The Woodsman School & Guide Service
“ Derek - I am a 75 yr old “old fart” and have been pretty much home bound for the past year following unsuccessful back surgery.  I can’t remember how I found you on YouTube but watching you has become one of life’s true pleasures for me.  First of all, your knowledge of the outdoors and how to live with it is totally fascinating and instructive.  But far more importantly, the example you set for others, especially for today’s youth, is commendable.   You are one of the finest examples of living the American dream I have ever seen.  I admire your honesty and humility and your willingness to share with all of us.  Your courage in following your dream is an example to the thousands of kids who think they don’t stand a chance in life.  If I were a teacher or parent with younger kids I would make watching your videos mandatory!  I have no doubt that “little guy” will grow up to be a truly fine individual and that, after all, is what it’s all about.  God Bless and Thank You!     -     Regards,  Jim
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“The recent rapid growth of the Survival industry, resulting in the proliferation of inexperienced instructors, has left the consumer questioning who they can trust. I’m on record saying they can trust The Woodsman School. Derek Faria is a skilled, experienced instructor, a Registered Maine Guide, and he cares. I’ve spent enough time in the woods with him to know that he’s the real deal.”

-  Tim Smith - Jack Mountain Bushcraft


To Derek, his lovely wife, and son... Thank you for the amazing experience during the beginner Woodsman Survival course. Your method of teaching which blends the advantages of a classroom with real-life, hands-on training is both immersing and relevant. The character you present by "cutting through the chaff to get to the wheat" proved your humble dedication, passion, and eagerness to educate individuals on real survival skills which will not only help them be better woodspeo...ple, but better individuals all around. I have learned more in these two days than I have in months of pomp You Tube videos, silly TV shows, and book reading. I also appreciate your family's involvement and it was a pleasure to meet Sharon (That is the name I am remembering - apologies if incorrect) and your son even though I did not catch his name. Watching him build a small fire and use a ferrorod was inspiring for me to teach my kids and having Sharon involved taking picture and hiking with us brought a real sense of life and comfort to the weekend. I hope many more join you in all of your teachings and could not recommend your programs with more enthusiasm and emphasis. I look forward to the advanced course, and many more to come.   Warmest, Michael Z. - Woodsman Survival Basic student 4/15

After having the pleasure of taking your Advanced Wilderness Survival Course, I realized a few things. I realized how great of an instructor Derek is, and that he never gave up on us! That's big in my book! I also quickly realized just how much work and planning went into prepping, then executing these lessons each day. Knowing this, I felt as though you were no...t charging your students anywhere near what you deserved So to show my appreciation of such a phenomenal instructor, whom I'm proud to say I got to study with, I got you both a little something.
Sharon, although I didn't really get to speak with you, I was keen enough to see that you had a large impact behind the scenes to make this course come to fruition. I know that having to procure food for the group as well as prep all the meals was a lot of work and so I went ahead and wanted to return the favor by giving you this gift card to the Miss Wakefield Diner. Enjoy!
Derek, thank you for all the laughs, all the tutelage, advice, and patience! You put in some long hours tending to our group, and it surely showed! Because of you, I now feel confident that I would have what it takes to stay alive even in the WORST of weather conditions! Having to endure the weather, the cold temperatures, lack of sleep, being exhausted from even just the work needed to walk around, and limited caloric intake combined to make this one of the harder things I've ever experienced in my life! But I know that I've become much stronger because of it! Thank you.
One thing I found very interesting was that although you carried that Mora knife around your neck, you hardly used it! If you weren't using your axe, you were doing 99% of your day-to-day tasks with your little Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. One thing that struck me in particular, was the beautiful (and robust) feather sticks you were able to carve with it, and in a hurry I might add! So I thought it would be fitting to give you a little something I feel confident you would get a lot of use out of! It's wrapped inside the brown paper...Enjoy! Thank you for everything, and I hope to see you again.  Dan S.