The 2nd Annual 4 Corners Earth~Skills Gathering will be
August 6th-12th, 2017
at Debbie and Gary Fourstar’s Thunderbird Ranch
(near) Mancos, Colorado
please note that we have changed locations, from Norwood to Mancos!
About the 4 Corners Gathering
The 4 Corners Earth~Skills Gathering is a celebration and sharing of diverse Life Skills which nourish us in sustainable and fulfilling ways, and which stimulate intimate relationships with the Wild World and with Each Other. It is a Community-building, Culture-shaping Co-Creative event.
This Gathering, indeed, was born of “primitive skills” gatherings such as Rabbitstick Rendezvous and Wintercount, to whom we are forever grateful and indebted, and “primitive skills” will always be at our core. We actively choose, though, to transcend any limitations of this “category”, and embrace and include any Skills that empower one to live a happier, healthier life and create happier, healthier culture. This isn’t about “going back”, it’s about moving forward with awareness and intention, and a skill-set that empowers one in their decision-making, their life choices. All of these skills are truly timeless anyway, there for us to access any time we choose.
The theme of this year’s event is Integration. How do we integrate these skills we’ll be practicing, these connections we’ll be making, the experiences we’ll be having, into our “everyday” lives, to become active creators of the healthy, sane, fulfilling, sustainable culture that we all long to be a part of?
What to Expect
The Thunderbird Ranch is situated in the heart of Southwest Colorado’s High Desert Glory, peopled with Pine and Juniper, Sagebrush, Rabbitbrush, & Scrub-Oak, watched over by Ravens and Raptors, traversed by Deer, Elk, Lynx, Coyote, and the complete cast of Desert characters, with sweeping views of the dramatic peaks of the San Juan range. There is an abundance of great spots where attendees can pitch a camp for the week; there is a central fire pit (no personal fires, please), and teaching areas throughout the site; there will be a sheltered communal cooking area available, complete with stoves, fuel, and tables.
Workshops, classes, and plenty more, will run roughly 9am-6pm Monday through Friday (there will be some early morning and evening activities as well). Instructors will announce what they are offering, when, and where, and students will be able to choose from the diverse offerings and create their own experience.
- Saturday August 5th “Gates” open at 4pm for early arrival and set-up.
- Sunday August 6th Arrival and set-up; Opening Circle 4pm
- Monday Aug 7th Morning Circle 8:30am; Classes 9am-1pm, 2pm-6pm
- Tuesday Aug 8th Morning Circle 8:30am; Classes 9am-1pm, 2pm-6pm;
- Trade Blanket, starting just before Dark
- Wednesday Aug 9th Morning Circle 8:30am; Classes 9am-1pm, 2pm-6pm;
- Original Song and Poetry Sharing Circle, starting just before Dark
- Thursday Aug 10th Morning Circle 8:30am; Classes 9am-1pm;
- Barter Circle 2pm-6pm (bring your hand-made/homegrown goods!) Also 2pm-6pm “Community” Class Offerings: student attendees sharing their skills!
- Friday August 11th Morning Circle 8:30am; Classes 9am-1pm, 2pm-6pm;
- Drum&Dance Night, around the fire starting just after Dark
- Saturday August 12th Closing Circle at 1pm
- Sunday August 13st Attendees must have vacated site no later than 2pm
What to Bring/What Not to Bring
The sun may shine, the rains may fall; likely some of both. This is a totally outdoor event. Come prepared to camp out and be comfortable in whatever conditions present themselves. There is limited shade at this site, so you may want to bring extra shade-making shelter and clothing; also, by arriving early you are more likely to find a nice shaded spot to camp.
There will be a car-free camping zone; we will provide a number of wheeled carts to help folks transport their gear into this area (which is only a short walk from the parking area). Also, a part of the parking area will be designated for car-camping and RVs, for folks that prefer those options. (RV-campers: no generators, please. Everyone else, too!)
There will be a covered cooking area with stoves and fuel; attendees will need their own pots, pans, and whatever cooking gear and eating utensils, and of course all their own foods. If you would like to have the ability to cook or heat water in your own personal camp, you may want to bring a camp stove and fuel.
Please note that on Sunday, arrival day, there will be locally grown, fresh, organic veggies available for purchase direct from local farmers. Also, on Monday, frozen and pressure-canned meats will be available for purchase, direct from local farmers as well, who raise happy, healthy animals. So no need to bring meat or veggies, we’ll have the best possible available for you at the Gathering.
There will be plenty of water for drinking, washing, and so forth. You will need your own containers. The water we will be providing this year is Mancos city water. As far as “city-water” goes, it is excellent. But it is city water, treated with chlorine and such. So- if you like to drink fresh, living water from a spring, well, or creek, you may want to bring some. There is a creek running through the property, but the water is not drinkable as is.
We are not providing trash removal; thus, it is the “pack-it-in/pack-it-out” system. Let’s all see how little “trash” we can produce this week!
There will be humanure composting outhouses; however, due to legal requirements, and for those who find it more comfortable, we may also be providing “porta-potties”.
Please(!) bring your musical instruments, but acoustic only. We do not welcome amplified music of any sort, either from electric instruments or from stereos or the like. Music is a huge part of this event, but let’s keep it home-grown and acoustic! Bring your drums!!!
Be sure to bring your hand-made and home-grown goods for the Trade Blanket and Barter Circle!
You may want to bring a watch, the style with an hour hand and minute hand (remember those?), if you would like to know what time it is during the event. We will also be using a bell system to keep the entire camp informed of the time.
A Few things to be Aware of
This is a Screen-Free Event! Meaning: this space, this event, this village we are creating, will be free of all digital screens, including: all phones, cameras, computers, televisions, tablets, i-pods, and whatever else they come up with between now and then. Now, we know what you’re thinking: “that’s great! finally! a break from all that! but…. i sure would like a few photos. hmmm..” Well, we would like a few photos too; so, we will have a professional photographer at the event, and the screen on his/her camera will be the one and only exception to this policy. There will be designated times when the photographer will circulate and take pictures. If anyone does not want photos taken of them at any time, simply communicate this clearly with the photographer. After the event, the photos (the best of them) will be made available to all who were present.
We are unable to welcome dogs at this event. (Or any other pets or livestock.) The only exception may be certified leader dogs for the visually impaired. “Service dogs” cannot be welcomed, as the “service-dog” label has been abused to the point that it is no longer valid.
About Drugs and Alcohol
We strive to create a drug and alcohol free environment, and ask participants to contribute to this to the best of their ability.
We most sincerely hope that you will be inspired to join us in co-creating this
Community-Building and Culture-Shaping Event!