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Read more about our workshops in Los Angeles and San Francisco area below

Apprentice of the Wild programs around LA with Chris!

Ages 6-16. (Children 7 and up may attend without a parent)  

Adults and younger siblings are welcome to join us at no cost.

~ Topanga Tuesdays. (Homeschool and Afterschool) – Varying locations. 

~ Pasadena Thursdays. (Homeschool and Afterschool) – Eaton Canyon

~ Costa Mesa Saturdays. – Varying locations. 

Scroll below for more information on each class! 

Don’t wait! These classes will fill up.

This program offers children the opportunity to have fun learning the skills of our ancestors from someone who’s lived the Old Ways. It’s a beautiful way to bring balance to their technology-driven lives, understand the difference between their needs and wants, and gain the self-confidence that comes from meeting those needs directly.

This is a mentoring program. We will make fires by rubbing sticks together, learn edible and medicinal plants, move silently, feel the natural rhythm of the land, and discover ancient wisdom as we “seek what they sought.” All classes are taught with love, compassion, non-violent communication (NVC) methods, and the inherent principles of living a life in Harmony with the Earth.

Here is a partial list of experiences children may have:

  • Exploring
  • Native and nature immersion games
  • Sensory awareness, expanded vision
  • Silent walking and stalking
  • Tracking and reading animal sign
  • Camouflage
  • Safe use of knives and knife sharpening
  • Edible and medicinal plants
  • Fire making with flint and steel, bowdrill and handdrill
  • Preparing char cloth
  • Preparing tinder
  • Types of fires for warmth, signalling, cooking and the making of tools
  • Shelter design and concepts for insulation and weatherproofing
  • Shelter location based on topography
  • Water purification using primitive methods
  • Making rope/string from plants for fishing line, nets, snares, etc.
  • Digging sticks and rabbit sticks
  • Primitive hygiene (making soap, toothbrush and comb)
  • Paiute deadfall trap, quail trap and springpole snare
  • Safety outdoors (poisonous plants, insects, reptiles, bear and mtn. lion)
  • Useful knots
  • Accessing intuition
  • Navigation
  • Traditional and modern stories
  • Wilderness ethics
  • Montana River Camp Adventure!

  • Date: July 10-16, 2020
  • Location: Jefferson River, Montana

  • Imagine exploring a wild and scenic Montana river! A huge and majestic moose might be just around the next bend! Beavers, elk, deer, eagles, bears, wolves and other wildlife live here along the Jefferson River in SW Montana. The trout fishing is word class, too!

    Welcome to River Camp! The land is operated by our good friend, Tom Elpel, whom Chris has known for almost 30 years. Here Tom runs a Hunter-Gatherer Immersion program where students learn to be a part of nature by living it.

    Sleep in a 34 foot earthlodge, one of several wickiups, a grass hut or tipi. Gather cattails and other wild plants for a pit bake dinner and make your own plant medicines. Learn a wide variety of skills from pottery to parfleche to fire making! And then fall asleep each night to a crackling campfire and the hooting of great horned owls.

    This magical experience is a week that you’ll never forget! Come immerse yourself in the wilds of Montana!

    ***This event is limited to 20 participants.

    Day One:

    Arrival/Set-Up
    Introductions and tour of the area with Tom Elpel
    Make a grass rope and join the Tug-of-War!
    Swim in the pond, go fishing and explore your home for the week
    Dinner (Receive Gourd and Spoon Blank)
    Burning and carving to make a spoon
    Campfire Stories

    Day Two: 

    Morning stalking / bird language
    Plant walk and gather materials for fire-making kits
    Coiled and Pinch-pot Pottery
    Canoeing Instruction (on the pond)
    Evening Games
    Campfire

    Day Three:

    Pony, Montana

    Travel to Tom’s permaculture homestead and tiny castle!
    Gather and begin processing of natural earth pigment
    Botany Card Game intro to plant medicines
    Plant Identification / Foraging Walk
    Medicine Making from local plants
    Permaculture Homestead Tour

    Day Four:

    Free Day! Choose your own adventure:
    Float Trip on the Jefferson River (no cost/unguided)
    Fishing
    Botany
    Local History
    Wildlife Viewing
    Bird Language
    Complete fire kits and other projects
    Campfire

    Day Five:

    Primitive firemaking
    Fires for many uses – Learn about the 5 basic types of campfires
    Outdoor cooking methods with a special wild meats and plants pit bake.
    Introduction to parfleche (rawhide containers) and primitive pigments
    Campfire

    Day Six:

    Complete parfleche and pigments project
    Complete other projects
    Enjoy our last full day (hiking, canoeing, fishing, tracking, weave a basket, new projects and more)

    Day 7: 

    Closing Circle and gratitude for an incredible week!
    Break Down Camp/Departure

    *Each student leaves with a gourd bowl, wooden spoon, pottery drinking cup, 2 jars of medicine, an earth pigment decorated Parfleche carrying case and memories of this trip-of-a-lifetime.

    Parfleche decorated with natural earth pigments.

    About your instructors:

    Chris Morasky is a wildlife biologist with over 35 years experience teaching ancient skills and nature connection and is considered one of the top Stone Age skills experts in North America. He lived in a tipi for 6 years, homesteaded along the most remote mail route in the lower 48 states and led totally Stone Age expeditions into the wilderness of Idaho and Oregon. His teachers include Lakota, Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow, Blackfeet and Serri tribesmen, many wilderness skills experts and life itself. Chris’ workshops focus on awakening instincts, ancient skills and deep nature connection as doorways to understand more fully who we are, why we’re here and where we’re headed.  

    Chris Morasky

    Thomas J. Elpel is the founder of Green University® LLC and Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC (OWLS), as well as HOPS Press, LLC and the Jefferson River Canoe Trail. He has authored seven books and produced seven videos on topics ranging from wilderness survival and botany to stone masonry, sustainable construction, and green economics.

    As a child, Tom was mentored by his grandmother, Josie Jewett. Together they explored the hills and meadows near Virginia City, Montana, collecting herbs, looking for arrowheads and watching wildlife. Grandma Josie helped Tom to learn about native plants and their uses, igniting a passion for nature that has inspired him ever since.

    Tom’s first serious exposure to wilderness survival skills began at the age of 16, when he went on a 26-day, 250-mile walkabout in the desert canyons of southern Utah with Boulder Outdoor Survival School. The following year he and Grandma Josie went together to Tom Brown’s Tracker School in New Jersey. From there Tom spent thousands of hours practicing, developing, and teaching survival skills in his “backyard” in the Rocky Mountains. 

    Tom’s basic philosophy is that wilderness survival skills are useful to connect with nature, yet you shouldn’t run away from the problems of modern society. Instead, we need to apply the lessons of living close to nature to the challenge of solving our worldly problems.

    Tom Elpel
  • Register for Montana River Camp Adventure!


  • Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Yucca Sandals

  • Date: Sunday March 15, 2020
  • Time: 11am-5pm
  • Location: Orcas Park, Lake View Terrace

  • This is an adult-level course but is also available to mature adolescents age 12+
    Core Skills Covered: 
     
    • Making sandals from yucca leaves
    • Wild soap
    • Water purification
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk
    • Medicines for arthritis and deep nourishing of the body

    Join me for a fantastic day in nature as we learn the ancient skill of making sandals. We will receive, prepare and weave yucca leaves into sandals and then go for a walk! We’ll also learn some edible, medicinal and useful plants and look for oyster mushrooms (yummy!) and medicinal turkey tail mushrooms. We’ll share our noon meal and go deeper into our inner Hunter-Gatherer as we learn to meet our needs directly and easily from nature.

  • Register for Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Yucca Sandals


  • Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Topanga Saturdays

  • Date: Every other Saturday from April 11 - June 13, 2020
  • Time: 11am - 3pm
  • Location: Various locations throughout Topanga

  • There’s so much to experience for both new and continuing students! Topanga has so many beautiful and abundant wild places to explore!  Hike a stream that supports endangered southern steelhead trout, gather sage seeds, make a stone knife and follow a raccoon’s tracks…  so much to learn in this program! Our class meets at a variety of locations throughout Topanga.  

  • Register for Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Topanga Saturdays


  • Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Central/Coastal OC Tuesdays Homeschool

  • Date: Tuesdays from April 14 - June 9, 2020
  • Time: 11am - 3pm
  • Location: Varying locations throughout Central and Coastal OC

  • In the Wilds of Orange County, our intrepid band of Gatherer-Hunters moves silently, aware, listening deeply, seeing through the face of nature and into an interconnected community of life and death and rebirth. We are Apprentices of the Wild.

    This is so much more than a course about survival or a series of nature hikes. We’ll learn survival, of course. And we’ll learn the names of many plants and animals. But this class is really about the lessons that run deeper.

    Survival is easy. How do we truly thrive?
    “Surthrival” teaches us patience, awareness, self-discipline, interconnectedness, cooperation and gratitude. These are essential Life skills.

    Class will meet in varying locations within Central and Coastal Orange County.

  • Register for Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Central/Coastal OC Tuesdays Homeschool


  • Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Central/Coastal OC Tuesdays Afterschool

  • Date: Tuesdays from April 14 - June 9, 2020
  • Time: 3:45 - 5:45pm
  • Location: Various locations throughout OC.

  • In the Wilds of Orange County, our intrepid band of Gatherer-Hunters moves silently, aware, listening deeply, seeing through the face of nature and into an interconnected community of life and death and rebirth. We are Apprentices of the Wild.

    This is so much more than a course about survival or a series of nature hikes. We’ll learn survival, of course. And we’ll learn the names of many plants and animals. But this class is really about the lessons that run deeper.

    Survival is easy. How do we truly thrive?
    “Surthrival” teaches us patience, awareness, self-discipline, interconnectedness, cooperation and gratitude. These are essential Life skills.

    Class will meet in varying locations within Central and Coastal Orange County.

  • Register for Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Central/Coastal OC Tuesdays Afterschool


  • Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Pasadena Thursdays Homeschool

  • Date: Thursdays from April 16 - June 4, 2020
  • Time: 11am - 3pm
  • Location: Arroyo Seco across from JPL Lab

  • There’s so much to experience for both new and continuing students at Arroyo Seco (across from JPL Lab)! This location has a lot of biodiversity for us to discover as we also learn about our selves and how to be in community. From a small waterfall, dry flats to creekside alder trees, this location supports California newts, mountain kingsnakes, tree frogs, fence lizards and so much more. Adventure awaits!

  • Register for Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Pasadena Thursdays Homeschool


  • Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Pasadena Thursdays Afterschool

  • Date: Thursdays from April 16 - June 4, 2020
  • Time: 3:45 - 5:45pm
  • Location: Arroyo Seco across from JPL Lab

  • There’s so much to experience for both new and continuing students at Arroyo Seco (across from JPL Lab)! This location has a lot of biodiversity for us to discover as we also learn about our selves and how to be in community. From a small waterfall, dry flats to creekside alder trees, this location supports California newts, mountain kingsnakes, tree frogs, fence lizards and so much more. Adventure awaits!

  • Register for Apprentice of the Wild (Spring) – Pasadena Thursdays Afterschool


  • Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Adult Series

  • Date: One Sunday each month - January through June.
  • Time: 11am-5pm
  • Location: Various locations throughout Los Angeles.

  • Join wildlife biologist and Stone Age skills expert, Chris Morasky, for a day that you’ll never forget! Awaken your instincts while learning natural movement, how to make rope, tracking and reading the landscape, making fire with sticks, building a shelter and so much more! Learn the best plants in our area for food, medicine and tools! Over 50 species!

    This ain’t no book learnin’!

    This is a brief yet deep dive into truly natural living. For 99.99% of the time that we’ve walked upright, we lived as egalitarian (sharing everything), immediate return (what you eat today is what you gather today) Gatherer-Hunters. We were in tune with natural processes… a part of nature just like coyotes and chickadees and deer. Our social strategies ensured cooperation through ego dismissal, transparency, heart/mind entrainment, ritual and stories.

    It seems as though we’ve forgotten so much, but ancient memories are just beneath our modern veneer… waiting for a gentle reminder. This series of classes is the perfect reminder of what it’s like to live natural, free and whole! It’s the first time I’ve offered an adult series of classes in this format and it’s going to be AWESOME! I hope that you’ll join me for the full series, but you also have the option of choosing a la carte.

    Don’t wait! I expect these classes to fill up.

    One Sunday each month for 6 months.
    11am – 5pm
    $69 per class or save and pay just $375 for the whole series!

    Inspire funds are accepted for adolescents and parents to share these skills with their children

    This is an adult-level course but is also available to mature adolescents age 12+

    Jan 19: Secrets of the Stone Age!  

    Hahamongna Watershed Park, Pasadena

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Awareness
    • Silent movement
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Cordage
    • Conscious and ethical foraging
    • Harvest and begin prep of Stone Age fire kit (handdrill and bow drill)
    • Knife safety
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk
    • Medicine for wounds, immune stimulation, centering, lucid dreaming

    To be a whole human, we must awaken the ancient memories that lie within our bones. When these memories of living in community with nature are awakened, we relax, our troubles slip away, and we begin to smile. We find that it’s easy to meet our needs directly from nature… and that our “wants” are not so important. This class lays the foundations for all of the following classes. If you can only make one class, come to this one. We will explore the beliefs, languages, and core skills of the Hunter-Gatherer and awaken the Hunter-Gatherer in you.

    Feb 16: Spoon Carving!

    Gould Mesa Trail Camp, La Cañada Flintridge

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Intro to Stone Age fire making and maintenance
    • Knife work
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk

    Carve a beautiful wooden spoon! This class will include wood selection, knife safety and natural perspectives on creating a functional work of art that brings harmony to the journey of carver and the one-legged (tree) being that supplied the wood. The bowl of your spoon will be burned with a hot coal from the fire (which, by the way, we’ll start with a hand drill in the Old Way). We’ll also go on a 2.3 mile walk and learn some of the edible, medicinal and useful plants along the way. Join me at one of the very few campgrounds near LA that allow campfires for this fun day!

    March 15: Yucca Sandals!

    Orcas Park, Lake View Terrace

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Making sandals from yucca leaves
    • Wild soap
    • Water purification
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk
    • Medicines for arthritis and deep nourishing of the body

    Join me for a fantastic day in nature as we learn the ancient skill of making sandals. We will receive, prepare and weave yucca leaves into sandals and then go for a walk! We’ll also learn some edible, medicinal and useful plants and look for oyster mushrooms (yummy!) and medicinal turkey tail mushrooms. We’ll share our noon meal and go deeper into our inner Hunter-Gatherer as we learn to meet our needs directly and easily from nature.

    April 19: Stone Age Fire Making, Traps and Weapons!

    Hahamongna Watershed Park, Pasadena

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Stone Age fire making with handdrill and bow drill
    • Deadfall traps and snares
    • Lizard snares
    • Rabbit sticks
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk

    This is a BIG day as we learn ancient lessons about fire and life. These teachings go deep into the origin of our species. Our relationship with fire goes back over a million years! And although there are easy modern methods of making fire, nothing compares to spinning up a coal from sticks and blowing it into flame!

    We’ll also learn how to efficiently set primitive deadfall traps and snares. I’ve lived Stone Age and relied on these skills in the wilderness of Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia. We’ll also practice with the simple yet effective rabbit stick and hunt the rabbit-stump! We’ll then go for a walk to learn more about the edible, medicinal and useful plants of the area. No animals will be harmed and all traps will be removed at the end of class.

    May 17: Wild Medicines and Meadows!

    Musch Meadows, Topanga

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Make a healing oil or salve
    • Nerve tonic
    • Pain liniment
    • Keepin’ it at 98.6. Shelter and insulation
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk

    Today we explore a beautiful expanse of forest and fields and learn about lots of different plants that are edible, useful or medicinal. We’ll make several kinds of medicines for you to take home. It’s easy and fun! We’ll also learn how to make a proper shelter to stay warm and dry plus other techniques to keep your core body temp at 98.6 degrees.

    Special materials fee: $15

    June 14: Wild Adventure into the Lost World!

    Topanga Creek, Topanga

    Core Skills Covered:

    • Crayfish hunting
    • Stone tool making
    • Make a fork, spoon, straw, container from cane
    • Make a fishing spear
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk

    This is one of my favorite places! Although we’re just outside of Los Angeles, I’ve tracked mountain lions here. Journey with me into the Lost World of Topanga Creek where we’ll discover an amazing assortment of creatures and a wide diversity of plants. We’ll learn about the many uses of arundo cane, which was introduced by the Spanish 500 years ago. And we’ll hunt the (also introduced) crayfish that abound there. Wear sturdy shoes and come prepared for a bit of boulder scrambling. This is awesome!

     

  • Register for Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Adult Series


  • Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Stone Age Firemaking, Traps and Weapons

  • Date: April 19, 2020
  • Time: 11am-5pm
  • Location: Hahamongna Watershed Park, Pasadena

  • Core Skills Covered: 
     
    • Stone Age fire making with handdrill and bow drill
    • Deadfall traps and snares
    • Lizard snares
    • Rabbit sticks
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk

    This is a BIG day as we learn ancient lessons about fire and life. These teachings go deep into the origin of our species. Our relationship with fire goes back over a million years! And although there are easy modern methods of making fire, nothing compares to spinning up a coal from sticks and blowing it into flame!

    We’ll also learn how to efficiently set primitive deadfall traps and snares. I’ve lived Stone Age and relied on these skills in the wilderness of Idaho, Oregon, Montana and British Columbia. We’ll also practice with the simple yet effective rabbit stick and hunt the rabbit-stump! We’ll then go for a walk to learn more about the edible, medicinal and useful plants of the area. No animals will be harmed and all traps will be removed at the end of class.

  • Register for Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Stone Age Firemaking, Traps and Weapons


  • Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Wild Medicines and Meadows

  • Date: Sunday May 17, 2020
  • Time: 11am-5pm
  • Location: Musch Meadows, Topanga

  • Core Skills Covered:
     
    • Make a healing oil or salve
    • Nerve tonic
    • Pain liniment
    • Keepin’ it at 98.6. Shelter and insulation
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk
    Today we explore a beautiful expanse of forest and fields and learn about lots of different plants that are edible, useful or medicinal. We’ll make several kinds of medicines for you to take home. It’s easy and fun! We’ll also learn how to make a proper shelter to stay warm and dry plus other techniques to keep your core body temp at 98.6 degrees.
    Special materials fee: $15
  • Register for Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Wild Medicines and Meadows


  • Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Adventure to the Lost World!

  • Date: Sunday June 14, 2020
  • Time: 11am-5pm
  • Location: Topanga Creek, Topanga

  • Core Skills Covered: 
     
    • Crayfish hunting
    • Stone tool making
    • Make a fork, spoon, straw, container from cane
    • Make a fishing spear
    • Sit spot
    • Tracking
    • Edible, medicinal and useful plants walk
    This is one of my favorite places! Although we’re just outside of Los Angeles, I’ve tracked mountain lions here. Journey with me into the Lost World of Topanga Creek where we’ll discover an amazing assortment of creatures and a wide diversity of plants. We’ll learn about the many uses of arundo cane, which was introduced by the Spanish 500 years ago. And we’ll hunt the (also introduced) crayfish that abound there. Wear sturdy shoes and come prepared for a bit of boulder scrambling. This is awesome!
  • Register for Wild and Free: For Modern Humans – Adventure to the Lost World!


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