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Earthskills Rendezvous Staff & Instructors
This is only a partial list of staff and instructors. The actual roll of teachers is much more extensive.
Leadership Council Members
Katrina Tobin is Earthskills' board Chair of the Leadership Council.
Judy Langston is a mother, wife, caterer and youth spiritual leader. She teaches Sunday school, does various charity work and conducts spiritual leadership camps for teenagers. Her hope is to bring people together from all walks of life to remember "mitakuye oyasin," (we are all related).
Fuz Sanderson is a drum beating, didg blowing, bird calling Rendezvous original! Fuz has worked for over 20 years as a wilderness instructor, naturalist, and research biologist for organizations such as 4H, National Wildlife Federation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, US Forest Service, US Park Service, and the Green River Preserve. Currently he is serving the State of NC in the Biological Services Unit of the Dept. of Transportation.
Coyote Smith has been a life long forager, primitive skills teacher, and student. He is especially at home in the southeastern forest and on rivers and enjoys practicing his skills on hikes and camping trips. His skills in copper work making copies of Native American artifacts from as far back as 5000 years has taken a lot of his recent attention. He enjoys most teaching primitve survival skills such as traps and food gathering. And, he enjoys expressing his spirit through the Native American flute.
Reid Blackwelder is a family physician, who directs the Kingsport Family Medicine Residency program, and teaches at the James H Quillen College of Medicine. He has been a member of the Rivercane community for over 16 years. For many years he was the "unofficial" community doc, but now he fills that role officially, helping create a safe environment for folks learning new skills, like sharpening knives! He and his wife, Alex, a nurse, massage therapist and yoga instructor, value their time each year reconnecting with friends and family.
Major John Hutchinson III joined the leadership council in 2016. He and his family have been a part of the Earthskills community for many years. We're grateful to have him with us!
Allison Cerruli has been an avid environmental activist and educator for 12 years, focusing on creative, positive solutions for change. A skilled natural builder, organic gardener, and fermenter; she practices many skills for living simply. She loves working with fibers, natural dyes, and textiles. Ali is a professional fire dancer and permaculture designer.
2016 Staff and Instructors:
Seaver Williams is our amazing site manager!
Alice Craig is responsible for your delicious dining experience while at rendezvous. Thanks Alice!
Rich Wells is the assistant cook and resident songwriter and entertainer. He takes himself very seriously! (ha ha...)
Sandy Burch is the Bookkeeper for Earthskills Rendezvous!
Aumdoc (Rick) Clofine is our camp medic. He coordinates the First Aid crew and is always on-call making sure our folks are safe. Thanks Aumdoc!
Colleen Casey is our new onsite Registrar. She rocks the organizational arena and will be there to welcome you in when you arrive!
Justin Godbey is our Promotions Coordinator and the author of our logo and most of our artwork! Thanks Justin!
Shauna Perry coordinates our newsletter and social media.
Sara Callaway is our Instructor Coordinator.
Nico Piedrahita is our new Work Trade Coordinator.
Marissa Percoco is our new Events Coordinator! She and her four amazing children have been exploring community & thribal being for years, traveling from coast to coast through deserts, mountains, hot springs & oceasn -- they even ran away and joined the circus in Hawaii in 2012! They have been learning plants, animals, fermentation, and local ways of coexisting in harmony with the environment for years. Deeply rooted in the Earthskills movement and committed to co-creating a new culture within which we, our children, and all beings thrive, they are now nesting in Barnardsville, NC.
Jane Gordon lives in Marble Hill Georgia and currently works for a family owned irrigation company in Alpharetta Georgia. She has helped with the Earthskills Rendezvous registration and mailings for the past several years and has a wealth of administrative skills. Jane enjoys gardening, african drumming, camping and any other outdoor fun!
Jimmy Cooley is one of Rendezvous' true hidden gems! this man keeps camp running smoothly... It's all about the little details! And he knows more about plants than just about anyone you'll meet!
Grant Adkisson is our Youth Programs Coordinator.
Snow Bear has been an environmental educator for more than 30 years. He's embarked upon a life-long pursuit of knowledge with an emphasis in living skills, medicinal and edible plants, utilitarian uses of plants, and world rhythms. He's studied with elders from the Cherokee, Creek, Lakota, Seminole, and Ojibway tribes. He has been involved with the founding of several environmental education organizations in the Southeast, including Earthskills Rendezvous.
Jeff Gottlieb has been an interpretive naturalist since 1980, and has specialized in primitive skills since 1987. He has taught people of all ages, and will share Nature and Primitive Skills with anybody who will hold still!
Denton Bragg has been an instructor with Earthskills Rendezvous since the early days at Unicoi State Park, GA, originally as a bowmaking instructor. He regularly conducts wilderness programs for schools, Scouts, and other groups on all aspects of wilderness living skills, primitive skills, and pioneering skills, mostly in the Southeast. Denton was raised in Tidewater, VA, where salt-marsh forests and tidal streams resisted the efforts of developers of the period. These pockets of wildness were his boyhood sanctuary where he hunted game and ran a trapline for muskrats and nutria since he was 12. He was a "Life" Boy Scout, and spent most of his free time in the woods and waters near home. He was mentored starting about that age by Naturalist Roger Rageot, Herpetologist Mike Bishop, and other wildlife experts of that time and was introduced to and had the unlikely friendship of the redoubtable Dr. Doris Cochran, Curator of VErtebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian. During his 3+ years in the U.S. Army he trained iwht the "Falscirmjaeger" German Rangers in Bavaria, which added skilled mountaineering and martial arts to his interests. He worked as Asst. Curator of Reptiles at the Atlanta Zoo in the 70's. He is retired from nearly 40 years as a furniture maker/designer and woodworking instructor, switching to luthier work designing and making custom guitars, banjos, and repairing of stringed instruments. He currently concentrates on teaching fabrication and use of primitive hunting weaponry.
Doug Elliott Whether he's singing about catfish, pontificating on possums, extolling the virtues of dandelions, telling Elliott will take you on an unforgettable, multifaceted cultural tour of North America's back country.
Buck Windsor is a master when it comes to stone-age cooking and transforming bamboo into a variety of usable tools, as well as being extremely skilled with bone and stone tools. He is one of the founders of the "Ways of the Ancestors Primitive Skills Program" and is a regular instructor at Earthskills Rendezvous.
Bob Orcutt is a has been interested in primitive skills for most of his life. In 1999 he took a class from Chuck Patrick at Rivercane. He was so intrigued by turning an old file into a flint and steel set that he joined his local blacksmith guild the day after he returned from the Rivercane outing. He remains active in the guild serving at various times as board member and vice president. He has taken a few classes at the Campbell Folk School in Brasstwon, NC and enjoys turning a piece of steel into a useful item. Among his favorite things to make are various hooks, bottle openers, small neck knives, tomahawks, outdoor fire sets, and tools such as punches, chisels, tongs, and his own blacksmithing hammers.
Scott Jones A Georgia native, Scott has made a life-long study of natual and cultural history, and the interconnections of the two. This interest in natural science and human technology merged easily with his archaeological training, and in 1987 he began to apply his expertise full-time to the study of Stone-Age skills, ancient technologies, and their relation to our lives today. He says: "We need to see ourselves in prehistory. All of our ancestors, regardless of race or geographical origin, were using stone tools just a few thousand years ago. Many of he basic skills were common to everyone." Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Georgia and an Associate Degree in Applied Science from the Community College of the Air Force. He brings almost 30 years of professional experience to the field of primitive technology, and is the author of two books about primitive technology, A View to the Past (2008) and Postcards to the Past (2015). His professional enterprise Media Prehistoria is dedicated to outreach and educating the pubic about ancient technologies and lifeways. Media Prehistoria embodies the breadth of his experience, including demonstrations, presentations, experimental archeology, and consulting for archaeological firms, museums, documentary films, and universities throughout the southeast.
Sangoma Oludoye is a traditional Yoruba priestess, Afin cheif and member of the Egbe Moremi, National African Women's Society in the Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village, located in Sheldon, SC. Founded in 1970, Oyotunji is North America's oldest authentic African community. Sangoma's specialities inclue shamanism, women's history, pan Africanism, and Wise Woman Traditions. She has taught at numerous summer camps and Earthskills Gatherings, and is a sacred activist.
Kaleb Wallace says by day you might find him pontificating on diet, nutrition or fermentation, cooking for the gathering, observing the birds, or running the Ancdstore. By night, he might be shooting dice, playing music, or wandering thru the cosmos during an evening astronomy lesson. Come and sit a minute.
Matt Hansen is a self-described maker and do-er of many things wilderness-y, I love exploring new areas and finding at least one "efficient" way to hang it, scrape it, eat it, launch it, dance upon, relax into, slicedicesplicefillet, harvest and/or have fun amongst....sometimes as uncivilized as possible. sometimes noshing a carne asada burrito like the rest of 'em. at rivercane I hold it down at the bow tent where we use tools with the intention of flinging objects forward, but would love for my attention to be diverted to other subjects I'm interested in including survival, fishing, ethnobotany, anthropology, forestry, ecology, h/g culture, and the eating-preserving-fermenting of food.
Keith Grenoble leaves home a week before Rendezvous begins so he can stop at every rock out-crop along the way to load up his car with goodies! He is an excellent potter and flint knapper, and is also skilled at cordage, bone working, hide tanning, and basketry.
White Eagle is a long-time rendezvous instructor specializing in rivercane flutes and blow guns.
Jerry Two Bears Blalock offers terrific programs for all ages! Bull Roarers, kites, and other exciting games!
Vicki Blalock keeps a working homestead with husband Two Bear. Her classes might include cannin meat by different methods, canning vegetables, shell wind chimes, net bags, tinctures, magnesium oil, Dutch oven cooking, worm composting, and whatever she is into at the moment.
Nancy Basket knows how to make just about anything out of kudzu... paper, soap, preserves.... and baskets!!!
Dean Smith is an amazing photographer and Outdoor educator. There's no telling which wonderful skills he'll teach at the next rendezvous!
Natalie Bogwalker is an herbalist, crafts-master, basket maker, chef, the list goes on... a true woods-lady!
Russell Cutts is the founder of Native Earth, Inc. and The Wyldecraft Company. He has 20+ years of professional experience teaching earth skills, American Indian history/prehistory, and outdoor education. Russell will be teaching his passion, fire!
Forest Hilyer the has apprenticed under and worked with Mark Warren of Medicine Bow Wilderness living skills school in Dahlonega, GA, and currenlty works as an outdoor educator/nature specialist for two Montessori schools. Engaging in Nature and helping others bridge a connection is his passion. He has been enjoying the earth skills gatherings family for 5 or 6 years. He also Chairs the organization that facilitates Hemlockfest (www.hemlockfest.org : an awareness and fund raiser to help save hemlock trees); he has a small mushroom farm (forestfungi); he works for Appalachian Outfitters (canoeing and kyaking river outpost); and he as a window cleaning business (The Window Guy).
Nick Neddo is an artist, author, naturalist, primitive skills educator, and craftsman. He has been teaching people wilderness skills since 2000. He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from the landscape, which is the topic of his book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food, and dirty hands.
Charity Cimarron is a mother, woodswitch, craftswoman, Waldorf Music and Handwork teacher, community organizer, and performing musician. She spent many years living alternatively, off-the-grid in a straw-bale house, on a converted school bus, in tents, tipis, and yomes across the country. She love to spend countless hours hiding out in the underbrush, learning bird songs, eating wild foods, and making medicine. As an accomplished craftswoman, she has many years of experience weaving, spinning, sewing, book-binding and basket-weaving. And in between all of these she squeezes in a little song or two.
Michael Ismerio is a passionate teacher who has been teaching music to people of all ages fro over 10 years. In 2008 he became immersed in the growing Deep Nature Connection movement and shifted his focus to guiding others on their journey to awareness, authenticity, and connection. In recent years, his passion has been working with teens and offering rites of passage opportunities for our young adults. Michael grew up in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, spent many years in the lush rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, and now calls Asheville, NC home.
Joan Candalino teaches tipi living skills, skills for sustainable living, and a range of earthskills crafts. She made her first tipis under the tutelage of Darry Wood in the 1990's. She and her husband, Tom Strode, are building homestead and community in Hardyville, KY. www.sweetwatertipi.com
Christina Gordon co-owned and operated Whitestone Farm, a U.S.D.A. Certified Organic farm specializing in wild foods, sustainable farming practices and humane animal husbandry practices for 5 years. She has been involved with primitive skills and outdoor education since 2003 and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Earthskills Rendezvous' Inc. Christina is a skilled brain-tanner and has taught and demonstrated hide tanning and animal use for public schools, numerous festivals, federal parks, primitive skills events, living history events and private classes throughout the United States.
Clint Corley is the Founder and Director of Forest Floor Wilderness Programs, working to reconnect both youth and adults to the natural world. He is also a Certified Wilderness Guide through Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin, having completed a year-long primitive living wilderness immersion program.
Becky Beyer is a woman of many talents, namely all things gardening, carving, and Appalachian folklore. She teaches spoon carving, garden planning, net making, nutrition, and more. You can see her take on Appalachian plant lore at www.bloodandspicebush.com
Todd Elliott is a native of the southern Appalachian Mountains and works as a freelance biologist, naturalist, and primitive skills instructor. His students in global biodiversity and interrelationships in nature have taken him to remote corners of six continents and allowed him to learn from indigenous people still living traditional lifestyles. One of Todd's latest projects has been writing the Timber Press field guide Mushrooms of the Southeast, which will be released later this year. Known for his entertaining and fact-filled programs, Todd teaches a range of subjects centered around primitive skills, foraging, ecology, traditional life-ways, and the human interface with the natural world. To learn more about Todd's work, visit his website: http://toddelliott.weebly.com/ and Instagram: @toddelliott .
Bill Kaczor is a foothills native of Maryland and the CEO and co-founder of Ancestral Knowledge. In 1994 he started studying with masters in the fields of: youth mentoring, naturalist studies, primitive technology, and animal tracking. Being a natural traveler Bill has accumulated countless hours of dirt time testing his skills around the country. Bill began to offer what he has learned to the public in 1998 and helped form the MAPS Group and Woodland Trackers in MD. In 1999, Bill chose to leave his 11 year old skateboard/snowboard business to dedicate his life to living his childhood vision of connecting people to their ancestors through ancient living skills. Once Bill began to live his vision he spent five years as a lead instructor for Children of the Earth Foundations - Coyote Tracks programs, and two years as their assistant director. He has taught students at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Earthskills Rendezvous, Roots Rendezvous in VT, Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Gathering (MAPS Meet), Wild Abundance, and Firefly Gathering Intensives. Bill spent five years as an instructor at Tom Brown Jr.'s Tracker School teaching primitive traps, bow and arrow making, archery, flint knapping, hunting, pottery, and hide tanning. In 2003 Bill co-founded Ancestral Knowledge in the Washington DC area. Bill specializes in bow making, stone tool technologies, hide tanning, fire by friction, and primitive bow hunting. Read what Tom Brown Jr. had to say about Bill...
Kerry Fulford says, "As a child, I could feel how being close to the he natural world helped calm my heart, and now, as an adult, I am aware of the necessity of being close tot he Earth and its elements to balance my sense of well-being. I have committed my life's work to sharing these connections. After receiving my B.A. in interpersonal and public communications from the University of Georgia, I began to really sense how many of us humans had lost our true conneciton to the Earth, thus losing our vitality, health, and happiness. I began to attend earth skills gatherings and . . . WOW . . . did it change my life!!! After my first Rivercane and Falling Leaves gatherings in Unicoi State Park with the Earth Skills Rendezvous group over 27 years ago, I studied everything I could and felt hope an grace in my life again. I managed several health food and medicinal herbal healing stores and took part in many medicinal and edible plant courses and apprenticeships that continue to this day. I have attended and taught earth based classes and workshops now for several decades and count these gatherings as one of the most healing things I do for myself. Along the way, I fell in Love with the science of Yoga and I saw how it also teaches ways to help stay connected with our true selves and the Earth we walk upon. In 1995, I received my certification in Integral Hatha Yoga and later progressed to study and teach all levels. I have also enjoyed getting certifications in assisting those with special needs and working with a physical therapist for four years with assisted Yoga programs. Then after studying Thai Yoga Massage, I began my own business, incorporating these passions called Athens Yoga Therapeutics in Athens, GA. I offer therapeutic massage, privage Yoga and group classes, earth skills classes and workshops, and mroe. I teach edible and medicinal plant classes andhow to prepare helpful medicines. I call my class "Magical Medicine Shelf," as a reminder to us all about the real meaning of the word "first aid," and to empower ourselves and help others on our path enjoying hte gifts of nature all around us. One of my favorite acitivities is sitting with others sharing aobut our lives and telling our stories. For many years, I have facilitated healing circles where we honor the wheel of the year or hold sacred ritual for big life changes recongnizing and sharing compassion. This is true medicine and my hope is that you will treat yourself, your friends, and your family to these wonderful earth skills gatherings where we sit, learn, and share together on our Earth.
Some of our other instructors, past and present:
Chuck & Peggy Patrick are a blacksmith, a basket maker, a fiddler, a guitarist, and that doesn't even come close to describing the skill or talents of this Appalachian couple!
Frank Chambless is from the mountains of NE Alabama, his lifelong interest is the exploration of natural and cultural worlds. This interest has carried him all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Central America, and North America. The places, people and traditional musical instruments of these adventures have served as the inspiration for his music.
Wren Shoumate has been traveling around the southeast building wigwams and teaching educational programs focusing on primitive earthskills and sustainable living. She's taught kids' programs for many years, and will be helping our youngsters at Rendezvous.
Seth Gaddis began blacksmithing at the John Campbell Folk School through their youth program when he was 12 years old. He continued to practice the craft, and took another class with Rendezvous instructor Chuck Patrick when he was 18. He has been blacksmithing ever since, and now enjoys teaching and sharing the craft.
Mary Brown is a gourmet wiz in the stone-age kitchen! Bring the kids... cook a feast... go home with a satisfied belly!
Michael Stuckey is a master potter, painter, and wood carver. His Rendezvous specialty is primitive pottery, so come hang out by the fire, get your hands dirty, and learn a lot! Come early... stay late!
Oren Kleinberger will tell you anything you've ever wanted to know about converting your diesel to run on used veggie oil. Help reduce our dependence on foreign oil!
Robin Blankenship is the Founder of EarthKnack, School of stone age living skills. Robin owns and operates Earth Knack and has been working in the outdoor field since 1978 when she began leading horse packing trips into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Her energy and liveliness brings inspiration to the Earthskills community.
Catherine Stinson has been practicing "earth skills" since she was a child! her current endeavour is Concentric Rings : a center where these skills are taught in an intimate small group setting. for a schedule of workshops visit the website at concentricrings.net.
Mac Maness is The founder of Skills Alive, an organization of Primitive Living Skills instructors. He knows a lot about a lot!
Chris Maness enjoys teaching primitive skills and connecting people with a new way of life... getcha' outta that box!
Orea VanDoren is a talented flute-maker and bagpipe player of shared Cherokee and Scottish descent. He is also a chop stick maven.
Seamus Trostle has been interested in outdoor skills all his life and was introduced to organizations of other like minded people about 10 years ago by Russell Cutts who has become a good friend and mentor. He is the former curator of Oxbow Meadows Envirnomental Learning Center and since moving to the Raleigh area has been teaching and demonstrating primitive skills full time.
Jeff Moore is a 26 year teacher of environmental and natural history education. He is a Colonial history re-enactor, musician and storyteller. His love of nature, history and indigenous cultures led him to explore primitive skills for the last 15 years. Jeff shares his knowledge of ancestral skills at various gatherings from Maine to Georgia. Jeff is the coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group works as a Naturalist for Killens Pond State Park in Felton, DE.