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We are all EARTH people!  We all share the same matter and energy within a finite system. We all share air, water, food and natural resources.  We all have an inherent and instinctual connection to the Earth.  We believe that through this connection we can discover our authentic EARTH-SELF and learn to live a respectful, balanced, healthy and fulfilling life with the planet, nature and with others. 


Today in our culture and society it is hard to find purpose and meaning in our lives.  We are caught up in just trying to get by, slaves to a mortgage, stuck in a job we don’t care for and bombarded with so many marketing campaigns - telling us who we should be and what we should do and pursue. We seek escape to a retreat, we leave our cities of concrete, steel and glass and go to those special, wild, quiet and natural places to find relief, solitude, rejuvenation, and to connect to an authentic self, long forgotten.  When we spend time in nature we often think about the ancient ones, our ancestors and their interaction with a particular place or landscape. We ponder their simplicity, harmony and balanced livelihoods. We long for that same simplicity. Life should be about living, enjoying ourselves, being content in our own skin, fostering and nurturing our relationship with family and friends. Not the reality we are scheduled to return to Sunday evening. Pulled like a moth to light we leave our authentic Earth-Self in the woods and meander back to a gray life void of connection and purpose.  We all have longed for a simpler time, a way to shake off our complacent habits and move toward positive meaningful experiences – to unplug and return to that place where time stands still and we began to feel like we know who we really are.


At Earth Living Skills School we believe that all people have an inherent and instinctual connection to our Earth Mother. One of our four goals; It is to provide a place, setting, and programs to help awaken this connection, thus unleashing your life's purpose, meaning and potential. We believe by immersing oneself in nature and engaging in interactive, hands on primitive arts and skills with raw earth materials and simple hand tools, you will discover an awareness of self and a relationship to the Earth that you didn’t think possible.  Come join us and began your journey today.


Our 4 guiding goals:

- Preserve ancient wisdoms, traditional methods and sustainable primitive practices.

- Provide a place and setting for interactive, hands-on, multi-sensory and experiential based learnig for all.

- Provide a safe place for the healing of self through nature immersion and self-discovery exercises and programs. For the purposes of

  wakening personal vision and develpment of meaningful life purpose and direction for all participants and students.

- Promote true freedon and self-reliance through the learning of Earth Living Skills.


*ELSS is a racially nondiscriminatory orginization and school for students and staff.

Our Philosophy

Instructor & Founder

Rourke McDermott leads and teaches with passion, enthusiasm and insight. He strives to create opportunities for students to connect and build relationships with our Earth Mother through the 4 Sacred Wisdoms; Fire, Water, Food, Shelter and Earth Living Skills.  


Joseph Brophy Toledo, Jemez Pueblo, is known for his spiritual and traditional insight and intuitiveness, coupled with his knowledge of healing herbs. His balanced approach to life and his ability to lead meditations makes him an amazing instructor. 


Lauren McDermott is an knowledgeable and passionate Herbalist and Potter. She has a deep and innate connection with and love of edible and medicinal plants. She practices and teaches sustainable wildcrafting techniques as well as primitive pottery workshops.


Jay Clawson is an excellent and engaged instructor. He is proficient in teaching primitive fire making, knife & other hand tool usage along with extensive knowledge and experience in survival scenarios.  

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