School of the forest was originally thought of by Tim Smith, founder of Jack Mountain Bushcraft School and guide service. Tim wanted to create an outdoor program for young people that not only taught them about the outdoors, but let them have a hands-on experience doing it. Tim is a constant student of education and the outdoors, and believes that an outdoor education is just as vital to youth development as a strictly academic one.
The program is run by Christopher Russell, alumni of Jack Mountain. Christopher studied political science and economics in college, but after working in the field for a few years wanted to try something different. While attending Jack Mountain’s semester program in the north Maine woods, Tim and Christopher chatted about Tim’s idea of a program for young people that really immersed students in the outdoors, while helping them to understand their place in it. After that, School of the forest started to take shape. Christopher is a passionate outdoorsman, photographer, and writer who enjoys having the opportunity to share that passion with young people. Christopher has solo-hiked half the Appalachian trail, canoed in the north Maine woods and camped out anywhere he could find a flat site for his tent, including the hills of Arkansas, mountains in Nova Scotia and as much of his native Maryland as possible. You can learn more about him at his personal site, primitiveaddictions.com where he scribbles incessantly.
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