A year ago, most people wouldn't have guessed that just one mile south of 7 Cedars Casino through a thicket of tall alder trees is a training center that helps people become one with nature and themselves.
Now, passersby driving along U.S. Highway 101 who see the sign for Corriea Road smile fondly with memories of their time spent at the Tribal Edge Primal Arts Training Center, which celebrated its first anniversary with an all-day festival
Guests took part in a variety of guided tours, demonstrations, games and competitions.
Primitive skills workshops taught children and adults the basics of fire making, basket making, fiber arts, cordage, hide processing, making clothing and cooking. Participants were able to try their hand at archery, building primitive camps and earth shelters, tracking, martial arts and more.
During an auction, Tribal Edge volunteers sold their labor to the highest bidders in effort to raise money for scholarships so disadvantaged students can attend programs at the wilderness facility.
Some people attended with the purpose of networking and vision building. Others simply stopped by to explore what Tribal Edge is all about.
A celebration feast with fresh, organic homemade soups, salads, bread and cheese provided guests with a nutritious lunch and dinner for those who chose to stick around. As darkness approached, the elders sat around the fire telling stories, sharing personal experiences and answering questions.
About the founder
Born and raised in
Sequim, creator Ben Sanford, 35, has been dreaming about such a center since he was a teenage boy and first read the book "Tarzan."
His goal, Sanford explained, was to design programs to help people arrive at their own powerful self-discoveries through real experiences.
The center provides training in natural living skills, nature, self-awareness, team and leadership skills for all ages through a variety of classes, programs and events.
"Primal arts are the essential skills which are core to our existence as human beings," Sanford said.
"By training in the skills of awareness, tracking, survival, healing, the warrior arts and others, we can remember our original instructions to be naturally balanced individuals and communities who live with the Earth.
"These 'edge' experiences balance body, mind and spirit as you connect with yourself, creation and the Creator in a natural way."
Youths, adults, families and organizations utilize the facility.
Group rates are available and programs can be tailored to meet training needs. Participants are coached and guided through programs with inspirational stories, questioning and role modeling by four apprentice instructors and a large volunteer team.
"(They) develop respect for all life as they begin to see the interdependence and connection between all things," Sanford said about enrolled students.
"As they journey through the lessons of nature and tribe, they face their edges (and) are left feeling empowered with new skills and insights that they discover for themselves."
The Tribal Edge also offers a home school program and weekly training clubs in primitive skills and tracking, as well as free gatherings on the first Sunday of every month. Martial arts instruction, personal training and group fitness classes also are available at the private gym in the Sequim area.
Seven miles east of
Sequim, the 5-acre facility is bordered on one side by the Olympic National Forest adjoining the Buckhorn Wilderness and on the other by Jamestown S'Klallam tribal land.
For more information, go online to www.tribaledge.info or call Sanford at 683-7641.
Ashley Miller can be reached at ashleyo@
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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