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Chris Knapp is a father, homesteader, environmental educator and founder of Maine Local Living School.  He is passionate about sharing pathways into relationship with the human and more-than-human communities through hand craft, homesteading arts and deep listening.  Chris is endlessly fascinated by the exploration of why the world is as it is and the human potential for creativity and positive change. Chris has designed and taught experiential programming for grade-schoolers to graduate students for over twenty years. He holds a M.S. in environmental studies from Antioch University New England, is a Wilderness First Responder and a Registered Maine Guide.

Michelle Fournier is passionate about (re)building relationships founded on justice and reciprocity with human and non-human neighbors alike. She has served as an environmental educator in various contexts inside and outside the classroom. Michelle has also been an activist in the climate justice movement as a community organizer and volunteer for 10 years. She loves growing, foraging, and preserving food and herbal medicines. She holds a M.S. in Environmental Justice and a Graduate Teaching Certificate from the University of Michigan, and is a Wilderness First Responder. Michelle also serves as Operations Manager at MLLS.


Nick Paul began his career of leading and teaching young people in the outdoors when he became a summer camp counselor at age 16 and hasn't looked back since! Wilderness trips are a particular passion of his, and he loves exploring New England's off-the-beaten-path forests by foot, bike, ski, and canoe. He combines his knowledge of making a home for oneself in nature with an interest in handwork and homesteading of all kinds in his role as a journeyperson at Maine Local Living School. Nick has a B.S. in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and is a Wilderness First Responder.

Guest Teachers

Raymond E. Reitze, Jr. is a Master Maine Guide, author, philosophy teacher and guest elder and mentor for MLLS.  As a young boy in Buxton, Maine, Raymond spent countless hours being mentored by an elder from the Mi'Kmaq people who was living on the back acreage of the Reitzes' farm.  Those early years opened Raymond to a way of seeing and being upon the earth that has guided his life ever since.  He has run several businesses and guided countless people through the wilds of Maine and into “the silence.”  Raymond has dedicated his life to the teachings of love, and guiding people and children to their own hearts.

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Ashirah Knapp is an experiential educator, homesteader of 20-plus years, goat farmer, Maine Guide, and mother.  She has worked in accounting and addiction medicine offices and enjoyed many years offering in-home senior care.  She runs Maine Local Living School's animal husbandry program, teaches sewing and handcraft and is finishing two novels and several short children's stories. 

Jacquelynn Ward grew up running around the woods, eating herbs straight from the garden, and sleeping outside whenever possible.  Since then, she has been exploring the ways in which language, land, work, and imagination help us to be fully alive on Earth.  She is currently an educator, storyteller, shiatsu practitioner, gardener, and aspiring herbalist.  For the past decade, she has worked for numerous wilderness schools in the Northeast, and pursued academic learning.  She holds a B.A. in Historiography and Alternative Historical Narrative, and an M.A. in Viking and Medieval Norse History.  Jacquelynn is also a Wilderness First Responder.

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