As we roll into July, School Of The Forest programs are off to a great start. Yesterday was the first day of our program at The Libby Museum in the lakes region of New Hampshire. This program is run in partnership with GALA, a local non-profit that focuses on building more self-reliant local communities. This is our second year running it, and the program filled up months in advance. It’s great to see kids who live in the area start to have an appreciation for the natural world that’s just outside their backdoor.
Next week we’ll be running a similar program at Squam Lake Natural Science center. Squam lake’s programs allow us to bring in live animals to pair with each activity, so for example, when we talk about building shelters students get to meet face to face with an osprey and see how she builds her nest to solve the same issues they are when they build a raised bed, or meet a coyote and see how she walks right after we’ve finished our tracking exercise. This program is a lot of fun for me as well, because it adds a face to face element with animals to the course that I can’t reproduce in a bush setting.
Once those are over we’ll be running our “Tech Detox Program” at our field school in Northern Maine. This course is centered around learning the skills to be comfortable in a canoe, and on trail, all while being unattached to the modern world and learning to be self-reliant without constant connection to the internet. The course culminates with a trip on one of our local waterways in the North Maine Woods and allows students to put into practice what they’ve learned about outdoor living.
We’ll also be running a weeklong Family Bushcraft week, where families will get to come up to the field school for a week and have an alternative vacation where they’ll get to learn together, as well as swim in the pond, hike our trails and just have the experience of enjoying the natural world together.
Both the Libby Museum and Squam Lake programs are full with waiting lists, the Tech Detox and Family Bushcraft week still have spots available though, so if they sound like a good way for your child, or your whole family to spend some time this summer get in touch. Hopefully, we’ll see some of you in the bush this summer.