Expedition Instructor (XI) | 7-Month Residential Wilderness Immersion Program

2022 Course Info
· When: 4/10-10/21
· Tuition: $13,650
· Maximum Size: 6
· GI Bill: Partial
· Americorps: Partial

Expedition Instructor Program. 7-Month, Full-Time Residential Training

The Expedition Instructor program (XI). Seven intense months, coming in 2022. Designed for future bushcraft instructors, wilderness guides and industry leaders.

The Expedition Instructor Program (XI) is a full-time, 7-month immersion into bushcraft, guide training, primitive living skills and expedition training. It’s a no BS, no new-age mumbo jumbo, no hand-holding experience that is heavy on academic work and accountability and definitely not for everyone. We’re not trying to appeal to a large audience; we’re looking for a tiny group of people who are determined, coachable, hard workers, and ready for a challenge.  

The XI is a deep dive into becoming a professional bushcraft instructor and wilderness guide by combining field experience with academic research and study. The modern world is interested in shallow knowledge and understanding. This program is the opposite – it goes deep.

Who The Expedition Instructor Program Is For

The framework of the program consists of standards-based professional training. Our goal is to train future industry leaders and give them a running start. This program is for future business owners, as starting, running and maintaining a business is one of our intended learning outcomes. Our goal is to pass on the skills that have made the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School so successful over the past two decades. These include the bushcraft, guiding, education, instructional design and business skills.

Why Us? Why Now?

After inventing the long-term program and two successful decades running them, we know what it takes to succeed and lead in the outdoor industry. We’ve seen countless outdoor businesses start, only to disappear after a year or two. Sometimes the reality of owning and running a business doesn’t match up with the fantasy. Sometimes the business model wasn’t viable. Sometimes people didn’t want to put in the hard work necessary to be successful. We’ve learned where the gaps are. We have a proven record of success, and we want to pass on the deep knowledge we’ve learned to the next generation. In bushcraft, in wilderness guiding and in business. In the past we have taught the skills of the woods and waters and hoped that people could figure out the rest. In this program, we’re with you every step of the way. Hope is replaced with documented field experience.

Residential, Based At Our Field School

This program is residential. For the duration of the program, home is the Jack Mountain field school and along the rivers and among the mountains of northern Maine. Participants live in tents or shelters for the entire seven months. Needless to say, they will learn to do so well. We begin with the start of the spring semester in the snows of April and finish before the deep snows fall in late October.

How It Works

The program progresses through three phases, which can be taken in a single year or broken up over several years.

Phase 1 – Wilderness Guide Training Semester, Spring Term
The program beings with the spring term and the Wilderness Guide Training Semester. To successfully progress to phase 2, a student must complete the Journeyman certification. Tuition for Phase 1 is $7200, and is covered by the GI Bill.

Phase 2 – XI Summer Program, Summer Term
Phase 2 picks up where phase 1 ends. It consists of the Primitive Living Skills Practicum (2-weeks), the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester (4-weeks), ongoing naturalist studies (edible plants, mammals and their tracks, the night sky, etc.), long-term primitive living skills (braintanning, pack baskets, etc.), and an introduction to instructional design and teaching. Also students will begin learning about how to start and run a business, including creating a business plan. Tuition for Phase 2 is $5100. $4200 of this is covered by the GI Bill (The Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester).

Phase 3 – Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, Fall Term
Phase 3 is a deep dive into the backend of the the business of outdoor education and where you begin to build the skill sets that will make you successful in the long run. A deep dive into teaching, learning and instructional design. You will be a teaching assistant on the fall course, which means you will both help with instruction and, with guidance, begin to teach on topics you’ve spent months perfecting. As you’ll learn, teaching isn’t just providing information to students – it’s a process based around how they best learn. You’ll learn our process for lesson design that’s allowed us to prosper in this field for over two decades. You’ll also be building business by creating a web site and learning how to use media to your advantage. The goal is that by the end of the fall semester you have cemented your understanding of how people learn and how best to reach them, as well as have a solid footprint on the internet in the form of your own web site. Note: in order to participate in Phase 3, you must have passed the exam and become a Registered Maine Guide in recreation. Tuition for Phase 3 is $1350. None of this is covered by the GI Bill.

More details coming soon. Stay tuned.

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