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