Fire Keepers | Week 6 | A Digger/Boppery and Frittery Kind of a Day

This past week of Fire Keepers was an amazing day: not only did we cover a lot of ground, make delicious big leaf maple blossom fritters and play some fun games, we also spent some serious hard working time making tools with our knives. It felt like a very full day and timeless at the same time.  The 100% chance of rain all day the weather reported never greeted us with more then a drizzle and the only scratches came from blackberries thorns protecting the invasive holly in the park.  We opened up a little light for the native Vine Maple, Thimbleberry, Salmonberry, and others to flourish. At the same time this green Holly wood gave the Fire Keepers the perfect carving material to practice their skills and gain confidence in the process!

We started carving our very own “Digger/Boppers”. I have been excited about doing this with kids since we started. The concept came from Trackers Earth and their great book Trackers Earth Guide to Knives & Woodcarving ( I have no affiliation with them and make no money off this link but whole-heartedly endorse this book to reinforce concepts and learn more at home about knife safety and skills.)  The Digger-Bopper takes the classic Rabbit stick and adds a beaver tooth shaped digging side for digging roots, post-holes and what ever else you can come up with… By fire-hardening the stick we will make it hard enough to be a bopper/baton and help us safely make big cuts and split wood with our knives!   It truly is a multi-tool! This is the first round trying it with ivy but we will see how it does… I have a maple one going strong for almost a year of hard use and kid abuse!  It also gives us a chance to practice several different ways to remove wood with our knives in a safe and effective manner.  The focus I saw from all of the children today was outstanding! 

The other major highlight was harvesting Big Leaf Maple blossoms and making fritters in the morning… YUM!
Melissa wrote a groovy blog post on this very subject just last week so I will reference you there to learn more if you haven’t read it!   

Other then that we played games, watched wild deer, searched for salamanders and made memories with friends in the forest. Oh yeah and Melissa and one of the students coaxed a tandem bow-drill coal out of some cedar just practicing! So cool! Next time we will have to turn it into a fire!

I wouldn't ask for a better way to spend a Wednesday...