Industry News

Jack Mountain Bushcraft's Earth Skills
Semester Program Immerses Participants in Wilderness Survival, Traditional Canoe and Snowshoe Travel, and Naturalist Studies.
Wednesday, February 19, 2002

WOLFEBORO, NH -- Feb. 19, 2002 -- Jack Mountain Bushcraft this week began its Earth Skills Semester Program (ESSP), a twelve-week residential course on the traditional skills of living and traveling in the wilderness. Based on a small farm in Brunswick, Maine, and co-instructed by registered Maine guide Tim Smith, M.Ed., and lobsterman Dan Fisher, the ESSP focuses on teaching students to live in harmony with the natural world.

Unlike other outdoor programs, the ESSP teaches that people are a part of the environment, and that their actions can have a positive impact on the land around them. With this in mind, students learn how to take care of the land so it becomes a healthier environment for plants, animals, and people. Students live in a shelter made from natural materials and heated by a handmade stone and clay woodstove. They are mentored in shelter building, making fire without matches, finding wild foods and medicines, tracking, canoeing, snowshoeing, making baskets, pottery, clothing, musical instruments, soap, and anything else required to live well.

"At its most basic level, the ESSP teaches students to live on the earth like it is their home, which it is," said Mr. Smith, founder of Jack Mountain Bushcraft. Students agree. "The ESSP is a unique opportunity to learn survival skills and attitudes that promote an intimate understanding of nature with wonderfully skilled and humorous teachers," said Kathy Chen, a former student currently attending Duke University. "I wish that everyone had the opportunity to take part in this experience."

In addition to time spent at the farm, the program includes numerous expeditions that utilize the skills students are learning. From a ten day snowshoe and toboggan trip in northern Maine, to canoeing through Florida's Everglades National Park, to a north woods walkabout and solo survival experience, students constantly refine their knowledge and expand their understanding of what is possible. The course culminates with the Earth Skills Symposium where students present what they have learned and report on a research topic of their choice.

The ESSP is limited to 10 students per semester. More information is available online at

About Jack Mountain Bushcraft

Jack Mountain Bushcraft teaches courses in wilderness living, primitive skills, and survival, and guides canoe and snowshoe trips. Founded by Registered Maine Guide Tim Smith, Jack Mountain Bushcraft is based in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

Posted by Ari Cheren, Staff