I’ve had a lot of campfire discussions with friends, students and interns since I last had the ability to post without driving an hour. Living outdoors for an extended period of time (in the last seven weeks I’ve spent four nights inside, on two separate trips to NH to see my family) not only hardens you to the elements and bugs, but also allows you ample opportunity to discuss things in great detail as you move around the fire to avoid the smoke and bugs. As a result of many conversations, here are some things I plan to add to our business in the coming months.
1. This fall, we’re going to add an exam component to the semester course. It will be at the end and consist of mostly practical exams on a wide variety of topics. I’ll write more about this when we get the internet at our place. I’m really excited about it as I think it is a piece that has been missing from the assessment picture.
2. Next summer we’ll be running a practicum for semester course graduates where they can come, stay, and work on specific skills for a very low price. It will be facilitated by an instructor, but won’t be a course in the traditional sense.
3. Also next summer, we’re going to debut our yearly extended trip for semester course graduates. This will be a multi-week trip that is run by and for graduates of our semester courses. The 2009 trip will be a three-week canoe journey on the northern waterways of Maine.
4. We’re putting together a hardcore survival course and are going to run the pilot this summer. It will be a 100 mile trip by canoe with no food and very limited gear. Think axe, knife, pole, boat, clothes, kettle and fish hooks. Everything else will come from the bush.
5. In conjunction with our friends at Blackwater Outfitters, we’re going to start offering a series of guided hunts for bear, moose, upland birds and turkey, along with a variety of hunting instructional programs. Stay tuned for details.
6. We’ll also be adding a trapping course to our schedule, where you can learn both modern and primitive traps. It won’t be the same things taught at other schools (figure 4, paiute, etc.) – It will focus on the primitive traps that were used in the north. The main focus will be on modern trapping because it’s the only legal way to do it. More details on this coming soon.
7. My good friend Jeff Butler at Northwoods Survival has returned to New Brunswick from the Yukon and brought a team of seasoned sled dogs with him. We’ll be teaming up this winter for combination bushcraft and dog sledding workshops.
We’re going to build a small cabin in the next few weeks, and when it’s done I hope to have internet access and explain all of these things in greater detail. But for now it’s back to the bush If you need or want to get in touch with me, the phone is still the best way. 207-540-7632