Robin’s New Book Release! How to Play in the Woods

How_to_Play_in_the_Woods_imageHow To Play In The Woods, a new book release by Peregrine Books, Gibbs Smith Publishing, was written and illustrated by Robin Blankenship. The book hit shelves in April, and is also available on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble.

As described on the Amazon site: ” This book is filled with skills, games, and activities for back-to-nature adventures and camping trips. It is great for all ages and abilities, from children to adults, and is a must-have for anyone working with scouts or youth groups. How to Play in the Woods is also a handy reference book for campers and outdoor enthusiasts who need to brush up on basic survival skills……..  This book encourages and motivates readers to be interactive with nature, to be free from prescribed schedules, and to just play and enjoy outdoors while relearning the wisdom and ways of our ancestors. …”  

Robin says, “Even though we know it’s good to get ourselves outside, with all the convenient and easy modern distractions available in the indoor environment, it’s tough to make the outdoor choice.   How To Play In The Woods gives so many easy and accessible activities and ideas about how to have fun out there, that it won’t take readers long to feel the motivation to head out the door.

      Besides health and enjoyment, I really wanted to remind readers of the unified relationship humans have had with nature throughout most of history,  how it has formed who we are physically and mentally, and the rich heritage of living skills amassed by our ancestors. Ancient technologies are just as magical and amazing as modern technologies, and reincorporating a few of them back into our modern lifestyle would go a long way in re mediating many of our modern environmental and personal health maladies. Greater appreciation for this planet that sustains us and the wisdom of our ancestors is a lovely side effect of ‘getting out there’… and rubs off on our youth. 

Have fun playing in the woods!”

   Please share this post! Also, you can help get the book known by calling your local book store. Ask them to order a copy in today! Even if you don’t purchase the book directly from them, they will get it out on the shelf and more folks will see it. Visiting a National Park this season? Or a natural history museum? Ask them to carry the book in their gift shop.

Have fun playing in the woods!  All the best, Robin


Our 25th Anniversary! Wow! An Invitation and 2015 Earth Knack News

Posted by: Robin Blankenship                           Date: March 14, 2015

Earth Knack Gathering in Denver

2015 marks the 25th year of Earth Knack programming! Who ever imagined rubbing two sticks together would go this far?

01 15 EKGathering HidesWe will celebrate this milestone June 25-30 during the Earth Knack Family Gathering! This year, the gathering will be held in the south Denver area and we hope it will help all our Earth Knack family and friends–past, present, and future–more easily attend. It will be fun to return to the Front Range, where we ran our June gatherings for Earth Knack’s first ten years! Many of our long-time Earth Knack instructors reside in this part of Colorado, so we are calling our top-quality instructional team together for this event.

Drover and Beth Hall, founders of Sarqit Outdoor Living School, are co-hosting this event with Earth Knack, and have found a beautiful location for the camp at Happy Dog Ranch, a therapeutic horse ranch that borders Chatfield State Park in Littleton, Colorado. Camp set-up is Thursday June 25 (the perfect date for a 25th anniversary!), with classes running all day and Monday, June 26-29. Camp closing and pack-up happen on Tuesday, June 30.

Please visit for specific information and full logistics for our 25th Annual Family Gathering program and how you can prepare to attend! You can find Earth Knack’s 2015 programming, instructor profiles, and upcoming classes and events at


New Additions to the Earth Knack Team

Sam and Jillian Liebl, Earth Knack internship graduates, have joined the Earth Knack team in 2015 and have implemented a satellite Earth Knack program in Salida, Colorado. They are bringing quality adult primitive skills classes to the Salida community and also launching a new kids program over the coming spring break  called Earth Kids Camp. The response to their camp has been terrific so far, and their weekend adult fire making classes have been well attended over the last month.

Jillian is also responsible for the wonderful new calendar listing on our Earth Knack web page, and the production of our 2015 class schedule brochure. See our online class schedule for all Salida class dates.


MeSimple Learning Series in Boulder



On April 25, I will be joining a team of speakers in Boulder, Colorado, for an E-Town seminar entitled Tapping the Potential of Nature and Simplicity. Scott Edwards, creator of the MeSimple Learning Series, designed this seminar and has invited me to speak about Outdoor Living and Nature Immersion. Please tune in or attend. More information at

Enjoy the spring and please do whatever you can to get to the Earth Knack 25th Anniversary celebration June 25–30, near Denver, Colorado.

It’s been a great ride! Buckets of gratitude to the great big Earth Knack family……….

Love, Robin

EARTH KIDS Spring Break Camp!

Posted by: Jillian Liebl                               Date: March 12, 2015

We’ve been getting a great response in the last few days from Salida parents about our upcoming EARTH KIDS Spring Break Camp! Boy, oh boy, are we going to have fun: archery, natural pigments, stone tools, friction fire, plant walks, silly stories and songs… Yippee! We can hardly contain our excitement.



Making pottery with natural clay at Wintercount 2015.

EARTH KIDS will be held in Salida March 23-27 from 8 am to 3 pm each day. Full week registration is just $225, or you can choose one or more days to come for $50 per day. Check out our jam-packed, fun-filled course schedule here: EARTH KIDS Spring Break Camp Schedule 2015.

Camp is filling up quickly, so complete your registration as soon as possible hereYou can save 10% when you register early–by the end of the day TOMORROW, Friday, March 13.

Email Jillian with any questions: jillianliebl [at] gmail [dot] com.


Boys enraptured with soap-making at Wintercount 2015.


A Quarter Century, Gee Golly!

Posted: Monday, February 9, 2015          By: Robin Blankenship

Holy cow! It’s hard to believe that it was 25 years ago that Earth Knack came to be. I’m so excited to share that we have one heck of a quarter-century celebration in the works for this summer: the 25th Annual Earth Knack Gathering! We’re reeling in an awesome catch of Earth Knack staff and guest instructors to make this event top-notch. A family-friendly five days of archery, atl-atl, blacksmithing, basketry, pottery, fire-making, outdoor cooking, plant-fiber cordage, wild edibles, medicinal plants, beekeeping, natural gardening, soap-making, natural building, livestock, flintknapping, hide tanning…What more could you want?!

For the first time in quite a few years, Earth Knack is bringing the gathering back to the Front Range. We’re pleased to announce that this year’s event will take place June 25 to June 30 in the pristine pastures of Happy Dog Ranch in Littleton, CO. Camp will be within a stone’s throw of scenic Chatfield State Park and Reservoir, giving the illusion that you’ve escaped from hectic city life–though if you live in Denver, you’re still just a few minutes from home. You can even take a break from primitive skills and bring the whole family to ride horses at Stockton’s Plum Creek Stables, just down the road.

This event wouldn’t be possible without a partnership with our friends Drover and Beth Hall of Sarqit Outdoor Living School.

We can’t wait to see you there! Visit for details and registration.


A sneak peek of the site! Drover, Robin, and Sam talk logistics.



Earth Knack Expands to Salida

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015         By: Robin Blankenship

We are so excited to let everyone know that Earth Knack is expanding course offerings beyond the school site in Crestone! Sam and Jillian Liebl, who joined the Earth Knack team in December 2014, have begun in earnest, with a series of friction fire courses in January and February. They even got a nice write-up in The Mountain Mail!

The next friction fire course in Salida will be held Saturday, February 28. We will meet at Riverside Park at noon, and the course should end by 3 pm. Tuition is $20 per person. Please bring a knife if you have one.


Rafael holds fire even on the dampest day!


Sam watches as Teresa blows her tinder bundle into flames!


Sam helps Jamie, age 7.


Leslie, Barry, and Sam work together.


A great end to a great class! Mark, Leslie, Sam, Mike, and Jaime are the proud parents of one awesome fire!


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Don’t Miss the 24th Annual Earth Knack Gathering!

June 21st – 25th, 2014 (Saturday – Wednesday) See our Class Schedule.

Skills and Activities with Earth Knack

International Learning Adventure to Cambodia!

YES IT’S REALLY HAPPENING! December 28th 2014 – January 8th 2015

$100 daily includes all lodging, meals, in-country transportation and learning activities. Participants are responsible for their own plane tickets. This learning adventure focuses on traditional fiber weaving, medicinal plants, Cambodian and Thai cooking techniques and sustainable agriculture. A visit to the 10,000 year old temple of Angkor Wat and the healing waters of Koulen Mountain will be arranged. Our host family has a modern, sustainable homestead in Siemreap where we will spend our first few nights. Then we will travel to Samrong village, a more traditional setting , where we will reside most of our trip, shopping with our host for our daily food in the village market and participating in the majority of our traditional living skills classes. This program has a limit of 10 participants. Make your plans and register soon. All applications and registration fees are due July 1st.

"Primitive living skills for the 21st century"