These are many of the Classes being offered and Guides, but there will be some new instructors and classes added for 2017.
Keep checking for updates!


Acorns & Oaks!

Learn to process delicious and nutritious acorn flour in this hands-on session, where we’ll  prepare acorn flour to integrate into a wild feast that will serve our village! As we pound and leach acorn we’ll discuss different processing methods, and talk about the oak woodland ecology so vital for supporting all life – humans and nonhumans alike.

African Dance!!

It has been a tradition now, to have some special guest drummers and dancers come show and share the Earthly rhythms of mama Africa. African dance is full rhythms and dances that celebrate and honor different stages in ones life and the different seasons and all that is connected with nature. All levels welcome! There will be a couple of classes throughout the gathering.

Bark Tanning Fish Skins

Learn this ancient craft of working with fish skins and turning them into strong usable material for making shoes, clothes or other items. You will get to tan a fish skin from start to finish and for those who are interested, you can learn how to make shoes with fish skins.


Beadwork is beautiful adornment tradition practiced around the world. In this class, students will learn some of the foundational stitches of seed beadwork on buckskin, including rosettes, bead embroidery, lane stitch and edge beading.


-participants will each produce their own flint strikers under the tutelage of Sam.
-must wear closed toed shoes

Buffalo Hide Tanning

Learn how to tan a buffalo hide from start to finish. This will be an ongoing project throughout the gathering for anyone who wants to participate!

Cattail Weaving

In this class you will be able to start and finish a cattail weaving project. Learn how to make a hat, water bottle holder and more! Materials will be provided (donation requested).

Children's Song Circle

This is a music and movement class designed for children aged 0-7, but all ages are welcome. Each morning we will explore connection and self expression through music in a gentle, safe, and warm environment, and play with a range of classic and contemporary children's songs from around the world.


Community Drum and Dance!

The rhythms of the drums have created the path for the human body to move by instinct. Together these modes of making and expressing music offer us humans the opportunity to get out of the mind and into the body through movements closely connected to the earth and ancient traditions. We will be dancing and celebrating life on the Saturday of the gathering. All ages, all people welcome. Don't be shy!! 

Cooking with Wild Foods

Explore the delicious, fragrant and storied California landscape by learning to identify edible, utilitarian and poisonous species. Students will become acquainted with much of the local flora of the area and learn traditional recipes which highlight the connections between cuisine, culture, history, natural living skills, and stewardship.


Fibers have been felted into fabric for thousands of year. It is thought to originate with the nomads on the Eurasian Steepe, to this day it is used for a huge variety of uses. This workshop will offer students the opportunity to create a small,  two or three dimensional felt project of their choice; from small bags, to book covers, to baby booties.The focus will be starting small with a project that will enable someone to return home with the skills to delve into a larger project. 


Come learn the basics of stone tool production, which our ancestors have performed for over two million years. Using obsidian, or volcanic glass, learn some basic principles and techniques that will help you along your way to producing your own knives, arrowheads, scrapers, and more. We will learn to make simple usable flake tools, and explore the steps to making more complex tools such as spear points and arrowheads, through both percussion and pressure flaking.

Friction Fire

Have you ever made fire from two sticks? In this class you can learn from expert teachers how to respectfully harvest plants that can help you make fire to cook with, keep warm, sit by and more. Both hand drill and bow drill techniques will be shown. You can leave with your own fire kit! This magical practice takes patience and persistance.


Connect with the plants of California's Southern Coastal lands. Smell them. Listen to them. Gain a more respectful relationship with these friendly and ancient beings. A plant walk and talk will be a part of the experience. Learn about their healing properties and qualities.

Hide tanning

Hide tanning is an ancient craft that many indigenous people have used to make important items, such as clothing and tools. In this class you will learn and get hands on with this craft. You will learn what tools you need to tan hides on your own and be able to ask lots of questions. This class is a big committment, so know that if you do take it, you will need to limit taking other classes. Hides will be available for purchase to work with. If you have your own, you can bring it.


Holistic Tracking & Awareness

Tracking is much more than looking at footprints in the sand; it is a way of seeing the world and making meaning out of patterns. This class will provide a strong yet flexible foundation for beginners while also challenging more experienced trackers with novel concepts and approaches. Tracking basics will be covered in a way that will open your mind, accelerate your learning, and empower your personal practice.

Intro to Aikido

Shizen Kai Ikido is a dynamic martial art bringing mind and body and spirit into balance. Learn how to move with love, intuition, centered positioning, flexibility and timing through any type of situation life presents you. 

Ikido is a philosophy of true love and protection for the whole world; it is a practice of balance and harmonizing. Ikido teaches people that all things are connected and by working in harmony with the energy of the universe, one can accomplish whatever needs to be done without conflict.

Intro to Woodcarving

Basic to intermediate wood carving class with Master woodcarvers from the Pacific Northwest, Emmett and Garth. Get familiar with different types of wood.

Kids Program

The kids program at The Acorn Gathering is intended to support the children in their exploration with hands-on and experiential-based learning. With the support of our Kids Program instructors and you, as parents, a sacred and playful space will be provided for the little ones to get their hands on various crafts and skills. We work with other instructors at the gathering on how to include the children in experiencing or witnessing the classes that involve learning more complex skills.

Local Seafood, Fishing & Processing

Cleaning and processing whole fish, Parasite ID, cutting and preparation for sashimi, identifying if fish is sashimi grade to be eaten raw.  Cleaning and pealing Local Shrimp.  Learning how to keep your seafood fresh and learning how long will it last.  Storage techniques and key components to freezing seafood.  Ocean food harvesting and different fishing techniques: spearfishing, hook and line, shore gathering.

Native Plant Dyes

This class offers an opportunity to get fun and crafty with the plants in your local area. Learn how to make beautiful colors from the Earth. This class is inspiring and has room for lots of creativity! If you love alchemy and earth art, this is the class for you!


Osage Bow Making

In this class students will learn the art of bow making with traditional hand tools and emerge with a self crafted weapon they can be proud of.
Topics covered will include: 
- scraping, shaping and tillering until the bow bends properly

Packing Mules and Horses into the Backcountry

Learn from Graham and Mike about the traditional techniques to pack and travel with animals into the backcountry. They run local trips through Los Padres Outfitters all over Santa Barbara County. They are amazing people who have so much to give to those interested! You will be able to sit on the horses and mules, especially kiddos!

Spinning Class

In this class you will learn how to turn sheep's wool into yarn that can be used for knitting, crocheting, or weaving. Students will be learning on a traditional top - weighted drop spindle as well as have the opportunity to try using an Ashford traditional spinning wheel to make their yarn. Class will cover cleaning, carding and spinning wool. Participants will get to keep all yarn they make in this class. Save your yarn and use it in our weaving class the next day!

Tarahumara Tire Running sandals

Never buy shoes again after learning to craft your own!  Based on technology from the Tarahumara, a tribe of super runners in Copper Canyon.


Tracking that we will be doing will include track identification, gait analysis, intro to track aging, and sign tracking. With awareness, we will be tracking by touch and using blindfolds to enhance awareness. Tracking will not be limited to non-human animals. This class is an opportuniity to expand your awareness beyond what you use on a day to day basis!


Learn the tactics on trapping ally types of animals when hunting or living out on the land. 


Weaving Class

In this class you will get to make their very own unique tapestry to take home. Class will cover various tapestry techniques, use of color, different fibers and the long and storied history of weaving in cultures around the world. All skill levels and experience are welcome. Students will be provided with a loom, an assortment of yarns and personal instruction to help them bring their weaving to life. 


Willow basketry

Learn the basics (and more) of willow basketry!! This is a great class that will allow you to connect to your weaving roots! All levels welcome.


Women's and Men's Circle

Connect with one another and get to know your fellow sisters and brothers. Sacred space will be held for both the men's and the women's circles. It is important that we listen and share with one another to find more balance with both the masculine and feminine within each of us. All genders welcome!