Yesterday people trickled into the field school. We enjoyed a campfire and conversations about past experiences, future plans, what they hope to get out of a few months in the woods, etc. This morning the real work starts. The particulars, where all the details matter. A group of future instructors honing their craft. Today it will be building cooking fires, cooking food, safe use of the axe. Tomorrow it will be making rope, tying knots, setting up tarps. The first week of the semester is always focused on becoming self sufficient with the basics of living in the forest without infrastructure. It’s our jumping off point.
I always look forward to our fall semester. It’s a great time of year to live outside in northern Maine. The days are warm (or hot), the nights are getting cool, the bugs aren’t anywhere near as bad as in June or July, and the land blossoms with it’s bounty of late-summer fruit.
I like to think of the semester course as a journey. Today we take the first steps.