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work trades and scholarshipsWork Trade: We offer a limited amount of work trade positions per course. If accepted, students are required to pay half or more of one of the sliding scale prices, pay a deposit, and be willing to come early and stay late to the course (depending upon the work trade job description). Additionally, work traders are required to submit a work trade application, and a personal letter letting us know what your specific skills are. The deposit is due with your registration form, and without all of the above we cannot consider you registered. The remaining amount is due no later than 30 days prior to the course starting unless otherwise stated.

If you have trouble coming up with your share, consider tuition loans from Permaculture Credit Union, and the "Create Your Own Scholarship" personal fundraising ideas.

Scholarship: A full EAT scholarship award (100% tuition without exchanging work hours) is very rare. In the past, we've offered a few to specific people whom we've especially wanted in the training, such as agricultural teachers from third world countries, indigenous elders, and physically-disabled activists. If you request a full scholarship without work-trade, please submit a personal letter, and tell us why. Otherwise we'll assume you're applying for normal work-trade.

Earth Activist Training is committed to increasing the diversity of the global permaculture movement. We can offer a limited number of scholarships for people of color working in environmental and food justice areas. To apply, email earthactivisttraining@gmail.com

Cancellations:
While EAT cannot offer refunds, deposits and course fees may be applied to a future course in the case of a cancellation up to 30 days before the course start date.

how to apply

We need three items to consider your application.

  • First, fill out the registration form for the course you desire to attend.
  • Second is your personal letter (see below). Please keep your letter to two pages, normal type.
  • Third, get us your deposit. We need to cover our expenses (including food, lodging and materials) for each student. EAT requires work traaders to pay a minimum of one half of the lowest sliding scale pricing. Your work trade deposit needs to be one half of that amount. The remainder of the course tuition be be required prior to the course starting.

That's it.

Here's what to put in your letter:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, age, your experience in any areas related to this training: activism, permaculture, gardening, magic and spiritual training, house-building, group process and facilitation, teaching, organizing, community work, etc. We hope our EAT community will reflect a diversity of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and life experience, so let us know anything about you that might be relevant.

Please answer these questions, as applicable:

  • Why do you want to take this training?
  • What community projects or activist work are you doing now?
  • What specific use will you make of the EAT training? Will you be able to share the skills with your community?
  • What are your financial needs? Can you afford to pay half, or more, of the base tuition? Will you be fundraising for yourself?
  • Do you have work-trade skills that we need? Are you physically able to do this work? Do you have a reliable car or pickup that you're willing to use during the training? Can you come early and/or stay late, and work on-site?
  • Do you have a well-developed work ethic and sense of personal responsibility? Will you do the work you agree to do?

Helpful hint: vague applications are usually not successful. We seek to give our tuition aid to dynamic folks and activists from non-privileged backgrounds, who will apply their new knowledge to specific projects and share it with others. We want to support a positive "ripple effect."

work trade job details

The following job descriptions are typical, but may change, depending on various locations and EAT's actual needs at the time. There may be overlap, where a work-trader is asked to do a bit of several jobs. And, depending on the job, one or several people may be assigned to that position. Flexibility helps.

EAT Courses are intentionally intense and the hours are very long, every day of the course. There isn't much time to put in work trade hours during the actual course. Therefore many of our work trade positions will be outside of the actual course time. We need work traders who are able to show up days early and stay days after the course to do set up and cleanup, materials gathering and organizing — as well as work traders who have professional skills in the areas of promotion, marketing communications, fundraising, computer graphics or public speaking.


Set-up/clean-up — Needs workers with good sense of what "clean" is. Arrives day or two early. Before course, preps classrooms and library. Helps teachers with books, class supplies, materials, and copying. During course, responsible for keeping classrooms, dining hall, and bathrooms clean, emptying recycling bins, and so on. On last day, helps organize cleanup crews. Stays late to make sure all books and supplies are packed up, all areas are clean, supplies taken back to storage, and so on. Car and ability to drive helpful, possibly mandatory, depending on each course needs.

Transportation coordinator — For several weeks before course, contacts every participant and keeps track of their travel plans. Helps students connect into carpools. Answers transportation questions. Coordinates the EAT shuttle on first and last day of course. May include being a shuttle driver personally. Coordinates other shuttle drivers, ensuring all participants get picked up. This position needs person good with details and communication, committed to answering all phone calls & emails on time. It's a job that can be done mostly at home, before the course, but will also involve coordination onsite for changes to travel plans for departure.

Shuttle Drivers — If you own or can borrow a large car or van, have car insurance, and are a safe & careful driver, we need you for this one. Shuttle drivers work on the first and last days of the course. They make several runs into town, driving students and their gear to the EAT site. Depending on how many hours owed, you may be asked to do other chores as well, during or before the course.

Materials coordinator — Arrives two or three days early. Works with teachers to support the hands-on segments of course. Runs errands, shops, and gathers tools & materials (straw, seeds, plants, manure, rocks, sand, clay...) from stores, gardens, storage sites, stables, etc. Not afraid to get hands dirty. Reasonable physical strength needed. Throughout the two-week session, keeps tools and materials organized and ready to roll, so the hands-on class sessions have what's needed and start on time. Organizes cleanup of area after class projects, makes sure tools are put away every day. Stays late on last day for final cleanup of tools and materials, returns tools to storage. Ability to drive and own truck very helpful. This job needs workers who anticipate what needs to be done and take responsibility, not wait to be told.

Kitchen coordinator — Liaison between the cooking team and students; helps deal with any food issues that may arise. Arrives day or two early to help organize kitchen, deal with food deliveries. Sets up recycling and composting systems. Orients kitchen teams in procedures for set up and clean up of meals. Makes sure heath protocol is being followed during meal setup/cleanup periods. Particular attention to detail with regards to dishwashing and handwashing and overall health issues mandatory. On last day, stays late to organize kitchen clean up.

Breakfast cooks and Breakfast Coordinator — Requires waking up early (6:00 am) every day and preparing simple breakfasts: setting out cereals, yogurt, and fruit, making coffee and tea, and so on. Possibly some simple cooking (eggs and toast). Works with the kitchen coordinator and cooks to determine breakfast components. Learns and follows health protocol. On last day, stays late to help with kitchen clean up.

no can do

We cannot exchange for things like music, theater, artwork, tarot, bodywork, massage, Reiki, bellydancing, priestessing, or extracurricular teaching. These are all great things, but we can't trade you to do them. We need our work-traders to do more prosaic things, like hauling a truckload of manure.

 
students planting
Iris and ChezLani plant seedlings into keyhole beds

fundraising message from Starhawk

EAT is a program of both practical skills and consciousness change. Permaculture, nonviolence, wilderness awareness, and magic all teach us to look at the world upside down and sideways, to see patterns and relationships, not just things. When we do, we go through the personal transformation we call "empowerment."

We want to not just teach about that transformation, but to embody it in every aspect of what we do, beginning with how we approach the cost of this program.

We're asking you to take an active role in the fundraising work. One of the principles of permaculture that you'll learn about is "stacking functions": one element of a project provides multiple benefits. In sharing the efforts of fundraising, we all gain.

  • Asking for help can be hard. But changing the world is essentially a process of asking for help. No one can do it alone. So our personal process of transformation begins.
  • Fundraising is a vital skill for organizers, permaculturalists, and activists. Every project you want to do that extends beyond your personal means will require fundraising of some sort. We will all learn from the experience you gain in contributing to this program.
  • If you invest your time and energy to make this happen, it will belong to you, not us, and you'll get more out of it.

fundraising ideas

We strongly encourage every applicant to take an active role in generating your own scholarship through creativity and personal effort. There may also be ways to reduce your costs. Here's some suggestions to get started:
  • Are your friends and family out shopping for your holiday or birthday presents? Could you ask them to gift you with money towards this training instead?
  • Would your community or organization support you to come? In return, you might offer to do a presentation when you return and teach something of what you learn. This really stacks functions and extends the impact of the learning you receive.
  • Would your community support a second person to come with you? If two of you can co-train together, you'll have support and be more effective.
  • Would your friends help you do a fundraising event: a garage sale, a raffle, a concert, a public ritual, a silent auction, a potluck, a formal tea party, a video screening, a bowling tournament, a guided herb walk, a poetry reading, a theater event, a ___?
  • Do you make crafts or art items that you could sell? Grow veggies or flowers? Have access to sage or juniper that could be gathered, dried, and sold as smudge sticks? Can you offer tarot readings, foot massages, fresh cookies, live music? Get a booth at your local market or fair. Add a donation jar and attractive sign to your booth, telling why you're fundraising. EAT alumni have successfully sold organic pancake mix at Quaker Meetings, and (extending into the cyber-fair) sold dolls of political figures, complete with pins, on e-Bay.
  • Online fundraising can be very effective if you have a large network of friends who might help you get to EAT. Not all such sites allow fundraising for individuals, but Give Foward does, at minimum fee. Remember, such a campaign takes time, so start early.
  • Some people work in mainstream jobs where their employers contribute half the costs of "continuing education." Ask. Do you have vacation coming? This might be the time.
  • Your tuition may be tax deductible as an education expense (if you itemize taxes and/or file taxes as a small business). If you are someone's tax dependent and they pay for your tuition, it may be a deduction for them.
  • Some colleges have paid the fee for their students to attend EAT. If you are currently enrolled in college, contact your financial aid counselor to see if there are any funds for specialized training needed for your degree. Ask your professors and/or department secretary about school programs that might contribute. Talk to your student organizations, too.
  • Some people may be able to sublet their normal living space, while away at the two-week EAT session. Can you offer someone a two-week vacation in a desirable location?
  • Remember that we will feed you for the two weeks you are in EAT, so your food budget is halved for the month.


fundraising story

" I know that some people probably are disappointed when they read that you expect them to raise some of their scholarship. I was a little apprehensive about asking friends. My friends rushed to support me. Even a man who was only an acquaintance came to me and asked could he help, because he felt that what I would bring back to our community is what is needed. ... My faith has grown! In the future I will be able to encourage others to raise money and keep their hopes up along the way.… It feels so good to know as I write my letter that my money is making its way there. A peace and an accomplishment! I look forward to meeting you! I am so grateful to have found EAT and to know I will be a part of it!"

Karen Jenkins
Portland, Oregon
January 2006 EAT

peeling logs
Teamwork

 

 
gardening gardening from scratch
phone in fig tree fig tree internet station
earthworms earthworms, up close & personal



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