Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Outdoor Skills Class - August 2010

Consistency is lacking in my MooseBoots journey.  Repetition creates habits that we live instinctively.  One of the planned activities that goes a long way keeping my sanity intact is our monthly outdoor skills class.

The class, which is designed for the kids, tends to meander along ... no rush and frantic flurry of activity.  Our teachers do not bite off more than the kids can chew, as frustrating as that can be for some of us adults.  This month was no different.  I'll preface this all with the fact that we missed the first half of the class ... schedule conflict.

This month we started working on a wood shed for our semi-permanent camp site.  The construction started similarly to the wigwam ... pounding upright posts into the ground.  These had been de-barked and sharpened to a point and had a crotch about four feet up the length.  The back uprights were not pounded into the ground, but pushed in and leaned against a couple of trees.  Cross beams were added and then a few rafter logs.

The highlight, for me, was going out and searching for bark, birch and pine, from fallen trees for the roof covering.  I find it calming to be in the woods, opening my senses and really searching.  Perhaps, it is the forest bathing effect.  I, personally, can not get enough time in the woods.

While we may not have added a really cool new skill, and we may not have created something really beautiful and useful, I must say that my MooseBoots path benefited from simply being in those lovely moments.


  1. I think the most useful skill in this particular class was a refresher on some building techniques - like the post-hole digger technique that Precious is illustrating in that picture.

    The thing I love most about the class is the way we're taught to really see what's around us, and with the exception of a few tools - like the hammer above, a saw, an axe, and some knives - all of the building materials we use are things that nature provided. It's a very good lesson - at least for this suburbanite - on how much nature has to offer if we are only open to her gifts.

  2. I agree, Wendy, Nature does offer so much, whether we chose to accept or not, all this amazing "stuff" is always out there. A friend offered me a basket of elderberries that she had growing against a bank barn, and of course, I took them. Boiled them down to a delicious syrup that we will use sparingly this winter!
    A friend and I decided to look in the forest tract nearby, where he has seen elderberries before. We trekked through, saw turkey, deer and lynx tracks, were observed by two deer...but no elderberries :( The wildlife had already stripped them clean. I guess my point is, nature provides, and it's first come, first served!


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