Buckeye: Pathways
May 8 – 14, 2018

Registration will March 11th, 2018

Pathways offers a deeper taste: spending five full days with one or a few advanced teachers following an intensive pathway in a specific field.  For years the Slickrock gathering has been doing this in May in Utah (thanks for sharing the name ‘Pathways’ and the model!).  This fits our vision of delving deeper into Ancestral Arts, and represents the future direction of our organization.

We were deeply jazzed and honored to have hosted these advanced teachers!
There was a high level of mastery represented here. 

Click on any name to go directly to bio or scroll down below.

    Bryce Wood ~ Blacksmithing
Caleb Soltau ~ Tule Boats
Corine Pearce ~ Fine Pomo Basketry
David Holladay ~ Stone Age Tools

Jay Sliwa ~ Braintanning Buckskin
John Slattery ~ Plant Medicine
Margaret Mathewson ~ Weaving
Myron Cretney ~ Friction Firemaking
Paul Rodgers ~ Bow making

go to Pathways Course Descriptions

go to Youth Camp program information


Pathways Instructor Bios

Bryce Wood ~ Blacksmithing

“Metal Edges From the Ground Up

Bryce Wood working with young dedicated student



Bryce Wood studies and practices a pared down, minimalist approach to blacksmithing.  He strives to craft lightweight edged tools, with clean utilitarian form, valued by hunter-gatherers, past, present and future.

email: woodcraftforge@gmail.com

Cover the basics of building a ground level forge… (click for class info)

Caleb Soltau ~ Tule Boats

Caleb Solau credit: Josh Sage

Caleb Soltau was born and raised on the rural Oregon coast.
From a very young age he was immersed in the natural beauty of the rainforest and beaches usually barefoot and sopping wet with a big smile.

Caleb’s passion to immerse himself into the natural world led him into many wild and wet situations sparking the need for shelter and fire.  sparking the question “how did people create shelter and fire before?”  And “how can I do this?” These core questions have fueled a lifelong adventure into the wilderness ways, primitive skills and countless learning and teaching opportunities.

In Caleb’s classes a student can expect excitement and inspiration around the teaching with stories from around the world  and his own. Caleb’s teaching style is fun and engaged with  lots of hands on experience with the elements on the earth backed by a diverse primitive skill set.  Caleb loves sharing his knowledge as a teacher and mentor  with people from all walks of life and enjoys how much he is constantly learning from his students.

Caleb spends about 8 months of the year at home on the Trinity river in Northern Ca where he runs primitive skills classes and retreats. The other four months a year out exploring the world and it’s people.

email: calebsoltau@yahoo.com

Take to the water in a boat made of bulrush… (click for class info)

Corine Pearce ~ Fine Pomo Basketry

“Fine Coiled or Fine Twined Pomo Baskets”

Corine Pearce

Corine Pearce is a Pomo basket weaver with ancestry from Lake and Mendocino counties.

Corine began weaving at the age of 9 and has over 30 years experience specializing in the many varied styles and techniques perfected by the Pomo people including twine, coil, cradle and gift baskets.

In an effort to preserve this rich skill and heritage, Corine has decided to share he knowledge in hopes that others will come to love and appreciate the beautiful art, dedicated skill and the important environmental impact of Native basketry.

Finished coiled Pomo basket

Create a beautiful piece of functional art… (click for class info)

David Holladay ~ Stone Age Tools

“Tools to Make Tools”

David B. Holladay was born in 1956, when the atomic age was in full swing. He was a first grader when he saw his first Clovis point, was deeply impressed that it was beautiful art and at that moment committed to be an artist. From his youth he has been blessed to work, travel and camp out for long, extended adventures from the Arctic Circle to Central America.

Of all of these places, his favorite is “out of town.” David was/is always asking himself and parents and teachers and friends & how did we do things before we had what we now have?” His love for the natural world/universe and his concern for our headlong dive into the “techno” future began his search for a slower and more fulfilling life way. So he decided to major in “being in love with living free” with a minor in “rocks, sticks and bones.” Or in other words, an organic education majoring in all Sciences and Humanities, with a special focus on archaeology and its connections with geology, botany, zoology and anthropology.

David Holladay

David says “a special thank you” to his first grade teacher Mona Dayton, Larry Olsen and David Wescott and all other educators who continue to keep the experiential education form of schooling and learning alive. Please come help David to continue his education.


Walk into the stone age… (click for class info)

Jay Sliwa ~ Braintanning Buckskin

Jay Sliwa cutting buckskin

Jay Sliwa grew up on a ranch on the Northern California coast where for many years he has cultivated a deep connection to the land through extensive seasonal foraging and wanderings, striving always to find ways to live closer to the beautiful wild places he calls home.

Jay has been honing his skills as a hide tanner and teacher for 20 years. originally learning through trail and error then apprenticing with his friends and mentors Doug “Digger”Crist, Sunny Baba, Sheome Rose, and others, Jay then moved on to teach brain tanning at many of the primitive skills gatherings around the western states and at his home. Jay now supports himself mostly as a brain tanner and leather crafter.

Most importantly, he shares with his students his deep love and gratitude for the Deer people.

Email: jaysliwa@yahoo.com (please also text Jay to notify about any emails sent)

Phone/Text: (707) 889-2941

Transform a deer hide into a beautiful “fabric”… (click for class info)

 Jeff Sanders ~ Animal Processing

“Traditional Animal Processing”

Jeff Sanders initially followed the path well traveled of formal education but soon after entering the “real world” he heard the path less traveled calling and found his true passion, teaching about nature using basic camping technologies.

Jeff Started has worked outdoors since 1993 including 11 years with Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS)- first as a student; then instructor; then Field Director. In 2010, he returned to his passion of leading students through transformational experiences in nature and founded the Desert DAWN Program in 2012 to focus on camping with nature instead of struggling against nature in “survival situations.”

Jeff Sanders

Jeff lives a rural lifestyle with his wife and daughter in south central Utah.  It is here that they enjoy learning through nature in the mountains of their backyard – Boulder Mountain – and the desert and canyons of their front yard – the Escalante River drainage.

phone: 435-335-7710
email: jeff@thedesertdawn.com
website: www.thedesertdawn.com 

Desert DAWN: A Traditional Woodcraft Camping School – Backcountry Excursion Day HikesWoodcraft Camping Courses

Sorry! but Animal Processing with Jeff Sanders had been cancelled
(He will be teaching animal processing during the Beltaine Week)

John Slattery ~ Plant Medicine

“Becoming a Bioregional Herbalist”

John J. Slattery

I consider myself a bioregional herbalist helping people develop authentic relationships with wild plants. For me, People, Place, and Plants wrap up the context of what I do, how I teach, and how I approach healing, in general; whether for myself, my family, or a client you comes to me seeking healing. Beginning with a relationship to place, one can go deeply into the knowledge of one’s local plants for food and medicine, even with very limited access to third party educational resources (e.g. teachers, books, studies, etc.). Because I see our current system enrapt with the phenomena of the reductive scientific paradigm, I feel it’s essential we come to exercise and embrace the unspoken “feeling sense” which connects us to all living things and delivers knowledge directly from the ‘heart’ of the matter.

Through my exposure to various indigenous cultures throughout the Americas, and, in particular, within my bioregion in the Sonoran desert (and surrounding areas), and engaging in deep relationship with the place and its plants, I have been developing an approach to becoming a bioregional herbalist which incorporates a holistic 4-directional model of healing. I’m excited to share my experiences, help guide others along this path of infinite knowledge and discovery, and encourage those who are called to find their particular path on the ‘green road of self-knowledge’.

Southwest Foraging by John Slattery

I’m also passionate about foraging (wrote a book about it a couple years ago, Southwest Foraging), and, in particular, the naturally occurring plant foods around my home. Acorns top the list; covering the entire scope of “balanoculture”, our collective ancient history with oaks and acorns, and all that’s associated with that particular epoch in time. I’m excited to learn more from others who are using acorns, whether relatively new to it, like myself, or whose families or cultures still maintain an unbroken lineage for generations, if not centuries, back.

To sum it up, education for me is ultimately experiential. The knowledge, I believe, comes through the associated contextual experience, or the power which is derived from the experiential knowledge can be translated as being in one’s life. An integrated feedback loop which is self sustaining.

email: john@johnjslattery.com          website: www.johnjslattery.com          @johnjslatteryherbalist

Explore the world of plants… (click for class info)

Margaret Mathewson ~ Weaving

“Weaving of the World”

Margaret Mathewson                                                                                    photo credit: Paula Sauvageau





Margaret Mathewson has been a student of basketry and weaving of the world since the early 80’s.

She works privately for universities, museums and indigenous tribes, on many aspects of plant and animal fibers, foods and other traditional skills.

email: margaret@peak.org

Explore the world of plants… (click for class info)

Meghan Walla-Murphy ~ Tracking

“Animal Tracking, Behavior and Medicine”

Meghan Walla Murphey

As a wildlife ecologist, tracker, and an instructor of both young people and adults I am often asked what is the most important way to “show up” during this interesting and inspiring politically wrought time we find ourselves in? I too have asked myself this question and pondered it deeply. And the bit of action I keep returning too is this… To know one bit of land deeply and well over a long period of time. Because what would it be like if our Congress and our politicians, no matter what their beliefs, knew a tree well, or had compassion for a lizard? For when we can create empathy for something as Other as a lizard, a Muslim or Republican becomes far less scary and much more approachable. And with that empathy, it seems to me, xenophobia fades away. It seems our work right now is to create relationships, to embrace the Other, and bridge the differences.

Because of this deep belief of being in relationship with things other than Humans, I have spent the past 20 years dedicating myself to the art of wildlife tracking. This dedication has now become the lens through which I move about the world, allowing me to have great tolerance for those people and moments that are uncomfortable. Tracking continually teaches me to get out of my own way, observe what is beyond me, and be aware of things other than my agenda. It has also given me the skills to read a landscape, better understand ecology, and apply these to conservation and social justice challenges in my work. During Pathways, I look forward to sharing my tracking story and also learning from you.

For more details feel free to visit my website or contact me at www.meghanwallamurphy.com

Brendan Clarke ~ Tracking assistant

Brendan Clarke is a naturalist, educator, and writer. He has spent the better part of the last decade immersed in the world of nature connection education, with a particular interest in tracking and bird language. He began his professional career as a classroom teacher in southwest Chicago, and watched how a narrowing, managed curriculum could limit the development of certain skills and capacities. As a nature-based mentor, he discovered that tracking, as a practice deeply rooted in the human make-up and the breadth and depth of life itself, can open up our capacities for awareness, problem solving, creativity, and stewardship.

The journey of tracking has led Brendan on the path of traditional bow-hunting, which continues to be one of his greatest teachers. Beyond that, he continues to study places and their stories with friends and local trackers, as well as the Cybertracker community. He carries Level III Track and Sign and Trailing certificates through Cybertracker. He is also a student of mythology and storytelling, and is passionate about the overlap between tracking and storytelling.

Sorry!, but Tracking with Meghan Walla-Murphy & Brendan Clarke had been cancelled
Please contact Meghan for more information on other tracking classes

Myron Cretney ~ Friction Firemaking

“Fire From Concept to Combustion and Beyond …consistently”

Myron Cretney                credit: Joshua Sage

Myron is a primitive skills enthusiast, has been teaching them for many years and loves working with people of all ages and sharing his skills.  He usually doesn’t have a whole lot to say and is just a guy that spends a lot of time outdoors and who likes connecting with the plant, animal and minerals of his world.

He is a patient teacher gives students very attentive, articulate, clear instruction to progress well beyond what they thought possible and break though any perceived “walls”.

Myron with one of his signature hand drill kits





One of Myron’s missions in life is to show everyone that hand drill is the easiest and most dependable method of firemaking.

website: www.myronaturals.com



Explore the essential element called fire… (click for class info)

  Paul Rodgers ~ Bow Making

“Osage Bow Making”

Paul Rodgers at bandsaw with raw bowstave

Paul Rodgers has been a woodworker all of his adult life. With decades of experience as a primitive bowyer, he has made more than a thousand bows of varying designs, always striving to learn something new each time.

Some of his bows can be found in the Traditional Bowyer’s Bible, as well as in museums. He is passionate about bow making and especially enjoys teaching the skill to others.

In addition to teaching, Paul cuts his own trees and sells bow staves to the public.


Paul, Melissa & Gypsy Wagon


He and his wife Melissa travel to various primitive skills gatherings in their Gypsy wagon, where they both teach.

phone: (925) 550-4759
email: ishi1017@gmail.com


Emerge with a self crafted bow that you can be proud of… (click for class info)

  Vicki Hillstrom ~ Felting

“Zin Feltivity”

Vicki HIllstrom                   credit: minimg




Vicki Hillstrom hails from Trout Lake Washington and was trained in the art of felting by the renowned felter Jack Fee…. and has in turn passed on that skill to countless students.

phone: 509-774-8713
email: v.hillstrom@gmail.com


Sorry! but Felting with Vicki Hillstrom had been cancelled