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What if I were to pay my adult daughter's way at Weaton Labs?

 
Creighton Samuels
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The different programs are interesting, but I can't say that I understand which one would fit best.

Here's the situation...

My daughter is 20, and was a freshman at a local university this past winter.  Then Covid19 hit, and her education went online.  She hates it, and would much prefer the social interaction and human contact that comes with traditional classes.  (Momma doesn't like her ever presence, either. They tend to grate on each other's nerves when she's couped up at home.  She'd honestly rather be hiking the Appilation Trail, or something like that, but it's hard to either earn a living or get an education while hiking) Now her university is threatening to do it again in the fall.  She's the outdoorsy type, and has worked summers as a "counselor" (really just a dorm mom) at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina.  She would be there now if not for Covid19 shutting down that summer camp.  She already has a cert in Wilderness Rescue and First Aid, including fast-water rescue; a two year stint at a federal park would make her eligible to become a certified forest "ranger"; but she didn't choose that path; so she's definitely the "outdoorsy" type and is a far cry from a city girl.

I'm curious though, what those who have been through the programs at Wheaton Labs, might think of what my dauther might want.  If I were to pay her way to Wheaton Labs, plus room & board and any tuition fees; what program should she pursue (if indeed, she chooses to learn useful skills this fall & winter)?  (I can't fathom that room, board and tuition could possiblely cost more than her university tuition, which is *not* going to be cheaper even if every class goes online) The acre of land is interesting, but she doesn't [b]need[/b] it.  We already live on 14 acres of mostly wooded.  She might want it when she gets there, but would the ANT program (that's the one where I pay rent, and she can go to any lab or training session, right?) be best?  Or are there not enough programs during the fall and winter to make this worthwhile?

Suggestions are highly encouraged.
 
Orin Raichart
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Creighton Samuels wrote:The different programs are interesting, but I can't say that I understand which one would fit best.



After reading your post from beginning to end, the answer isn't clear to me either because we don't know what she wants.

Creighton Samuels wrote:My daughter is 20, and was a freshman at a local university this past winter.  



What was her major and minors?  Why did she pick them?  ...I suspect these would be better answered by her.


Creighton Samuels wrote:
She's the outdoorsy type, and has worked summers as a "counselor" (really just a dorm mom) at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina.  She would be there now if not for Covid19 shutting down that summer camp.  She already has a cert in Wilderness Rescue and First Aid, including fast-water rescue; a two year stint at a federal park would make her eligible to become a certified forest "ranger"; but she didn't choose that path; so she's definitely the "outdoorsy" type and is a far cry from a city girl.



Now we know she won't have to take a half day off because she lost a nail :] and she won't experience as much soreness as some couch potatoes who have  been here


Creighton Samuels wrote:
I'm curious though, what those who have been through the programs at Wheaton Labs, might think of what my dauther might want.  



The best answer to what she might want probably needs to come from her mouth to our ears first. We're glad you're considering Wheaton Labs. But we like successful Permies  Boots, Ants, and Deep Roots people. But motivation will come from her; we need her words, her intentions and heart motivations.

Does she know what permaculture is?
Does she know who Bill Mollison is?
Has she read the Permaculture Design Manual?
Does she know who Sepp Holzer is?
Does she know who Geoffery Lawton is?

If the answer is no to all of these questions then the next set of questions might be:

Does she know our climate is changing?
Does she know what the most effective method of living might mitigate that change?
Even if the climate wasn't changing, is she interested in off grid life?
Is she interested in houses that can shelter, provide water, heat and cool itself without the grid?
Is she interested in finding out the most efficient method to grow food that doesn't have persistent/non-persistant herbicides and pesticides on it?
Does she know how to create water on dry desert lands? Would she like to know?
Has she ever rented in a house with more than two roommates? would she like to know how to do that successfully?
Does she know the difference between USDA organic food and California Organic food or Texas Organic Food?  Does she care to know?

If the answer to all of these questions are "no", then I suspect this isn't the place for her.


Creighton Samuels wrote:
If I were to pay her way to Wheaton Labs, plus room & board and any tuition fees; what program should she pursue (if indeed, she chooses to learn useful skills this fall & winter)?  (I can't fathom that room, board and tuition could possiblely cost more than her university tuition, which is *not* going to be cheaper even if every class goes online)



In my opinion, the Permies Boot Camp is for those who have an idea of what they want to learn and what they want to experiment with on an acre of land on the weekend. Winter isn't easy because it is cold and we don't stop all work. If she comes right now, she'll get in on Natural Building as we do the solar passive greywater green house. She'll get in on how we are addressing our food systems.

After a month, she'll get an arce to tinker on. Clayton is about her age and he could respond to how well he likes it. He had his education interrupted also. This would mean she'd be tinkering on an acre by August. In four months, which would be around November, she'd have the Ant Village option. But that late in the year, I would strongly advise against it unless she knows exactly what she wants to do during November, December, January, and February. I think she'd be best served if she waited for the spring, being April 15th, to exercise the Ant Village Option.

If she stays for two years in the Boot Camp, she gets her acre's rent paid for life.  Maybe she goes back to college if it isn't all online then.

During the winter months, she'd need to press forward by actively expressing interest in specific areas of interest, take notes, and use some of the podcasts to start her investigations of the body of knowledge of permaculture. Josiah knows a great deal about growing food, Fred knows a great deall about many things, Jen knows how to grow food and lifestock, and Clayton knows a great deal more than he did before...maybe you should purple moosage him?

As for costs, you're in luck. It depends on her and her quality of good work not her pocket book.

Creighton Samuels wrote:
The acre of land is interesting, but she doesn't [b]need[/b] it.  We already live on 14 acres of mostly wooded.....  (Momma doesn't like her ever presence, either....



Could be she does really need it if you put  these two statements side by side.... unless you all decide to kick off early


Creighton Samuels wrote:
Or are there not enough programs during the fall and winter to make this worthwhile?



Since the costs isn't there if she chooses the Permies Boot Camp, you're off the hook.

However, Paul would need to work a special deal for her if she chooses the Ant Program so late in the year....if Paul okayed it, I could guide her through building her own acre up to a working model she could live in by snowfall but she'd need to come before August 1st and she'd really have to want it (cause that's a lot of work and she's going to do a lion's share of it). The cost might be prohibitive because there is a dollar amount I'd want and Paul is going to want monies for renting the tractor, excavator, truck and trailer. If she showed up in a durable truck that can tow a good sized trailer, the tractor and excavator would still  be needed.

I'd need six grand to guide her every day Monday through Friday to completion of a shelter which would heat her , cool her, provide water, and provide energy for her to cook with before snow flies this year. You can purple moosage Clayton about my ability in being helpful to him. You can also check out this blog: my own creations  From 7pm to 8pm she could join all of us learning FreeCAD. She could work out a deal with Josiah or Jen or Fred in areas that I am weak in....and of course there is Paul who can answer questions.

Then there is the firebrick and or rocket mass heater core she will need to purchase, the glass for her through the wall solar oven, the stainless steel wings for the through the wall solar oven, the fasteners she'd need in building, the battery operated drill, driver and chainsaw she'd need. The linseed oil she'd need if she went that direction...the seeds and seedlings she'd need to get started if she so chose to. An ax, a three pound hammer, wood chisels, driver bits...all these start to add up quickly but aren't in the same league for costs as a university is.

It would be an experience of a lifetime for her, that is for certain, but only if she is interested in permaculture!

Show her these links for the Permies Boot Camp:


https://permies.com/t/10/136523/permaculture-projects/Orin-Boot-Camp-Pictorials
https://permies.com/t/139883/permaculture-projects/Clayton-Bootcamp-Experience
https://permies.com/t/260/120233/jen-boot-camp
https://permies.com/t/50/123050/permaculture-projects/Josiah-Bootcamp-Log
https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey


Ant Village is a completely different animal! Definitely raw land and raw living!
https://permies.com/t/143149/permaculture-projects/Narrow-Pond-Ant-Village

Good luck in your decision!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Bootcamp is certainly the most affordable option! It's only $100. That covers room and board, and all the other stuff Orin mentioned.

One thing she could also do is join Bootcamp as a Work-Trade for the 2021 PDC (Permaculture Design Course), PTJ (Permaculture Technology Jamboree) and SKIP (SKills to Inherit Property) events. Here's the thread all about work trades https://permies.com/t/143777

7 weeks in the bootcamp in exchange for a ticket to one event

11 weeks in the bootcamp in exchange for two events

14 weeks in the bootcamp in exchange for all three events



So, if she started, say, in August, by the time for those events in June/July, she'd have the events paid for and and also have earned a years rent in the Ant Village. She'd have gained skills through Bootcamp, learned even more through the PDC, PTJ, and SKIP, and also have her own acre to put to practice all she's learned.

Bootcamp IS hard work, though. It's 40 hours a week, plus "nest work," (cleaning up dinner, etc). But, from everything I've seen, you learn a LOT through all the work.

Right now, Bootcamp is the only real option at Wheaton Labs for education. The PDC is the next event, and that's June 13th-26th, 2021. That doesn't really solve the problems you're facing right now!

Really, Permaculture Bootcamp is a really affordable option for learning a bunch of skills, getting a PDC, and also a year (or more) rent on an acre of land. But, I wouldn't send someone there who doesn't want to go! I can't imagine that would be fun for her, or the people at Wheaton Labs!
 
Burra Maluca
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My son spent two months at wheaton labs six years ago, at age 18, and had a fantastic time.  He came back super ripped with all the work he'd been doing!

I wouldn't have liked to have 'sent' him there though, or 'paid his way'. It's not the sort of place that a youngster would get anything out of unless it was very much their own decision.  

I'd also very strongly recommend that you and your daughter listen to the latest two podcasts where Paul and Jen talk about Jen's decision to stay at the labs and how it's reduced her monthly expenditure. Most people who have gone there as a way to simply get cheap rent have *not* been good fits.

Podcast 492 - Radically Deviant Financial Strategies - Part 1

Podcast 493 - Radically Deviant Financial Strategies - Part 2

Also note this bit - "Wheaton labs is for non smoking weirdos who enjoy experimenting with gardening, natural building and living with no drama." I should imagine that anyone who doesn't self-identify with that isn't going to be happy there.

 
paul wheaton
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Bootcamp.

Not for the acre.  Not for the ant village option.  Not for an exchange.  Just for a few weeks of seeing if it is her thing.    Most people come here for a few weeks of experience - nothing in exchange.

But as others have mentioned:  she needs to come here by her choice.  
 
Creighton Samuels
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Burra Maluca wrote:My son spent two months at wheaton labs six years ago, at age 18, and had a fantastic time.  He came back super ripped with all the work he'd been doing!

I wouldn't have liked to have 'sent' him there though, or 'paid his way'. It's not the sort of place that a youngster would get anything out of unless it was very much their own decision.  

I'd also very strongly recommend that you and your daughter listen to the latest two podcasts where Paul and Jen talk about Jen's decision to stay at the labs and how it's reduced her monthly expenditure. Most people who have gone there as a way to simply get cheap rent have *not* been good fits.

Podcast 492 - Radically Deviant Financial Strategies - Part 1

Podcast 493 - Radically Deviant Financial Strategies - Part 2

Also note this bit - "Wheaton labs is for non smoking weirdos who enjoy experimenting with gardening, natural building and living with no drama." I should imagine that anyone who doesn't self-identify with that isn't going to be happy there.



I listened to both those podcasts (I have them subscribed in my podcatcher app) and that is actually what prompted this idea.  I have never introduced her to this website or forum, because I never before considered the idea that she'd want to go.  After all, during the spring shutdown, the summer camp in NC that she *loves* to work at during the summer (they really don't pay anything anyway; after the costs of simply driving there are considered; she only really gets room, board and weekend kayaking trips down the Nanahala River anyway) was still talking about opening late for the summer.  (I'm currently in the process of making a                         for her next present.  Don't tell her!)

She's currently on a trip with some of her friends from that same summer camp.  They're probably in the woods somewhere.  I sent her a text about this, and she asked if there's a 'Wilderness First Respond er' re-cert course or a "Primitive Skills Program".  I told her I don't think so, but I'd check.

Regarding the "non-smoking weirdos" part; while I'm a libertarian, we're a Southern Baptist family.  No illegal drugs (minimal legal ones), no hooch, no smoking.  So that part, at least, won't be any issue for her.
 
Creighton Samuels
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paul wheaton wrote:Bootcamp.

Not for the acre.  Not for the ant village option.  Not for an exchange.  Just for a few weeks of seeing if it is her thing.    Most people come here for a few weeks of experience - nothing in exchange.

But as others have mentioned:  she needs to come here by her choice.  



Yes, it would be her choice. She hasn't been one to do anything just because I told her it was in her interest; or any male, for that matter.  She's the oldest of 5, only the youngest of which (currently aged 8) is also female.  She's accustomed to telling her siblings what to do (mostly male, as I mentioned) and not caring much about their opinions.  So it wouldn't have any positive effect if I tried to compel her to go; she'd just nod her head and probably head to California.  I've tried to guide her away from higher education, and towards useful skills, for a long time.  She does have some useful wilderness skills (as I previously mentioned) but her degree program is completely different and I fear that it's going to turn out to be useless in the long run, because she's going to eventually figure out that she'll hate it.  (The degree program is a emotional counseling program, geared towards a Christian perspective.  Child Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, etc.)  Mostly, I'm trying to offer her other opportunities, because she's a bit young to really know what she wants.  I didn't know what I wanted to do for a living until I was 30.
 
Clayton High
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Current boot here. Been here about three months and I'm about her age.

I have to second (third, maybe fifth?) the notion that boot camp is the right path, if she chooses to come.

I love it here. It's pretty awesome. The people are awesome, the work tends to be awesome. All around awesome.

But most of that's because I think permaculture is awesome. If I didn't, I'm not sure how I would feel. If I didn't but had a deep love of the outdoors and the environment and enjoyed hard work, I might still love it.

We certainly don't offer any certifications, other than the PDC perhaps. Bootcamp is no formal education, but you'll learn a lot.

My suggestion is that if she's interested, she come out for a few weeks. Maybe she loves it and stays forever. Maybe it's not her thing, all you're out is $100 and she'll certainly still have some new experiences and perspectives to take back

Feel free to mooseage me or have her mooseage me with any questions
 
Creighton Samuels
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Orin Raichart wrote:
Does she know what permaculture is?



Probably not to the level that you're asking.

Does she know who Bill Mollison is?
Has she read the Permaculture Design Manual?


No & no.

Does she know who Sepp Holzer is?



If she actually retains any of the things that I say, or paid much attention to the playing cards.


Does she know who Geoffery Lawton is?



No. Even I don't know who that is, although the name is somewhat familiar.  To be honest, I've never paid much attention to who the luminaries were, just what they were saying.  I didn't even know Paul's first name for several years, and only his last name because Wheaton Labs is all over his media.


Does she know our climate is changing?


She has an IQ north of 125.  Honestly, I've never bothered to ask her if she's noticed that; but I'm certain that she's smart enough to know the answer to that; although she might be one to debate the root cause.  I would, just not here.


Even if the climate wasn't changing, is she interested in off grid life?
Is she interested in houses that can shelter, provide water, heat and cool itself without the grid?


Sort of, yes.  That's a bit nuanced with her.  She'd probably rather live in a camping hammock, but winter tends to drive her indoors.


Is she interested in finding out the most efficient method to grow food that doesn't have persistent/non-persistant herbicides and pesticides on it?


I can't even fathom a guess on this topic.



Does she know how to create water on dry desert lands? Would she like to know?

Ditto



Has she ever rented in a house with more than two roommates? would she like to know how to do that successfully?



Does living in a household with 4 siblings count?


Does she know the difference between USDA organic food and California Organic food or Texas Organic Food?  Does she care to know?


Probably not.


If the answer to all of these questions are "no", then I suspect this isn't the place for her.


How many yes's does it take?


Creighton Samuels wrote:
The acre of land is interesting, but she doesn't [b]need[/b] it.  We already live on 14 acres of mostly wooded.....  (Momma doesn't like her ever presence, either....



Could be she does really need it if you put  these two statements side by side.... unless you all decide to kick off early


Mothers and adult daughters will clash.  They all do, from about age 15 to about 25.  I've seen it so many times, because I grew up in a household with older sisters and both my parents came from 10 person families.  They can be sweet most of the time, but there's just something about that young adult woman phase that clashes between mothers and daughters are destined to occur.  This probably has a lot to do with why she prefers spending her summers in North Carolina.


 
Creighton Samuels
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Clayton High wrote:Current boot here. Been here about three months and I'm about her age.

Maybe it's not her thing, all you're out is $100 and she'll certainly still have some new experiences and perspectives to take back



That's exactly the kind of 'alternative educational experiences' I was hoping for, something to get her mind thinking about other ways of "earning" a living besides the over-worn path through university.

And to be honest, I'd be out $100 plus a round trip airfare; but that'd be a drop in the bucket compared to her tuition.  I'm willing to pay for that, if she's willing to give it a try for a few weeks.  I sent her a link to the Permacutlre Technology workshop; and if she actually looks at it, she might just be interested in this kind of thing.  Or she might not.  What is her practical time limit to start this three week trial Bootcamp, Paul?
 
paul wheaton
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Creighton Samuels wrote:  What is her practical time limit to start this three week trial Bootcamp, Paul?



We have openings now.
 
Creighton Samuels
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Well, she did give the site a quick look. She seemed to be interested in these programs right up until she asked, "Where did you say this place was?

"Montana"

Closes her laptop, and calmly states, "I'm not going to Montana."

Then she walked off to get ready for another social event.

So with that settled, I have a new question.  I knew I needed to determine if she'd go to Wheaton Labs before I asked this next one...

Are there any permaculture programs East of the Mississippi River that those in the know here would recommend as a second best option?

Specificly, does anyone here have any knowledge regarding Wild Abundance in North Carolina? (www.wildabundance.net)

 
Phil Stevens
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I've got some friends in and around Asheville, in particular at Earthaven Ecovillage. They might know more about it (I suspect that it's a pretty well-knit community).
 
greg mosser
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i know a bunch of the wild abundance folks, what are you trying to find out?
 
Creighton Samuels
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greg mosser wrote:i know a bunch of the wild abundance folks, what are you trying to find out?



Mostly opinions on the quality and breadth of the education there.  I can tell straight away that they don't do all the building and experimental stuff like at Wheaton Labs, but I can't tell what they actually do there besides gardening.  Do they do the hugleculture beds?  They post about their carpentry courses, but is that a traditional carpentry course; or roundwood?  I just don't know enough to be able to form an opinion.

Also, today she askied me about Solo Southeast.  Which I know isn't a permaculture program, but more of an outdoor survival program; but would anyone here have any knowledge about them?
 
greg mosser
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the quality's good. it does seem like they're focusing on the gardening edge harder at the moment. they definitely do roundwood stuff but i think the basic carpentry course is probably dimensional. i'm more familiar with the more primitive side of things that they do, hide-tanning and butchery, foraging, flint-knapping, bark basketry, etc. the teaching is good and it sounds like some of the stuff they do, your daughter would be really into, but i'm sure what they're doing now is limited a fair bit by the pandemic situation, and i haven't really checked what they're offering now.
 
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