This six-week course is modeled after the Wilderness Semester offered to adults at our flagship school, Jack Mountain, but tempered to the limitations of a young outdoor enthusiast. The course will meet once a week for six weeks, and culminate with an overnight camping trip where students will get a chance to practically apply what they’ve learned. By the end of the course students will have a solid base of knowledge and skills to continue living an outdoor lifestyle.
In this course, we’ll work through the seven tried and true elements of education employed at Jack Mountain’s adult courses.
- Skill: People learn by doing, and that’s especially true for young people. A lot of modern schooling goes all in on learning by theory. We offer practical, hands-on experience that encourages being an active part of the natural world, and our everyday lives. These include, but aren’t limited to; knife use and safety, fire making and responsible use, outdoor shelter making, basic star navigation and a whole lot more.
- Journey: Get out in the woods and walk around! With our instructors leading the way, students will have someone to answer questions about the natural world as well as trip planning procedures, the best way to plan for a responsible hike and a bunch more. The ability to successfully plan out a day in the woods is a rewarding one, and the skills easily play into everyday life.
- Craft: Learn about the world around you using your hands. Tools and crafting are a vital part of not only daily life, they’re also part of what makes us human. We’ll go over everything from carving a hook for use over the campfire, to making baskets, and rope.
- Nature: Students will learn about the ecosystem they inhabit in a hands on way. Students will keep weather journals, press plants and learn about the animals that inhabit the world around them.
- Culture: This will cover the soft skills of outdoor living. Students in our programs will come away with an understanding of group dynamics on trail, how to be effective leaders when taking part in outdoor activities as well as how to learn in a group and pass on their knowledge to others.
- Sustainability: With an outdoor lifestyle comes a need for resource management. Students will not only learn about personal habits of sustainability, but will also get an insight into how habits like composting, growing their own food ,and reusing and repurposing reseources can have a global impact.
- Self: Students gain an understanding of their own personal needs and limits. It’s important to understand yourself in all aspects of life. In a world of generalizations, it’s important to know exactly what you need to function well. How much sleep do you need to function? How much water? How much of a bed do you need to make in order to sleep well? This is about intimately knowing yourself and what you need to do to keep your body alive and well. The only way to learn it is to live it.
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Demonstrate skill proficiency and experience in a wide variety of outdoor skills, including fire, shelter, outdoor cooking, observational weather forecasting, carving, basketry, cordage and natural bindings, navigation, and the safe and efficient use of the axe, saw, and knife.
2. Make a variety of pieces of traditional gear, including a canoe paddle and pack basket.
4. Have a working knowledge of basic, intermediate, and advanced wilderness survival.
5. Assemble and maintain a tool kit with which they can make a variety of different crafts.
6. Navigate by map and compass, and also by using barehand methods.
7. Build a strong foundation of nature knowledge about the weather, plants, the stars and constellations, mammals and their tracks, fish, etc.
8. Have a basic knowledge of edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful wild plants.
9. Document progress with individual skills in their logbook.
The Young Forester program is $350 per student, and a gear list will be sent out when you register.
For more insight into School Of The Forest and Jack Mountain’s educational philosophy, check out some of the blog posts on the subject here.