With our immersion programs, we provide students the ability to dive deeply into primitive skills, hands-on nature connection, wild food foraging, mentoring skills, and more.

We set the stage for our apprentices to become well-rounded, confident and highly skilled naturalists who can speak from direct experience about the natural world, and guide others through safe and enriching programs throughout the year. Our goal is to help people become passionate educators and community builders!

Who Are Our Immersion Programs For?

Outdoor Educators



Gap-Year Students

And many others!



People from all walks of life participate in our immersion programs, often to experience and embody a more connected life-way that is our birthright as humans.

With our apprenticeships, we strive to create meaningful learning experiences, after which you can return home with the toolkit necessary to nurture the skills of nature connection into your daily life (and share it with your community!)

The Non-Residential Wilderness Immersion offers all of the courses, the “Apprenticeship Only” events, and the community access over a two year period. If you are interested in taking a few or more classes of your choice, and want to splice your apprenticeship in with other life commitments, this program is ideal; It is designed for professionals, parents and folks with full schedules.

The Residential Wilderness Immersion is our 8 week long, full-time immersion program. Apprentices will reside on site and experience an off-grid primitive skills instructor training program, one that covers a wide range of skills with an impressive depth. This experience provides growth in fieldcraft (what many call bushcraft), outdoor education and mentoring, earthskills, and nature literacy regardless of experience level. It is tailored for people that are dedicated to learning earthskills, and who can make a long & continuous time commitment (gap year students, seasonal environmental educators, people between jobs, retirees, etc)


If you want connection to the earth, if you want real survival skills, if you want to find more meaning and a deeper sense of purpose in your life, if you want to search out your path and learn within an energetic community of students and teachers, come to the Maine Primitive Skills School. It will change your life.

Lily Kapiloff, 2012 Apprentice

There are more things happening here at Maine Primitive Skills School than it seems one person can accomplish in a day… Classes are intense and demanding. It’s a place to feel comfortable. It’s a place to heal. It’s a place of a vast and still breathing collection of forgotten knowledge and skill, if one has the tenacity to find it out for their own self. Its a place where it seems parents have relented to the child’s wild curiosity in an endless playground – and some times we get hurt. But we learn, and learn well. This is the movement of spirit I see Maine Primitive Skills School is fully participating in. Weird and wild people dedicated to always learning better how to abide by a flow of nature greater than our own self.

Jason Wright, 2013 Apprentice

Being an apprentice at the Maine Primitive Skills School plugs you into a community; I think that’s what really sets it apart from some of the other schools out there. The minute you step in and join the apprenticeship, you’re a part of a community of people who care about you, who care about where you’re going and where your growth is… There are experts around every corner with the community here, and there is always something to be learned at an expert level.

Mike DiMauro, 2010 Apprentice

Every second there was a learning and growing experience…Maine Primitive School is not your average “by the book” learning experience, you will walk away a completely different person. I know I did…Not only did I gain so much more knowledge, courage and appreciation for the world around me, but I left with a new family of brothers and sisters that I will hold dear for the rest of my life…I went for the weekend primitive skills class and learned so much more than I could even process in one weekend and at the same time felt like it was a huge tease for what more there is to learn. I will definitely be going back for more classes and hope to see you there.

Amy Rosebrock, Earth Living Weekend Course

All the processes that are happening here are just unbelievable. There is such depth in their wisdom and understanding of earth teachings, culture, and community. This place is a stepping stone towards making a dream that you envision into a reality, because there’s that much attention to the details… You learn an incredible amount of skills here, which would amount to years and years of research, except you get to participate first hand.

Paul Metchikoff, 2016 Apprentice

The eclectic genius of Mike and his staff rivals a smoothie made up of parts Grizzly Adams, Carl Sagan, Robin Williams, and the entire Nat Geo training/ educational staff… I chose this particular school because of its apparent philosophy of surviving and thriving WITH the land. This mantra spreads throughout the entire experience, but it is not overly done, and stills remains pragmatic – the “wilderness” can be a symbolic partner… Despite the twelve hour car trip, it will remain one of the most impactful experiences in my lifetime.

Jefferson Jones, 2022 Earth Living 5-Day Course

Non-Residential Immersion Program

Want to learn all these skills, but don’t have the time to invest in a Residential Program?

  • Opportunity to take any/all of the school classes available for a two year period.
  • Stay at the school for up to three weeks at a time (provided courses are being attended).
  • Opportunities to work on skills between classes with residential apprenticeship group.
  • Expected to share in the duties of community life while at the school with fellow apprentices.

For full syllabus and more general info:

Click Here

2024 Residential Immersion Program

Experience a full immersion into ancestral living skills

  • Attend most/ all of the school’s classes during your immersion; 40 hours a week spent on a mix of skills instruction, scheduled class time, and experiential learning.
  • Operate and develop ‘Apprentice Camp’ off-grid living systems as a cohort.
  • Experience apprentice only activities to include survival trips, foraging outings, and gardening/ permaculture systems implementation.
  • Opportunities for unstructured time to pursue your personal interest in ancestral skills of your choosing.

For full syllabus and more general info:

Click Here

Learning With The Rhythm Of The Seasons

With either immersion program, you will feel the strong pulse of a seasonal life-way. Our classes and apprenticeships are designed to embody and use the gifts offered in each season of the calendar year. You need not search long to see the examples woven into our programs: Spring is all about meeting your needs with the landscape, using debris huts, pine bark baskets, and bountiful fresh wild roots and greens; Mid-summer marks the start of gathering and drying fruit to store for winter, and the long summer days set the stage for focused long-term shelter building.

These cycles of emergent growth, motivated focus, wandering, community harvest and storytelling, and more, give a necessary context for learning these skills, as each one has it’s own unique place in the puzzle.

2024 Dates & Pricing

Program Dates Cost Type
Spring Session May 10 – July 5 $5,000 Residential
Summer Session July 12 – September 6 $5,000 Residential
Fall Session Sept 13 – Nov 8 $5,000 Residential
Non-Res 3 years from start date of your choice $6,500 Non-Residential

Where They Are Now

Deneen Bernier
Mentor at White Pine Programs

Taylor Ackerman
Field Instructor at SUWS of the Carolinas

Braden DeLonay
Mentor at Whole Life Learning Center
Co-Founder at Work Shift Corporate Team Building

Lou Falank
Founder/Director Mountain Bear Programs and Guide Service

Check out what our “Where They Are Now” page for information on job placements and where are past students have gone!

Where They Are Now