Each summer Mountain SOL invites students of various skill levels to travel to our Cheat Mountain campus, in Randolph County, to practice their survival skills in the Monongahela National Forest. Here we offer students an opportunity to begin learning or improve their skills of map reading, navigation, fire-making, wild foraging, shelter building, tracking, camouflage, finding clean water, and more. Our Cheat Mountain campus provides a unique environment where students can fully immerse themselves in a true wilderness setting. We focus particularly on allowing our students to learn to function effectively as a group in a variety of survival scenarios. On Cheat Mountain, we want to teach our students how to not only survive in the wilderness, but also thrive while living a life connected to the natural world.
New Mtn SOL students, or students who would like to request entrance into a higher level class, should fill out the application below. Parents, there also are questions for you. Online registration is not yet available, so to hold your spot send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently offer three courses for Summer 2017 for students ages 10 and up:
Cheat Mountain I
June 19 – 23
This is our Cheat Mountain SOL entry class where we work with students to build basic wilderness survival skills. Students in this class will be taught fire-making, simple first-aid, finding water, the basics of building a debris hut, rudimentary navigation, and introductory foraging. We seek to allow our students in this course to explore their role in a larger group and gain a sense of self awareness in a wilderness setting. A final scenario is provided for students to test their skills and explore their group dynamics. All students in this level tent camp in a supervised area.
Cheat Mountain II
June 19 – 23
In this course we focus on helping our students learn how to thrive in a variety of scenarios and live in connection to the land. We call this Sur-thrival™. Students build their own debris huts, practice the art of camouflage, and explore tracking. We pay special attention to navigation: teaching students to better understand the relationship between map and compass. Participants are pushed to use their survival skills in more difficult circumstances. A final scenario is set up with specific leadership roles assigned to students. All students will camp in a supervised area, and are encouraged to try sleeping in their debris huts for a night!
Cheat Mountain Scouts
June 19 – 26 *Option for just June 23 – 26 if necessary, please contact us for details
This is our most advanced class to date and requires instructor permission. Students practice creating and living in a primitive camp, thriving with only the contents of their backpacks. We allow participants space to function as a group without constant adult supervision. In this course we will focus on advanced navigation, prioritizing items within a survival pack, advanced wild foraging, and leadership roles.
Transportation: All students will depart for Cheat Mountain from the Morgantown Learning Academy at 8AM Monday, June 19th. Transport to Cheat Mountain will be provided. Parents of students participating in levels I and II will need to pick up students Friday the 23rd at 10AM; we can help arrange carpools.
A note about our campus: Instructors Maureen and Ivan Farrell host these courses from their homestead on Cheat Mountain. They share their home with many chickens, rabbits, several geese, a cat, and three dogs. The dogs will be present during camp in space shared with students. These dogs keep the farm animals safe from predators, and they keep our camp safe from bears. All visitors to the mountain will be briefed on how to interact safely with the dogs.