Paw paw trees produce the largest native fruit in North America, and as you can see in the photo below they look sort of like small green mangoes. During this time of year the fruits are ripening, and the kids in our Homeschool Naturalist programs are loving them! In addition, paw paw trees bless us with bark that makes effective cordage and wood that is most useful in friction fire kits. Identification of edible and useful plants is one of many skills your kids could be learning with us here at Ancestral Knowledge! The next Homeschool Naturalist Program starts Oct. 31st, and sessions run for 6 weeks.
Well it’s that time of the year we have all been waiting for! That’s right it’s time for our summer overnight camps! We are having a blast with a great group of kids. So far they have learned how to gather the proper sized firewood, build the proper structure, ignite it using only one match, and how to use the fire to cook their food. The campers have also learned how to safely and properly use a knife, carved their very own rabbit stick, and learned how to move silently through the forest. Today they will start making friction fire kits (bow drill) and learning how to make basic stone tools. Afterwards we are going fishing and camping out under the stars along the Shenandoah River where they will use fire as a tool to burn and scrape wood to make eating utensils. Oh yeah, We can’t forget the scout log (pictured above). Well that’s a secret but I am sure your kids will tell you all about it when the return home stronger, more confident, and full of stories of adventure!
So many people talk about wanting to connect with nature, achieving oneness, or grounding themselves. There are so many programs and organizations advertising nature connection (we sure have them). I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but in my opinion no program or workshop can make that happen, it’s too personal of a journey. However, I do believe that workshops and programs can lead you to the trail head, point you in a direction, or give you the vehicle to get you there, but there is a catch! It definitely isn’t as easy as a click of a mouse and it won’t happen overnight! I can say, learning wilderness skills and increasing my awareness have been part of the best years of my life! When I experienced the feeling of oneness and connection for the first time it was only for a moment! And it wasn’t in a program or class, it was with a group of friends practicing what we learned from a program we all had attended. Once you experience it, what then? You want more, you need more, you want it to last longer, but how? In my experience I have found that I feel one with the earth, myself, and connected to those around me when I am regularly working on skills and projects from the days of our ancestors. Whether it’s bow making, animal tracking, or studying wild plants, these skills form a direct connection to the earth, our ancestors, and our deeper selves. Another way to achieve this is by venturing out without time or a destination.These traditions are some of the keys that open the doorways to the past, present, future & inner peace! Take the journey, leave the watch and phone behind. Learn to travel without time or destination and most importantly enjoy yourself!
PS- Check out one of our programs below! They are perfect for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. They will surely add some fun and adventure to your life!
We are so excited to have full enrollment in our Future Primitives program! We are having a great time hanging out and working on our projects. We have had three meetings and we have already accomplished so much!
So far everyone has made their own personal bow drill kits and we even had a PFF! (Personal First Fire) Everyone has established a sit spot and began their nature journals, making entries about the weather and the animal activities they have experienced while visiting them. We have erected a sundial to track the earths movements to increase our directional awareness. We have lit several fires during our emergency fire drills, one participant came prepared with a steak to learn how to cook on an open fire. let’s not forget about the GAMES! You never grow to old to play games, but now they involve sticks and stones, bows and arrows, and the occasional blindfold!
This Home School Naturalist Program meets on Wednesday’s in Greenbelt MD.
This program meets on Tuesday’s in Silver Spring MD.
This program meets on Thursday’s in Bowie MD.
This program meets on Wednesday’s in Springfield VA
This program meets on Friday’s in Great Falls VA.