The Teen Apprentice Program is designed as a multi-year journey, starting with the basics of wilderness survival, tracking, and making, eventually leading to individualized paths of a specialized, self-sufficient lifestyle. The goal, over the course of several years, is to guide participants in a quest to find their niche in life where they can take the skills learned at TAP and practically apply them to real world situations. Participants will leave the course empowered to connect with nature outside of programs, find and build community where they live, and develop the skills to earn a living from their experience.
We see the teens walking down one of three paths eventually: bushcraft/naturalist (outdoor ed), permaculture/homesteading, and craftsmanship. TAP students, with the potential for five years for those who join at 13 years of age, will be exposed to these three topics to varying degrees and eventually begin to lean more to one or the others as they learn where their interests and talents lie in terms of providing for themselves and community. The final year will be their opportunity to provide for the community with their skill of choice.
Students of all levels will camp, cook, and craft together. This will create a community of diverse experience, giving the less experienced individuals a chance to be inspired by their more experienced peers and those with more experience a chance to mentor those who are up and coming. That means a chance to increase leadership and mentoring skills for our second-year students.
Here are some of the skills we will be practicing in their first year (TAP I):
Making your own kit:
In addition to crafting, there is the survival layer of the program. You will learn how to make fire, set up reliable tarp shelters, to hunt, trap, fish, and forage, process animals, and how to make an herbal first aid kit.