Earth Knack Internship Experiences 2022

Outdoor Living Immersion / Work Trade Program

April 1st – October 31st  2022

Don’t just survive: Thrive!  Livin’ the Dream!

Interested in an Earth Knack immersion experience? Here’s what you can expect:

This is an outdoor living experience​. Live on the land at the Earth Knack Crestone school site. You can set up your own tent or construct a primitive shelter or teepee along Cottonwood Creek for the duration of your stay. There is a fully equipped outdoor kitchen containing all cooking gear, utensils, dishes, oils, spices, and teas. Participants are responsible for their own meal and snack food. None the less we make a point to prepare dinner meals together and eat around the campfire.We have composting toilets and an outdoor solar shower house. 

Stay for at least a month. The Earth Knack lifestyle is a simple one, but it takes a while to get the hang of. Staying onsite for just a week or two doesn’t allow the kind of immersion we framework for participants. Therefore, to really get the best of it, plan to stay for at least a month.  If all goes well for you, me and other participants, you can request to extend your immersion..

Pay a $200 registration fee.​ Once you have had your essay accepted and a phone interview in which we agree for participation in the coming season, you will fill out a registration form and submit it with a $200 registration fee. This is a one time fee, even if you extend your original time commitment.

You have the option to attend classes for a discounted immersion folk price. Immersion folk receive a discount price of $95 for any classes attended on site, Off site programs like river trips, horse packs or International Learning Adventures will require a full tuition payment , 

Expect to work and play hard every day. Participate in all the skills and chores that happen on a daily basis. On any given day you may be involved in one or more activities such as hide tanning; making primitive tanning tools; rawhide preparation; wool dying; felting, spinning or weaving; plant fiber or willow collection and preparation; stone tool work; blade hafting; basic blacksmithing; soap making; candle making; plant medicines; food preparation: dehydration, smoking, or canning; animal butchering; bone tool making; buckskin sewing; earth pigment collection and paint making; plant dye preparation; fire tool collection; alternative building projects using straw bale, natural adobe, solar, log, and grey water methods; primitive structure projects; stone wall work; sustainable gardening; beekeeping; corral building; and animal husbandry. These are all things that make up the Earth Knack lifestyle.  Daily chores include garden and fruit tree maintenance, planting and harvesting, animal care, compost maintenance, shop and facility clean up, horno and fire pit cooking, and  general maintenance. Are you motivated, know how to take initiative, see what needs doing, and get it done? Are you healthy and hearty, with enough emotional and physical strength to manage the outdoor living conditions, the communal living and the manual labor work of pioneer style living and primitive skills activities? If so, you will enjoy this opportunity.

It’s all about attitude. You will need a positive and accepting attitude. Earth Knack is open to the public and while you are associated with our school you are perceived as a representative of our program. Your personal appearance and behavior are important.

Live in a beautiful, relatively remote area. Earth Knack is about 8 miles from the town of Crestone, which, along with the surrounding community, has a population of about 2,000. Crestone has basic essential services like small grocery, post office, and laundromat, and is 60-plus miles from any other town with more services. Personal transportation can be essential.  You can hike onto public land and into the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness 1/2 mile from the school site, or into the Sand Dunes National Park. There are 3 natural hot springs areas within a 45-minute drive and the Penitente Canyon climbing and mountain biking area is 1 hour across the valley. There are numerous whitewater rivers within an hour’s drive and dozens of 14,000-foot mountains to climb. You will want a vehicle for valley wide or around the state traveling.

Drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and pets are not permitted on the Earth Knack property. WiFi is available for those who bring their own personal device, but not always available. It is intermittent. Do not depend on it.

Earn college credit. Seth Fineman, from Massachusetts, kept a blog during his internship in the fall of 2013. Seth received a semester of college credit from Sterling College in Vermont, a program that focuses heavily on sustainable agriculture, livelihood training, and self-reliant lifestyles. Read Seth’s blog at     Clark Patton, an Earth Knack instructor, received a semester of credit from Prescott College for his participation in an Earth Knack internship.   You will usually need to work with whatever school or program is giving you credit before the course starts. Plan ahead. Many participants use the immersion  program as an instructor training for other outdoor schools, or a gateway experience into a life of self-sufficiency. ​Interested?

Now accepting applications for the 2022 Outdoor Living Immersion / Work Trade

April 1st   – October 31st  

You can choose 1 or multiple months. Each month we will assess how things are going for you, me and other immersion folk to decide to extend the experience,

Don’t just survive: Thrive!  Livin’ the Dream!

If you say yes, you will ​arrive on the 1st of the month you choose. Arriving on time is important so you can get in the groove of living in the out-of-doors 24 / 7, feeling “at home” and be able to help around Earth Knack to prepare for upcoming classes and programs during our 2022 season. ​The minimum stay is 1 month. You will participate in the agriculture, natural building and primitive resource preparations that go along with daily routine here at Earth Knack. Meals are prepared together, however, due to the current world situation, everyone will provide their own food. You can choose to participate in the Earth Knack courses available to students. You will pay $95 tuition for any course you participate in. You will also still have daily routine support chores around Earth Knack to be responsible for during the class, like helping keep the outdoor kitchen clean, helping maintain the soilets in great condition, helping with horse care chores, working on keeping firewood piles full, and hosting class students to their campsite on arrival days, etc  As you gather skills and familiarity with the tools and techniques of primitive skills, you will have access to the facilities to engage in your own primitive skills projects. Throughout the season, you may be exposed to many different skills and learning.

Read through all the class descriptions to see the kinds of things we do here at Earth Knack.

When there is not a class happening, (or if you choose not to participate in a current class), we all work together during the day on various Earth Knack facility and program projects. Tuesday mornings we head down to the Earth Knack community garden, near town, (driving the horse and cart to get there!) and work in the garden. On Wednesdays, we all work together on site at Earth Knack to progress on the current alternative building project underway. I provide direct instruction these 2 days for a wealth of learning in sustainable / natural agriculture and building.

Except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2 days of your choice each week will be scheduled for time off. The program thrives with good, solid folks who manage themselves well, are easy with the rest of us, have a great attitude, are respectful of the land and are motivated stewards. I am inviting you into my home and lifestyle and the activities I engage in to provide service and livelihood. If you can cooperatively support all this, join us in 2022 for an amazing experience.

Please Note: No alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or pets on Earth Knack property. We do not have on site parking available for vehicles over 15’ in length!

To Apply: Please send me a one page essay:  Why I Want to Participate in the Earth Knack Outdoor Living Immersion/ Work Trade.

I will then contact you to arrange a more in depth conversation by phone to discuss the realities of being here, questions you might have about what to expect and your personal goals for learning. If we come to an agreement of participation, you will submit a registration form and a $200 registration fee.

Send to: Robin at Earth Knack PO # 508 Crestone Colorado 81131

Please Note: No alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or pets on Earth Knack property.

Jon and Elga canning pickles.

Kurt learning bow-drill fire making.

Cast iron cooking over the fire.

Vesper learns straw bale construction.

Raisa becomes a wood-chopper extraordinaire!

Bottle-feeding a baby yak.


Primitive living skills for the 21st century