Residential Apprenticeship Program


The Residential Apprenticeship Program is a rigorous curriculum of outdoor education designed specifically to instruct present and future professional outdoor instructors, guides, counselors, teachers, and those who want to live these skills every day. Although there are routinely scheduled days off for rest and recovery, this is a FULL TIME residential experience.

Schedule Overview


Inventory Trip 4 days
Opening Campfire


Systems and Routines Workshop 3 days
Survival Basics Weekend Course 2 days
Earth Living Intensive Course 5 days
Native Awareness Intensive Course 5 days
Spring Foraging Intensive Course 5 days
Knife Making 2 days


Long Term Shelter Building Course 5 days
Canoe Trip Leader Skills Trip Prep 4 days
Mentoring Skills Weekend 2 days
Canoe Trip 5 days
Closing Campfire: Semester One

The second semester of the Residential Wilderness Immersion Program includes three main areas of focus.  These first is foraging for seasonal wild food larders like berries, wild rice, acorns and more.  The second is giving our apprentices teaching strategies and the chance to practice mentoring skills while receiving instructor feedback.  The third is allowing our apprentices the time and space to practice the hard and soft skills that they have gained during the first half of the program.  This manifests as structured free-time during the week and at least two multi-day “survival skills” trips in a wilderness setting.  We encourage those with limited time and funds who are considering the Summer/Fall semester as a stand-alone program to be aware that many of the foundational skill sets will be covered in the first semester and you will not graduate with the same certificate as those that complete the full program, but for those who have some experience in the outdoors and would like to deepen their skill-set in a supportive communal setting with access to skilled wilderness mentors and a landscape that will bring you wisdom this is the program for you.  Several second semester apprentices have attended over the last several years and have very much enjoyed the focus on wild food and medicine and have experienced a faster learning curve due to the peer mentoring of first semester apprentices who are eager to test out there newly acquired mentoring techniques.


Break between Semesters
Inventory Trip 4 days
Systems Review and Move In 2 days


Fiber Arts and Basket Weaving weekend 2 days
Earth Living Intensive 5 days
Wild Rice School 4 days
Late Summer Foraging 5 days


Bow Making 9 days
Common Ground Fair and Prep 6 days
Fall Foraging Intensive 5 days


Wildlife Tracking and Field Mapping 4 days
Spirit of the Hunt 2 days
Survival Trip 3 days
Tying the Bundle 4 days
Closing Campfire: Semester Two

More Information

Accommodations and Living Systems:

Apprentices are expected to stay in tarps, tents, and primitive shelters in the Apprentice Camping area for most of the first semester. Long-term primitive shelters will be available for the second semester. The Apprentice Outdoor Kitchen has cook stoves, pantry space, counters, fire pit, sink, and water catchment system. There is an outdoor shower and potable water. The campus is located less than 5 miles from Augusta, which has a local laundromat, grocery store, shopping plaza, etc.

Curriculum and Training Detail Overview:

(For more info: 2019 MPSS Apprenticeship Catalog )

The Skills covered in the Apprenticeship are developed through hands on experiences and directed toward specific learning outcomes related to producing a well rounded, skilled practitioner capable of demonstrating and sharing skills in natural settings.

  • Full Immersion in nature for 6 months, demanding daily hands-on application of skills learned.
  • 40 plus hours applying essential outdoor skills each week.
  • In total, over five hundred hours of direct instruction are provided with resources for further self study.
  • Performance Indicators (benchmarks), Peer Reviews, and Student Portfolios are utilized as evidence of competency in specified areas of focus. (More info here)
  • Seven Performance Indicators: (Example Rubric: Fire)
    • Awareness
    • Shelter
    • Water
    • Fire
    • Food
    • Self-Reliance
    • Wildlife Tracking
    • Ethnobotany/Herbalism
    • Mentoring
    • Maine Guide Practices

This experience, upon successful completion, is designed to provide a solid foundation of basic to advanced skills in the out of doors. The focus of the apprenticeship program is to develop a professional outdoor educator with a high standard of field craft and a practiced set of reliable tools as an educator.

Spring Semester

  • Date: April 24 – June 29

Fall Semester

  • Date: July 21 – October 20

Full Immersion

  • Dates: April 24 – June 29; July 21 – October 20