Earth Scouts | Survival Skills Summer Camp

Cherries, Blackberries and Huckleberries!  Melissa shows the kids how to ID a huckleberry -- look at all the young berries underneath! What shape is red huckleberry's stem?

Cherries, Blackberries and Huckleberries! 

Melissa shows the kids how to ID a huckleberry -- look at all the young berries underneath! What shape is red huckleberry's stem?

Hiding + climbing + digging = FUN!

Hiding + climbing + digging = FUN!

This past week, Feather and Frond Forest School ran our first camp of the summer and we couldn’t have asked for a better week to kick things off!

We had a pack of eager Earth Scouts, ready to connect with friends and the land and learn some earth-based survival skills.   A big draw for the kids and major edge for a lot of the parents (if you will forgive me that one pun) was the use of fixed blade knives.  While sending their 7 year out into the forest with a knife is understandably scary for a lot of parents, we firmly believe that with proper safety training and supervision, children are capable of handling this versatile tool and fostering a lifelong relationship with knives and other hand tools. 

Everyone in our group this week was fairly new to using a knife so we started with the very basics and by the end of the first day everyone was feeling somewhat comfortable making simple cuts on their digging stick/rabbit stick tool we crafted.  Working with a sharp blade can bring about a sense of calm and focus rarely seen in children these days.  

If and when the focus wanes, we put the knives back in their sheaths and play a game! We had so much playing games this week, running and hiding and transforming into wild animals.  While playing these games we were also pushing our awareness and coordination and stretching our senses beyond their limits.

We climbed trees, followed Deer Trails through the forest, designed traps and made friction fire by rubbing two sticks together. We talked about fire safety as well. (fire is another tool to be respected but not feared)  The children attempted to create a mini “fairy fire” from materials on the landscape and learned firsthand different fire structures and ways to sustain a fire in a safe way. They learned how to safely use a flint and steel striker and light a match.  We were rewarded by getting to roast lunch over the hot coals. Yum!

We also learned about different wild foods and medicines, and ate some delicious wild berries.  The most abundant were Red Huckleberries and Salmonberries, but Black-capped Raspberries, Trailing Blackberry (aka Dewberry) and Thimbleberry are not far behind!

I think it was safe to say we all learned a lot this week and made some new friends… I don’t know about you, but I LOVE SUMMER CAMP!

We have one more Earth Scouts Camp this summer for the 6-12 crowd with a focus on “Wildcrafting” and making beautiful and useful objects from nature.  Camp will run from July 24-28 and YES, WE WILL BE USING OUR KNIVES. Space is limited, so sign your little Earth Scout up today!

If you have a younger nature lover, we have 3 Wild Wanderers camps coming up this month for 4-6 year olds! They are 3 or 4 day camps with a shorter day designed for shorter legs…

Check all the details and enroll right here: http://featherandfrond.org/2017-summer-camps

 http://featherandfrond.org/2017-summer-camp-enrollment-form

Enjoy all of your summer adventures, we hope to see you soon! 

 

Practicing Safe Knife Skills

Practicing Safe Knife Skills

Where are all the children? They have become one with the forest...

Where are all the children? They have become one with the forest...

Cedar Root Cordage, Traps and Fairy Fires  

Cedar Root Cordage, Traps and Fairy Fires

 

Our awesome girls brought some amazing energy to the program. GIRL POWER!

Our awesome girls brought some amazing energy to the program. GIRL POWER!

This amazing fallen Cedar tree was a magnet for the children to play and let it rip after focusing with their knives.

This amazing fallen Cedar tree was a magnet for the children to play and let it rip after focusing with their knives.

Making a tinder bundle and blowing into flame... Safely roasting over a double combustion camp stove. Simple joys.

Making a tinder bundle and blowing into flame... Safely roasting over a double combustion camp stove. Simple joys.

So much baby animal activity out there... Are there any young birds in your yard?

So much baby animal activity out there... Are there any young birds in your yard?