What a stellar day we had with our pack of Fire Keepers this week at Whatcom Falls. There was still a chill in the air but the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the kids came smiling and ready to connect with friends and the land! This was the perfect day for us to have some knife safety training and start to use our knives in a safe way.
This can of course be major edge for a lot of the parents as they send their child out into the forest with a fixed blade knife. We understand that this can be a bit scary for a lot of parents, but 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.
One of the ways we like to hammer home the safety rules without just yammering on about them is to perform our “Knife Safety Skits”.
After running the kids out with some extra wild games, we moved to a quiet nook in the woods where there is minimal distractions and the kids can have a snack.
Then we proceed to do a serious of 5 skits. In each round the “child” gets a new rule wrong, but remembers to safely follow all the previous rules. It can get a little silly at times but we always make sure that the child understand how serious it can be. We also really emphasize what PRIVILEGE and RESPONSIBILITY it is to have such a powerful tool on them. For a child (or adult for that matter) to learn how to use a knife safely can be such an empowering experience!
I really appreciated the energy of the children this week as we dispersed and practiced our skills. We carved some roasting sticks for lunch and one student got especially excited carving walking sticks! It filled my heart with joy to see a 10 year old boy so excited that he was able to make his little 3 year old brother a walking stick!
I have mentioned this before but it remains true: working with a sharp blade can bring about a sense of calm and focus rarely seen in children these days.
After we had had enough focus, we put our knives away and trekked over to a cool fern-filled area for some Eagle eye! It was a full day and Melissa and are really grateful to have spent it with this amazing pack of kids! And we still have 12 more weeks this Spring — the possibilities are endless.