Rick's Journal

Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Glimmer of Spring

Our Instructor Training Program Spring Semester just started this week, and we are already deep into several projects. We have each person doing two-three hides for making buckskin, and they are all moving along nicely. We are making bone hide scrapers, too, which is fun and brings us a little closer to doing it in nature, rather than relying solely on steel.

I am enjoying this group because I am able to teach them more from a native approach, more free-form and less of the structured college style classes. There is a mix of conversation, stories, teachings, fun, and appreciation for the returning birds, as we all worked together in and around the barn. It is both relaxing and hard work at the same time.

I am also excited because I am taking our group out to go trout fishing on opening day. We don't usually do any hunting or fishing unless it is primitive style, but when I realized how many of the students didn't know how to fish with modern style, it looked like a good opportunity to have a field trip to some new areas, explore the trees and see if we can find some fresh trout! I think it will be a fun learning experience that can help us all be better fishers in the long run. Besides, how often do you get to fish the East Branch of the Delaware River? Any respectable fly fishermen know what an honor is get to fish these world class waters, so tomorrow should be an experience we can all remember. I just hope no one falls in! That water is cold!

We are getting ready for a survival trek which will be coming in a few weeks. There are lots of skills to practice, learn and develop, and many of our students are fairly experienced so we should be able to enter the woods with just the clothes on our backs and be able to survive for five to seven days, no problem! (We always bring back-up gear for safety and emergencies, but that is a given.) I am excited about this and I think these students will do a lot better than they expect out there. The earth will help us and provide for us, if we take the time to listen and go with the flow......

I have to get to class, but check back soon to find out how we did on our buckskin and fishing! Have a great Spring!