OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
FOR INTERESTED POST-9/11 COMBAT VETERANS
Travel Back in Time While Testing Your Prepping Skills
-- The Valhalla Project's Second Annual Homesteading Marathon --
The Valhalla Project, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is looking for post-9/11 combat veterans who want to test their emergency preparedness skills by participating in our second annual Homesteading Marathon from December 20th through January 20th (Christmas and New Year’s included). Do you have what it takes to survive -- and thrive -- for 32 days behind locked gates on a 200 acre property, without outside assistance or resupply, days without electricity, while mastering traditional skills that may become your lifeline in the event of a serious long term emergency?
We’re looking for three veterans to test themselves during the height of winter here in the Ozark mountains by chopping firewood to stay warm, properly caring for small flocks of life-giving farm animals (goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and turkeys), dealing with predators that are constantly trying to get into the farmyard (coyotes, wildcats, wild hogs, raccoons, snakes, hawks, and many others are prolific here), living for days without electricity or running water, tending plants in a small greenhouse, hunting and butchering deer or wild hogs, preparing all meals from scratch (including grinding wheat into flour for bread and making fermented ketchup for your fries), and basically traveling 100 years backwards in time to meet many of the same challenges that most people would be utterly unprepared for.
Survival and preparedness are hot topics these days – with good reason. Of course it’s easy to talk about bug out bags and fantasies crawling around in the woods while trying to survive after a major emergency… but quite another to live for even a single month in a truly rural property with zero outside assistance or spending a single penny on anything at all.
Valhalla has been set up specifically for combat veterans who may not have supportive families of their own to rely on during times of need, so Marathon Candidates must understand that their children, spouses, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and pets are not included in this special invitation. The Homesteading Marathon will be carried out by Valhalla’s founders and three enthusiastic combat veterans alone for the entire 32 day period.
The Homesteading Marathon has three very important objectives: (1) Reach out to post-9/11 combat vets who may not be aware of our many homesteading programs and our other veteran support endeavors that are conducted throughout the year; (2) Test Valhalla’s infrastructure, animals, supplies and overall operations to ensure that all critical systems are adequate no matter what the weather in winter (this region lost all electrical power for up to a month following massive ice storms in January 2009, so we want to be ready for a repeat on those conditions or worse); and (3) Raise funds to help cover Valhalla's operating costs and program expenses in 2016.
What Will Happen During the Marathon? What Kind of "Traditional Skills"?
Valhalla's Homesteading Marathon Featured Activities shown on the calendar below will focus on five winter survival themes: food, water, sanitation, heat, and recreation. Note that the actual dates of the various activities may depend on weather conditions -- for example, indoor activities such as fermentation will take place during any snow or ice storms, while outdoor activities may be rescheduled to take advantage of sunny or warmer days). No Power Mondays -- when all power to the property is shut off for 24 hours every Monday -- are shown in bold, and the Featured Activities on those days will subsequently be carried out without running water or electrical tools of any kind.
Basic carpentry, farming, gardening, food preservation, cooking, and other experience would be helpful but are not necessary; any successful post-9/11 combat veteran applicants who ultimately participate in the Homesteading Marathon will receive both instruction and assistance in mastering these essential skills.
Click to enlarge this calendar of Featured Activities:
7:00 - 8:30 Feed the working dogs; coffee or tea; breakfast; wash dishes and tidy the kitchen
8:30 - 9:00 Daily briefing, planning, meal prep/chef assignments, and Q&A
9:00 - 10:00 Morning chores: clean and fill all animal waterers (carry warm water when needed); inspect, feed and hay the goats and sheep; let the sheep or goats out on alternating days; inspect, feed, and release the poultry flocks; tend to the rabbits; check all animal housing for problems or required repairs
10:00 - 1:00 Start the day's featured activity (meal prep/chef excused at 11:30 for the kitchen)
1:00 - 2:00 Lunch
2:00 - 3:00 Finish/clean up after the day’s featured activity
3:00 - 4:30 Personal time: rest, read, nap, do laundry, or optional follow up on various featured activity projects
4:30 - 5:30 Evening chores: exact reverse of morning chores with minor adjustments
5:30 - 6:30 Meal prep and cooking; start bunkhouse and/or fireplace fires early on especially cold days
6:30 - 7:30 Dinner; informal daily debriefing
7:30 - 9:30 Outdoor bonfires, telling war stories or just plain lies in front of the fireplace, subject-specific research using Valhalla's extensive libraries, and/or time with personal phones / internet (note: two hours of cell phone and internet service will be allowed six evenings a week because the Marathon is, in part, an attempt to reach out to veterans and also publicize Valhalla's various programs; participants may also need to follow up with employment or personal business and this will be the time to do it).
9:30 on: Personal phones / internet are turned off and secured until the next night (except before and on No Power Mondays). Dining and living rooms remain open while restricting all other areas of the house to quiet time with respect for those who want to sleep or read in peace.
WHO CAN APPLY
Post-9/11 combat veterans with a valid DD214 and honorable discharge from any US military branch who are willing to appear in short veterans outreach and support videos during the holiday season, as well as video shorts focusing on preparedness and their hands-on experiences during the Valhalla Project's Second Annual Homesteading Marathon. Accommodations and meals will be provided along with firewood, building materials and use of necessary equipment, laundry essentials, and of course fellowship. Additional information and details will also be sent during the application process. Applicants will be solely responsible for their transportation to and from the Valhalla Project property outside Yellville, Arkansas.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested post-9/11 combat veterans are invited to send an introductory email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your military service history, describing exactly why you would like to participate in the Valhalla Project's Homesteading Marathon, what special skills or preparedness experience you have (not required but always valued), and spelling out what you hope to gain from this truly unique opportunity. Following a formal review of your written introduction you will either receive information about continuing the application process or an explanation of why you may be better suited to one of Valhalla's other programs later on in 2016.
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The Valhalla Project needs your help and supportWe need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world.
The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 100% of your donation via Paypal will go directly to program expenses, period.