Are you interested in Weekend Workshops or Short Courses?

Weekend Workshops

Wilderness Skills Workshop

A three-day program of introduction to the natural world and to the skills needed to survive comfortably in a wilderness environment.

June 1-3, 2018.  (Registration deadline: May 1, 2018)
YMCA Camp Minikani (in the Kettle-Moraine area of south-central Wisconsin; 30 minutes from Milwaukee; 2 hours from O’Hare Airport).
$345; Children 11-15: $320**; minimum class size of 18 students.
  • All meals, Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, prepared and served cafeteria-style by Camp Minikani staff.
  • Comfortable dorm lodging* or, if you prefer, tent camping with a view of Amy Belle Lake
  • All instructional materials.
  • Course content: fire by friction, shelter-building, animal tracking, awareness skills, fox-walking, “splatter vision”, and much more.
  • Individualized instruction from experienced folks who have a passion to pass on these ancient skills; the student/instructor ratio is no greater than 6:1.

Children under 11 will be enrolled only with our prior approval. Every student 16 or under must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

*Dorm accommodations: Please note that the dorm is co-ed and bunks are limited to 10 students.

**It is our desire to share these skills with family units and we realize that “per person” rates may be prohibitive. So if you are a parent who wishes to attend with 2 or more children (ages 18 and under), please contact us to discuss a possible family rate.

Refund policy: If you notify our office of cancellation more than 30 days prior to the start of the workshop, you will receive a full refund less a $15 service fee. Refunds for cancellations within 30 days of the workshop will be at the sole discretion of Nature Education Programs, Ltd.

Register for the June 2018 workshop

Adult or Child?
Camping Preference
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Comments from previous wilderness skills workshop participants:

  • Excellent! I am still amazed at how much we learned in such a short amount of time. I also thought the whole weekend was very well-planned.
  • I…really enjoyed the addition of the spiritual/native American philosophies. I feel that I not only improved my wilderness skills, but also my way of looking at the natural world & our place in it.
  • Especially memorable was all the hands on learning…Starting the fire was incredible. The feeling of accomplishment and humility that came with it was amazing.
  • I found all the skills to be useful and well taught…I never felt too busy or too slow…I think the tone of the course is a large part of what I enjoyed—respectful, laid back, and spiritual/reverant [sic] for all the topics.
  • The Instructors were great. Full of knowledge. All with different strengths. Fantastic.
  • I particularly appreciated the fact that all instructors shared their personal experiences and cared enough to check in with each of us to help us with the experiential learning… providing feedback and guidance.
  • You inspired me to learn more & continue on a path to connect with the earth.
  • I think each instructor brought something unique to the group and I feel privileged to have been taught in their individual areas of expertise. I also really enjoyed the sharing of stories and experiences. What a fun and interesting way to learn.

Short Courses

Fire-building Workshop

For millennia fire has been an elemental survival tool of the human species.  Unfortunately, in modern times most of us have lost our connection with this essential skill.  This hands-on workshop will provide you with the skills necessary to build a “sure-fire” campfire. In addition to instruction on proper materials and construction techniques, it will also cover a number of ways to start a fire using tools ranging in skill level from a primitive bow-drill to a flint and steel to a BIC lighter.

  • Learn the components of a successful fire—materials and construction techniques
  • Get a variety of fire-starting tips and tricks
  • Gain a respect for fire as a gift
  • Understand fire safety to protect yourself–and your surroundings
  • Watch a bow-drill demonstration
  • Build and start your own fire using a flint and steel!
  • Enjoy the fruits of your efforts by roasting marshmallows and chatting with the instructor after class.  Supplies for S’mores will be provided!

Minimum age: 10; Children 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Date: October 13, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m. to noon

Location: The Morton Arboretum

Thornhill Shelter
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, Illinois 60532

Fee: $16 for members; $20 for non-members

Contact:  Registration opens August 21, 2018.


For more information contact: Registrar’s office at 630-719-2468


What 2 Know B4 You Go!™

Are you planning a trip?  Hiking?  Canoeing?  Camping?  Or simply driving to a national park?  This workshop will prepare you for most emergencies encountered in any outdoor activity.  What to do when you get lost.  How to stay warm when the weather turns.  What survival gear you should carry.  How to react in all manner of emergencies.  What 2 Know B4 You Go! is designed to keep you from getting into trouble in the first place and to help you make the right decisions should things somehow go wrong.  Read more about this program here.

Minimum age: 10; Children 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Date: September 29, 2018

Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Location: Benedictine University

Birck Hall of Science
5700 College Road
Lisle, Illinois 60532

Free! But you must register!

Contact: Karly Tumminello