Joe Blevis is a mentor, naturalist, survivalist, and tracker, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR). For the last 5 years, he has been working with children, adults, and families helping them reconnect with the natural world. Originally from New Jersey, Joe discovered his passion for earth living skills while living in Montana, and eventually pursued that passion by becoming a student of Tom Brown Jr. and the Tracker School in 2009. After finishing a full-time internship at the Tracker School, he began to work with other primitive skills programs across the country, such as Twin Eagles Wilderness School, The Children of the Earth Foundation, and the Whidbey Institute.

Over the last several years, Joe has lead classes with homeschoolers, private and public schools, and summer camps. He has created programs such as "The Primitive Living Skills" series at the Nature Place Day Camp in NY, and "Forest Fridays" in NJ, to encourage children and adults to develop life long skills and a relationship to the earth. Joe's style of teaching encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to step out of their comfort zone and explore new things, while maintaining a healthy awareness in their everyday lives. As a teacher, his goal is to pass down these ancient skills, accompanied by a sense of wonder, curiosity, reverence, and connection to the Earth.

Schedule a Private Class or Program

If you are interested in scheduling a private program with Joe Blevis at The New Weis Center for your school, homeschool group, Scout troop, private party, family or friends, please Contact Us.

Earth Living Skills is a collective of experienced instructors who provide hands-on enrichment programs, where they share earth living skills such as awareness and connection in nature, how to build shelter using materials found in nature, how to find and purify water, how to make fire with friction, and how to find food off the landscape.

For more about Earth Living Skills, please visit:



Primitive Skills Classes with Joe Blevis from Earth Living Skills

​"reconnecting with ancient ways"

Additional Classes Coming Soon

​Fire Building (Part 1 & 2)
Fire is one of the greatest tools that humans can possess. Whether it's used to treat your water and cook your food, or warm your shelter and provide light to work by, the possibilities and uses of fire are endless. If you've ever spent a night camping without a fire, you'll surely feel the lack of its presence. In this program, we'll cover topics ranging from scouting a proper location, proper material collection, structure building, and fire safety. Participants will even have the opportunity to work with the bow drill fire-making method, as well as a few other primitive methods.

​​​​​Shelter Building
Shelter is your top priority in a survival situation, and one of the most empowering skills to possess. In this program we'll cover the basics of shelter, ranging from the clothes on your back to the hands-on experience of building a primitive shelter. The debris hut, if built correctly, will keep you warm and dry even on the coldest nights, and cool and protected on the hottest days. Together we'll build a one-person debris hut without any man-made materials. After we are done enjoying it, we'll return the materials back to the Earth, and leave our work area better than we found it.

Making Cordage & Natural Fiber Processing

​Knowing how to make strong, durable rope was an essential skill for our ancestors. Take a moment and think about all the uses of ropes, strings, and threads in our modern, everyday use; your clothing, the dog's leash, shoelaces, and bags are only a few examples. When dealing with a primitive living situation, the list of practical uses for good cordage is virtually endless. In this program, we'll be working with a simple reverse-wrap cordage making method. Once everyone is up to speed with that, we will get some hands-on experience processing local plants into usable fibers. All materials included.


Sunday, May 27, 11:00am-2:00pm - 

Coal burning is the art of using fire to create vessels of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps you'd like to coal burn a spoon or ladle to serve your food with. Or maybe you and your family are burning out a canoe for a lifetime of fishing and exploration. In this class, we'll be focusing on simple, coal burned bowls.  If done correctly, these vessels can last a lifetime, and easily be used to transport and treat water, as well as serve food. No prior experience necessary.  All tools, materials and supplies will be provided.

​Class Details:

Program is rain or shine; if it rains we will move under cover or inside. No physical activity is required. Pre-registration is REQUIRED! (below)

  • Ages: 12+
  • Class size: minimum 7, maximum 12
  • Fee: $50 per person. Current 2018 New Weis Center members receive a $5 discount (pay $45)*
  • Payment: instructions will be included in your confirmation email; payment is due prior to the start of class and is non-refundable
  • Parking: drive through the outer gate and park near the main building​.