Jack Mountain’s semester programs are tough. They demand a lot of students, and that’s by design. When anyone allows themselves to get outside their comfort zone, it allows for growth.
Which makes our last two weeks really important to the learning experience. In week seven, students are given some options for “Final Projects”. These range from making a well-tillered bow, to waking up in shifts every night to document the stars and how they move through the sky. This semester was especially exciting to watch, as three of our students really bit off a challenge for themselves by each getting a moose hide to tan. They’d never tanned a hide from start to finish, and it was great to watch them stick with it over the week and into their weekend.
We’ll be heading off tomorrow on our final trip of the semester, and the students will get to experience a two-day solo outing, where all they’ve learned these last eight weeks will be brought together in a rewarding and challenging episode. This is not only important from a skills perspective, but it also gives students time to reflect on this whirlwind of a semester. Self reliance isn’t something that can be taught, but providing someone with the frame work of skills, and a safe setting to put those skills into practice in a setting like their solo outings allows students to gain that confidence on their own. As Tim Smith put it during one of our conversations last weekend, “If you teach well, when you’re finished the students can say ‘Look what I did myself'”
Thanks for keeping up with us these last few months, and be sure to check back for more updates soon.