Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group
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Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group. Your question not answered. Email us!
MAPS Group has since 1997 been devoted to helping its members become more proficient at the whole range of primitive skills, connecting with Nature and living in harmony with the Earth. The only prerequisite is a love and respect for the Earth and a desire to learn the skills of living with the Earth in a harmonious and sustainable manner. Simply put, we believe that the best and deepest way to connect with Nature is to learn to live with the Earth in the same intimate way that indigenous peoples all over the world have done for eons.
MAPS Group meets regularly in the greater Washington DC area to learn, practice and share primitive and ancient skills such as tracking, awareness, edible plant identification and harvesting, bow making and shooting, hide tanning, cordage making, flint knapping, fire making, basket making, pottery, primitive shelter construction, and other earth skills. MAPS Meet, a national primitive skills rendezvous held annually in May/June, was founded by the MAPS Group and is now organized and managed by Ancestral Knowledge, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. MAPS continues to be an important sponsor of the event.
Where we meet really depends on the event.
Specifically, we try to vary our event locations throughout the various mid-Atlantic micro-ecoregions and habitats to provide different environments and natural materials to practice the skills. Most of our events, however, are usually in Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia and West Virginia.
Many members will host MAPS events in their home, on their rural property or within the confines of their business property.
Abram's Creek Campground (a MAPS Group Partner) in West Virginia has become a very popular MAPS Group meeting place despite the travel distance from Wash-Balto area.
The Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills (MAPS) Group was conceived in April, 1997 by a group of Tom Brown Tracker School students located in the mid-Atlantic who were communicating on the Tracker's Digest e-mail list.
Kevin Haney, Joe Schilling, Carl DeMarco, and Cheryl Miller were the original “Founders,” and the original name of the group was the Maryland Area Trackers. The group name changed to the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group in 1999.
That year the small group of members started meeting regularly to practice and share skills, and the group has been growing ever since. The group now has hundreds of members.
Most participants are from the Maryland and Washington D.C. area, but we also have members from Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. There are members from all over the United States that are linked into the MAPS Group through email, website information and the MAPS eNewsletter.
MAPS Membership is and always will be -- FREE!Read more about Is there a cost to join MAPS Group, or a fee for your events?
The annual Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills (MAPS) Meet, started in 2001, is the name of the mid-Atlantic primitive skills rendezvous now organized, managed and owned by Ancestral Knowledge.
However, MAPS Group remains an important sponsor of the event.
You can register for MAPS Meet on their website.
Read more about What is MAPS Meet?
Primitive skills are an important part of our collective human history that have ensured our very survival. Many feel a strong natural affinity to the old ways and have taken up their study, particularly that belong to the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills Group.
However, everyone who practices primitive skills probably has somewhat different reasons, despite the few common threads.Read more about Why do people practice primitive skills?
Since primitive skills must be based upon the bioregional environment where they are practiced, most of our skills originate with the Eastern Woodland Indians that were indigenous to the mid-Atlantic region.
We are not trying to "be Indians," however, but rather attempting to reclaim the aboriginal knowledge that the native inhabitants of this land possessed.
We are trying to relearn and pass that knowledge on to others so that it is not forgotten. We believe that modern society must incorporate the spirit and earth-based philosophy behind that knowledge if it is to survive intact into the future.Read more about Where do the primitive skills that MAPS members practice come from?
Most primitive skills schools teach some version of what is called the “Sacred Order of Survival”, which states that in order to survive in the wilderness, you need four things in the following order of importance:
The order follows the critical needs of your body that enure your survival. You brain being the most important organ in your body all other needs support the brain's continued survival.Read more about What are the most important primitive skills to learn?
We occasionally conduct special weekend trips where we take a blanket, a knife, a little food perhaps, and little else. This gives MAPS members a chance to really hone their skills and find out how they work in reality.
The more hardcore MAPS members have done this for somewhat longer periods.
These will be special events and can be found in the MAPS Events menu tab.
Not at all. "Primitive" is defined as "being of the first or earliest in existence." So the technology that has kept man alive for countless millennia is what we practice as primitive technology. And since longevity is the only true hallmark of the success of any technology, you could argue that primitive technology is the most successful of all!
No. We are not.
A non-profit organization is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. Whereas a for-profit organization exists to earn and re-distribute taxable wealth to owners, employees and shareholders, the non-profit corporation exists solely to provide programs and services that are of self-benefit.
MAPS Group is a for-profit organization currently managed by LoneNomadic, a Limited Liability company, incorporated in the state of Maryland. This makes financial donations not eligible as tax-deductible; however, any money donated goes directly to support MAPS Group administrative and event costs.
The MAPS Group is being managed to provide programs and services that are of self-benefit to the group as a whole; non-profit like but without all the baggage. LoneNomadic's goal is to grow the MAPS Group membership and make it financially self-sustaining prior to passing on the Coordinator's job to the next person. Obtaining just compensation for these efforts along the way is only fair.
Limited Liability does provide some legal protection to the MAPS Coordinator, because practicing primitive skills is inherently dangerous and people are inherently clumsy.
Limited liability is a concept whereby a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a company or partnership with limited liability.Read more about Is the MAPS Group a non-profit organization?