Survival Training


Outdoor Education, Survival and Primitive Skill Development Programs and Events
Programming for search and rescue, rock and ice climbing, shooting, hunter education, wilderness first aid, EMT training, primitive skills, rope courses, archery, survival, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking, white water, guide training, leadership, paddling skills, snowshoeing, mountain biking, certifications and much more!!

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Hunter Education Schedule (Statewide)

NRA Trap Shooting Camp - Every Sunday during May – September
North Country Sportsman’s Club, Gun Club Road, Williston, VT, Off Old Creamery Road.  from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Agenda: Each session will be limited to 10 people: Cost: $20 per individual and pre-registration is recommended since each session will be limited to 10 people. Walk-ins are welcome as space permits. Cost includes loaner shotgun, ammunition, clay birds, and eye and ear protection. Contact: Tom Blair, (802) 872-8329 (please, no calls after 8:00 p.m.) or via email at . A registration form is also available at


Scheduled Events:

August 20, Vermont Black Bears from A-Z
Saturday, August 20, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Mountain Deer Taxidermy, Northfield, VT. This seminar covers basic bear biology, successfully hunting bears, and processing bear meat. Signup deadline: Wednesday, August 17.

August 20, Youth Waterfowl Hunter Training
Saturday, August 20, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sportsman Club of Franklin County, St. Albans, VT. The seminar will instruct young waterfowlers aged 12 to 17 in waterfowl identification, hunting regulations, duck and goose calling, decoy sets, and safe shooting techniques. Signup deadline: Wednesday, August 17.

August 20-21, 2016, 2-Day Advanced River Rescue Clinic with Mike Mathers
As boaters run more challenging sections of river, they need to match their rescue skills to the difficulty of the water. Our 2-day Advanced Swiftwater Rescue course provides you with a unique opportunity to practice rescue scenarios in a challenging setting with our expert instructors. Advanced rescue participants should be solid class III boaters and should have taken at least the two-day basic swiftwater rescue course.

August 27, Small Game Hunting Seminar
Saturday, August 27, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Randolph Fish & Game Club, Randolph, VT. The seminar will feature workshops on hunting rabbits with beagles, hunting ruffed grouse with dogs from former Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry, and squirrel hunting. The seminar will conclude with a shooting workshop hosted by Randolph Fish and Game. Signup deadline: Wednesday, August 24. 

August 27 – 28, Wilderness Self Reliance
The Wilderness Self Reliance Weekend is a weekend course designed to cover the basic necessary knowledge one should have on even the most simple outing into the wild. Hunters, hikers, naturalists, travelers, or anyone doing anything in the back country will find this course a helpful compliment to their own skills sets and knowledge. We will cover preparedness, survival mentality, emergency shelters, fire starting through several modern and primitive methods, water gathering and purification, navigation, weather prediction, basic survival food gathering, hunting and trapping, and more. The goal of the course is to provide a practical primer for students so that they will feel more confident and ready to deal with meeting their own needs in the case of emergency.

September 3 - 6, Osage Long Bow Building
The bow has captivated peoples' hearts and minds from the misty depths of time to the present. The Self Bow Building class will bring the student from a seasoned stave to a finished, hunting weight long bow. Although mostly workshop, a series of several short lectures will be given to expand on subjects such as: wood selection and harvesting, bow design and performance, tillering, and instinctive shooting. The class will cover primitive bow building on a conceptual level as well as each step in the technical process from peeling back the bark to twisting your own strings. We will also discuss the bow in the context of survival skills. This class is a tremendous experience whether you are a hunter looking to hunt with your own handmade tackle or a lover of archery and its long history looking for a new bow to enjoy and shoot.

September 5-9 2016, Swiftwater Rescue
5-day Swiftwater Rescue (Level 4) Instructor Certification with Mike Mather, $595.00/person (plus fees)  

September 6, The Basics of Fishing, Free Fishing Clinic
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will be hosting two free fishing clinics in September, both of which are open to people of all ages and levels of experience, including those who are completely new to fishing. The first clinic, “Basics of Fishing,” will be held on Tuesday, September 6, at the Shelburne Bay Fishing Access Area in Shelburne. The clinic will focus on general fishing techniques and equipment, and is tailored toward those who have little to no fishing experience. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until 7:00 p.m. Fishing equipment will be available for use, or participants can bring their own. Space is limited and pre-registration is required for participation in either clinic. Anyone interested can register by emailing , or by calling 802-505-5562

September 10, “Intro to Trout Fishing,”
Takes place on Saturday, September 10, at the Waterbury Public Library as well as on the Winooski River in Waterbury. The clinic, which will concentrate specifically on trout fishing tactics, will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. “For those looking to learn the basics of trout fishing with spinning equipment, this clinic is a great starting place,” said Hart. “We’ll cover a range of topics including habitat, life cycle, regulations, and fishing techniques. The course is designed as an introductory level course and will emphasize basic live bait techniques as well as strategies for using artificial lures.” Fishing equipment will be available for use, or participants can bring their own. Space is limited and pre-registration is required for participation in either clinic. Anyone interested can register by emailing , or by calling 802-505-5562.

September 11, Wild Mushrooms of Autumn
1:00pm - 3:00pm. Amidst the falling autumn leaves, a mysterious and fascinating array of mushrooms fruit from trees, stumps and soil. Join Ari Rockland-Miller of The Mushroom Forager,  for a colorful presentation introducing gourmet and medicinal wild mushrooms of autumn. Then, we will head into the rich woods around the Green Mountain Audubon Center to pursue the distinctive and delicious mushrooms on the ForageCast, including porcini, lion's mane, yellowfoot chanterelles, and hedgehog mushrooms. Participants will receive a September ForageCast handout for the region, steering us towards a safe, targeted and fruitful foray.

Sept 16 - 18, Fall Doe Camp
Vermont Outdoors Woman is planning a sports weekend retreat for women of all ages. Instruction in hunting, shooting, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, survival and more classes are under development. We are pleased to announce the location will be at Jackson Lodge and Cabins, Canaan, VT, located in the heart of Vermont's backcountry. 

September 17, White-tailed Deer Hunting and Processing Seminar
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Mountain Deer Taxidermy, Northfield, VT. The seminar will feature Vermont Fish & Wildlife deer biologist Nick Fortin, as well as Whitetail Tracker Brad Lockwood. Rodney and Theresa Elmer will demonstrate how to field dress, process, and prepare a deer for taxidermy. Signup deadline: Wednesday, September 14.

September 17, Law Updates for Firearm Range Operators
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Annex Building, Montpelier, VT. The seminar will go over changes to Act 250 and Act 145 that affect firearm range operation. Staff will cover changes to lead management in environmental stewardship plans and how to improve safety and noise mitigation at ranges, essential information for all range managers. Signup deadline: Wednesday, September 14.

September 21 & 22, 2016, 73rd Annual Vermont Conference on Recreation
"Ignite the Light" at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT. Imagine a picturesque view of the Vermont fall foliage reflecting off the sparkling waters of Lake Morey as you enjoy your morning coffee before embarking on a day full of interactive sessions and quality networking. VRPA and the Conference Committee would like to personally invite you to join us this year for the 73rd Annual Vermont Conference on Recreation. Plan now, put the dates in your calendar, Conference Brochure will be out in July. Are you a commercial exhibitor? Do you offer programming? Does your business offer products for parks and recreation? If so, there is still time to reserve a booth for this year's exhibit hall. Register and pay before June 1, 2016 and save $50.

Sept. 23-25, ROOTS School Rendezvous
A three day gathering of earth based traditional skills. This gathering is grounded in the idea that we as people can become more conscious, stronger, effective, and capable stewards of the land by learning new and old skills of interacting with the natural world. These three days have multiple workshop blocks, ongoing demonstrations, and night time fires and celebrations. Bring along family and friends, and come have a great time with others who share a passion for the natural world and leave knowing more about the beautiful world we a part of. There are a variety of workshops to choose from.

September 24, Advanced Bowhunting Seminar
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Chelsea Fish & Game Club, Chelsea, VT. This seminar will demonstrate advanced techniques for bowhunting, including equipment, hunting tactics, and tree stand safety. Signup deadline: Wednesday, September 21.

October 5-9, 5-day Whitewater Instructor Certification, Instructor Development Workshop
5-day Whitewater Instructor Certification (IDW/ICE)(Level 3-4) - package: $595.00/person (plus fees)
Instructor Development Workshop - Oct 5-7 $395.00/person (plus fees) For the Level 3 - 4 Whitewater Certification, you can choose to sign-up for IDW/ICE consecutively or take one in the spring and the other in the fall.

October 8-9, 5-day Whitewater Instructor Certification, Instructor Certification Exam
$270.00/person (plus fees) For the Level 3 - 4 Whitewater Certification, you can choose to sign-up for IDW/ICE consecutively.

November 18 - 20, 2016, Wilderness First Aid and CPR
Join staff of SOLO for a two-day introductory course in wilderness medical emergencies. Course includes lectures and practical simulations. Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and trip leaders. AHA CPR available for $45. Recognized by American Camp Association and various guide licensing boards. The resident participant fee of $260 includes meals, lodging and course. Day participant's fee of $200 includes lunch and course. All course fees are due in full upon registration. A confirmation packet will be sent to you upon receipt of registration form and fee. To register by phone (using Mastercard, VISA or Discover Card), or for more information, please call Lynn Daly at 802-333-3405. You can also fax to Lynn's attention at 802-333-3404. Pre-registration is required.

November 19 & 20, 2016, Wilderness First Responder Recertification
This two-day review is designed to recertify indiviuals previously certified as Wilderness First Responders. Although open to any WFR graduate, SOLO currently has reciprocity with WMI/NOLS and WMA; graduates of these programs can be recertified through SOLO providing their certification is current at the time of the course. CPR Recertification is available for an additional fee. Proof of eligible WFR and CPR training must be provided to SOLO before renewal cards will be issued.

December 3, 2016, Fibers from a Wild Landscape
Humankind’s relationship to fibers and fiber technology stretches back along our time line thousands upon thousands of years, resulting in a globally practiced, rich, and varied tradition. In our modern age, we have access to seemingly endless inexpensive synthetic fibers. While useful, this has reduced our need to procure, process, and provide them for ourselves, and distanced ourselves from the plants and animals that provide these materials. This class invites you to return to a practice that we have relied upon for countless generations. Come process a variety of plant and animal based fibers, gain a better understanding of string technology from identification, processing, basic spinning, in the hand weaving, and create some beautiful and functional works of art.

December 4, 2016, Twined Basketry
Twining is perhaps one of the earliest weaving techniques used by our ancestors. The relative simplicity and durability of twined vessels resulted in their manufacture and use all over the world, by cultures far and wide. Twined baskets can be lose and open, or can be crafted tight enough to hold water. This class introduces you to a variety of materials to work with, but will focus on the use of cattail leaves.

December 11-20, 2016, Wilderness First Responder
Join the staff of SOLO, nationally recognized leaders in the field of wilderness medicine and rescue, for a 80-hour intensive wilderness emergency care course. Learn skills needed to deal with emergencies in remote settings, with a focus on the extended care often required in wilderness medical emergencies. Practical simulations and lectures. Includes CPR. Excellent course for outdoor enthusiasts or outdoor trip leaders. The resident participant fee $925 includes meals, lodging and course. Day participant fee of $740 includes lunch, course.

Dec 17, 2016, Woodswoman Ax Skills
​Held at Good Heart Farmstead in Worcester, VT. Taught by Jesse Scarlato and Murphy. Get your "Lumber Jill" on at this skill-building class, where you will learn traditional ax skills with other adventurous women. Murphy and Jesse will teach the use and care of a traditional woods(wo)man's ax.

December 17, 2016, EMT Wild Day
A one-day course to re-certify the wilderness component for a current EMT. Eight hours National Registry CEUs. Cost: $150 (includes meals, and training materials)

December 17-20, 2016, Wilderness Module
This course is designed to upgrade current First Responders to the WFR level and current EMTs to the Wilderness EMT level. The focus of the course is on emergency care needed when you are separated by time/distance from definitive medical care and do not have the luxury of an ambulance at your disposal. Practical simulations provide hands on rescue skills. Certification for the course is dependent upon passing both the written and practical exams. For National Registry EMT’s this course is typically counted as 40 hours of continuing education. The resident participant fee $615 includes meals, lodging and course. Day participant fee of $500 includes lunch, course.

January 6-8, 2017, WFR Recertification/Challenge
As an outdoor person you may find yourself in a situation where help is more than a phone call away. Typical first aid courses train students to provide care before an ambulance arrives. This course is designed for people who often travel where dialing 911 is not an option. It is experiential and tough, with emphasis on practical sessions and video taped simulations using mock victims.

January 10-16, 2017, Wilderness First Responder
As an outdoor person you may find yourself in a situation where help is more than a phone call away. Typical first aid courses train students to provide care before an ambulance arrives. This course is designed for people who often travel where dialing 911 is not an option. It is experiential and tough, with emphasis on practical sessions and video taped simulations using mock victims.

January 14, 2017, Origins-9 Month Program
Nine months, over 30 class days of training, one course a month ending with a week long stone age living trip.
Engage yourself in your landscape and material culture in a whole new way. Immerse yourself in a handmade life. Origins is a nine month program devoted to studying, making, and using the tools needed to meet your basic needs. Our focus is not the short term survival scenario, but a long term relationship of living with the land. We meet once a month for classes varying for a weekend to a week, from January to October.

January 21 - 22, 2017, Winter Tracking Intensive
The Winter Tracking Intensive is open to all skill levels and students. The weekend will be predominantly experience based, offering guided ‘dirt time’ in which students can push their skills in real tracking situations. Trailing and interpretation will be a major theme for the weekend as we take in depth looks into the lives of the animals living in Vermont’s forests. When the sun goes down students will be offered ecological tracking information and apply it to creating an accurate map of the land they have tracked and how the animals have moved through it. We will also check out skull and bone, and feather identification. Expect to cover a lot of snow in any weather conditions and to spend two full long days in the forests and fields tracking. Snow shoes recommended.

February 4 - 5, 2017, Winter Survival
Bradford, VT. - This is an introductory weekend to the winter in Vermont. We do not expect you to be a survival expert, winter living is challenging, that is why we are excited to be running this course! With several feet of snow on the ground, freezing temperatures, and scarce food, survival in the winter can be demanding. This course will serve as a thorough introduction to some of the skills needed such as: winter shelter building, winter hunting and trapping, survival snow shoes, winter fire making techniques, bark foods, and much more. This course will offer wisdom into the forested landscape in winter and all of the resources still available from it. The winter months are profound teachers of efficiency and effectiveness, bringing home the reality of survival skills in a winter environment such as Vermont.

February 10 - 13, 2017, Winter Scout
Cutting temperatures, white out storms, and feet of snow blanketing the land requires a different animal to perform and operate where others cannot. If you can learn to adapt to the winter, you can use the difficulties to your advantage. In Winter Scout we will cover a wide range of topics such as: winter camouflage, tracking and counter tracking in snow, concealed snow shelters, winter scouting gear, team movement, winter trapping, ninjutsu with all those winter clothes on, and much more. We also engage with the challenges of objective planning, team coordination, and the fine art of keeping each other alive when the environment can kill you quickly. Expect challenging weather, situations, and team work, and be prepared to work hard and learn fast.

February 14 - 23, 2017, Bow and Arrow Making
Join us for Bow Building and Arrow Making. These courses can be taken separately or together. Spend 6 days out at Roots and leave with a set of primitive hunting gear. Offering these classes together provides the opportunity for students to fully submerge themselves in the skills for 6 days straight. Check out the class descriptions of these three courses for more information.

Feb 24-26, 2017, AIARE Level 1
Avalanche awareness and avoidance and rescue techniques are vital skills for all aspiring alpine/ice climbers, backcountry ski/boarders, and winter travelers. Our 3-day course runs February 24-26, 2017 and will be based out of Pinkham Notch, NH. This year we're very happy to have Jake Urban on as a Course Leader. Based out of Jackson Hole, WY, Jake is a seasoned avalanche terrain traveler and an exceptional educator.

March 3 - 5, 2017, Winter Doe Camp
A Winter Retreat for Adventurous Women at the Hulbert Outdoor Center. Fairlee, VT - Announcing a Winter Retreat for Adventurous Women! Vermont Outdoors Woman will soon begin registration for its Annual Winter Doe Camp at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, VT. Participants can camp out or stay in heated cabins at night and play in the snow all day. Spend the weekend learning winter outdoors skills while staying near the shores of Lake Morey! Classes such as archery, fire making, traditional winter camping, survival, cross country skiing, orienteering, spring turkey hunting, ice fishing and many more will be offered. Don't miss the opportunity to receive affordable outdoor education in a stress-free, supportive environment. The minimum age is 15 and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Cost for the all inclusive weekend program is $370. Gift certificates and day fee's are also available. Visit the website for more information:

March 28-April 1, Backcountry Ski Course
RMI's Backcountry Ski Course takes place on the slopes of Mt. Rainier and takes full advantage of the abundant snow fall and terrain.. This course is designed for intermediate to advanced skiers seeking to safely access the backcountry and lead their own ski tours. No previous ski touring experience is required, but participants need to posses solid intermediate to advanced skiing skills – the ability to ski moderate ungroomed terrain in ski areas comfortably – in order to participate in the program. The course is designed to be both fun and safe. We won't be skiing any slopes that have anyone trembling in their ski boots, but you can count on getting plenty of skiing matched to your comfort level. Our Backcountry Skiing Course functions as pre-requisite to our Ski Mountaineering Course or as a stand-alone program.


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VOGA members can send your Outdoor Education Events to

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
P.O. Box 10
North Ferrisburg, VT. 05473
1 800-425-8747  (802) 425-6211