My OJT Experience by Ben Kleiber
Teachers training week at Wolf Camp and the Conservation College is full of preparing for classes and rapid-fire teaching full of information. It can be stressful at times but ends up being the most valuable week of the summer.
Working with all ages for a week gives an entirely different sense of how to teach and interact with kids than almost any other experience. Being with the kids for upwards of six hours a day and teaching them entirely new skills also allows all the Wolf Camp instructors to improve their teaching skills . . . → Read More: OJT at the Teaching Nature – Professional Training for Outdoor Educators
We just noticed that the ubiquitous internet still has our old WordPress Blog site published. The following posts are from the first year after Kim and I got married, then moved to Puyallup, and began teaching weekly homeschool, after-school, and evening classes on our various topics. The photos are great, the stories are fun, but the instructional information contained in the posts is a bit sparse because we didn’t yet realize that to become popular, blog posts are supposed to be highly informational, rather than a documentation of what happened in the past. That said, feel free to check out . . . → Read More: Vintage Blog Posts from our Old WordPress Site
Wolf Camp and the Wolf College founder, Chris Chisholm, collecting bullwhip kelp on Orcas Island after a storm blew it ashore.
Living near the Pacific coast, we have the luxury of being in close proximity to countless numbers of seaweed (edible algea) including kelp species, each with their own flavors and uses. One of my all-time favorite seaweeds to use is kelps such as kombu (laminaria spp.) in the creation of dashi stock – the flavorful base for miso soup. Miso soup is fast, easy, and can be made from any fresh or dried . . . → Read More: Making Healthy Natural Miso Soup with Kombu Kelp Seaweed
Check out other cooking blog posts by Wolf College wilderness chef Charles Borrowman including How to Cook for Backpacking Trips and more.
Lead instructor and french culinary chef, Charlie Borrowman, demonstrates a marinade for campfire roasted veggie skewers.
When on a backcountry wilderness or backpacking expedition, it doesn’t take much more than the thought of yet another night of eating half soggy, half crunchy freeze-dried disaster to wrinkle one’s nose up in disgust. Thankfully, all it takes is a few lightweight and easy to pack ingredients to rescue you from eating $10 a pop astronaut cuisine or that MRE . . . → Read More: Backcountry Camp Cooking Recipe – Rice Pilaf
Those of us living in the Pacific Northwest (and many other regions around the world) are fortunate to be gifted every spring with an abundance of Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). While it’s sting can be unpleasant, it teaches us to pay attention to our surroundings and I believe that’s a good thing. It also offers food, medicine and fiber if one knows how to properly harvest it. Here at the Wolf College, we adhere as closely as we can to the following Honorable Harvesting Guidelines for every plant we collect:
Do you need it? Harvest with a purpose or plan . . . → Read More: Stinging Nettle: Harvesting, Processing and Recipes
What are herbs and why might my chickens need them?
Organically raised chickens foraging on grass at Blue Skye Farm.
An herb or herbaceous plant is generally defined as “any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume.” Herbs can be used to prevent both internal and external parasites (via ingestion or externally when a chicken rubs against/brushes when walking by or sits upon them). Other benefits are brighter yolks, more nutritious eggs, more available vitamins and minerals for the birds in general, a calm flock and a lovely coop (among others things).
. . . → Read More: Herbal and Critter Forage for Healthy Chickens
In Bellingham on Tuesday, it was a cold, snowy day! After some quick introductions, a few exercises to help us stay warm and a fictitious emergency scenario in front of Village Books we walked over to Padden Creek Trail to continue class. Each family was given a packet of emergency preparedness and survival handouts to take home to read and discuss. Then we talked about several suggestions for preparing our homes and selves for the unexpected. In Olympia, we met on the Evergreen State College campus and spent most of the time in the woods near the library. . . . → Read More: Homeschool Classes in Bellingham, Olympia and Vancouver Learn to Prepare for Emergencies Including How To Build an Emergency Shelter and Make Fire
Today’s class met at Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park off Umtanum Rd. The trees along the river were brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. We began our afternoon together learning how to spin rope out of raffia. It takes some practice to get it right but before long all of the kids were making some nice cordage.
Spinning raffia into rope. Practicing the reverse wrap method of making cordage. Testing the strength of the rope after splicing in a new piece of raffia. Now that’s some strong rope!
We learned how to lengthen the rope by splicing in a new . . . → Read More: Ellensburg Homeschool Class Learns to Make Rope from Stinging Nettle, Cottonwood Bark and Other Plants
We held our Wilderness Survival class at several locations this past month. The majority (if not all) of each class was spent outside which was an effective way to safely illustrate the importance of preparing oneself mentally for a survival situation. We started each evening by teaching everyone how to make strong rope out of raffia. Though one won’t find raffia growing in the Pacific Northwest (it’s from a palm tree!), it’s one of the easiest fibers to use when learning the reverse wrap process. Each class progressed differently based upon the location, timing and student’s interests but generally we . . . → Read More: Wilderness Survival Classes co-sponsored by Portland Hikers, Seattle Backpackers & Kitsap Outdoors
January 21, 2012
It was an overcast, cool morning when we met up at the Earth Lodge. Rain was forecast for the afternoon and we were hopeful that our shelters would be complete before it began. Bibiana and her family decided they would like a lean-to built near their earth lodge – a place where family and guests could rest and warm up by the fire while working. We checked out several locations as a group, discussing the pros and cons of each spot, and finally settled on an area nestled nearby among the Douglas firs.
Building the . . . → Read More: Survival Shelters at the Earth Lodge: Making a Lean-To, Debris Hut and Ultralight Shelter
We had a sunny Wednesday in Snohomish for our classes on Wilderness Survival. We spent the first part of each class inside talking about the Critical Order of Survival then headed outside to practice what we learned.
Creating a mini debris hut for Skye’s stuffed dragon.
After heading outside, we spent a few minutes talking about what to do (and what not to do!) if you get lost in the woods. Skye did a couple of demonstrations (many thanks to our volunteers!) to show everyone how a search dog works when looking for lost people.
Chris taught . . . → Read More: Wilderness Survival, Shelter and Fire-Making for Homeschoolers and After Schoolers in Snohomish