Firefly Gathering Class Database

Teaching at the Firefly Gathering 2019

The Firefly Gathering is for people seeking to deepen and expand their connection with the natural world. There will be around 150 classes available, focusing on self-sufficiency and skills for living with the Earth, taught by around 100 highly skilled teachers from around the region. This year, we are scaling back on instructors, and working hard to curate a wide variety of classes taught by people who have mastered their field. We are looking for project-based hands-on experiential learning opportunities. If you are interested in being one of these teachers, please fill out this application and we will get back to you by mid-May – about one month before the event. The sooner that you get your application to us, the more likely it is that you will be considered for a teaching slot, and that we will be able to accommodate your needs for times and subjects taught.

The Firefly Gathering is offered based on a sliding scale to the public. Due to financial constraints, we are unable to pay most teachers. For full and repeating instructors (teaching 3 or more classes) we are able to offer some instructors gas money or other modest compensations. We will provide food for most instructors, depending on individual arrangements (we do not feed ticketed participants). You are welcome to charge materials or class fees to help compensate you for your time; many teachers choose not to, and this is great too, as many of the attendees don’t have extra money and appreciate going to classes that don't ask for additional funds. The total cost of the Firefly Gathering is comparatively low, $205-400 sliding scale for adults, and $100-250 for children 8-14 (early-bird prices). Because of this low cost, we anticipate that many of the attendees will be able to pay materials fees and to buy instructor-made crafts. There will also be several opportunities for you to sell your goods. There is also a lot of exposure available via social media and promotion of your work through participation in the gathering.

List of Types of Classes we offer and are looking for:

  • Primitive and Ancestral Skills
  • Flintknapping
  • Basketry
  • Broom making
  • Curing meat
  • Useful knots
  • Bone working
  • Cattail hats
  • Felting – hats or booties
  • Fat-rendering
  • Flint and steel fire
  • Correct use of tools
  • Primitive cooking
  • Primitive food storage
  • Hunting skills
  • Primitive pottery
  • Respectful interaction with native cultures (how t
  • avoid cultural appropriation)
  • Fire building 101
  • Bow making
  • Tracking
  • Hoop drum making
  • Wooden spoon and bowl carving
  • Plant Propagation
  • Blacksmithing
  • Wood carving
  • Home brewing
  • Canning
  • Forest assessment and thinning
  • Homesteading 101
  • Alternative technologies
  • Bookbinding
  • Tool sharpening
  • Soap making
  • Tool sharpening
  • Permaculture
  • Water systems
  • Animal husbandry

Following are some things that we think that you need to know before you apply:

We enjoy an abundance of schools, teachers and classes in Asheville that offer healing arts, herbalism and alternative medicine, yoga, and communication skills. Teaching these classes at Firefly is becoming increasingly competitive, and we have very few openings for these classes each year. If you want to teach a class in a “soft skills” category, be sure to include your full credentials in your application.

Because we are limiting the size of Firefly this year, we have an overabundance of super-qualified and eager instructors, so we can’t bring on many new instructors with the same deal that we have been able to in the past. We are making some exceptions for super-qualified instructors, but the deal that we are giving most new instructors is to teach one class in exchange for either 1) a meal pass (2 meals/day) for the entire event, if you pay the registration fee, or 2) a day-pass for the day you want to come and teach. You can also apply for worktrade, and your teaching counts for double hours toward your trade.

We give trade to only 1 instructor per class. If you want to co-teach, it only counts as the trade for one instructor. We make very few exceptions to this rule – and only under certain circumstances.

We especially favor teachers who can either handle a large number of students in their classes (at least 15 whenever possible) and/or teach hands-on classes where students make something with natural materials that they are able to bring home. We ask that most classes accommodate at least 8 students.

Any children under age 7 must register at for a price of $15-150 (sliding scale). We have a cooperative childcare system during classes for kids up to 7-years-old and a kid’s program for kids ages 8-14. Older kids usually attend adult classes. See the price-trade arrangements at the bottom of this page.

We have an abundance of worktraders who at can assist you with your materials, etc. We do not admit instructor’s assistants for free. We do however have a guest policy, through which you can choose to forgo your meal pass and/or teach extra classes so that you might bring a guest for no additional charge (see the bottom of this page). If you have questions about the guest policy, please email

There will be a total of 8 class sessions (two per day, morning and afternoon, Thursday-Sunday). Each returning, full-instructor is expected to teach at least 3 full sessions as their trade for their full registration for the event. Instructors are welcome to teach more sessions, attend other classes, explore the land, explore Asheville, or do whatever they like during other class sessions.

Morning classes are 2.5 hours each. Afternoon classes are about 3.5 hours each. You do not have to fill this entire time. You can teach a longer, multi-session class. If you want to teach a multi-session class, please note this in your class description.

Please also notify us if you have any special needs that we may be able to accommodate.

We also have a CAMP STORE where eligible and appropriate goods can be sold. Please inquire with Meredith as to available space. We will not be selling of alcohol (including mead, sorry), guns, fireworks, books (unless you are the author or by special arrangement), or cheap junk made by exploited workers in foreign countries. We hold the final say in what is appropriate. If you have any question whatsoever as to whether your goods are appropriate, let us know WELL AHEAD of the event.

First-Time Instructors Use the Following Policy:

# of Classes Offered Paying forTicket? Full Event Pass? # of Day-Passes Instructor Meals? (2 per day) Guest Pass? Meals for Guest?
1 No No 1 no no no
1 $205-400 Yes 0 yes no no
Returning Instructors use the following policy:
# of Classes Offered Cost for Guest Full Instructor Event Pass? # of Day-Passes Instructor Meals? (2 per day) Guest Pass? Meals for Guest?
2 $0 No 2 yes no
2 $205-400 Yes 0 yes no yes
Standard Deal 3 $0 Yes 0 yes no no
3 $205-400 Yes 0 yes yes no
4 $100 Yes 0 no yes no
4 $205-400 Yes 0 yes yes yes
5 $0 Yes 1 yes no no
6 $0 Yes 0 yes yes yes
Instructors with children 8-12 use the following policy:
# of Classes Offered Cost for Child Full Instructor Event Pass? Instructor Meals? (2/day) Child Pass? Meals for Child?
Standard Deal 3 $100-250 Yes yes yes no
4 $0 Yes no yes no
4 100-250 Yes yes yes yes
5 $0 Yes yes yes yes

Click Here to Apply

This page took 0.3125 seconds to load.