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2023 Instructors

Tim Swanson

Rabbit Processing

Tim Swanson  is the founder of  Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival , a “traveling” nature connection and wilderness survival school for people of all ages. He holds a double  Bachelor’s Degree in Adventure Education Leadership and Adventure Therapy  (Unity College). He is a Level 1 Certified Animal Tracker (CyberTracker) and a Wilderness First Responder (SOLO). He is passionate about educating our children/teens/adults about nutrition, natural awareness, equality, and hopes to spread his love of nature through the practice of wilderness survival. 

Owl Eyes Wilderness Survival

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Kevin Bouck

A Soldier's Rations (campfire cooking)
Firearms: Introduction and Safety

Kevin Bouck lives in Litchfield, Maine, with his wife Krystle and twin boys Hunter and Zachary. They enjoy their 1850’s farmhouse and have a small, but ever growing, family farm.  They enjoy the simple life and strive to keep things as period correct as possible.  Kevin grew up in Michigan, and spent 20 years serving in the United States Marine Corps. After retiring in 2001 he settled in New England where he met his wife, Krystle. They moved to Maine in 2017 and have been involved with the Moose Ridge Gathering since 2020. Kevin enjoys all things Maine and the outdoors, although still can’t wrap his head around ice fishing. Hunting turkeys in the spring, deer in the fall, teaching as an Appleseed instructor, serving in leadership roles in his local church, restoring vintage firearms, and maintaining the farm fills his days. He is looking forward to having you visit him in his classes.


Cheeny Plante

Poncho Shelters

I am from Sanford Maine. I was a SERE (survival, evasion. resistance, escape) Specialist in the Air Force for eight years. I trained thousands of aircrew members how to survive in every environment in the world. I currently work in the trades (painting, general labor) and I am a registered Maine guide. When I'm not working, I'm backpacking, fishing and canoing.


I was on two seasons of Naked and Afraid and completed the 21 day challenge in South Africa. When it comes to survival my focus is on being prepared and having a basic survival kit.


This is my second year teaching at Moose Ridge. I will be teaching immediate action poncho shelters.


Marie Somers

Soap Making and Felted Soap

Marie resides in Chester, New Hampshire with her husband and a large amount of farm animals, including sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, and silver fox rabbits.  Living in a world of many passions, she is a Naturopathic Doctor who has specialized in homeopathy, herbology, and holistic medicine for 48 years.  She will be teaching a class on making your own soap at home!

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Sonia Aceved0

Medicinal Plant Walk
Beginner Wilderness First Aid

​​Sonia Acevedo is a small farmer, herbalist, mother and musician living in the Kennebec River Valley on Wabanaki land. She's been making friends with plants and healing with their medicine for 24 years, and loves the ways that plants remind us to keep rooted in natural ways of living and healing.  She loves to share plant knowledge with kids of all ages!

Hide and Go Peep Farm

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Mike Dube'

Traditional Native Story-Telling

Come learn the Ancient Art of Tracking with Mike Dube'.  Mike teaches Traditional Native Skills through his School, "Taconic Challenges".  This will be his 4th year at Moose Ridge Gathering, teaching Tracking Classes and telling traditional Native stories around the fire.


You'll learn side-tracking, aging with Wisdom Keepers, 10 step drill, Stalking Circle, patterns, Cutting Sign, and track casting.  Your connection to Mother Earth will expand.


Taconic Challenges 

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Jonathan Shapiro

Wildlife Tracking
Learning the Land
Pattern-Based Tree Identification

Jonathan lives in Vermont and spends his days tracking, making traditional crafts, hunting, canoeing, picking up roadkill, and listening to birdsong. He believes that an accurate understanding of and deep connection to our wild surroundings are necessary for all people to thrive. He runs the Fox Paw School, where he teaches adults about wildlife tracking, bird language, weather, plants, awareness, and nature connection.

Wildlife Tracking:

Deep connection with the animals around us requires learning to understand their tracks and sign. We'll learn to see the subtle clues that our animal kin leave behind on the landscape, and interpret their behavior to understand their lives.


Learning the Land:

Belonging on the land means getting to know your habitat—come learn the rhythms of the forest through the birds, plants, trees, animals, and weather in the wild forests of Moose Ridge.


Pattern-based Tree ID:

As animals, our brains are hardwired to see the patterns in the landscape —learn how to apply this innate skill to identify trees based on branching, buds, twigs, bark, silhouette, and more.

Fox Paw School

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Jay Morse


Jason is an avid plant and mushroom forager, hunter, tracker with an educational background in sustainability. He enjoys all aspects of learning and incorporating primitive skills into his daily life. He has spent over a year living outdoors while participating in outdoor education, hiking the Appalachian trail and rock climbing around the country. He lives off of a diet full of acorns, wild mushrooms, venison, wild fruits and wild greens. He currently works in the field of sustainability with a focus on energy efficiency. He is generally fascinated and constantly learning about ecology and is excited to share his knowledge with others.


Grace Krupkowski

Tinctures and Infusions

Grace Krupkowski, founder of Land of Milk and Honey Herbalism, is an herbalist and educator with a passion for putting forth the human connection to the wild weeds beneath our feet. She strives to connect individuals and communities of all ages to the natural world through herbalism, gardening, foraging, and wildcrafting. Grace has been studying and practicing
herbalism for six years now. She has been mentored by a myriad of clinical herbalists, farmers, horticulturists, and institutions nationwide. Grace continues to learn and grow in the field of herbal wellness by offering educational courses and curating small batch herbal remedies in her home.

Land of Milk and Honey Herbalism

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Krystle Bouck


Krystle has been canning and preserving food her entire adult life. While she works in the corporate world to make a living, her passion is homesteading. She currently raises all her own meat to feed her family. Having the ability to nourish our bodies and our children in a world of convenience is so important and it starts with knowing where our food comes from. 


Learning how to pressure can opens a whole new world of possibilities. It creates more room in your fridge and freezer and enables you to have the convenience of dumping something out of a jar for dinner while still knowing the food within is nourishing and healthy for your family. We'll start by learning how to safely pressure can bone broth from a leftover carcass after butchering. Bone broth is a wonderful nourishing base to many recipes and so good for you may want to just drink it out of a cup.  We'll then delve into how to know when you should pressure can and when you can water bath.  We will also go over how to make jam!


Coleen Butler

Rabbit Pelt Tanning
Buckskin Pouches

Coleen lives among the maples and oaks in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. She is a hide tanner, hunter, and sewer. She works with the visceral cycles of life and death and is passionate about nose to tail eating, clothing making, returning bodies to ancestral health, living with the cycles and seasons of the earth, and generally being a wild human.

Buckskin Pouches 

In this workshop we will take hand tanned, brain tanned deer skins and turn them into pouches. We will learn different techniques of sewing with buckskin and leather. We will learn how to use awls, glovers needles, make and sew with buckskin thong, learn the purpose of welts and how to use them, and talk about the different aspects of a hide and how they can affect a garment.  

Materials fee: $40-50


Leather Wallets 

In this class we will dive into the world of hand tanned, barked tanned leather. It is hard to find leather that has been solely tanned with barks and oils nowadays, and we will discuss the magical alchemical process that can do just that. We will learn techniques of how to cut and sew leather using a myriad of tools. No sewing experience necessary. All tools will be provided. 


Materials fee: $40

Close to the Skin

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Joshua Pavese

Carving a Dough Bowl

Joshua is a maker of useful farm implements/and everyday household objects from spoons to chairs to chopsticks, an avid gardener that enjoys wandering through a large wood and is curious about the uses of old tools. Come join him at this year's gathering to learn how to make a shave horse!


Hannah Mitchell

Broom Making

Coming from the mountains of southern Appalachia, I have been immersed in the natural world since a young child. An abiding love for the wild is the foundation for my creative expression and passion as I craft cobwebber brooms and work with medicinal plants. My woodworking studies at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina began my toy making business that transformed into brooms. From the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism (VCIH) I received my Clinical Herbalist training and a BA from SUNY Albany in Globalization.

Together we will craft cobwebber brooms. Made to be thin and long, this design is great for over head and corner dustings. We will use basic woodworking skills and tools and will weave sorghum, or broom corn, to create this tool.

The Rowdy Sprout


Misse Axelrod

Wool Felting

Misse's 20+ years of experience in sustainable food systems and farming lead to a passion for education.  Misse has been weaving farms, food, survival skills, and education in public schools (PK-12) and on the farm for 10+ years.  Teaching farm, food, and nutrition education in 12 plus Vermont schools grew into opening a Vermont Independent School (K-5th grade) at her family farm, Drift Farmstead.

Misse holds a B.A. in Sustainable Food Systems & Community from Green Mountain College.

Rocks-Wool & Needle Felting: How does the earth take a rock and turn it into wool? Through a short interactive learning lesson we will learn about all of the elements that go into producing wool. During this workshop we will wet felt soap loofas and needle felt quilt squares. This course is for all ages (under 8, an adult buddy is helpful).

Materials Fee:  $8

Drift Farmstead

Vermont Farm and Forest School

MIsse Axelrod Pic.jpeg
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Kristee Nichols

Coal Burned Bowls

Kristee resides in Connecticut and has recently retired from the medical field.  As an outdoors enthusiast and camper, she found her passion in 2008 when she began attending primitive skills gatherings.  She enjoys travelling throughout the U.S., newly learning the "old ways".  Among her favorite skills: wet felting, bowl burning, stone tools and gourd crafts.  She has recently begun teaching at local events.

Come Burn a Bowl!

Free, walk-in class held every day (whenever you see me at the fire). Create your own container with hot embers and stone tools.  Once I show you the technique, you'll be free to come and go and work on it throughout the weekend. (although can be done in a day).  Shaping and carving the bowl is on your own but I can advise and guide you. Old leather gloves recommended as we'll be working with hot embers.

Children must be accompanied by parents.


Kandi Karkos

Forest Therapy Walk

Kandi grew up in Wilton, Maine. She spent much of her childhood outdoors, making mud pies, climbing trees, catching and releasing frogs, toads, and salamanders, fishing, and exploring the woods behind her house and the family camp with her brothers and sister. Her parents would pile her and her 3 siblings into the car and take off to drive old tote roads and this continues to be a favorite pastime of hers. As a young adult, she continued to spend time in the outdoors, camping with her young daughter and panning for gold in the Swift River of Western, Maine. Her former husband, John, introduced her to mining for gemstones and hunting and since then she has harvested deer, moose, bear, grouse, turkey, and a goose. They drove old totes roads just to see what was over the next ridge and to search for oyster mushrooms and chaga. Kandi is an avid hunter and completed her Grand Slam in 2018, harvesting a bear, moose, deer, and a turkey in the same year. She learned how to trap so that she could harvest a second bear for meat. Kandi has been on wilderness canoe and camping trips with Mahoosic Guide Service. She enjoys learning new outdoors skills at Maine Primitive School and Maine’s Outdoor Learning Center (MOLC) and going on all-women’s hunting and fishing trips with the women of Maine Women Hunters. She studied herbalism with Dr. Nathaniel Petley and enjoys foraging for herbs, with which she makes soaps and salves and tinctures. In 2019 she studied with MOLC to learn the skills needed to become a Maine Guide. In 2019 and 2020, she became a Registered Maine Guide for Recreation and Hunting. Her love of the outdoors and Nature led her to become a certified Forest Therapy guide. In addition to guiding Forest Therapy walks in parks local to her area, she and her boyfriend, Nathan, plan to make walking paths on his land in Wilton, Maine so that she can guide people there as well.

What is Forest Therapy
Forest Therapy is a practice that supports health and wellness through guided immersion in nature, forests and other environments to promote the well-being of both people and the land. It is inspired by Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of “Forest Bathing.” In Forest Bathing, people spend time in forested areas to enhance health, wellness, and happiness.

Reconnect with Nature and Yourself


Reggie Read

Coming Soon...

Reggie Read was born in 1952. He is a Maine Native and he has worked with IF&W safety courses since 1978. He is currently a Registered Maine Master Guide, been married 51 years & has trapped off and on since the 1960s.


Nelson Frost

Coming Soon...

Nelson was born in 1956 in southern California with roots in Maine. His grandmother said if a cat has kittens in an old oven, they ain't muffins. He lived most of his life in Maine fishing, hunting, and trapping. He is a volunteer instructor for Maine IF&W. He is a member of Maine Trappers Association, SAM, NRA, and other sporting organizations. Nelson has been married 45 years and has 2 boys, 2 dogs, and a bunch of chickens. Trapping is his favorite pastime.


Kitty Michelotti

Raising Poultry

Kitty raises chickens, rabbits, turkeys, and pigs on a 2 acre homestead in Derry, NH with her husband Nate and their 3 boys. Since moving to NH 10 years ago (from Colorado by way of Massachusetts) Kitty and her family have striven to raise and harvest as much of their food as they can while homeschooling and living in suburbia. Kitty prides herself on having least four species of animal in her chest freezer at all times. :) 

In this class we will cover raising poultry from incubator to freezer camp. Turkeys, guinea hens, meat and egg chickens, and ducks and their various needs will be discussed. There is no one right way to raise poultry, but I've found a few wrong ones along my journey that I'm happy to share so you may learn from my mistakes.


Andy Dobos

Friction Fire
Spoon Carving

Andy Dobos mentors people of all ages in Nature skills under the name Forest Wolf Programs. He has almost 20 years of experience teaching Nature based skills such as wildlife tracking, friction fire, spoon carving, bow making and much more. Andy earned an advanced completion certificate for White Pine Programs Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship and a level 3 certification in Track and Sign from CyberTracker Conservation. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree and has studies traditional crafts for his whole life. He is also the organizer for the Cattail Gathering, a Nature skills gathering in Litchfield CT.

Spoon Carving:  Trees have been used by people to make useful and beautiful objects as far back as we can imagine. They have fed us, treated our illnesses and inspired us.  Learn the craft of spoon carving and how to transform “green” wood into spoons for eating, serving or cooking.  Instruction will include how to use tools such as knives, chisels, hatchets and saws, safely and effectively. This is a great introduction to woodcarving of any kind.


Friction Fire:  To create fire from nothing but sticks and ingenuity is fun, empowering and magical. This is your chance at a glimpse of deep understanding of humanity’s relationship with fire. It is one of our earliest and most versatile tools.  In this workshop participants will learn how to make fire with the bow drill method and experience other ancient fire techniques.

Forest Wolf Programs

The Cattail Gathering

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Julieann Hartley

Eating Acorns

Julieann Hartley is a local music therapist and nutritional therapist. After Julieann hiked the Appalachian trail in 2015, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and began seeking out wild foods as a way of healing her body. Instead of counting miles, Julieann now focuses on counting plant and animal species while she is out adventuring. She loves to teach others about the plants and their uses, believing that education is key to sustainable land conversation. Her favorite wild foods are acorns, wintercress greens, hen of the woods mushrooms, dandelions and black locust flowers.


Julieann will be teaching a class about foraging and preparing acorns and will be providing a recipe for her favorite food of all time: acorn pancakes.

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Gaianne Dube'

Kid's Camp Instructor

I am relatively new to Maine, moving up from Fitchburg, MA in 2016. I was born and raised in Boston, in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. I am of blended heritage, Puerto Rican, Black and Native American. Growing up in the city I have always longed to live in the country and learn to live from the land as my ancestors did. I have worked in the science/medical field and am currently employed as a Certified Pharmacy Technician in Farmington Maine. I am working on getting certified in Wilderness First Aid, with the goal of Certification as a Wilderness First Responder. I am married to that great guy Mike Dube’ and together we have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. I love to sing, I am a worship leader for my church. I even auditioned for The Voice six years ago, and I am a volunteer Chaplain at the hospital I work for. Since coming to Maine I planted my first garden and canned and preserved from that harvest, thank you Krystle Bouck, for teaching me! I took a basket weaving class, and as you can see from my profile picture made my own pack basket! Last year I learned to process and skin a rabbit from beginning to end right here at Moose Ridge! I have learned many skills, so many, that this bio would be way too long if I listed
them all. There is still so much I have yet to learn and discover. I am looking forward to each and every lesson with great excitement!!

Gaianne will be teaching a Medicine Pouch class for kids.  Participants will craft and decorate their pouch, and on Sunday morning, Mike Dube' will lead a Medicine Walk, to find a token to put in the pouch!


Rosemary Wells

Wet Felting

After spending her early years in New England as a ‘city girl’ from the suburbs, Rosemary moved west to Idaho. She spent 4 years as a guide and counselor with teens in the backcountry of Utah and Idaho.  At the age of 65 she continues to hike the trails around her little Idaho farm where she raises Navajo Churro Sheep which are bred for the felting quality of their wool.  Rosemary found herself returning to her Ukrainian roots when she began felting at Rabbitstick (one of the original primitive skills camps) over 20 years ago. She learned from master primitive felters: Jack Fee, Lynx Vilden, Woniya and others. She has created hats, pouches, bags, vests, rugs and other items from this transcendent process dating back nearly ten thousand years. Rosemary works to teach felting through basic, ancient, simple methods, so students understand the principles of the skill. After teaching for over 15 years she is grateful for the students who have taught her so much. She loves watching them create beautiful things as they feel the spirit of the past through the gift of wool. 

Students will involve themselves in the ancient art of wet felting, which includes learning materials needed, wool selection, layout and completion of a complex project such as a bag or hat. Context and the history of wet felting will be part of the experience. Students will be ready to create their own projects through ancient, basic processes which can be transferred to future endeavors after leaving the class. Felting requires patience; though students may finish early, plan at least 6 hours for the class.

Materials fee: 75.00 

(All materials are provided)

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Ryan Johns

Youth Fire Skills

Ryan Johns and his family live in the Montpelier area (soon to be Roxbury resident) and spend as much time as possible exploring the Vermont woods together. Ryan has a background in learning and teaching primitive and homesteading skills as well as training and experience in formal education. Ryan has been teaching for most of his life and especially enjoys working with kids in the outdoors. Ryan believes that everyone learns best when they are having fun and students can expect to play and laugh together all year long as we make friends with each other and our forest community. 

Youth Fire Skills! Let’s take a deep dive into fire! Join us as we explore several ways to safely make a fire and learn about fire’s important role in human history. We will learn how our ancestors discovered fire and carried it with them from camp to camp and learned to respect its life giving power. Students will make a one match fire, learn the art of crafting a tinder bundle, use a steel striker and make char cloth. We are going to have so much fun. No previous experience is necessary, just a desire to have fun and learn together!

Ryan johns.jpg

Emma Markowitz

Kid's Coal Burned Spoons and Pounded Flower Bandanas

Emma hails from the wild prairies of Chicago. Since migrating East she has lived many lives including being a fermenter, wilderness social skills teacher and the Assistant Director of TimberNook Middlesex County. Emma believes in empowering children and facilitating self-discovery through child led nature play. As an educator in progressive education for over 15 years, Emma is an advocate for taking risks, getting dirty and allowing kids to do what they do best, play! When she isn’t teaching in the woods, Emma likes to fish, hike, and hang out barefoot and carving things in the woods with her kids.

Coal Burnt Spoons for kids: Come play with fire and learn how to make a spoon! Kids should bring their own knife if they have one, if not we'll have some to borrow. 


Flower pounding Kids Bandanas: Come make colorful bandanas by hammering flower pigments into cloth. This is a fun way to channel extra energy while making something really beautiful. 


Doug Householder

Melon Baskets

"Arkansas Doug" Householder has trained in and taught survival from the tropical jungles of South America and Hawaii to the Sonoran Desert, but calls the Ozark Mountains home.  He is a highly skilled outdoorsman who teaches at top survival schools.  You may recognize him as founder of Earth Trekker Bushcraft.

Earth Trekker Wilderness Survival

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Amanda Spring

Power Yoga

Amanda grew up in Manchester, ME and now resides in Southern NH.  She has a passion for body movement, self-healing, and nature.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with a focus in Power & BUTI and Certified Reiki Master.  Her passion is helping others see their own potential and igniting the healer within thy self.  Through breath, yoga, and nature her intention is to bring you back to yourself.  She spends her free time hiking in the White Mountains, practicing yoga, creating jewelry, and spending time with loved ones.  She loves to take on new challenges and try new things even when they seem out of reach and difficult.  It truly is a blessing to be alive and she wants to help others find the same deeper appreciation for life.


Bob Berg

Atlatl Making
Flint Knapping

Bob Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl has been interested in all things primitive for the greater part of his adult life. He is skilled in many of the primitive arts and enjoys passing his knowledge on. Bob enjoys a few hobbies both in and outside the atlatl business, among them spear fishing, atlatl hunting, oil painting, and inventing mechanical devices designed to save the world.

Thunderbird Atlatl

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Leah Dunwoody

Kid's Camp

Leah is a current senior at the University of Southern Maine. Her major is music with a concentration in clarinet, and she has a holistic health minor as well. She is an aspiring music therapist, and has goals to go to grad school after undergrad. In her free time, she enjoys baking, dance, practicing music and drinking tea.


Leah will be teaching a variety of kids activities at Moose Ridge’s kids camp, such as forest wand making, fairy house, pinecone woodland creatures and much more!

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