Home 2012 Apprenticeship

2012 Apprenticeship

Year-round Apprenticeship Opportunities

An NWS Apprenticeship is a wonderful opportunity to experience a remote rural lifestyle with a family who is experienced in simple self-reliance and eager to teach those who are willing to learn. The experience is hard-work when duty calls and relaxing when tasks are complete. While our main focus is on dog mushing you will also learn wilderness and primitive living skills, bushcraft, growing food organically, food preservation, cold storage, hunting, fishing, traditional crafts, sled dog care and maintenance, and possibly more.

The Programme

Our activities vary with the seasons, the dogs are part of life everyday here at NWS. We have broken down our year into two programmes; it is possible for an apprentice to remain with us for the entire year if we agree that NWS is a good fit for you. Here is a brief description of what the programmes might look like:

Summer 2012

The NWS summer programme runs from May to October. The timeline and activities are largely dictated by the weather as this is our growing season. We will be preparing the gardens for planting by turning the soil, picking rocks and adding compost. We will be planting trees and perennial fruit bearing plants, transplanting perennial flowers and prepping the flower beds. Bear hunting season is during the early summer and you can choose to take part in the hunt. We will be trout fishing as well; if you would like to take part in this activity then you will need a New Brunswick fishing license. Then as the season progresses we will be weeding, mulching and harvesting in the gardens, building compost piles, solar food dehydration, berry-picking and preserving, collecting and drying herbs, hide tanning, wool processing, and building projects. We will be working with the sled dogs daily, when the weather is cool enough they will be exercised in harness with the four-wheeler; as the temperatures become warmer we will be free running the dogs to the river for a swim. The dog yard will need daily attention: feeding, watering and picking up poop (yup, I said poop!) and of course the puppies will need a lot of attention. As the programme progresses so will the needs of the garden and produce, harvesting, preserving and storage will continue until finally the gardens are put to rest and the garlic is planted.

Winter 2012

The NWS winter programme runs from October to March. The entire focus is dogs, dogs, dogs and other snow type activities. The fall will begin with conditioning and training the dogs on short runs with the four-wheeler gradually building up the distance until we are on sleds in the snow. Deer, bear, partridge and rabbit hunting seasons happen during this time of year and you can choose to be part of the hunt.  Dog sled trails need to be maintained, we groom our trails with a snowmachine after every snow fall. Of course there is snow shoveling required onsite. There will be time for snowshoeing and skiiing, connecting with the natural beauty of winter, winter survival, bushcraft and crafting. Winter apprentices can expect to spend a lot of time on the runners of a dog sled. (and picking up dog poop; yup I said it again – Poop!) We guide sled dog trips and teach survival courses during the winter months you will be an essential part of our NWS adventures.

Apprenticeship Logistics

 

Accomodations

Summer Apprentices:
Housing ~ You may bring your own tent or yurt or NWS will provide a canvas walltent and woodstove as your shelter; you may choose to build a natural shelter while you are here to enhance your experience this is possible on an individual basis; we will encourage and guide you through the process.
Heat ~ We will start you off with seasoned firewood for your heat and cooking then you will be responsible to harvest firewood by hand to season for future use.
Water ~ We have a dug well and clean running water that can be used for drinking and cooking. We use rainwater catchment for the gardens. We have a cabin onsite with running water that has a bathroom with shower for personal care; this is a shared facility. You can expect to use a composting toilet/outhouse.
Grub ~ Apprentices will provide their own food. Cooking can be done on an open fire, woodstove or an electric stove in the communal kitchen which is located in the cabin. There is access to a small refrigerator for storage of perishable food. NWS will provide lunch on full-working days. If hunting season is generous and the gardens are bountiful we will certainly share.

Winter Apprentices:
Housing ~ You will have the choice to bring your own tent, yurt, camper etc. or NWS will provide you with either a walltent and woodstove or you may stay in a room in the cabin.
Heat ~ You will be heating with wood and for our winter apprentices we provide seasoned firewood for indoor heat. If you would like to cook on an open fire outside then you will gather your firewood by hand.
Water ~ We have a dug well and clean running water that can be used for drinking and cooking. The cabin has a full bathroom  with shower for personal care; this is a shared facility. You can expect to use a composting toilet/outhouse.
Grub ~ Apprentices will provide their own food. Cooking can be done on an open fire, woodstove or an electric stove in the communal kitchen which is located in the cabin. There is access to a small refrigerator for storage of perishable food. NWS will provide lunch on full-working days. If hunting season is generous and the gardens are bountiful we will certainly share.

Schedules and Expectations

NWS uses a schedule as a guideline, but it is subject to change at any given moment. With dogs, children and growing food there are any number of factors that can and will change a day’s schedule no matter how carefully it may have been planned. We will work together on many activities and projects but there will be times when you will be expected to work on your own. Depending on the demands of the season you can expect to work an average of 6 hours per day, 6 days a week. We usually take Monday as a day off.
While there will be a continuous task list and daily chores, this will not take up all of your time everyday and you are expected to navigate self-directed learning. We have many resources onsite and we will coach you whenever possible but we will not get you out of bed in the morning; we hope and encourage you to have your own set of goals that will motivate you enough to accomplish them through a self-learning process. You will be expected to meet timings when others are depending on you (we encourage wearing timepieces/watches) We expect apprentices to be self-motivated, thorough with their work, and meticulous in their clean-up and care of tools.
Apprentices are welcome to attend NWS workshops, free of charge. Apprentices will be asked to help with set up, cooking and clean up.

Social Contact

Apprentices are involved in courses and work with us on most days. However, you will be living alone and you need to be a self-sufficient social unit. NWS is 25 mins to the nearest town, 24km to South Knowlesville Community Landtrust and Falls Brook Centre where there are regular activities that you may choose to take part in. We encourage you to bring a vehicle for transportation, due to the remote location hitchhiking is challenging. If you get lonely and do not do well living by yourself you could consider apprenticing with a partner or a friend.

The Fine Print

Electricity, Phone & Internet ~ We are connected to the grid and the cabin has electricity that you can use to charge ipods, phones, laptops etc. We do enjoy the convenience of on-grid living but we are advocates for respecting and minimizing the use of electricity. There is cell phone reception for most carriers (except Rogers; which has a weak signal out here) we have a wireless internet connection for email and facebook users if you bring your own laptop or smartphone; the connection will not support video downloads. The public library is 25 mins away by car and has free highspeed for downloads if required.

Pets ~ no pets please

Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol ~ NWS is free of all three. The use of drugs and excessive drinking by NWS apprentices will not be tolerated on or off-site. While you are an apprentice here you represent NWS to our local community and beyond; inappropriate or disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated.

Transportation ~ Florenceville-Bristol is 25 mins away, Woodstock is 45 mins away and Fredericton is 1 hr 30 mins away. (you get the idea that we are rural!) It is encouraged that you bring your own transportation. If you choose not to, there may be opportunities to carpool when we go to town for errands.

Expenses and Payment ~ Apprentices are responsible for all of their own living expenses. In addition, apprentices pay $50. per week for the first five weeks. After the first five weeks there is no charge for the remainder of the apprenticeship.

Too Good To Be True? ~ If our programme seems too good to be true then it probably is! After all you are signing up as an apprentice (AKA: slave) to gain experience through hands-on learning; in other words by helping us with our ongoing projects, tasks, chores and some new projects, tasks and chores. Plus you will quickly learn that we are pretty regular folks. We drive vehicles that use fossil fuels, we have kids in the public school system, we indulge in prepared foods, we watch television, we are busy, sometimes scattered and our schedule can be willy nilly. However, if you keep your expectations realistic, you might just be surprised at the experience you will have here.

Application ~ Okay, you have read through everything and you still think you would like to be an NWS Apprentice, great!

  1. Send us a detailed biography of yourself and tell us what you have to offer the NWS apprenticeship programme.
  2. Provide 2 written references from people outside of your family with whom you have worked or studied.
  3. Apprentices will be required to provide a current RCMP criminal reference check.
  4. Apprentices will be required to sign our liability waiver and release form.
  5. One final note for you to consider ~ Be prepared to spend a lot of time with working sled dogs! It is imperative that you like dogs and you must be willing to follow direction closely when it comes to the dogs. Our sled dogs are a very serious part of NWS and our personal lives.

 

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