Class Details

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    • Date: July 10-16, 2020
    • Location: Jefferson River, Montana
    • Cost: $475 (ages 12 and up); $375 (ages 6-11); 5 and under FREE

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:

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

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)
Local History
Wildlife Viewing
Bird Language
Complete fire kits and other projects

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

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

Book your spot

Ticket Price Quantity
Children age 6-11 $375.00 Sold out
Adult (age 12+) $475.00 Sold out

Warning: By signing this, you also give up the right to sue for any injury or damages. Wisdom Keepers (WK) means Chris Morasky, Rachel Natland, and its officers, directors, members, employees, contractors, agents and any person acting on their behalf. In consideration of Wisdom Keepers accepting the application for myself and/or my child to be permitted to take part in any WK program, I agree to this release from liability, waiver of all claims and agreement not to sue. In addition, I also agree to assume the dangers and risks of activities in an outdoors setting. I also agree for myself, my heirs, my executors, administrators and assignees to forever discharge and release WK for any personal injury, death, property damage or loss sustained by me and/or my child/ren as a result of me or my child/ren’s participation in a WK activity due to any cause whatsoever, including, without limitation, negligence on the part of WK. I am aware that in addition to the usual dangers and risks inherent in an outdoors activity, certain additional dangers and risks are possible, some of which include: 1. Terrain: obstacles and hazards may be present including but not limited to fallen trees, lakes, creeks, rocks, uneven ground, holes and depressions, and varying and difficult conditions. 2. Weather: weather conditions can be extreme and can change without warning. 3. Wildlife: there is always the possibility of encountering wild or domestic animals, biting insects and hazardous plants. 4. Use of knives and sharp edged stones. I further acknowledge and agree that I am to provide for myself and my child such footgear, outer wear, water, medications, medical and such other supplies as I deem fit, taking into account varying terrain and conditions of the WK activity. I accept all the dangers and risks and the possibility of personal injury, death, property damage or loss resulting while I and/or my child is participating in a WK activity. I agree not to sue WK on account of any circumstance whatsoever arising from my/my child’s participation in a WK activity. In signing this waiver as the guardian of a minor, I agree to indemnify and hold harmless WK from any and all claims, costs and liabilities of any nature and kind whatsoever arising from the participation of such minor in any WK activity. In entering into this agreement, I am not relying on any oral, written or visual representation or statements made by WK including those in its advertising or brochures, to induce me to go on any WK activity. Further, I give my consent to the use of any pictures or video of myself and/or child/ren to be used for promotions of WK and it’s officers, directors, and agents.

Please type your name to sign the waiver.