Public Info

Primitive Skills Workshop for Adults at Trailside, Oct. 6

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Community Renewal are pleased to offer an all-day Primitive Skills workshop for adults, ages 18 and older, on Saturday, October 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in the Watchung Reservation.

“This is an empowering workshop, which is sure to make you feel more comfortable when camping or hiking,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The class will sharpen the survival skills you will need if you are separated from your gear or become lost in the woods.”

Peter Sananman, an emergency room doctor at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, chairman of the Disaster Preparedness Committee for the University of Pennsylvania Health System and instructor of wilderness survival and disaster relief medicine, will teach the hands-on skills for survival focusing on water, shelter and fire building. Working individually and in teams, participants will learn to make fire with a bow drill, build a warm shelter, create a coal-burned bowl and use that bowl to stone-boil food. Students should bring lunch and a knife, preferably a fixed-blade knife.

Registration is required and patrons should plan to arrive at 9:30 a.m. The program starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. The fee is $60 for Union County residents and $70 for out-of-county participants. Course content may be modified to accommodate constraints of weather and time.

For additional information about the Primitive Skills Workshop or for information on any other programs or upcoming events, call Trailside at 908-789-3670 or visit

Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.



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