EcoNest Natural Building Workshops and Timber Framing Workshops

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Interviews with Bootcampers

Bootcampers come to us from all kinds of backgrounds, each with a unique set of expectations and goals. We sat down with three of our recent bootcampers, JC, Andrew, and James and they shared a little about their bootcamp experiences.

Click here to watch our video interview with JC.

Sometimes the final days of boot camp get too hectic and busy and the work continues after the workshop's end. On these days, it's a challenge to get students to stop working and sit down and chat about their experience, so sometimes they send me responses after the workshop has ended and they have time to reflect.

Below are reflections from Andrew and James.

Andrew:

What was your intention when you decided to take the EcoNest bootcamp?
Preparation for building temples, gathering, celebrating, and communing spaces, and shelters.
Preparation for being of service to my family and kinsman.
Practicing obedience with a master teacher.
Following my heart.
What did you hope to gain from the experience?
Health.
Skills in creating.
What is your background (personal and/or professional) and how did that lead you to EcoNest?
Co-directing nonprofit community centers and organizational development consulting: Creating cultural environments that support flourishing of life and supporting change in cultural/organizational environments towards a systemic and holistic flourishing of life.
I noticed a growing passion in myself in becoming skilled at the practice of designing and creating the physical spaces or habitats the help nourish and sustain life -support the flourishing of life.
Was the experience what you anticipated and/or hoped it would be?
Yes, and more.
At times it was challenging to navigate the balance between personal health and obedience to the teacher but as one of my good friend said, "at times it was challenging, but it was always rewarding." I also suspect that over a long enough time period my health will be better because of the effort.
Where do you go from here? Any future building plans? 
I go here.
Yes, many. And always.
To list some that are on their way over the next three years:
Tea House
Basecamp for builders
Tiny monk hut/Retreat, recenter, and rejuvenation environments
Community Barn in Ionia, AK
Home for young family in Crested Butte
Home for young family in Paradise
Small Monestary in Fairfield, IA
Community Spirit Lodge in Fairfield, IA
Tiny Airbnb spaces in Ashland, Oregon
Home for young family in Ionia, AK
Community center in Fairfield, IA
Spirit/fairy houses (like doll house for the local land creatures and devas) in many lands

James:
What was your intention when you decided to take the EcoNest bootcamp? What did you hope to gain from the experience?
To learn more about timber framing and natural building in general. I hoped to gain more confidence  in my building skills (which I did!) and I hoped to gain some of Robert's and Paula's knowledge (and a vast sea of knowledge it is!)
What is your background (personal and/or professional) and how did that lead you to EcoNest?
I grew up submerged in natural building and have always had building and wood working in my life in some way or another. In my community (Ionia) we are building if not the largest then one of the largest straw clay structures in North America!
Was the experience what you anticipated and/or hoped it would be?
Yes and more! If I had one thing to say in the way of feedback it would be that I think Econest students would gain more variety of experience/knowledge if the workshops were on smaller buildings that were done all they way through (from foundation to roof) which it seems you guys are already headed in that direction ;)
Where do you go from here? Any future building plans?
I am going to start building a small nest in the immediate future and a bigger nest for my family in the near future and many more natural buildings to come!!
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