We are winding down the first Apprenticeship experience here at the school. It was amazing. I wanted to plug our community in to eager learners from all walks of life for the type of long term mentoring experience I always wanted as a kid practicing outdoor skills. Imagine a place you could go to learn primitive skills in a nurturing environment surrounding by folks passionate bout all the skills and each of those people having overlapping areas of specialty. Our apprenticeship is centered on the needs of each individual who registers. Folks come from various backgrounds with many interests or concentrations. Through interviews and class time we get to know their learning styles, preferences, comfort zones, edge areas, and help them better define their own vision for skills development. The Mentoring and Community models, as well as the flexibility and distance learning strategies, allow folks the freedom to grow in the skills they are interested in by formatting their experience to suit their learning styles and obligations back at home. You may plan on staying on site, visiting often, or coming during the classes where you can “check in” with instructors on your journaling and/or the field work you are doing at home (with phone and internet contact). Not only is the cost of the Apprenticeship less than the minimum required courses, you can come to any course you’ve taken in the past and volunteer. Many folk stay for weeks at a time to work on skills between the courses they have chosen. The experience culminates in a Potluck at the end of the Mentoring weekend in the fall.. a closing potluck at the end of the “Mentoring Weekend” in the fall. But the community bonds that are formed make it more likely you will be back to volunteer, gain support as you start your own programs, even use the schools facilities and name to provide a venue for skills you want to share.
March 21, 2012 will mark the start of the second Apprenticeship Program at the Maine Primitive Skills School. The Apprenticeship includes the opportunity to stay on site between April 30th & October 15th and will concentrate on building Earth Living, Awareness, Tracking, Philosophy, and Mentoring skills. The program requires attendance of at least five of our 5 day programs (Tracking, Awareness, Earth Living, and Philosophy, Plant Intensive), as well as one winter skills program and one of the mentoring programs. Three weekend courses will be used as instructional labs. Weekly person to person or phone interviews regarding practice components and dirt time are also a part of the program. Cost includes these elements and is $2, 300.00. That’s $960.00 less than the cost of taking the minimum required courses together outside of the program. There is a 12 person limit.
APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM DETAILS!
With folks already registering for the 2012 year starting in the Spring, it promises to be an exciting journey! The kick off is a pot- luck dinner at the Maine Primitive Skills School Augusta campus on Saturday, March 24th at 6pm. From there we’ll meet each other and map out personal interests and what you would like to emphasize during the experience. Recognize that your interests may change as you go through the courses and get a better understanding of what each discipline has to offer. The 5 five day courses and the dates you plan to attend will also be worked on, and we will schedule your monthly one on one and weekly phone interviews as well. Each participant is invited to stay in the dorms during and between classes provided there is room. Due to the limited infrastructure, only four can stay for more than a week at a time between classes , and we’ll attempt to fill that calendar as well during the pot-luck. Tenting space is available the entire time. Apprentices will be able to come early and participate in acorn meetings before classes and also share in the debrief after classes end. This is valuable experience in mentoring technologies and the invisible school will prepare you for your own instructional time in the late summer and fall when you can apply the technologies you’ve been working on in front of a “live” class. This experience was designed to preserve the intensity of successful Tracking based programs found in the East while implementing the community building models so successful on the West Coast. The goal is a “best practices” forum where you are challenged, involved, and allowed to develop your own passions in primitive skills. Your journals and sit spots will represent stark growth rings as you awaken connections to the landscape and increase your proficiency in the “hard” and “soft” skills of our ancestors. There are parts that are tough. We believe without the struggle of getting your first coal with a hand drill, or the experience of sleeping COMFORTABLY in a debris hut for the first time, your voice as someone who shares these skills will lack the strength of your experience. You will, however, be supported by a community of fellow learners just as dedicated as you are.
MORE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q:WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO SIGNING UP FOR THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM?
ASIDE FROM SAVING MONEY ON THE COURSES INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM,YOUR ATTENDANCE TO STAFF FUNCTIONS AND INVOLVEMENT AS AN “INSTRUCTOR IN TRAINING” APPLIES AS HOURS OF WORK STUDY. ADD TO THAT THE WEEKLY CONTACTS, AT HOME AWARENESS EXERCISES, FACE TIME WITH INSTRUCTORS AND SPECIALIZED HARD SKILLS SUPPORT AND MENTORING INSTRUCTION AND YOU CAN SEE WHY SLOTS ARE FILLING SO QUICKLY.
Q:WHAT IF I WANT TO SPECIALIZE IN AN AREA?
THERE IS PLENY OF ROOM TO TAILOR YOUR PROGRAM TO YOUR NEEDS. MANY FOLKS WANT TO USE PLANTS, TRACKING, LONG TERM SURVIVAL, AS THE CENTERPIECE OF THEIR EXPERIENCE. DURING THE POTLUCK IN MARCH,WE WILL EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTSAND BEGIN THE DESIGN PHASE. YOUR PROGRAM WILL REFLECT YOUR INTERESTS AND USE YOUR STRENGTHS TO ADRESS THE CHALLENGES YOU WANT TO WORK ON.
Q: Is there a lot of physical labor involved?
A: Some. Each persons experience will manifest differently. Learning by doing is an important aspect of the school. In the beginning garden prep and later, wood for heat are things that need to get done. This will be a part of the program, and will not interfere with the rest of your experiences. Yes, the tuition will cover the classes and the on site option is available between the sap running time, as that is the only time there would be water available. The garden piece would be a small part of it as the apprentices will become delegators of weeding and wood splitting, stacking, etc. for the work-study and volunteer folks. Most of the concentration would be on learning the skills and the methods of sharing them.
Check out the testimonials of last years apprentices at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4GJx2VjIzc
E-MAIL AT MPSS@GWI.NET