Near the summer solstice each year, around 1,000 people convene from around the globe for the Firefly Gathering. Here folks come together to share skills and ancestral knowledge with the common goal of expanding their capacity to live well with Earth and one another.
Days are filled with classes of all kinds, each offering skills to connect us with Earth, our human heritage, and the great wonders of life. Evenings are filled with live music, dancing under the moon and stars, and of course the fireflies, who dazzle us with their beautiful display of light!
A variety of nature connection programs guide children and teens to engage through learning and play. For many, coming to The Firefly Gathering is a life changing experience.
Near the summer solstice each year, around 1,000 people convene from around the globe for the Firefly Gathering. Here folks come together to share skills and ancestral knowledge with the common goal of expanding their capacity to live well with Earth and one another. Days are filled with classes of all kinds, each offering skills to connect us with Earth, our human heritage, and the great wonders of life. Evenings are filled with live music, dancing under the moon and stars, and of course the fireflies, who dazzle us with their beautiful display of light! A variety of nature connection programs guide children and teens to engage through learning and play. For many, coming to The Firefly Gathering is a life changing experience.
Knowing reconnection to be a powerful force for change, our classes offer the opportunity to touch, taste, see, smell, hear and fall in love with the living world. Many of our topics reach deep into our ancestral lineages for guidance on how to form meaningful connections to self, community, and place in the modern world.
With acknowledgement and gratitude to the generations of people who keep these skills alive, classes at Firefly such as fire craft, herbal medicine, storytelling, foraging, basketry, hide tanning, and bow making offer ancient and unifying pathways to help us co-create a sustainable future.
Firefly Gathering is also known for its breadth of classes in communication, activism, and modern technologies. The history of the land, ethnobotany, solar power, safe chainsaw operation and environmental remediation with fungus are shared alongside food sovereignty, permaculture, and cultivating our breath. And we can’t forget the bounty of beautiful creations that emerge from our nature-based art classes each year.
Whether you are looking for a deeper connection to Earth, your ancestors, healthy global ecosystems, a sustainable future for humans, wilderness survival, farmsteading, an ecologically sound craft or hobby, or just a beautiful experience to share with loved ones, Firefly has something for everyone!
We will once again gather at Deerfields in Mills River, NC, ancestral land of the Anigiduwagi, more commonly known as the Cherokee people. We hosted our 2019 annual event here and were profoundly touched by the beauty of this sacred place. With two spring-fed freshwater lakes, meandering creeks, and beautiful hiking trails, all woven through mature forests, Deerfields is locally known and loved. Firefly is honored to return and be able to invite you to gather with us here again.
There is an abundance of great camping at Deerfields, everything from car camping, to flat grassy open fields, to hidden wooded getaways. Located just 30 minutes south of Asheville, Deerfields offers a truly beautiful location for us to share and grow together.
At Firefly, we honor our evenings together, recognizing the need to integrate the experiences of the day and simply enjoy being human together. As the sun sets, we celebrate. We sing along with our Elders and storytellers, like Doug Elliott and Nancy Basket. We sway to the sounds of local musicians like Rising Appalachia. We dance ecstatically around the fire under the stars to ancient beats played out on skin drums. We play old-timey music, sing traditional Appalachian folk songs and earth centered anti-oppression heart songs.
We sit in circle: sharing, listening, trading, grieving, and connecting with our ancestors. We get to know new friends and reconnect with old ones. We play.We boff with Phil, parade, juggle, practice acro yoga, spin fire, square dance, and waltz. We will be bringing more fun things to 2022, including nature based art installations, a community variety show, and more!
Firefly’s Youth Village is a haven for children to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. The village is staffed by loving adults whose passion is to inspire the innate curiosity of each child. Through songs and stories, arts and crafts, and games and adventures, your children will have a deep and meaningful experience that will ground them in the natural world, while inspiring their hearts and minds.
We have offerings for kids starting from 3 (must be potty trained) to 12. Kids are encouraged to craft, hike, sing and enjoy age appropriate activities. This offers parents a supported way of attending classes themselves.
Teen Camp is a place where teens aged 13-17 can gather and be heard, supported and mentored. Teens create their own community, work on projects, share food, sing, play games and hang out. Teen Camp is staffed by experienced mentors who create a safe space for young adults to be themselves and gather with peers. Come and create memories, and make true and lasting friends.
Firefly is now a year-round entity offering workshops and community connection opportunities in every season. Your purchase supports these endeavors; thank you. Without you, Firefly would not be possible. Income from ticket sales at our annual event goes towards supporting land use fees, staff and instructor pay, equipment rental and supplies, and creating a beautiful and safe experience for you. Any proceeds of the event support Firefly’s other programs, including making Perennial Workshops more accessible, and our Community Connection events.
This year we are offering an extra day at Deerfields, an extra class session, more exciting evening entertainment, as well as enhanced safety and sanitation efforts to help insure everyone’s well-being at the event. Please stay tuned, and reference our FAQ below for more specifics.
If funding is a challenge for you, please consider applying to be a worktrader; applications will be open in Spring 2022. You can also read about our Equity Fund to determine if you might be eligible to receive a discounted or fully supported experience at Firefly. The Equity Fund will open in Spring 2022, as well.
One way to connect with the Firefly community is to offer your wisdom through teaching. The Firefly Gathering is honored to work with so many insightful instructors who offer classes spanning a broad range of topics, skills, and perspectives. We seek out local masters who are excited to come and share the knowledge that they have refined over years of practice, as well as new instructors who are excited to share their passions! Our goal is to offer a wide range of skills that empower and connect us to the land, ourselves, eachother, and our ancestors.
To apply to share a class, please fill out our New Teacher Form so we can get to know you!
In an effort to be inclusive and accessible, Firefly has an Equity Fund. Our goal is to welcome Indigenous people, Black and African people, other people of color, and financially challenged individuals (such as single parents) to our event. We offer this support with the hopes to nurture a powerful diverse community of earth-centered people steeped in the knowledge and skills that Firefly has to offer. We also welcome the wisdom that flows into our gathering from these participants.
More information about the Equity Fund will be available in Spring of 2022.
Work-trade & Volunteer Opportunities
In an effort to make The Firefly Gathering more accessible, we offer discounted tickets for those who help us create the magic and organize the event. We call these Worktrade Passes, which can discount half to most all of the ticket price. Plus, being part of our set up or break down crew is such an awesome way to connect with the community and get to know people and become an integral part of the fun!
The Worktrade Application will be available in Spring 2022.
The Firefly Gathering relies on the community support that we’ve been cultivating for more than a decade. We often crowdsource when we need a hand, or want to offer support to others. To learn more about volunteer opportunities both at the Annual Event and throughout the year, please click here.
For information on cancelling, our credit policy and transferring tickets, please click here.