We didn’t plan it that way, but the Wilderness Skills Workshop we hosted this past weekend turned out to be filled with the male members of three separate families–three dads and four sons.  The enrollment was lower than usual and normally the workshop would have been canceled.  But we instructors felt an “inner tug” to pass on our knowledge to these anxious family groups.  So the four of us forged ahead with seven students .  And Boy! are we glad we did.

From our point of view is was a rewarding and worthwhile three days.  Even the rain that forced us indoors for the better part of Saturday didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the students.  They worked hard, learned a lot, laughed loudly, and ate well.  It was rewarding for us to see the boys bond with their dads and the families bond with each other, all in the process of learning earth skills.

Instruction in animal tracking, making cordage from plant material, shelter-building, walking like a fox, fire by friction, and more kept both students and instructors engaged throughout the day.  Each evening campfire was ignited using a primitive bowdrill–on Friday by an instructor, on Saturday by one of the students using his newly made tools.  It was then that the instructors relaxed and shared stories while the students busied themselves making bowls and spoons using nothing more than coals from the fire and sharp stones.  Saturday’s fire included the added attraction of a special treat of s’mores.

Before we departed on Sunday afternoon it was obvious from the smiles seen and the comments made that students and instructors alike were all glad they had come!