This weekend we begin our 56th long-term immersion program, the fall Wilderness Bushcraft Semester. It has been a busy spring and summer, and I’m looking forward to the cooler weather that fall brings. I’ve had a little time since we took off the water at the end of the Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester, which has seen me clean and organize our headquarters, the Guide Shack and the Athenaeum, as well as mow the field in Moose Vegas and the road to the river. So while I had a bit of time not engaged with teaching, I managed to keep as busy as if I were teaching.
The two interesting things to me about this fall course are that some of our students were not yet alive when we ran the first semester course in 2002, and that I have run a handful more immersion programs than I have spent years alive. I guess it’s been a pretty good run.
I have decided I like running our 9-week courses better than other programs. We have time to get really into the material, and they are long enough for students to see real, significant gains and personal growth. If the goal of education is to create transformational experiences, then the long courses are where, in the Jack Mountain world, the most transformation takes place. Not all the time, and not for everyone, but for enough people over the years that I feel comfortable in mentioning it here.
I look forward to the fall semester all year. I’m excited to meet new people, excited to fan that spark of the FullTang Lifestyle inside each of them into a roaring conflagration, excited to get back to our usual fall semester camping spots; just excited in general. Maybe that’s what I’m the most grateful for, is that after 23 years, 55 immersion programs and hundreds of other programs, I still get excited about it.