Headwaters Gathering was initially created by a team of dedicated volunteers, committed to bringing friends, naturalists, and earth based skills practitioners together to spend time learning the ways of hunter, gatherer and sustainable farmer as well as to celebrate all the gifts of nature.
The Headwaters Earth Skills Gathering is currently hosted by Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and is run in collaboration with many other organizations and talented presenters from throughout North America.
The gathering is open to anyone (including families, elderly and the disabled) who is interested in these ways regardless of your experience level. Please see the participation expectations page to make sure this is the right gathering for you. It is expected that people attending are coming to learn about and practice the skills offered in the workshops, it is not solely a social gathering, a camping trip or a music festival although all of those are part of the experience.
Everyone comes to the Headwaters Gathering at their own risk and understands there are some risks to camping and participating in the activities being offered. Everyone MUST sign a waiver of liability in order to participate. The Headwaters organizers are not liable for any injuries or damage done to personal property that may occur at the gathering.
This years gathering will be held May 4th through 7th -2137 Highway 630, Eau Claire, ON Directions will be sent along with your welcome package upon registration. To register for this event, you can click HERE for the registration form.
The event costs $120/adults, $50/youth (13 – 18) & Free for 12 & under
** You may wish to bring a little extra cash as some workshops may have a materials fee such as the knife making workshop or blacksmithing. You may also want to purchase goods from people during the community market.
YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO REGISTER/PUT DOWN A DEPOSIT TO SECURE YOUR PLACE!
Your fee goes towards pre-gathering planning and administration such as the web page, insurance, firewood, supplies for stewardship project and supplies for hosting the event.
On top of your registration fee you are also expected to help with camp chores such as: camp clean up, splitting firewood, setting up washing stations, cleaning outhouses, etc. You will be assigned a work crew upon arrival. All attendees are also expected to help out with the group stewardship project. You can register HERE.
Many hands make for light work
In 2007 a group of friends, sharing common interests in earth based skills, decided to come together and host a weekend gathering to share and grow in a way that is familiar to our bodies and senses. To create a small village, support each other and the land and thus ourselves as a social experiment that harkened on times of old. The participants at the gatherings have come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and ancestries. No matter where our shared ancestral roots come from, coming together in a healthy way to support each other and leave the land healthier than it was found, particularly in habitats that had Spring water flowing from them is something that all people have in common. So now each Spring we come together and celebrate the season and the Equinox, the healthy habitats that still to this day, provide abundant Spring Water from the Headwaters of various watersheds and continue to support each other’s learning about and empowering our own ecological footprints.
The first gathering was held on a farm in the Credit River Watershed, where 50 or so friends came together, shared there passions with each other and then planted 50,000 heads of garlic for the farmer who let us use their land to host the gathering.
This pattern of collaborating with landowners to host the gatherings has been an instrumental part of the experience of Headwaters. Leaving the place better/healthier/more ecologically sound then we found it, has been the consistent theme.
Migrating north along the Niagara Escarpment, the gatherings have been hosted on a number of different farms, each having its own stewardship project in accordance with the ecological needs of the property. Among the ‘Headwaters’ of the Credit, Saugeen, Nottawasaga and the Beaver River Watersheds the gatherings have been hosted within some of the last wild places among southern Ontario. Each of which has been stewarded by everyone coming together to learn, grow and share the skills they love to preserve.
It is a legacy we are all very proud of. And the legacy lives on…
In 2016, Headwaters was hosted among the South Muskoka River Watershed, on a little spring fed ‘Headwaters’ river. All of the headwater streams originating from each of these locations feeds into The Great rivers, of North Eastern, North America, where for eons the indigenous people had tended, stewarded and cared for as if they were the source of life themselves….
It is our Vision as a proto-village to continue this meaningful work and give back to the land that regenerates all life, like the purity of the ‘Headwater Springs’ that have inspired us all.