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Monday, December 19, 2011

A photo from ca.1990: Left - David Wescott, center - Dick Jamison, right - Larry Dean Olsen. The genealogy of skills traditions is an important thing to remember.

A Genealogy of Skills Traditions

In 1988, Larry Dean Olsen (author of Outdoor Survival Skills and founder of the Woodsmoke Journal in the late 70s) gave us permission to use the Rabbit Stick name to reinvent this unique teaching and learning experience. Rabbit Stick Rendezvous had been discontinued after the 1978 event, so our reissue of the new event as Rabbitstick after 20 years marked the reintroduction of an important part of the contemporary primitive skills movement. 2012 marks our 25th year of hosting this nationally recognized gathering (For information visit us at

In 1979, Dick and Linda Jamison (authors and creators of the acclaimed Woodsmoke books and video series) took over as hosts and called their event the Woodsmoke Rendezvous. In 1982 the name was changed to the Woodsmoke Primitive Living Conference, and was discontinued shortly after that. Last year, we approached the Jamison’s asking permission to use the Woodsmoke name for our newest skills gathering. They not only granted permission, but promised that if health issues would allow, they would join us at the new gathering.

We are aware that there has been a Woodsmoke mountain man rendezvous conducted in the intervening years, but we decided that the genealogy of passing on a name, and the traditions that we want to preserve, make our event unique enough that resurrecting the Woodsmoke name is important to this new effort. 2012 will mark 30 years since a Woodsmoke gathering has been held. Make sure you don’t miss this important anniversary event July 8-14, 2012.

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