Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Earth Connection - North Carolina's First Fire

EC-NC, the newest addition to the Earth Connection family, held their very first classes on 23-24 Aug, Emergency Fire Skills (half-day) and a youth survival class.

The inaugural Emergency Fire Skills class enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on Saturday. Wes Massey led the class through a wide assortment of fire skills from identifying and locating good tinder to appropriate location and construction, to the proper use of modern and primitive fire starting tools.

Walking around the woods, Wes showed everyone how to identify trees such as tulip poplar, cedar and birch, and how to harvest resources from each. Discussing the best way to get a fire started in the rain, Wes gave an impressive illustration of the value of "fat wood" from a dead pine.

By the end of the day, everyone had tried their hand at using a bow drill, had given a lot more thought to carrying fire tools, and had enjoyed a few hours in good company appreciating the variety of natural resources available if they need them.

On Sunday, the youth class had an exciting time exploring the woods. The group built a sturdy shelter out of readily-available materials that would have protected them from the elements easily in an emergency survival situation. Throughout the class, the instructors emphasized ways of avoiding becoming lost, staying safe, and enjoying the outdoors.

There was one interesting character visiting the school that provided the band of survivors with some excitement and laughs.

Our wily crew easily caught a fish from the pond, and learned how some primitive fishermen might have done that work. This valiant band of young woodsmen had a great time, and are looking forward to seeing more wildlife at the next EC-NC class.

All of the attendees were present and accounted-for at the end of the class, and in mostly the same condition in which they arrived.

This weekend will go down in Earth Connection history!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

EC @ Ninjutsu Mountain Quest

Tim MacWelch, An-shu Steven K. Hayes, Rick Hueston

This past weekend Earth Connection participated at North Carolina Quest Center's request in their annual Mountain Quest seminar. Mountain Quest seminar, unique to the North Carolina Quest Center, consists of a three-day event in the North Carolina Mountains at a location reminiscent of the original Togakure mountain training ground of the ninja warriors of the past. It is here they learn new skills and promote their newest black belts.

The founder of the To-Shin Do Ninjutsu An-shu Steven K. Hayes provided seminars in special martial arts skills that were not only impressive, but also inspiring. Earth Connection staff provided friction fire demonstrations and participated in the seminars.

Stephen K. Hayes was the first martial artist in the western world to be taught the secrets of Ninjutsu by the 34th generation Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan. Mr. Hayes organized these teachings into an easily understandable curriculum called To Shin Do.

The North Carolina Quest Center is the first to open in North Carolina. It was founded by cardiologist and martial artist Richard S. Stack, M.D. Dr. Stack practices Cardiology at Duke and and has lived in Chapel Hill/Durham for the past 20 years. He is a fifth degree black belt and a Master Instructor in Ninjutsu. He is the personal student of both Stephen K. Hayes and Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi, with whom he has trained extensively in the United States and in Japan for the past 14 years.
Tim and Hue were honored to be gifted this unprecedented experience. We met so many wonderful people that will hold special memories in us both. We are also looking forward to offering our brand of survival and wilderness skills training to more of their students. In a way, we compliment each others goals of self-development and self-sufficiency.

Other links of interest:
Steven K. Hayes Dayton Ohio Quest Center

Friday, August 01, 2008

Earth Connection - North Carolina Ribbon Cutting

Tim MacWelch, EC founder, and Wes Massey, EC-NC head instructor

It is official, the Earth Connection branch near Raleigh/durham North Carolina (EC-NC) is open for training.

Welcome to the family!

This new Earth Connection affiliate is run by Wes Massey, Hardee Merritt & Todd Magers; along with the help from many of their colleagues at the North Carolina Quest Center.

Tim and Hue visited the property EC-NC purchased to train Earth Connection's newest students recently for the ribbon cutting. It has so many possibilities. The site has a pond with fish (hmmm... primitive fishing skills), access to a large stream that feeds into a larger lake (hmmm... kayaking survival adventures), 10+ acres of trees (hmmm... area for a ropes course) and many, many resources for primitive skills classes.

Attend a class and experience the difference that EC-NC is making.

BTW, these guys are good. We are not telling you this because we have to, but because we know they are. We trained them. In particular, their friction fire skills are impeccable. We expect this affiliate to grow beyond all expectations. Sign up for a class soon!

Earth Connection - North Carolina 2008 Class Schedule

August 23rd – Emergency Fire Skills - Half Day

A well constructed fire can dry your clothes; increase your core temperature, cook your food, purify your water, and light your way. This course will cover skills including fire safety, proper fire materials, fire lay construction, and many methods of starting and maintaining fires, both modern and primitive.

September 20th – Survival Strategies I - Full Day

Do you know what constitutes a survival situation and how to properly navigate it? In this course we go over both modern and primitive skills necessary in any survival situation. Topics of instruction include: priorities of survival, survival kit construction, fire strategies, and building and using tarp shelters.

October 11th – Friction Fire - Full Day

This course will focus on the Bow Drill and the Hand Drill methods of Friction Fire. Proper construction and implementation of fire making equipment will be emphasized along with fire safety, tinder and firewood selection, and the construction of a primitive fireplace.

November 1 – S
urvival Strategies II - Full Day

Like Survival Strategies I, this course covers crucial skills to ensure your safety and well-being in any survival situation. You do not have to attend Survival Strategies I to attend Survival Strategies II. Topics include: Priorities of Survival, leaf hut shelter construction, tracking, stalking, primitive fishing, trapping skills, primitive cooking, using fire to make wooden dishes and making string using plants and bark.

Here is Earth Connection - North Carolina's Staff: