The inspirational peers, mentors, and environment I found at Wilderness Awareness School molded me throughout my high school years into a proud, confident, compassionate individual.
Wilderness Awareness School programs meet kids where they live and open kids' hearts to the healing powers of the natural environment.
In Part 2 of How to Make a Bow and Arrow, learn how to lay out a wooden bow, how to set up a bowmaking workstation, and how to begin the essential tillering process
The past 9 months have been quite a plethora of new experiences, adventures, crafting, external and internal explorations and the creating and fortifying our connections with the earth, the natural world around us, ourselves and each other.
There has been so much talk about getting prepared for the Gauntlet that the final week did not seem like it was on the radar. However, this was not the case, this week may have been my favorite week of the entire year.
My adventures with Wilderness Awareness School started as a volunteer with summer camps. I got so wrapped up in the world of summer camps that I once...
This past week I had the opportunity to join a small group of my classmates on a voluntary, 3-day "walkabout". A walkabout, in this context, is meant to practice for a survival situation in which the group is traveling, hopefully towards rescue...
Convincing 5 of my classmates that the best place to spend the night was in a pile of leaves and grass. We created a massive bed with theses two items and every night were successful at improving our design. It went from being chilly the first night and no one sleeping, to the third night we had one participant climb out of our nest and sleep on the ground because she was too hot.
For land based cultures throughout the world, brain tanning was a practice done whenever an animal gave its life to feed the people. To honor the spirit and sacred giveaway of these animals, all parts of the animal were harvested and process for various uses: clothing, shelter, food, tools and instruments. It was such an honor to spend three days to remember this ancient practice that today is done in huge factories with very toxic chemicals to make leathers and sued.
I grab my fist sized bundle of tinder, made of scraped cedar bark. I tap the coal into the bundle of cedar, and begin to give it air. It glows brighter as I blow. I feed more of the cedar fibers close so it has plenty to eat and grow strong. I continue this process until the the second magical moment of Fire’s visit occurs… flame bursts forth
In Part 4 of the series we put the finishing touches on making a wooden bow...
In Part 3 of How to Make a Bow and Arrow, we cover all things string-related: How to make a bow string, How to String a Bow, and the beginning stages of tillering a bow with a loose string. Adventures in bowmaking continues...
I remember the first time I tried to make a bow and arrow. There was a wind storm and lots of branches were down from the large black oak trees in my backyard. I picked up a stick and ran
Through the sharing of these stories strong connections are cultivated in the community. Everyone can now learn and benefit from your stories and experience. When you have a strong and vibrant community you naturally want to offer help and support. The Indicator of Awareness for this shield is Service to Community--the desire to play a meaningful role in service to community and figuring out how you and your gifts can contribute.
Taking a moment to stop, listen and observe to what is going on around you. What trees do you have in your yard? Does that tree produce fruit or seeds? What animals or birds feed from those trees? Have a deep knowledge of place helps you discover those patterns.
In the North Shield of our curriculum we focus on survival and long term wilderness living skills. The most useful to make it through a challenging winter. We do things like fire making, shelter building, purifying water, and more long term wilderness living solutions.