Registration is currently set to open Saturday, March 11; watch here for updates
When and Where
The first week of the Eighth Annual Buckeye Gathering will be April 30 – May 6th 2017, at Lake Concow Campground, near Chico CA. It is about 3 1/2 hours drive from the San Francisco Bay area, in the Sierra foothills. You can expect anything from warm and dry to chilly and wet – the land varies from open meadow to conifer-dominant forest, with lakeshore and creekside.
Limited Enrollment – Register Early
A great deal of the magic of the gathering is the intimacy. If there are too many folks, we lose something in the hectic mix, and with our limited number of instructors we want to keep the classes small. We are working to create a sustainable model for future years that will accommodate the blossoming interest in paleotechnology in Northern California. Maybe more than one week, summer camp style? For now, we are going to cap the total number of participants on-site. When registration is full, we will regretfully be turning folks away. Registration opens at the beginning of March. Work trade applications will be accepted in January.
What to Expect
Students arrive starting Saturday afternoon – early is wise! We will meet you at the gate for check in, supply basic information & a wristband and help you get camped. Sunday afternoon at 2 pm sharp we gather for opening ceremonies and orientation. Instructors announce their basic teaching fields for the week. On Monday morning begins 5 days of classes. The flow of the days look like this; breakfast and class announcements, morning classes, lunch break, afternoon classes, and dinner. There will be a central fire and a few satellite campfires set up in the evenings, when you can look forward to music, discussion groups, presentations, and dancing. Thursday is Mask Night. ; } On Saturday we will close camp and part ways.
Schedule of Classes
Like Backtracks events, the class schedule will not be available until you arrive. Here is a list of classes from previous years and their instructors, to help you get a sense of what to expect. Every year is a little different.
We’re providing breakfast and dinner so that we can share meals and have more time to focus on learning and teaching. There will be simple, vegetarian fare and tea every meal, with meat offered most dinners. Our food is focused on local and organic cooking – and it is delicious. Lunches are up to you! Bring your own bowl and/or plate, drinking vessel, and utensils, these will not be provided. The first meal is Sunday dinner, and the last is Saturday breakfast.
Our head cook is Tami Grooney, of Wild Tree Kitchen Crafts: //www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Tree-Kitchen-Crafts/408942602500200
The site is on a well, there is quality drinking water available in many places onsite.
Daily Entrance, Coming and Going
We meet and focus as a village. To come to Buckeye means registering for the whole week; we do not offer any partial entrances. When everyone comes prepared to stay from opening to closing ceremonies the power of community shows.
Family Camp & Childcare
Kid’s camp for ages 5 and up runs everyday between meals during classes. There will be organized activities and dedicated spaces for youths. This is not an opportunity to drop your kids off for the day or the week!! Parents, please stay in contact with kid’s camp about which children you are responsible for, where you will be, and how you will contribute to the collective childcare effort. We encourage a parent’s cooperative to share childcare for kids under 5. We ask that all minors ages 17 and younger be accompanied to Buckeye by an adult or guardian.
If you wish to attend as a school group, organization, or bring more than three (3) youths per adult, please contact us before registering. We only reserve tickets for groups we are collaborating with to put on the Gathering and for the Native Youth Scholarship Program (a component of our mission to network with Indigenous communities). As part of our Vision, we use a sliding scale rather than raise the rates of all tickets. Because our base rate tickets for five days of classes (!) are kept as low as they are, we don’t offer groups rates.
What to Bring
Like other primitive skills gatherings, we appreciate your self-sufficiency. Vitals: shelter, bedding, food for lunches, bowl/plate, utensils, knife & sharpener for classes, a light, water containers, first aid kit, clothes for walking in tick/poison oak country, rain gear, trade goods, money and toiletries. Instructors may have additional materials fees for classes, from a few bucks to $50+ for the likes of bow making, moccasin making, etc. Extras to think about: acoustic musical instruments (yes!), swimsuit for the creek and lake, comfortable yoga clothes, & sunscreen. There are primitive showers onsite that may or may not be working. As to shelter: most folks bring canvas shelters, tents, lean-tos, or sleep in their vehicles or under the stars. Trailers are okay. This is not a clothing optional event. We provide: toilets (pit & portos), breakfasts and dinners, & drinking water. Please produce minimal garbage: you will be taking out what you bring in. There are grocery stores within 30 miles.
The main camping area is in the open with scattered brush, and in forest edges. You can car camp, or walk your gear a short distance to get away from vehicles into the main camping area. We have several main fire areas to circle up together, and ask that there be no other campfires unless it has been recently raining.
Swimming & Boating
Swimming and wading is only allowed along the shoreline by the Thermalito Irrigation District. There is also a creek open to unlimited swimming. Please no soaps in the creek or lake. There is no boating on the lake. Bring your fishing license for trout and bass.
We will have a first aid station. It is provided for what you cannot take care of yourself; please bring a first aid kit. At orientation we will discuss responsibility and safety for you and your kids.
Applications for Work Trade are open for the month of January; after that all spots are full.
Welcome to All
We welcome all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and beliefs. Although the ground is uneven in places, it is relatively flat. Let us know at the gate and we can help elders and those with limited mobility camp closer in.
Volunteering at the Gathering
We ask all students to volunteer for a few hours over the week to help everything flow smoothly and to get a chance to rub elbows with new pals. The lion’s share of volunteer time will be with serving meals and kitchen work. We will make announcements to solicit help.
Volunteering Before the Gathering
If you are available in March and April to help us with work parties, shoot us an email with ‘volunteer’ in the subject line.
Barter Fair, Trade Blanket & Money
Sometime during the week will be a trade blanket or two, and on (at least) Friday we will end classes early to have a camp-wide barter fair. Bring trade goods and money for the crafts and resources that will be available from instructors and fellow classmates throughout the week. We are encouraging a handmade trade and gift economy, so bring homemade goods, including what you wear!
The Society of Primitive Technology $15 Discount
Once registration opens, we will be offering $15 off your Buckeye ticket if you are a current member, or join the Society of Primitive Technology (www.primitive.org). For $30, membership lasts one year and gets you two bi-annual issues of the SPT Bulletin, which offers a wide array of articles relevant to primitive technology. The Bulletin is provided as vehicle to further the mission of the SPT, which is to: promote the practice and teaching of aboriginal skills; foster communication between teachers and practitioners; and set standards of authenticity, ethics, & quality. Check out their website, you can’t beat this deal! We aim to support the organization that has spent recent decades fostering the primitive skills community that inspired Buckeye. Within this movement are dedicated, cutting-edge teachers who have unearthed and advanced a broad range of awarenesses and skills. See our registration page for details.
The Native American Scholarships
Our gathering is in Concow Valley Band of Maidu country. Though we all have paleotechnologies in our ancestral past that we can reconnect with, just a few centuries ago the Indigenous tribes on this continent were living en masse in many of the ways that we are now attempting to relearn. The subsequent history of genocide and marginalization makes healing our present relations important to us. We seek to honor the continuing cultural legacy of Native America, as we work and learn together in the reality of today. These scholarships are available for youth until March 15, and then open to adults. See the Native Scholarship page for details, and help us spread the word.
We will have opening and closing ceremonies, simple rituals to arrive & orient, then to depart in peace from this proto-village experience. What guided us into Buckeye is a collective spirit, and we hope to offer a space where folks of any belief feel at ease and among friends. You are under no obligation to take part in our circles, but we hope you’ll want to.
Carpool to Buckeye! Check the RIDE SHARE page before the gathering.
Other gatherings, primitive skills and otherwise, are challenged with people sneaking in. We of Buckeye are a small batch of folks getting together in our homes, cabins and yurts, trying to build a place for community to grow. We aren’t a big business. It takes a lot of life energy, including tens of thousands of dollars, to rent land, feed people, buy supplies, etc. Please help maintain the integrity of Buckeye by discouraging folks from pulling a fast one on our village. It’s a bummer.
By permission only. Only service pets and animals with specific permission are allowed, so this means if you arrive at the gate with your trusty canine you will be turned away.
Alcohol and Drugs
No thanks. We thrive on clear relations among a swirling group of new and old friends; this is a family event. We do not tolerate drug abuse or drunkenness.
Rain or Shine?
Rain or shine.