Program Instruction


In response to the increasingly frequent requests for experiential outdoor skills training from scout leaders, environmental centers, fish & wildlife organizations as well as individuals, I’d like to make clear my interest and availability to provide excellence in outdoor-environmental themed offerings.

To inquire about pricing and make a program request outside of Essex County, please contact me at

For Essex County based programs please reach out to me at the Environmental Center.



Program Possibilities Include:

(Top Choice!) WILD ABOUT WILDLIFE: Through inquiry based investigation, participants explore furs, feathers, tracks, scat and miscellaneous bio-facts to uncover and discover unique NJ wildlife and then test their wisdom in a wildlife jeopardy game. Make and take project includes a clay animal track.  1hr. $225

PRIVATE NATURALIST LED FORAGING WALK (3 Hours): Join local naturalist and forager David Alexander for an exploration in search of plants as well as mushrooms and an included option to cook what we find to make a toastie along with some wild tea from the landscape.  Included is a discussion of toxic plants to be avoided and general foraging safety protocol.

FISHING 101 (Virtual or In-Person) Participants will get introduced to the sport of fishing by outdoor enthusiast David Alexander. The workshop will cover local water bodies, targeting specific fish species, fishing equipment, knots, bait selection, and technique. We can also cover filleting and camp cookery.

HUNTING, FISHING & FORAGING IN THE GARDEN STATE (Virtual) Learn what it takes to catch fish, hunt deer and forage wild edibles for culinary delight just miles outside a metropolis. Despite being the most human populated state in the nation, New Jersey has a phenomenal amount of biodiversity and access to open space. We’ll discuss rules and regulations, game management, carrying capacity, sustainability and how we can deepen our personal connection to our natural landscape.

OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS: Take advantage of the many resources available in the field, forest and stream.  During this exploratory walk we’ll learn to recognize resources that aid in survival with a focus on wild edibles and discuss how they can elevate wild game cooking and bring a deeper connection with our natural landscape.  Whether your’e fishing, hunting or hiking it’s time to smarten up to the “forest groceries” that surround us. Best practices for staying warm and dry during an unintended night in the outdoors will also be covered. 3+hrs.

INTO THE WILD: This workshop covers skills every sportsman should know well. We’ll setup tarp shelter configurations, tie a few knots, examine a first aid kit(fak) and personal survival kit (psk), sharpen knives, explore modern camping gear, discuss fire skills, staying found, water purification and more. 4hrs

WOODCRAFT & CAMPING: With a knife and a few skills you can go from roughing it to smoothing it in no time. In this workshop I’ll discuss and demonstrate how to make and use framed shelters, lash a camp project, create a bucksaw frame, make pot hooks, tent pegs, spoons, feather sticks and splitwood fires. 3+hrs

BOW DRILL FRICTION FIRE: We’ll cover the basics of bow drill friction fire from wood and tinder selection to proper form and notching and then work together to make it happen. If time allows, this can be done from the landscape or from previously harvested stocks of wood. If not, friction kits will be fully ready to use. (Tinder bundles will be ignited and extinguished on blacktop or a green grass area if fire danger is of concern.

FUNDAMENTAL FIRE SKILLS: This workshop is designed to introduce multiple methods of fire making. We’ll try fire friction, flint & steel and ferro rods, practice fire lays, take a look at “fatwood”, explore man-made and natural tinder and discuss the fire chain.

TRIP PLANNING: Out of all the skills I’ve learned, one that I enjoy the most is the process of trip planning. There is no better feeling than setting a goal and seeing your planning pay off. Whether you want to paddle and portage to a remote backcountry trout pond, snowshoe to find the best ice-fishing or navigate with map & compass to find a hunting spot, there is a lot to figure out to take your trips to the next level with confidence. I’ll share my process and the level of detail that I search for to make a trip both safe and successful. Top priorities of gear selection, exposure protection, hydration and signaling/navigation will also be discussed.

ORIENTEERING: Are you able to find your way with map and compass? We’ll play activities that scaffold our skills and meet the boy scout merit badge requirements. Our final challenge will be to navigate to find ingredients for smores to conclude with a tasty treat.  “A person can hardly be lost if they are self-sufficient and have no particular place to be”.

David is a lifelong educator, naturalist and conservation biologist (  

Recent Feedback

“Wow.  Amazing!  Presenter was extremely knowledgeable and engaging.”

“Very impressive!  Great teacher.  Class was small enough for individual attention.”

“I will likely continue to practice both activities (freshwater fishing and outdoor survival).”

“It was a good combo of classroom and outdoors.  Couldn’t fit much more into the day!”

“Marvelous.  Learned a lot.  Great information.”

“The program was for all ages to understand.  The class met individual needs.”