What to Expect and Bring
~Be ready to camp under the stars, learn and share skills, meet amazing people from all over the west coast and beyond, and surround yourself with a natural landscape!
Arrival/Departure: **Directions will be sent to registered participants only a few weeks before the gathering. It is held along the Central Coast of California in the Santa Ynez Valley on private property. The closest towns are Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Solvang and Buellton. The closest airports are Santa Maria, Santa Barbara & Los Angeles. LAX tends to be the cheapest since it's larger.
Participants arrive the first half of the day on Monday, March 27th... They will get to set up camp and orient yourselves with the site. In the afternoon they will be able to meet instructors, learn about classes and be welcomed to the site for the week.
Participants depart after morning classes and closing circle on Saturday April 1st.
Classes: Instructors come from all over the U.S., West Coast and locally. They come to share their passion and knowledge through teaching ancestral, primitive and earth-based skills. Every instructor offers a plethora of wisdom. Many prepare to come to the gathering for months prior. They collect and make materials for participants to use during their classes. Some of the materials take a very long time to gather and prepare, thus some classes require a materials fee. You will be able to talk about this exchange at the gathering directly with the instructors. Many of the classes are free and/or low cost. Those that have materials fees range from $0-$30 on average, while certain fees are $50-$300 for hide-tanning, bow-making or moccasin making, for example, because of the immense amount of time to prepare the materials. One of the ways to additionally support instructors and add new handmade items to your life/home is by purchasing their crafts (ie. tanned hides, beadwork, baskets). Please bring cash to pay instructors for materials fees.
Parking/Camping: Road access is good to the site from the entrance if you stay on the roads marked for Acorn. There will be designated areas for parking during the gathering and for vehicle camping. There are no hook ups and no generators... We wanna hear the birds. There is drinking water that can be refilled into water bottles and jugs. There is plenty of space for tent camping. Upon arrival you will be able to drop off your tent camping gear and park your vehicle in the parking area. Cars will stay out of the main gathering area throughout the duration of the gathering to maintain a sacred space (unless there is an emergency). Overall walking time from all camping areas (tent and vehicle) is about 2-7 minutes on a mostly flat path.
Weather: During late March on the Central Coast in CA we can often expect light breezes, sunshine, but possibly some rain. We will have some emergency structures for everyone to stay dry in if we do have rain, such as tipis, and large canvas tents. The evenings can be cool because we are in the mountains, so prepare for cool/cold nights. During the day, often this time of year is vibrant with fresh new growth on plants and even some first spring blooms. THIS GATHERING IS RAIN OR SHINE.
The site has abundant oak trees for shade and also open space for sunshine.
What to Bring:
Note: We will send an updated list a few weeks prior to the gathering
*Bowl & plate, cup/mug, utensils for meals (*mandatory-- we will NOT be providing them)
*Lunches in a cooler & snacks for the week! (Only dinner & breakfasts provided)
*Personal camping gear (for tent or car camping)
*Clothing-- prepare for sunny and cool weather with layers
*Camp Chair or blanket to sit
*Flashlight (although the moon will be getting full)
*Musical instrument if you have one
*Homemade crafts to trade/sell during the Barter Fair on the last day
*Personal items (personal tea, medicine, medications, sunscreen, etc.)
*Journal/pen/pencil for taking notes
*Cash for extra materials fees for instructors
*Personal Solar Shower (optional)
*And anything else you feel you may need!!
Food: Two mostly organic meals per day (Breakfast and Dinner ONLY) will be offered and shared. Vegetarian, Vegan, and Meat options available. All food is labeled and nuts/dairy/gluten are on the site. We do serve GF predominantly, such as oats, rice and pasta. Please note severe allergies when you register. We do our best to accommodate most diets, yet if yours is very extreme, we ask you to bring what you need for yourself. Thanks!
You are on your own for lunch for the week. You can bring propane camping stoves to cook/heat up food if you need (no cooking on fire in personal camps).
Youth: This event is a family-friendly gathering! We are excited to welcome and involve children and youth of all ages so they can take the skills and experiences they gain from this gathering into the future. At The Acorn Gathering we will have at least 5 instructors that specialize in nature-based FUN activities and skills for all children. But, our Youth Program will not be a babysitting service. We need parents to be responsible for their children throughout the entire gathering. We ask that children ages 4/5 and below always have an adult present. Parents of older children need to check in with instructors to see if it is necessary for them to be present for the class their child is participating in. We ask you to participate and assist in the activities with your child/children. This is a collective experience. Jump in and learn too! While we are all together, we ask that we consciously respect every child, and that all children respect every adult. To maintain a village community atmosphere, we ask that everyone help out one another, especially if a child is in need of an adult at any time.
Lend a helping hand: Throughout the gathering we may need some extra help. If we do, we will ask you to volunteer yourself. Giving in this way helps The Acorn Gathering flow smoothly and is what makes a community and village flow in a good way. Be mindful and helpful to one another.
Note: THIS IS AN ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE FREE EVENT, please do not bring or partake in any mind/body altering substances, including Marijuana.
This is NOT a festival. It is a skill share gathering of all ages and walks of life. We hold a safe and neutral space for all to feel welcome and be able to connect as humans and make crafts with our two hands~