Thursday, November 29, 2012

Field School: November 29

Today had such a different feel to it; it felt as though everyone has just gotten into the rhythm and culture of Crow's Path! It felt beautiful, something akin to what I've heard called the village hum. Everyone just showed up this morning as their full selves, free to follow their own curiosity and passions.

We started with another fire challenge. This one was a 5-minute fire. The kids were so close to starting a fire in the time limit with a single match. Once they took a break and rethought their strategy they got a blazing fire going in the next 5 minutes. They worked together so well gather fire wood and get the fire set. Afterwards we were going to split into guilds, but the kids initiated all of these wonderful projects on their own so we just followed their lead.

Gavin worked on "carving" a knife by burning the edges then grinding of the charred parts.

Cody made a walking stick, then finished it by smoothing it out with sand paper. I then showed him how to burnish the wood using a glass jar. Burnishing works best on harder woods, and when applied leaves a wonderfully smooth and polished surface. It does this in two ways. First, burnishing rubs off any of the softer cellular material sanding didn't get rid of, leaving harder cellulose fibers. Second, burnishing collapses and compresses these harder fibers and, when heated, the pores seal up. Next week we'll be stitching a leather handle on!

Sam battled Luke and Austin in an epic game of Stay-on-the-log. Sam won.

Ryder and Emmett took over a construction project to build a "scout pit."

Luke, camouflaged as always, was attempting to stalk up on another group. If I hadn't seen his hat, I would have missed him!

Miles has been totally hooked by fungi the past few weeks. Sam (our UVM intern) brought in a field guide to mushrooms. After identifying the birch polypore, Miles worked on turning a couple of them into glasses. Above he was carving out the eyehole on one of the rims.

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