To achieve the Expedition Instructor (XI) Certification, a prospective student must first acquire all of our other certifications, as well as complete a distance learning course, the Primitive Wilderness Living Practicum, a solo canoe trip and a series of advanced benchmarks. They must also pass the test to become a Registered Maine Guide. We used to call this our yearlong immersion program. The minimum time needed to complete varies depending on the student, but a year is a good ballpark figure.
- Journeyman Certification
- Level 1 & 2 Riverman Certification
- Hivernant Certification
- Primitive Wilderness Living Practicum
- 100-Mile canoe expedition, solo or with another student
- Extensive experiential benchmarks
- Extensive documentation and academic work
- Pass the state exam to become a Registered Maine Guide
Along the way the prospective student will have canoed hundreds of miles, spent months living the woods life, spent weeks in a wall tent in bitter cold conditions, become proficient in the guiding arts and developed their skills to a level where they’re ready to instruct others. Part of this is taking background knowledge from the student level to the instructor level. Learning must be documented.
Specific Curriculum & Requirements
When you register for a course you’ll receive all of the specific requirements for the certification. These will include some or all fo the following:
- Logbook & Course Documentation
- Benchmarks (Crafts, Skills, Meals, Number Of Repetitions, etc.)
- Oral Exams
- Practical Exams
No Social Promotion
Social Promotion is the practice of promoting a student to the next grade level, or granting a certificate, regardless of skill mastery in the belief that it will promote self-esteem. Regardless of how well we get along, what a great person you are, how much experience you have, or what you’ve done in your life up to this point, we do not socially promote. We have strict requirements and they must be met. Because we wouldn’t want to devalue the achievement of people who have completed the JMBS certifications in the past, we will not make exceptions on the requirements. Making exceptions cheapens the achievements of everyone involved.
Can I finish the requirements for the Certification at home after the course? No. As this is a standards-based certification, completion at home raises many problems and questions. First, how do we verify that a skill meets the standard required? Second, being able to finish at home allows a person to not use their time wisely and still receive the certification at the end of the process. This is not something we want to encourage. All of the people who have completed the certifications in the past have done so during the course at the field school.
Two-Week Writing Period
While benchmarks and course work must be completed during the course, there is a 2-week writing period after a course where students can clean up, digitize, edit, etc., their written work. This means that while you cannot complete certification requirements after the course, you can, in the example of a Boreal Snowshoe Expedition where you kept a hand-written logbook and workbook, type this up. All documentation must be typed in order to be valid for certification.
While we do not allow anyone to extend the time to get the work done beyond a course, we encourage people to start early. Contact us for more details on this.
What JMBS Certifications Are Not
JMBS Certifications are acknowledgements that a student has reached a standard and breadth of proficiency. They are not a job placement service (click here to read about jobs in the bushcraft industry). They are also not a promise of work with the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School.