How to Organize a Rewilding Free Skills Series

Hey folks. Just thought I’d let you know I’m working on a page over at the wiki on how to organize a rewild camp. Please check it out and let me know of any questions or comments on what needs to be mentioned.

How to organize a Rewild Camp
This page exists as an outline for those who want to run their own rewild camp.

1 Don’t Spend A Dime
2 Things You’ll Need
2.1 Rewild Camp Website
2.2 Basic Location Needs
2.3 Food
2.4 People
2.4.1 Identify Your Demographic
2.4.2 Organizations
2.4.3 Writing Copy
2.4.4 Press
2.4.5 Internet
2.4.6 Phone Calls
2.4.7 Flyers/Handbills/Posters
2.4.8 Word of Mouth
2.4.9 Partnerships
3 Running the Event
4 Make Rewild Camps Obsolete

Don’t Spend A Dime

The idea behind the rewild camp invovles bringing people together, rendezvous style, without anyone having to pay an entry fee to learn and share skills or network. Every monetary expense can be circumvented using social networks and a little brainstorming. Someone is spending money for the event, you just don’t want it to be the organizers or the participants. For example, if you use public bathrooms at a park instead of renting them yourself, the park service is paying for the bathrooms through tax dollars.

Community building barter can also play a role in running a free event. For example, rather than renting someones land, why not offer a day of labor to care-take the land? At the Portland Rewild Camp we had 45 people. Some rendezvous like Rabbitstick draw 400 people. What kinds of work could you do for someones land in one day with 400 people? A lot. Like set up a humanure compost system so you bring soil to their land, and not have to pay for port-a-potties. Get it?

Things You’ll Need

Rewild Camp Website
The first step in running a Rewild Camp involves creating a website for it here. This will help you to direct people to a place where they can get more information on the event than provided in your marketing materials. This service does not cost anything. A free website helps a lot with marketing your event.

To create a page for your event, search the wiki using the title of your camp. For example “Rewild Camp Portland 2007.” When it does not find the page, you will see a text in red that says, “Create this page.” You can create the page from there. You will need to register in order to edit the wiki, which you can do first, or when you create the page for your Rewild Camp.

Example Rewild Camp Website:
Rewild Camp Pittsburgh 2007
Rewild Camp Portland 2007

Basic Location Needs

If you had to rent land or porta-pottys, you would have to spend lots of money. In Portland, we chose a public park with a shelter, bathroom and water fountain open all day long. We have thought about using our own houses and had people volunteer their houses as well.

Here again, in Portland we chose a park with a water fountain.
Shelter from rain, cold, heat
We held the event in Portland during the summer so our only concern was rain, so we chose a park with a shelter and picnic tables. A large wall to hang the Open Space Marketplace.

Food brings people together. What else do we do as a people but get and prepare food? Can you find free food? Can you organize a potluck for the event? Food is very very important to getting people to stay at the event. Free food is more important.


Identify Your Demographic
To run a decent Rewild Camp that focuses on creating a community of people who want to survive the collapse, you first need to target people who believe in the collapse of civilization and the undoing of domestication. This may work as the most important part of marketing; reaching the right people.
You must identify groups who probably have members who like to rewild. This includes a wide variety of people; naturalists, permaculturists, college students, trackers, primitive survivalists, ethnobotanists, etc.
Ask yourself, what groups out there have these kinds of people? Search the internet for the organizations. Search the internet for past Rewild (and related) Camps for blog entries, and invite the bloggers if they live nearby. Flip through the phone book. Ask your friends. The more time you spend finding these organizations the more success you will have in attracting people of like mind.

Partnering with an organization can bring in skilled instructors/contributors to the rewild camp. It also works in their favor as a week of free networking and advertising. By coming to the rewild camp and participating, whether teaching a skill or just helping organize it, an organization can expand awareness of their company by promoting their pay-for classes during the week. They can also meet other people with skills that they may hire as instructors. The idea behind rewild camp is social networking, with the theme of rewilding. We want to create social networks of rewilders. The camps are more about connecting people than teaching skills. Skills come easily when a network is in place. The rewild camp offers great marketing and connections for organizations as well as communities.

Writing Copy
The key to writing copy involves making it attract the demographic that you want to attend the rewild camp. You will use this copy in your press release and your internet marketing and it will also give you an idea of what to say if you make phone calls.

Local publications can work tremendously for free marketing. Identify every small and large local publication you can. Go to their websites or look them up in the phone book and write down their addresses and their e-mail addresses.
In order to get their attention you must send them a “Press Release.” Basically a page or two of information about your event.

Press Releases need to be both mailed physically, or sent via e-mail. E-mail is free. Mailing is not. You can think of a way around this though, perhaps you could scrap up some free paper and deliver the physical press releases using your bike. Physical Press releases need to be sent out at least 3 weeks before publication. This will vary your timing depending on montly, bi-weekly, weekly papers. Don’t forget about news stations! Internet press releases should be sent two weeks before print as a reminder of the physical press release. I have found physical press releases with an internet reminder to be most successful. E-mail only press releases can work, but I have had minimal success with those. If you do only internet, make sure you send the press release twice, 3 weeks in advance, and two weeks in advance on the Rewild Camp.

The internet also provides a great place for free marketing. Identify internet sites such as message groups and bulliten boards that fit your demographic or reach a large enough audience. Myspace groups, meetup groups, Indymedia, Craigslist community board.

Phone Calls
Call your friends. Call groups you don’t know. Call or e-mail experts in your area and invite them.

If you can find a way to make them for free, do it. Like the press release, get them out early… but not too early. Posters will get covered or taken down.

Word of Mouth
Tell your friends to tell their friends. No other marketing works better than personal recommendations.

A great way to get instant free marketing is to partner with one or more similar organizations. If you partner with a non-profit you can use their status to get free food donated to you and other supplies. Also, you’ll have access to their e-mail and mailing lists.

Running the Event

Open Space Technology…

Make Rewild Camps Obsolete

Rewild Camp serves to create a surge of inspiration and community building. The goal is to create the surge and keep the momentum of rewilding present. Several tools will work for keeping the momentum. Once a community exists, I see no reason to maintain a presence at other than cross cultural pollination.

Create a localized e-mail list or phone tree.

Have regular Wild Foods Potlucks and rewilding craft nights.

Have regular foraging and habitat restoration trips.

Create a local rewilding calendar for people to post these things on. Physical or internet or planned regularly (every other friday, etc)

Thanks for putting that together, Scout. It really spurred some thoughts for me. I guess, right now, I’m in the “Identify Your Demographic” phase. I’m trying to find and reach the people here locally that could have an interest.

My main hurdle here is that with the hippies and the mountain men, hardly anybody has an internet connection, so I’m having to do a lot of footwork. It slows things down, but it also makes them more personal at the same time.

Make Rewild Camps Obsolete

Rewild Camp serves to create a surge of inspiration and community building. The goal is to create the surge and keep the momentum of rewilding present. Several tools will work for keeping the momentum. Once a community exists, I see no reason to maintain a presence at other than cross cultural pollination.

… I kinda disagree with the above, especially the last bit. Maintaining a presence keeps a trail of breadcrumbs in place so that later-comers, like myself, can find it as well as keep the online community alive. If there’s something going on near me, I’m not going to find it on the community board at city hall because like most people these days, I don’t even know where city hall IS.

Keep the presence, make the announcements for the n00bs to find! This is one of the few groups out there that when the members mature, they drop out incommunicado. There can be no such thing as a completely rewilded person with internet access :wink:

On that note… where is everyone?

Hey GC!

I like the breadcrumbs analogy. A trail leading to wild(er) places! Gotta practice them tracking skills :wink:

The succes of rewilding seems to be mostly invisible, peoples and small groups slowly moving of the grid. Effectively becoming invisible taking valuable lessons/knowledge with them. This can be a problem for new people looking for support. Leaving a trail could be a fun way to reach out.

Where everyone is? in my personal experience there is only so much a forum can do for you.

I hope you like it here though. I still check in pretty often as do others.

Did you have any more ideas on Rewild Camps / their invisibility? / leaving trails?

Hey GC,

Yeah, I wrote that a while ago. I think the “spirit” of making rewild camps obsolete is a long term one. Like, “someday in the future there will be no more rewild camps…” because so many people are all ready living that way.

But yeah, actually that doesn’t make much sense either because, there is always space for gatherings. Perhaps rewild camps morph into something else at that point.

I guess my main point is to not let rewild camps or rewilding in general become stagnant. Let them always change and grow into whatever shape they may take to suit their environment. Maybe my idea of a rewild camp is different than yours, or timeless, etc. Let it be what it is to the people who build it.

Thanks for the input! I love talking about this stuff. And I will always be on the internets. :smiley:

I’ve read that fieldguide over a few times, I’m thinking my best chance to really set up something like this is at college. However, this particular school has a lot more business students and such, not really sure how interested they would be. My brother just started going to college in Bloomington, they’re the least conservative town in Indiana, and I get a feeling a rewild camp would attract more people there. But hey, I want to give it a shot here. The idea of showing that documentary (can’t remember the title right now, but it was mentioned in/ or in a reply to the fieldguide) which I should be ordering soon. I’m just writing this here because I feel that if it’s posted and recorded, then I’m less likely to just put it in the back of my mind and put it off until it’s too late. Also I don’t have a lot of experience with starting groups or clubs, but it’s important to me, so I want to try.

This is an out-dated concept in some ways. The “camp” idea was good, but I’ll be working on “How to organize Rewilding Community Building Events” in the near future.

These are great posts. Please keep them up.

Wow, I reeeeally need to update this… Has anyone else here organized a similar gathering? Any thoughts on how to do it?

Yes, I have organized gatherings where people could share their skills and meet like-minded folks. With a few people from different backgrounds (e.g. living archaeology, boy scouts, survival, nature awareness, and a couple more) we looked for an affordable place where we could camp, build fires, and had toilet facilities. Boy scout terrains suited our needs very well, but also an “iron age village” that would host school classes and other groups at other times.

We’d make sure we had a first aid team (just 2 of us at first), had someone at a central fire making sure there would be tea and coffee available (thermos bottles!) at all times. And we offered a discount for those running a workshop. Participants could arrive starting on Friday, then we’d have two rounds of workshops on Saturday and two on Sunday, and sometimes a special one in the evening or early morning. They had to pay only a small entry fee (about $25 for the whole weekend) and needed to bring just their camping gear and their own food.

The first weekend had some 25 participants, and people enjoyed it so much that we continued organizing this roughly every half year, growing to 70 people or so in a year or two.

For community building events, I’d suggest (in 8 Shields terms) to replace the “South” approach with workshop rounds and focus on skills with other activities but to keep similar “East” and “Southwest” elements.


Oh, and we also provided some shelter such as tarps or a tipi, so that we’d have at least some space for gathering with a bigger group or workshop. Having a sheltered space of sorts would also be something we’d look for when seeking a nice place to camp at.

One of the most genuine ways to introduce others to rewilding is for a rewilder to just practice rewilding in the wild. There can usually be hikers and such who will notice what you’re doing and want to know more about your obviously non-store-bought way of living entirely off of what Nature gives–without forcibly or greatly taking from her. In order to find other rewilders, just frequent the wild and maybe you’ll meet up. The more of us living the life, even those who do it sporadically, the less we’ll have to seek each other here on this very un-wild medium. :slight_smile:


I do this in parks in Portland too. People are always stoked to see ancestral skills. :smiley:

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I updated the thread title from “How to Organize a Rewild Camp” to “How to Organize a Rewilding Free Skills Series.” This is because “camp” was always misleading, and so was “Skill Share.” Free Skills Series has worked really well for us.