Course Content and Outcomes:
The Chainsaw 101 course is designed for beginners to learn the safety, use, and maintenance of a chainsaw. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate competency in safely bucking, limbing, precision cutting, tree felling (from tree stands) and basic saw maintenance.
Safety is a primary focus of the course. Instructors will provide hands-on technical instruction in a manner that allows participants to feel comfortable and empowered. The course curriculum will allow participants ample time to learn and practice at their own pace, while creating a collaborative learning environment conducive to meeting individual and group learning outcomes.
The course is physically demanding – applicants must be able to lift 20 lbs, bend at the waist, and be able to be on their feet for up to 8 hours. The course takes place in variable weather conditions, mostly outside and on uneven terrain.
The 2023 course dates will be posted by April 5, 2023. The course starts on a Thursday at 5 PM and ends at 1 PM on a Sunday.
Participants must be over 18 years of age, will be required to sign a release of liability waiver, and be able to meet physical requirements.
White Sulphur Springs, Montana.
On-site tent or car/truck camping are available free of charge.
RV/camper trailers - space is limited on-site so RV’s and trailers will need to book a site at one of the two campgrounds in White Sulphur. Fee not included in course tuition.
Hotels - There are several local hotels that are within close proximity to the workshop site. Fee not included with course tuition.
Note: only the on-site camping options are complimentary with the cost of the course. We do have bathrooms available on site, but no public showers. Showers are available at the Spa Hotsprings Motel in White Sulphur if you pay for a soak at the hot springs ($10).
Meals and snacks will be provided. The food is ample, fresh, healthy and continually reported to be a highlight of the course. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice.
Equipment & Tools
Participants will need to provide appropriate personal clothing, safety glasses, leather work gloves, hearing protection, and leather work boots (details provided upon registration).
The RAP Foundation will provide all other equipment, safety gear, and tools needed to participate.
COVID-19: The health and safety of our participants, staff, and our surrounding communities is our number one concern. The Red Ants Pants Foundation has successfully integrated health and safety mitigation measures in our 2020 and 2021 courses. We will continue working with public health officials at the state and local level to ensure that our programs minimize risks. A detailed plan will be provided for participants prior to the course. If you have specific questions in advance, please feel free to contact us directly.
2022 rate: $600 per person. The course fee covers instruction, materials, and course equipment. This fee includes all meals (and snacks), including dinner Thursday night through lunch on Sunday.
Scholarships and payment plans are available! Contact us for more info.
Check or Credit Cards accepted. Details provided upon registration.
The workshop is limited to 12 participants per section. Courses fill quickly. Once the course is full (first come, first served) we will add names to a waitlist.
2023 dates will be posted and registration for these classes will open on
Wednesday, April 5th, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. MT.
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Course Fees, minus a $50 cancellation fee, will be refunded if cancellation is made prior to 30 days before the start of the workshop. Fees are nonrefundable if cancellation is made within 30 days of the start of the workshop. In the event that the Timber Skills course is canceled due to public health concerns, full refunds will be issued for the course tuition.
Chainsaw 101 Instructors
Bethany cut down her first tree with a crosscut at age 15 in the backcountry of Alaska (while on a Student Conservation Association trail crew) and has been in love with saws (and trees!) ever since. She picked up a chainsaw for the first time more than 20 years ago while working as a Hotshot wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service, and eventually became one of the only female sawyers on a hotshot crew in the country. Bethany has been instructing Timber Skills for the Red Ants Pants Foundation since the very beginning and absolutely loves teaching and empowering women to learn new traditional (and non-traditional) skills. She recently left a position running an urban lumber mill for a non-profit in Sacramento, California. She absolutely cherishes her time teaching in Montana each fall!
Amy began sawing on a Chainsaw Crew with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in 2010. She has received certifications in both S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws and Game of Logging training. Through over a decade of working with various conservation corps she has logged many hours operating a chainsaw on fuels reduction, corridor clearing, thinning, brushing, and training assignments. Currently Amy's favorite use of a chainsaw is collecting firewood on public lands to heat her house through the winter. Amy has been an instructor with Red Ants Pants since 2017 and loves the opportunity to train women eager to learn new skills.
Nicole ‘Cole’ is from Minnesota and moved out to Montana in 2016 after graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors in Architecture. The last few years Cole has worked with Montana Conservation Corps out of the Helena office as a Crew Member and a Crew Leader (half of her leader season was leading the MCC all Women’s Chainsaw/Fire Crew), worked as a Construction Crew Leader for Habitat for Humanity, and led camping and canoe trips with Wilderness Inquiry throughout the country for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Recently, Cole decided to be back with MCC as their Field Coordinator to fulfill her love of working, exploring, and living outdoors. Cole has been on multiple saw crews throughout her years in Montana and is looking forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of chainsaws with many women who look forward to learning something new.