Earthwork Wilderness Survival Training School | 413-340-1161

Primitive Skills in Maine

I love Maine; I have been visiting for many years. This fall, I had the opportunity to spend some time with some of my extended family up there. The Maine Primitive Gathering is where people come from all over to practice and learn with each other. There is so much to go over even though it is a weekend event, but I wanted to share what has been a focus for me in Maine for the last 2 years working with an amazing basket maker Mark Young.
Stay tuned for the video…

had the opportunity to mentor with and capture some incredible video at the 2009 Maine Primitive Gathering in Wells ME hosted by Mal Stephens.

Mark demonstrates and gives insight into a traditional skill that has been practiced for many years.

In this video, hear Mark’s philosophy of the baskets he makes, see pieces of this process…from pounding so the growth rings lift, to making and shaping splints, and learn how water is your best friend. Also hear the questions folks have about the how-to and the story that shaped a bow maker into a basket maker.

The baskets you see here and others may be available through Mark Young directly (while supplies last). Order your basket and support our basket makers and mentors who share this knowledge today.
*  Mark Young
* 207-646-1096

Black Ash Pack Basket – Maine Basket Maker
Made in Maine by Mark Young

Berries, Baskets & Brook Trout Weekend! 2nd Annual!

Attend All, Some or Just One!

(Workshop fees vary…see below)

A Weekend of 4 Wilderness Skills Workshops!

For Families, Adults & Teens

All Workshops are in Conway, MA


Saturday, August 6, 2016
WS1: Birch Bark Basket Making 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
WS2: Wild Edibles & Medicinals 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 7, 2016
WS3: Primitive Fishing 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
WS4: Intro to Wilderness Survival 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.



Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Join Basket expert Barry Keegan and Earthwork Programs for a day-long, hands-on Workshop!

We will learn:

  • sustainable harvesting techniques,
  • birch bark processing,
  • pine root sewing.

And, we will use raw materials from the land to create one-of-a-kind pieces that will be beautiful and functional.

$60/adult, $30/child with adult–materials included (must be prepaid)


Saturday, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Join us for this unique experience and come away with skills in correct identification of wild edibles and medicinals you can find right outside your back door. Because we specialize in certain plants in depth, there are certain ones we’ll be reviewing from last class as well.

You will learn how and when to harvest by season and in what habitat to seek out your favorite wild edibles.

Possible Focus: Black trumpets, Chanterelles, Chrome foot, different type of suillus mushrooms and field plants, cats ear, dewberries, knotweed, horsetail, milkweed pods, sumac, dock, heal all, etc.

$50/adult, $30/child with adult prepaid (add $10/Workshop if pay day of)


Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors were able to sustain themselves…not only surviving, but actually thriving? Primitive fishing has been one of the cornerstones of how it is done.

In this Workshop, learn

  • how to make a fish spear and techniques of stalking,
  • a way of making a fish net,
  • designing your own hooks and gorges, and
  • a tried-and-true method of “hand fishing” where we can catch and release and have had great success.

This is a real “game changer”–being able to go from nothing and making all of your own fishing lines, spears, gorges, lures, weirs, hooks and traps with all natural materials.

Join us! This class is for participants of all levels–no prerequisite required!

$60/adult, $30/child with adult prepaid (add $10 if pay day of)


Sunday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Are you a hiker, skier or just walk in the woods with your kids? What do you do if you get disoriented or some other unexpected situation arises while you’re out and about? Do you have a survival kit? What are the top 10 things you bring with you when you’re in the wilderness?

Earthwork Programs has been teaching these skills for more than 10 years.

  • Make fire with confidence in wet conditions as well as dry.
  • Learn the power of plants and their uses.
  • Discover ways to bring yourself closer to the land through tracking and awareness.

$45/adult, $25/child with adult prepaid (add $10/person if pay day of)


10% discount if register and prepay for all 4 Workshops!

Want to stay overnight Saturday? Camping $5/person (bring your own tent & supplies), rustic cabins $8/person (limited). Register by 7/29.