Far from Asheville’s Bele Chere festival, an intimate group assembled in the woods at Camp Pinnacle in Hendersonville for the third annual Firefly Gathering. The four-day retreat, held Thursday through Sunday, July 22-25, offered hands-on workshops focusing on various primitive skills, such as fire making, trapping land animals and water critters, wilderness emergency care, African bow-and-arrow making, buckskin sewing and clothing design, butchery, seed-saving techniques, blacksmithing, wild-food foraging and medicinal herbs.
The forest of Camp Pinnacle, equipped with small wood cabins, a covered gym and campsites galore, established an ideal setting for the gathering. Participants cooked over roaring fires at the communal and primitive kitchens built especially for the occasion, attended morning and afternoon classes under poplar and oak trees, swam in Wolfe Lake and danced to live music performed in the evenings. Read more about the Firefly Gathering here.
At Sunday evening’s closing circle, event coordinator Natalie Bogwalker spoke to the success of the gathering as a whole, expressing gratitude for the enthusiasm and energy that the community brought to the land. She then reading the following aloud: “I’ve been approached by several people who told me that the Firefly Gathering has drastically changed their lives. That is exactly our intention, to inspire people to deepen and expand their connection to the natural world. We come together to share and learn skills that may help us to survive, but our hope is to foster the ability to thrive.”
Here are a few photos from the Firefly Gathering taken on Sunday, July 25.
“Weeds, Woodslore & Useful Wild Plants”
Building a temporary shelter with natural resources
Photos by Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt