Family Bushcraft Week

Course Info
· Dates: 8/5-8/11, 2018
· Max. Size: 12
· Tuition: $150-300



Wilderness Camping And Living Skills For Families.

Looking for something a little different for your family vacation? School Of The Forest is excited to bring back this old favorite from the Jack Mountain folk school.

A low-key variation of the Jack Mountain “Woodsman” course designed as a fun family camping and learning experience. We’ll spend the week at the field school learning the skills of bushcraft and survival, as well as learning about the local ecology in the form of edible wild plants, tracks and sign, reading the weather, and the stars and night sky. In addition to the time spent learning, we’ll also make time for fishing, swimming, cooking over the fire and enjoying the pleasures of a simple, outdoor life.

With regard to the tuition, for this course we’re defining a youth as anyone 7-17 years old. Kids 6 and under are free.

Basic bushcraft knowledge is important for anyone who hikes, camps, paddles, or spends any time in the backcountry of the northern hardwood or boreal forests.

Not only will participating families get the opportunity to learn about the outdoors in a hands-on way, they’ll also get the opportunity to experience the joy of simple living for a week. More and more in our world, we’re moving away from time with our families, and the time we do spend with them tends to revolve around the entertainment of some form. In this weeklong course, families will get the chance to work together on projects like building a shelter large enough for everyone to sleep in, cooking large group meals as a team, and getting a hands-on insight into ecology from a wide range of age groups.

School Of The Forest and Jack Mountain are firm believers in families and communities getting outside more often, and this weeklong course will send everyone, no matter the age, home with a set of skills that will make the outdoors something the whole family can enjoy for a lifetime.


Topics covered include:

  • Wilderness Survival 101
  • Introduction To Bushcraft
  • Fire Making: The Five Stages With An Emphasis On 1-Match Fires
  • Bushcraft Tools: Axe, Knife, Saw And How To Care For And Maintain Them
  • Basic Axemanship: The 4 Major Processes (Felling, Limbing, Sectioning And Splitting)
  • Safe Knife Use And Carving
  • Sawing Technique And Building Bucksaws
  • Shelter Theory, Design, And Construction
  • Navigation With Map And Compass
  • Open Fire Cooking: Hanging A Pot, Baking In A Reflector, Using A Dutch Oven
  • Cordage, Rope Making And Essential Knots
  • Group Sanitation And Composting Toilets
  • Purifying Water
  • Principles Of A Simple Solar Power System
  • Introduction To Field Ecology: Edible And Medicinal Plants, Mammal Tracking, The Night Sky, Weather Forecasting, etc.
  • An optional final exercise of spending the night in a shelter you construct.

The course is $300 per adult and $150 for each child. Children seven and under are free.

So, whether you’re looking for an alternative vacation, a chance to learn more about sustainability, or just want to see what we’re all about, come out for a week and enjoy spending time as a family swimming, cooking over an open fire and enjoying the pleasures of a simple outdoor life.

For more information about the philosophy behind these courses, here are a few articles on the Jack Mountain Blog about the value of getting kids outside early in life. These are constantly being written, so check in as the course gets closer for more insight into our teaching philosophy.

Finding Your Niche In The Outdoors

First Person Ecology And Sustainability 

A Podcast about School Of The Forest in it’s newest iteration. 


Travel Information and Directions:   Travel information is located here. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.

Arrival and Departure:   Plan to arrive on sunday afternoon, between 4 and 6. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 6. The course is over on Friday at 4 PM.

Accommodations:   Bring a tent, tarp, or other shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. There are also cabins available through Blackwater Outfitters, located five minutes away. They can be reached at: 207-540-4101.

Meals:   Information on food and meals at the field school is located at About The Field School: Food.

Cancellation and Refund Policies:   Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.

What is included with the tuition:   Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group food, instruction, and group gear.

What is not included with the tuition:   Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any food or meals other than the group bulk foods provided.

Course Insurance:   Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.

Tobacco:   Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.

Vehicles and Parking:  We’re located .6 miles down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles, and sometimes for any vehicles other than snow machines.

Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic device), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.

Other: Please don’t bring any pets or illegal drugs.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factor that makes them impractical or unsafe.


If you have questions about the course, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our Sites
· JMB Field School – Long-Term Immersion: Semester & Expedition Programs
· JMB Trips – Classic Wilderness Guiding By Canoe & Snowshoe
· JMB Folk School – Short Courses, Crafts & Lodge-Based Programs
· School Of The Forest – Teen & Youth Programs
· JM Outfitters – Gear From The World’s Smallest Outfitter

Our Blog
Our media hub, home to our articles, videos, podcast, photos and updates, going back to 2006.
· JMB Blog


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