Monday, January 3, 2011

Primitive / Colonial Skills Class - Week 2

If you have been tracking me along this MooseBoots trail, you know that I have been attending a couple of different outdoors/survival skills classes with Wendy and the girls.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, our Nature Adventure class ran its seven week course.  We were saddened and thought it was a shame to let the group dissolve back into the usual grind of daily living.

Additionally, I have been a bit disturbed by my situation.  According to Tamarack Song in the book Journey To The Ancestral Self, in a native culture, I would have reached the place of knowing my vision and exploring mysteries years ago.  In other words, I would be ready to accept and understand the wisdom offered me by my elders.  I am also nearing the age where I would start sharing my knowledge and skills with others, teaching.  Here is where I run into trouble ... I have no elders.  Everything I learn is done through books or sporadic contact with others.  I have a burning need to learn and share these skills.  Perhaps, I have found a connection to the Spirit In All Things.  It has shown me the path, it is up to me to follow and fulfill my purpose.

Wendy and I spoke with Mike and several of the parents in our group.  We decided that the group needed to continue.  As such, we have begun meeting at our house.  Mike is temporarily out of the state earning some money to continue his path and is not available.  So, we are teaching the class.  I have no particular expertise in the true complete sense of survival, but I have many useful skills, that I have learned through all of my bumbling around, to share with the kids.

Over the next few months, because it is Winter, we will work primarily with fire and craft items that would be useful in a native context, specifically spoons and bowls.  We've already met a few times with the kids ranging from 5 to 13.  I like to joke that we've taught other peoples kids to make fire.  Additionally, we've also shown them how to play with fire ... to make bowls.

For me, this supports both my learning and my need to share these skills.  First, when we learned these skills, we never finished either project.  Time is always short for this type of work, which tends to require patience and persistence.  The bowl, shown above, was one that I started with one of the girls over two years ago.  Until a week of two ago, it was as I had left it.  So, while it may not be completely finished, it is near complete and would be usable if I hadn't gotten so overzealous with carving the bottom flat (spelled L-E-A-R-N-I-N-G  E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E).  Similarly, the spoon was started some time again and not finished.  Of course, I needed examples on so I finished them so that I could support my second need - to share the skill.  Seeing the progress over the last class, I recognize that it will probably take more time that planned to finish both a bowl and spoon, but the kids can work on their own, too.  I should mention that parents are encouraged to participate in the activities as well.  The hope is that they will learn something to share with their kids and that perhaps, they will have something to share with the group.  I guess to say it another way ... we are building a community.

My MooseBoots journey has given me so many fantastic experiences.  It is imperative that I share these experiences or create the opportunity for other to have their own.  I am so fortunate.  I remain eager to see where the path leads, but in the meantime, I'll help guide a few other people along their own "MooseBoots Path."


  1. Good for you, for taking on the teaching. I think you will be surprised at how much you have to offer as a teacher..;) good luck!

  2. Julie, thank you for the encouragement. Luckily, I like working with kids.


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