Here at the Red Ants Pants Foundation we believe in teaching and sharing practical skills that can be used in our day-to-day lives, work places, and while we’re out exploring all that Montana has to offer. Having the skills to work with timber can be incredibly useful and rewarding. Whether it is for a career choice or home ownership, knowing how to work with wood and use the related hand and power tools is a valuable skill. 

Each year, using proceeds from our Red Ants Pants Music Festival, we host a three-day-plus Timber Skills Workshop designed to empower and educate women of all skill levels on the basic understanding, maintenance and operation of hand and power tools. We were excited to expand our offerings last year – participants now have the option to participate in either a Chainsaw 101 or Construction 101 course. 

The Chainsaw 101 program is designed for beginner to intermediate chainsaw users. Participants will learn about different types of chainsaws and features, basic maintenance and use, as well as how to fell, buck, and limb trees. 

The Construction 101 program is designed for beginner to intermediate users who have an interest in understanding the essential hand and power tools used for general construction. Participants will learn about use and safety with different power tools, as well as practical applications for hand tools. 

Safety is the focus of the weekend, ensuring all participants feel comfortable and empowered to learn and practice at their own pace. We hope you are able to join us for this retreat full of learning, empowerment, and fun.

All participants will receive hands-on technical instruction and practice time. Although there will be times when you’ll be observing others, we keep the student to instructor ratio low in order to ensure everyone has ample time to practice and try new techniques. We will provide all of the equipment, safety gear, and tools needed to participate.

Who can apply: Applicants must be over 18 years of age and will be required to sign a release of liability waiver. The workshop is limited to 12 participants per section (first come, first served). 

When: September 20-23, 2018.

Where: White Sulphur Springs, MT. Basecamp will be located near town, with instruction occurring on private lands.


  • Participants will be able to camp on-site at basecamp (instructors will be camping, too!). Showers are available at the Hot Springs Motel for a small fee. There are local hotels available, if you would prefer, but are not covered by tuition.
  • Meals and snacks will be provided. If you have a special dietary need, please be sure to make note of it in your application.
  • In addition to personal clothing and toiletries, all participants must bring the following:

       - Long-sleeved work shirts
       - Long work pants
       - Leather work boots (sneaker-type shoes are not allowed!)
       - Leather gloves (we will have some to use, if needed)
       - Ear plugs (we will have some to use, if needed)
       - Safety glasses (we will have some to use, if needed)
       - Personal tent (we can make arrangements to borrow one for you, if needed)
       - Sleeping bag and pad

Directions to basecamp will be provided upon acceptance.

Cost: $450 per person. This covers all meals (and some snacks), including dinner Thursday night and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. It also covers instruction, materials, and course equipment. Payment arrangements must be finalized in order to reserve your spot. Fees will not be refunded after ten days before the start of the workshop.

Payment must be received in order to reserve your spot (which are first come, first served). You can send your check to:

The Red Ants Pants Foundation | PO Box 637 | White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645

Once we receive your application, we will be in touch to provide additional information and answer any questions. Thank you so much for application!


 Sarah, Morgan, and the Red Ants Pants Timber Skills Team