In 2014 a small group of friends stumbled across a very interesting series of books "299 Days". The books (9-10 in all) were very easy to read (even for those used to looking at pictures). The premise of the series; how one middle-aged man survived a national economic disaster of critical proportions. The series of books follows the person journey of this man (and his family) as they encounter devastating social, government and economic failures during their escape from a metropolitan area to rural America. As we finished the series, all of us decided that though we had faith in the strength of our beautiful country… it would be insane of us to not be better prepared for a variety of disasters: social, economic, environmental, etc. All of us were already members of a worldwide preparatory organization: Z.E.R.T (which used "zombie" as an analogy for any type of disaster). So we networked within our organization, within our state, and spread the word of our “plan”. We began training… hard! Some of us were already medically trained, so we shared our knowledge with other members of our small group. A number of us were proficient with firearms… so they taught those who weren’t comfortable with weapons. One or two of us were old “farm kids”… so were able to teach all the other how to kill and dress out captured food. We were able to pool our skills together to help each other all be better prepared.
Once we found ourselves at a point we needed to advance our proficiency in a variety of subjects, we started hosting paid classes, taught be an amazing network of retired military and active-duty law enforcement, as well as professional medics and survival experts. We expanded our network, pulled more and more people into our “project”… and the next thing we knew, we were brainstorming the first KEYSTONE CHALLENGE competition (2015). We came up with the concept of the KEYSTONE CHALLENGE when we started asking ourselves if we were prepared “enough” to survive a social disaster or weather-related disaster. The best way to test our competence, we felt, was through a friendly competition amongst the various squads that we developed around Pennsylvania. That first year was VERY grass roots… with all our judges volunteering their time and expertise to not only judge us on our abilities, but also teach us where we were weak. The entire concept of the regional squads and the competition was more a “pay-it-forward” philosophy than any attempt to make money. In fact, we had strict rules that squad members were not allowed to charge other squad members for the knowledge they shared within the squad.
The KEYSTONE CHALLENGE concept grew! Next thing we knew, we had over a dozen squads set up all around PA, as well as in neighboring states. People were training within their squads, training between squads, and coming together for our hosted paid classes. From survival clinics, to a variety of firearms related classes, to medical clinics and event a high threat protection course (held early in 2018)… everyone was training, networking, developing valuable friendships and… having a great time! Very quickly we started inviting non-Z.E.R.T. members to attend our training classes, and within no time, we had a number of law enforcement and medical personnel training alongside the rest of us. This was exactly what we’d envisioned… everyone working together with a very similar goal… “to be prepared to help yourself, your family and your neighbors during horrible disasters”.
So how does everything work? It’s actually very simple. We book classes, with our instructors, based on YOUR requests! Students send us their requests for training they want, we discuss these requests with our instructors, and when we have accumulated at least 5-6 requests for a certain type of training, or a specific instructor, we create the class, book the facility and start marketing the class (if it’s not a private class). We publish the class dates on this website, as well as reach out to everyone on our roster (mailing list), and then start working on the vast logistics required in classes of this nature. ALL payments go through the actual instructors! KEYSTONE CHALLENGE does not make a dime off any class we host. Making money was never our goal… and never will be our goal. We are simply… “Paying-it-forward”. We do all the work… so the instructors and students can concentrate on their jobs… teaching and learning.
We invite you to take a moment and look through the massive list of available classes below (and we have MANY more classes the instructors are qualified and willing to teach). If you see something you’re interested in, or an instructor you want to learn from, send us an email (or use the form on the CONTACT page) and let us know you’d like to be added to our roster. And yes… ALL our roster information is kept absolutely private…never shared or sold!
Our primary purpose is to bring world-class instruction to civilians. That being said, some of our instructors (if not all) also are certified/qualified to teach law enforcement and military personnel. If you’re active duty LE, Corrections, Military, or you’re in protective services or the emergency medical field… and are looking for a specialized course… we most likely have an instructor willing to fit your needs. Drop us a line and let us know what you’re looking for. (Classes below with asterisks are LE specialized classes)
- Primitive Survival
- Winter/Extreme Survival
- Long Range Precision Rifle
- Krav Maga
- Women's Self-Defense
- Critical Evasion/Escape Self-Defense
- Radio Communications
- Emergency Wilderness First Aid
- CPR / First Aid
- Extreme Fittness Training
- Survival Horsemanship
- *Tactical Structure Clearing
- *Surveillance & Surveillance Detection
- *High Threat Protection
- *SWAT / CRT Training
- *Covert Protection
- *Less then Lethal Combative (ASP Baton)
- *Small Unit Tactics (Combat patrolling)
- *HME Awareness
- *Designated Marksmanship
- *Working K9 Odor Imprinting
- *Working K9 Odor Detection: Advanced