Back To The Earth LLC Wilderness Programs

Now Enrolling for Winter and Spring Programs! Scroll down for dates and registration form. 

About Us
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Back to the Earth LLC is located in Elmore, VT on Silene and Justin’s beautiful property and surrounding wilderness. We offer programming for first grade through adults, in many formats. We currently offer homeschool wilderness days during the school year, school break days, and summer day camps. All programs are entirely outdoors, hands on, and based in experiential learning. It is our belief that as human beings we truly need connection- connection to ourselves, to our communities, and to the earth. Our programs address all three of these aspects of connection through intentional nature based mentoring. We learn about the ecology of our bio-region by participating in it. Gathering from the landscape to make fire by friction, building shelters, and harvesting wild food. We deepen our emotional/spiritual connection by fully engaging our senses, especially by listening to the silence of the woods. It is through play, exploration, and fun that our learning goals are met, all under the careful watch of an experienced mentor. 

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What To Expect

What to expect largely depends on the weather, and no matter what, we will embrace the weather that nature brings. In the snowy times of year we will follow animal tracks, build snow forts, and work on our fire skills. During the warmer months we will explore further afield,  gathering wild plants and crafting with sticks, stones, and bark we gather in the woods. Every day usually begins by hiking in towards our base camp, where we circle up to get grounded for our day together. We play lots of games, and have ample time for more individualized crafting- like working on carving your own friction fire kit. Everyday looks a little different, but you can count on being outdoors the whole time. 

About Justin

Justin has been practicing and teaching wilderness skills and nature connection mentoring for over 15 years. He helps find that spark of curiosity within students, and together they explore the mysteries and beauty of the natural world. From the physical skills of survival and wildcrafting, to the softer skills of studying nature and constantly growing one's awareness, Justin is an expert at meeting students where they are at and guiding them towards deeper connections. 

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*Current Programs and Signing Up*

Winter Forest School Days: 

8 program days, January 25-March 22, 9 am to 2 pm. No class Feb 22  (winter break) Cost $300 

Tuesdays- Ages 7-14, location Elmore. 

Wednesdays- Ages 7-14, Location Elmore

Thursdays- Ages 5-8, Location Hardwick (exact spot TBD)

Fill out form HERE for Winter or Spring Forest School

School Break Days:

Winter Break Camp- 2/22-2/24

Spring Break Camp- 4/19-4/21

Cost- $45/day, $135 for all 3. Sign up for one, two or three days!

Fill out form HERE for Winter Camp

Spring Forest School Days

10 Program Days, 3/29- 6/7, 9 am- 2 pm No class April 19 (Spring break) Cost $375

Tuesdays- Ages 7-14, location Elmore. 

Wednesdays- Ages 7-14, Location Elmore

Thursdays- Ages 5-8, Location Hardwick (exact spot TBD)

Fill out form HERE for Winter or Spring Forest School

*Please note, just filling out the form does NOT guarantee a spot in the program. Spaces are limited and offered on a first come first serve basis. Upon filling out the form I will confirm your child's attendance via email. Thanks for your understanding*

 

Email justinsutera@gmail.com for more information

Summer Camps 2022 Coming Soon! Last years camps still listed below. 

Summer Camps 2021

July 19-22: Wilderness Adventure Camp, ages 7-12

August 2-5: Wilderness Adventure Camp, ages 7-12

August 16-19: Wilderness Survival and Wildcrafting, ages 9-14

August 23-26: Bow Making and Archery, ages 9-14

What to Bring

Bring whatever you need to stay comfortable outdoors the entire class time whatever the weather may be. For children's programs if it is less than 10 degrees at the beginning of class, we won’t have class that day. Plenty of water, snacks and food, and changes clothing are a must. You will receive a more detailed to bring list depending on the season and the program.

Adult Programs 

We offer adult classes on various Wilerness skills such as:

- Black Ash Basketry

- Birch Bark Basketry

- Fire by Friction

- Wilderness Survival

- Hide Tanning

- Bow Making

- Flintknapping

-Tracking and Awareness

Check out a short video from one of Justin's Basketry Classes HERE

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COVID-19 Protocols

We comply with all state COVID-19 safety protocols. Masks are worn at all times unless we are further than 6 feet apart. Food is not shared, group cooking projects are done individually, and food is dispensed by the instructor with sanitized hands.