Fire-Building Workshop

This past September we designed a Fire-Building class for The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.  The workshop was promoted as one that would instruct students on how to build a “surefire” fire!  Topics covered included: fire as a gift, safety concerns, tinder, wood selection, and What size is right? With this information in hand the […]

Kindergarten “Survivors”

It seems that the kindergarten class at Elmhurst Academy in Elmhurst, Illinois became fascinated with the practical aspects of the show “Survivor”, asking their teacher:  How do you survive in a storm?  How do you make shelter?  Can trees help you survive?  Is there a way to make something cold in warm places?  And more. […]

Dads and Sons Weekend Workshop

We didn’t plan it that way, but the Wilderness Skills Workshop we hosted this past weekend turned out to be filled with the male members of three separate families–three dads and four sons.  The enrollment was lower than usual and normally the workshop would have been canceled.  But we instructors felt an “inner tug” to pass […]

What skills do you need to become a tracker?

For two hours on a sunny Wednesday morning in October eleven second-graders from The Children’s School in Berwyn, Illinois whetted their appetites for animal tracking. They learned that first steps in becoming a tracker required the perfection of two different skills: Awareness, in order to first find the tracks; then Clear Print Identification, in order to […]

A Survival Skills Primer

For the fifth consecutive year, Benedictine University hosted Nature Education Programs’ What 2 Know B4 You Go! wilderness preparedness workshop on its campus in Lisle, Illinois. The audience was varied, consisting of adults, college students, and the girls and leaders of Girl Scout Troop 51507.  The Scouts were particularly involved, enthusiastically asking and answering questions and […]

Ancient Skills Weekend Workshop

Animal tracking.  Shelter building.  Safe sources of drinking water.  Fire made with a primitive bowdrill.  These were but some of the skills learned at our Ancient Skills Workshop this past weekend in southern Wisconsin. The students were indeed an eclectic group.  Ages ranged from 8 years old to 72 years young.  Outdoor experience levels ran the gamut from […]

Animal Tracking–a private class

The weather was cold and rainy, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the 17 students who turned out to learn about Clear Print Identification and Gaits at a private event in Aurora, Illinois. Before class began the students had a chance to view all manner of animal sign and aids that were on display indoors.  From […]

Boy Scout Troop 46–Survival Skills Workshop

Approximately 30 Scouts and 8-10 adult leaders enjoyed a campout this past weekend on the grounds of the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in Dundee, Illinois. The day could not have been better for our Gifts of the Earth–Shelter, Water, Fire workshop.  The weather was perfect.  And this group of Scouts was enthusiastic, interested, and knowledgeable, repeatedly throwing out […]

Gifts of the Earth–Shelter, Fire, Water

It was a perfect fall day for the Round Lake Area Public Library to host a  workshop dedicated to three of the most basic survival skills–shelter, fire, and water. To start the afternoon, the audience was given a hypothetical survival situation which replicated the weather conditions of this October day, but at a time thousands of […]

Wilderness Preparedness and Safety Class at Benedictine University

For the fourth consecutive year, Benedictine University hosted Nature Education Programs’ What 2 Know B4 You Go! wilderness preparedness workshop on its campus in Lisle, Illinois. The class is designed to give outdoor enthusiasts, both experienced and inexperienced, some very practical knowledge on how to prepare for an outdoor adventure and what to do if things […]