New Website Summer 2023

We are currently working on a new website which will be completed in the Summer of 2023. Until then, some content may be unavailable and some links may not work properly. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you need something from the old website, it can still be viewed here. Note that information on the old website may be out of date.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Please also see what to bring for a list of what you’ll need at the Earthskills gathering and our COVID safety information.

What are the facilities like?  Do you have bathrooms and/or showers?
Yes, we provide hot showers and bathrooms.  There are now bathrooms with flush-toilets as well as shower facilities.

Approximately how many skills is one able to attend during the Gathering?
There is some variability in how many skills you can do in a gathering, and it depends on where you choose to focus. Some of these skills, such as hide tanning or bow making, will take the better part of the gathering to complete. In other cases, a class may be very basic and short. The general format for the gathering is a period of classes after breakfast in the morning and a period of classes after lunch. Occasionally, there is a 3rd symposium offered in the late afternoon or evening. You may choose to become familiar with a wide variety of skills during the gathering, or focus on becoming adept at one.

Are all of your classes available everyday of the gathering?
Generally there will be more than 10 to 15 classes offered on any given day. The diversity of subjects and skills can vary throughout the event. We will, however, offer the “core skills” everyday. Core skills include fire making, flint knapping, and cordage/fiber arts.

Do all of the teachers on your list teach each day?
No, the teachers rotate through, and often teach different subjects on different days. We want them to have a chance to enjoy the event also. Most of the teachers we have are willing to offer one-on-one instruction at any time.

Is the info posted somewhere how long each class lasts?
Information on the classes is posted on a bulletin board at the beginning of the gathering. See the general schedule for class length.

Is there a Youth program?
We have awesome children’s programming at the Piedmont Earthskills Gathering!  While the kids are with us, we will be exploring the surrounding area, playing awareness games, and work on age-appropriate naturalist and bushcrafting skills.  Our teaching philosophy follows Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Ellen Haas, Evan McGown, and Jon Young. If your child likes to look for critters under rocks, peel bark off of a walking stick, or cover themselves in piles of leaves, your child will  have a blast spending time with us.

Is it possible to car or RV camp?
Yes, we have many car camping options available. We do request that there are no cars in the main circle area though… we are trying to create a unique space. For the Bahama location, we are requesting that you not bring a large RV.

Is there a place to coordinate rideshare?
Rideshare is organized on Facebook here:  Piedmont Earthskills.

Are the weekends a lot busier than the weekdays?
Yes, but not overwhelming. We will also offer more classes on the weekends.

Why are there only tickets for the entire event? What if I can only come for the weekend or for 1 day?
The 2022 Piedmont Earthskills Gathering will be limited to 150 people including staff and instructors.  This allows us to have a small, intimate gathering and carefully curate classes.  If many tickets are sold for only 1 or 2 days, our other days will be low in numbers due to the cap on total attendance.  This affects our budget and ability to hire instructors.  And…to really get the most value from the event we recommend you be there for as long as possible!  You can still purchase full event tickets even if you can’t attend for the whole time.  We anticipate that the 2022 Gathering will sell out early due to the cap on attendance, so it is recommended to register early!

What are your instructors like?
Earthskills instructors hail from all walks of life and cultures.  We’ve had both women and men descended from Cherokee, Asian, European, African, and a host of other backgrounds.  Some are professional teachers and some are living the primitive life.  What’s certain is that, regardless of heritage or profession, our instructors are highly skilled at what they teach.

What are the minimum age requirements for this?
There is no minimum or maximum age; we have a full range of ages in camp. Some classes may require adult/parental supervision.

Do you have overnight facilities?
We do offer overnight camping during the gathering for people who bring their own tents.  Some participants bring tipis, yurts or wall tents or other alternative shelters.  These are welcome and encouraged.  Both primitive camping and limited cabin rentals will be available.  There are a limited number of dormitory-style seasonal cabins (no heat or AC) available to rent at an additional cost.  See our registration page of prices.

What we offer is daily workshops and evening entertainment around the campfire.  Bring a fiddle, guitar or drum!

Do you have any Cambium Crew (formerly work trade) positions available?
We have a limited number of Cambium Crew (formerly work trade)/volunteer positions at each event. These positions fill up quickly and are in high demand! Applications can be found here:  work trade and gift trade here.

If you are interested in Cambium Crew (work trade) or volunteering or if you have any questions not answered on this page, please contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Can I bring my dog?

At any earthskills event, we like to welcome the well-behaved canine companions of our participants, instructors, staff, and crew. We know these animals are important members of your family, so we like to make space for them.  Please indicate on your online  registration that your dog will be with you.  We are limiting the number of canine companions at the event.  There is a $50 Dog registration fee (with online registration, $75 at gate) and you will be asked to provide proof of current vaccines (Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper and Parvovirus HPPA-D, same required for local boarding facilities), name of canine,  fur color and  collar color when you arrive. Still, please keep in mind that having your dog attend the event with you is a privilege. If you and your dog are unable or unwilling to abide by our doggie rules, you may be asked to remove your dog from the premises and there will be no registration refunds issued. NO other companions (cats, guinea pigs, parrots) or farm animals (pigs, chickens, waterfowl) can be accommodated at this event.

Doggie rules:

    • Dogs are not allowed inside ANY of the buildings at the Hill Forest location (classrooms, cafeteria etc.)
    • LEASH + YOU. Please have your dog on a leash at all times. The other end of the leash is attached to a person. (Or attached to a tree near their owner.) Please stay with your dog. No dogs wandering around without their people.
    • NOISE. Howling dogs are not acceptable. Especially no howling dogs left alone in camp for hours, please. It is really unpleasant for your neighbors, and probably for your dog as well. If your dog is a howler, maybe an Earthskills Gathering isn’t the place to bring it.
    • AGGRESSION. Limit dog on dog aggression and a dog on person attack is completely unacceptable! If your dog is aggressive, please be vigilant and proactive to prevent any drama, or do not bring your dog.
    • POOP. Pick up any dog poop you encounter, even if you don’t think it belongs to your dog. Clean grass for all our barefoot folks and their hand-made things. Bring bags to capture, contain, and dispose of your pet’s excrement promptly. Right after the poop hits the ground, you should be bagging it.
    • Please note: Dogs will not be allowed inside ANY buildings (indoor classrooms, bathhouses, cafeteria or cabins) unless your dog is a service animal.
      Piedmont Earthskills is in Compliance with the following law:

Doggie complaints:

If your dog is bothering someone, we encourage them to come talk to you and try to resolve the issue. So please be open to people approaching you to discuss your dog’s behavior.

If someone’s dog’s behavior is bothering you, please gently and respectfully approach the dog owner and let them know how you would like to see things change. Help them help you. If that fails or if you feel uncomfortable approaching that person, then please report dog issues to the Event Coordinator or any staff member.

3 Strikes Policy

    • STRIKE 1 – The owner gets a warning to reel their dog in. Event participants have complained about your dog’s behavior. Please take action to correct this behavior.
    • STRIKE 2 – The owner gets informed that their dog is continuing to cause issues. This is your last chance to correct your canine companions behavior. If we have to ask again, we’ll ask you to remove your dog from the event site. If removed for unacceptable behavior,  NO REGISTRATION REFUNDS will be issued.
    • STRIKE 3 – The owner gets asked to remove their dog from the event site now. The person can stay, but the dog cannot. There are several local dog boarding options in the Bahama/Durham, NC area. The owner is responsible for all costs incurred for boarding their pet offsite. NO REGISTRATION REFUNDS  WILL BE ISSUED!