The MAPS Meetup

We have just returned from the Mid-Alantic Primitive Skills Meet (MAPS), held at Catoctin Quaker Camp. Over the next week or so we'll post some details of the skills we've learned in the Practical Skills section. If our descriptions make you want to learn more, next years MAPS should include many of those skills again, and more.

Reflecting back on the days we were there, we both realized that even with having known only a few of these people for any length of time, a sense of community still pervaded that we were not excluded from. We made fast friends with many of the participants, and strengthened friendships will some of the people we had met at the Primitive Technology Weekend.

At one point, as Ben is prone to doing, he got into a rather intense discussion about social structures and their comparative efficiency and what affects they have on the people in them. The details of the discussion are not really the point, the point is that two people who had not previously known each other were able to have a very intense debate without confusing the person and the argument. In our experience, and probably in most of your experiences as well, it is fairly rare to find people willing to have such a debate without becoming…irritated. He had to leave before we had really finished articulating and comparing our opposing views, but it ended with a handshake and an agreement that both were both pleased with the outcome and that they were pleased to have met each other.

The people we met were also welcoming in another way. It is rare, even with this knowledge becoming increasingly mainstream, to find people who we can speak with on the issues we discuss on Aftermath without having to begin at the most basic level of the argument. At the MAPS meet we could start at even the most theoretical elements without causing confusion.

We have emails for several people we met, and spread around the web address for Aftermath, the shameless self-promoters that we are. We are also planning on meeting up with at least two of the them again soon.

The sense of community at the MAPS meet was invigorating. It reminded us both of what it is we are working towards. Survival is fundamental. Community is worth while.

Look for posts on fire-making, shelter, black-smithing, and more!
– Miranda Vivian and Benjamin Shender 



  1. Glenn McMillin said,

    June 20, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Ahh….Managed to find you “shameless self-promoters” after all.

    It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but with things going as they are I’m already getting better with a “fire-drill” then I am with a computer.

    I’m the one who you talked to while Ben worked on his primative blacksmith project.

    Just figured I’ld let you know I remembered you and tell you that the look of loss and sadness I saw in your eyes when you had to leave is now in my eyes too. It was an awesome time, I’m very glad we met, and I know that the experience we all shared their has changed me forever.

    Good to know you got home safe.

    Glenn McMillin

  2. Aftermath said,

    June 20, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Hey Glen!
    Glad you managed to find us okay. I know that I am already looking forward to next year and the next chance to go to Maps. Hopefully we will all meet up again there!
    Glad to hear that you arrived home safely, and I can absolutely understand what you mean about the look of loss and sadness.
    The experience changed us too, I know.

    – Miranda Vivian

  3. June 24, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    […] One of the workshops that I attended at the Maps Meet was the Medicinal Plant Walk. Taught by an herbalist named "Doc," all the attendants ended up with a wealth of information. Now, believe me when I say that information and discussions on plants and their medicinal and/or edible qualities do not end here, but for now I am concentrating on information that was received at this gathering. […]

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