Land of the Sky Wilderness School (LOTS) Cold Mountain, NC
Many people attend LOTS classes to achieve a high level of proficiency in survival techniques, outdoor knowledge, martial art, or living Appalachian history. Our goal as a school is something deeper, and a little more sublime!
Our mission is building a relationship with and appreciation of the natural world through hands on learning. In addition, students build social skills through teamwork practice and peer teaching. Traditional martial arts practice develops respect, discipline, courage and perseverance.
If someone built a fire by friction and asked, "So did I get what you wanted to teach me?" I'd say maybe. But if someone took a few extra minutes by the river to listen to the insects, laid in the rain to feel the cold seep in and pass through them, decided to live each moment fully and in deep gratitude for their family, friends, and our planet, or dedicated their life to teaching about and preserving our greatest natural resources, I'd say "Right on!"
Scout - Any person who can adapt to a changing environment, survive and thrive, who derives confidence from an artful level of skill in wilderness, humility from seeing a larger perspective, and who can navigate unseen through harsh terrain by acknowledging a spiritual connection to the world around them.
During the year LOTSWild engages youth and adults in beyond-the-ordinary martial arts and wilderness training in regular classes and special clinics, but nothing beats the intensive 5 day programs known as Highland Scout Camp.
Director Spencer Bolejack has been leading groups in wilderness excursions since 1992 and knows the western North Carolina mountains like few others.
Our Scout Camp program in its current form celebrates 10 successful years this year, and we continue to make improvements in delivery of information, locations for learning, and making the whole experience a fun one!
Although Scout Camp has various themes such as 'Blacksmith', 'Sail', or 'Scout', or 'Ninja', they all approach a similar goal - creating students of unusual talent through games, drills, classes, and exercises led by master teachers.
This year we have a day camp for younger students (4+) who are interested in our topics of study but aren't quite ready for overnights! Since our regular sessions are all overnights, we recommend students be at least 8 years old. Basic programs accept students up to age 17. Advanced classes (SCII) are available upon request to anyone with an appropriate background and experience with a target age of 12-17. Generally students with a minimum of three Scout Camp basics under their belt are ready to take on SCII. We also have adult programs available this summer, Adult Survival and Sparta.