Ask Urban Scout: Rewilding Schools?
What up scout! A while ago I think I saw on your website that you were recommending some sort of all-encompassing, 9 month post–apocalyptic survival school based in the Portland area? If I recall, you were featured as an occasional instructor. I’m pretty sure I didn’t hallucinate this, but I can’t find any evidence of the website, the course, or the blog you made about it.I am desperately in need of something like that as I don’t feel really confident in learning about things like edible plants outside of such an immersive environment, and would really like a 9 month vacation from my real life, besides.Is this school still available? If not, is there any other program or collection of programs you might recommend that might eventually instill in me the confidence and skills to live indefinitely and sustainably in wilderness and semi-wilderness areas? Thanks!- Nachie
You’re not hallucinating! I was going to be involved with a program that taught some of that stuff. Unfortunately the dude in charge stole the show and decided to go in a different direction than rewilding and I did not want to be a part of that. Which brings me to a very important topic on the subject of educational programs; rhetoric. Many of these programs have flashier and flashier marketing with enticing prose and inspiring photographs that are designed to excite you, the consumer, into taking their programs. In the end though, the classes are empty of culture and real content and are often taught by beginners, fresh out of a different year long program, with little to no real world experience or knowledge, who basically parrot what they were taught by other parrots in their first year. This creates a culture of a lot of know-it-all’s who actually have no fluency in skills other than crafting a few hand-made tools or in running “nature awareness” games (which is what they spend most of their time doing). I know this, because I was one of these parrots and still find myself parroting shit! I don’t recommend schools because none of them actually teach rewilding. Rewilding is about creating and maintaining culture, not a few primitive parlor tricks. These schools are either focused on primitive tools or permaculture or some non cohesive jumble of the two. If that’s your bag, then by all means. I’m sure you can find them using google. But tools won’t get you living sustainably in the wilds; culture does that.
The only educational program I ever recommend is Martin Prechtel’s “Bolad’s Kitchen.” It is actually based on re-creating a holistic indigenous culture, taught by someone who lived in, and played a role in, multiple indigenous cultures for most of his life. His school has almost nothing to do with hand-made tools and everything to do with culture.
But mostly I recommend starting a community in your own place: see my chapter “Schooling Vs. Rewilding”
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