Ray Rietze

Keeper of the North

Ray is a Master Maine Guide who was mentored as a boy in the old ways.  He returned from Vietnam and continues to share his love for the Maine woods with our schools and many others.

Grandfather Ray poling a canoe in the North Maine Woods.

Karen Douglas

Director of Administration

Karen has been involved with scouting at the national and local level for over thirty years.  She brings to the staff a memory and a sense of organization.  Thankfully, she also has a level of patience with the instructors that enables her to do the administrivia of the school without losing her cool.


Braden DeLonay

Community Technology/Mentoring Coach

Braden has honed his craft in large festivals and sustainable communities for over a decade.  He has spent his second year at the school organizing apprentice food, meetings, and sharing mentoring skills with local camps and schools.

Arthur Haines

Staff Botanist

Arthur is the “Bruce Lee” of Botany.  He literally wrote the book detailing every plant in Maine and recently completed “Flora of New England”.  He runs many of our plant classes from his own campus, “The Delta Institute” where he also hosts courses for the New England Wild Flower Society and many other organizations.  Arthur has written extensively about wildcrafting, foraging, and nutrition in his book, “Ancestral Plants”, which sports our logo and is the first in a three part series.

Mike Douglas

Director of Adult Programs

Mike was born and raised in a small town in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. He grew up surrounded by endless forests and majestic cedar swamps.  Mike began his career as an instructor of nature awareness and survival skills at Brookeville Boy Scout Camp in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey in 1983. Since that time his passion for nature, awareness, tracking, primitive skills and philosophy has taken him around the globe in search of teachers and the opportunity to learn. He has been a student of Paul Rezendes, Tom Brown Jr., Jon Young, and many others. Mike’s passion for learning and teaching “primitive” techniques has earned him a unique reputation in the scouting community and among professional educators. After pursuing survival skills as a U.S Marine, he started his own Survival School in 1989 at the University of Maine.  In 1993 he was the recipient of the Marion Rich Waterman Mayer Award from the University of Maine College of Education.  Since then he has been an advisor for Discovery Channels’ “Dual Survivor” and was featured on National Geographics’ “Doomsday Preppers”, where he received the highest “Survivability Score” of the shows first season.  His apprenticeship program draws people from all over the world to participate in Tracking, Survival, Awareness, Bow Making, Wild Edible and Medicinal plants, Hunting, and Trapping Techniques and much more.  August, 2014 will mark his schools 25th year of sharing skills with people from all over the world.  Mike credits his patient wife Karen and his children, Ryan, Dakota, and Emily, with their love and support in helping him to make time to live his dream – teaching outdoor skills to people form beginners to military instructors of the craft.

Mike putting the finishing touches on his bow with a cabinet scraper.

Mike DiMauro

Head Instructor

Mike has been at the school for four years.  He has been on multiple full survival trips and is currrently working a buffulo hide, his second bow, and designing a movment program for the school.  Mike wild forages every day for his meals and is developing a year long calendar of foraging events for the community.

Adriaan Gerber


Adriaan is originally from sunny South-Africa but moved to Maine to start fresh. Blacksmithing and knifemaking proved irresistible, and he’s been doing that full-time for around 8 years. He primarily makes traditional tools and weaponry- bearded axes, halberds, swords and knives. He teaches knifemaking classes and recently taught a 14-year old boy to forge his own sword. He also enjoys making damascus and traditional Japanese steel. Website:

Bob Brooks

Bow Making Mentor

Bob Brooks lives in Orange County NY and has been shooting traditional bows since 1970. He became interested in primitive bows in the late 70′s and started making self-bows in the early 80′s.  He was further inspired by the Algonquin Archers in Woodbury, Connecticut.  He is retired from 37 years of public service and is married with 3 boys.  His hobbies, other than bow making, are bow hunting, fly fishing, flintlock rifles, primitive camping (wilderness self-guided), cooking/eating, and generally enjoying the outdoors.  His favorite bow wood is Osage Orange with his favorite local wood being Eastern Hop Hornbeam (Ironwood).  He has been instructing and demonstrating bow and arrow making throughout New England for the past six years.  Bob is the primitive archery/bow making instructor for the Maine Primitive Skills School.

Ira Michaud

Director of Childrens Programs

Ira is an Eagle Scout and native Mainer who has spent over twenty years persuing out door skills and sharig them.  Ira is a public school teacher at Riverview Elementary School where he runs an outdoor after school program as well as our family day events and popular day camp weeks.  Story telling and throwing arts are two of his many talents.

Ira is one of our many story tellers and mentors.




Nate Bears


Instructor/Work Study Coordinator

Nate spent two years in the apprenticeship program and worked at through school through two winters before being trained as an instructor.  His experiences in semi and full survival include spending weeks in primitive shelters through the winter months.  His strengths in friction fire methods and background as an engineer add to an enthusiastic learning and teaching style.


Lou Falank

Adjunct Instructor/Off Site Programs

Lou has provided programs as director, instructor, and co-facilitator at camps and schools across Maine, New England, and New York.  His L.O.S.T program specializes in bringing youth from a wide variety of backgrounds in to the outdoors to learn skills and experience community.

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