedule, and Registration Info

Basic Skills Weekend: Covers the most important survival skills such as friction fire (bow and hand-drill, cordage (string and rope from plant fiber), basic flintknapping and stone tool construction, traps, edible/useful plant ID, water procurement and treatment, and shelter. $200
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5-day Advanced Instructor-Level Course:  For those wanting to hone basic and advanced skills, and seeking to gain insight on instructing those skills or starting it as a business. Covers weaponry (atlatl, bow and arrow, blowgun construction), fishing gear, traps, advanced tool making and hafting, glues and adhesives (pine pitch, hide and fish glue), basketry, containers, ember-burned bowls, primitive cooking, tracking/trailing and concealment, shelter, advanced techniques for all basic skills, teaching methods and philosophies, discussion of doing this as a business, and any skills or areas that need brushing up. $550
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3-Day Advanced Skills/Primitive Living Course: Covers Weaponry (atlatl, quickie surivival bow & arrow, rivercane blowgun), fishing gear, traps, bone tools,  general toolmaking and hafting, glues and adhesives (pine pitch, hide/fish glue), basketry & containers, ember-burned bowls, shelter. $275 Click here for Schedule


Bo demonstrating the dry-scrape method of Hide Tanning in a Special Brain Tan Workshop

Braintan Buckskin Hide Tanning Class, and Specialty Workshops: Periodically we will offer special workshops on a particular subject, such as hide tanning, flintknapping, basketry, etc.

We can also schedule customized workshops for groups of 6 or more, with advance notice.
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The Hunter-Gatherer: For graduates of Advanced Skills, this is a chance to "take it to the woods". we will hike into the wilderness with a bare minimum of basic food staples and a blanket, and live as a small band of hunter-gatherers for approximately one week. (By special appointment only)

All work materials provided, primitive camping on location. Classes start at around 8:30 am, end around 3-5 pm on the last day. Bring your own food for the weekend. There are several Mennonite-owned businesses nearby, The Meadowview Dutch Market has groceries and sandwiches, the Leadmine Country Store has hot lunches, Ozark Winds Bake Shop has fresh baked goods, all are around 15 min. from camp and are open from 8:30 am-5pm Monday-Saturday.


To register - Send a 50% deposit including your contact info, (or contact us for login if you'd like to use PayPal) we'll send a location map upon receipt. (Most classes are held at First Earth's Camp on the Niangua River, the Braintan Workshop is held in Rogersville) Make checks payable at least two weeks in advance to:

Bo Brown
1696 South Farm Road 241
Rogersville, MO. 65742

What to Bring:

  • Camping gear (tent, sleeping pad & bag, rain gear), camp chair, flashlight
  • Food & water for the duration. I usually have some water on hand, and there's a nearby potable spring
  • Leather gloves
  • Smaller lockblade or fixed blade knife (unserrated edge is more useful, a 4" Morakniv Companion is a good choice for under $20 if you don't already have a favorite)
  • Notebook, camera, or smartphone as a memory aid, especially during edible plant ID segment

To get a leg up on the skills and a continuation of what you'll learn in the classes, visit John McPherson's Prairie Wolf site from the links page to purchase his book "Primitive Wilderness Living and Survival Skills", or other books/instructional videos. He was of immense help when we started the school in 1993, and I'm particularly honored to have assisted with his series of U.S. Army Special Forces (SERE) Survival Instructor training classes. John & Geri continue to be an inspiration to everyone in this field. Also put David & Paula Wescott/Backtracks on that list, as hosts of the annual Rabbitstick and Wintercount gatherings. I've been teaching there for over 20 years, and keep hearing first-timers describe it as a life-changing experience. There are a number of these gatherings around the country, among them our locally hosted Bois D' Arc Skills Camp & Knap-in, all will provide a wealth of hands-on learning.