"Primitive living allows us to practice living on a model scale. By 'living' I mean that process of procuring our needs for physical and mental well-being, including such things as shelter, fire or energy, water, and vegetable or animal resources. In primitive living we are faced with these needs as realities we must meet. We are faced with the realization that in order for our lives to go onward, we must take from the world around us; like the coyote stalking a mouse, we must kill and use to survive."
Welcome to Green University® LLC!
Green University® LLC is a highly unique program. We don't spoon feed anything to you like high school or college. There are scheduled events, but not always. In a very literal sense, Green University® LLC is whatever you make it to be. At times, it may seem like there is nothing happening here... until you ask a question. When you ask a question, you will discover that there is much more here than meets the eye. Think of it as a gold mine. All you have to do is dig a little bit!
It is helpful to immerse yourself in Tom's many books and videos. The more you know before you get here, the more you will get out of the program. You will find our conversations much richer and more engaging if we have a common starting point. Check out Tom's books and videos, and you will have a good foundation for asking questions and exploring your interests in depth:
Internships: Year-Long or Monthly?
The Green University® LLC Year-Long Internship program traditionally begins in spring. We are gradually transitioning towards fall as a starting time so that incoming students can begin with animal processing. Learn how to skin and butcher deer, tan hides, and make clothing. Focus on these skills over the fall and winter, and be prepared in advance for the year ahead. But for now, spring is still equally acceptable as a starting point for the internship program, and we remain flexible enough to accept incoming interns at almost any time of year.
As an alternative to the Year-Long Internship, many people come on a month-by-month basis to focus on specific skills. For example, late spring and early fall is a good opportunity to get in-depth, hands-on experience with primitive skills. We offer primitive skills programs to the public schools through our sister program, Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC. Mentoring youths through our progams is a great way to refine your own skills! You will be amazed at how much you learn, and at how deeply we immerse the kids into nature. Each season has its own emphasis. Check the Class Schedule for an approximate idea of what's in store for the year.
Cost of Tuition
For a limited time, as we continue to grow Green University® LLC, we are offering special discount pricing: $750 per month or $4,900 for the full year... which is probably less than it would cost to stay home! Plan on spending another $300 to attend Rabbitstick Rendezvous as a student in September. There may be similar opportunities to attend other gatherings and special classes as well.
Many other year-long programs run about $9,500 a year and don't include food or lodging, such that students must rent a house and get a job to make ends meet during the program. Green University® LLC, however, is a fully-immersive program. We provide year-round lodging (mostly primitive shelters and a felted Mongolian yurt) as well as basic foods, such as roadkilled game (legal here in Montana), plus vegetables, rice and beans, etc., and we forage for wild foods.
The tuition fee primarily covers groceries and other direct expenses, with the understanding that you will be able to help out with various projects on a work-trade basis to help earn your keep around here. Prices are subject to rise at any time, but we guarantee your tuition at the rate advertised when your application is received.
For those who are interested, it is often possible to earn back some or all of the Green University® LLC tuition. We may be able to find ways to collaborate on worthwhile projects, varying from producing books and videos to launching green businesses. Some of our past interns have made a net profit from their Green University® LLC experience. In our opinion, that's the way the program should work!
Ready to Apply?
To apply to our internship program, first read through our Internship FAQ's. When ready, click on over to our Contact Page and send us a detailed biography of yourself, what skills and ideas you have to contribute to the Green University® LLC internship program, and what you hope to learn while you are here. We will read your bio and ask questions to make sure our program is appropriate for you before approving your application. All interns are required to read and sign our Liability Waiver and Release Form (PDF).
Stay in Contact
To be notified about upcoming additions and changes to our programs, be sure to "Like" our page on Facebook. We'll keep you posted on the internship program as well as any specific classes we have on stone masonry, house-building, wilderness survival and botany. In addition, we will invite you along on some of our informal informal canoe trips and walkabouts, so sign up and stay in touch!
Wilderness Survival Adventures
Looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Tom is always thrilled for the chance to get out of the office to go trekking some place new, and he loves taking people out to experience nature on its own terms, often with very little gear. (Be sure to read our camping journals!)
Our canoe trips and walkabouts are not structured like classes, nor is there a fee to participate. It is just something we like to do with friends, family members, interns, and pretty much anyone else who is sufficiently physically fit and wants to come along. You are especially welcome to join us if you happen to be experienced in wildernes survival, nature awareness, and/or tracking skills, and you think you have something to contribute to the experience.
Skills or no skills, just click on over to our Contact Page and send us an e-mail to tell us about yourself, what your background is, and why you would like to join us for one of our outings. Please keep in mind that these experiences are largely unscheduled ahead of time, so you may have days, rather than weeks, to make the necessary arrangements to get here. Also be sure to look at our suggested Equipment List.