· Dates:6/20-6/25 2021
· Max. Size: 12
· Tuition: $150-300
Wilderness Camping And Living Skills For Families.
Looking for something a little different for your family vacation? School Of The Forest is excited to bring back this old favorite from the Jack Mountain folk school. This new iteration will take place at the SOTF campus in Southern VT
A low-key variation of the Jack Mountain “Woodsman” course designed as a fun family camping and learning experience. We’ll spend the week at the field school learning the skills of bushcraft and survival, as well as learning about the local ecology in the form of edible wild plants, tracks and sign, reading the weather, and the stars and night sky. In addition to the time spent learning, we’ll also make time for swimming, cooking over the fire and enjoying the pleasures of a simple, outdoor life.
With regard to the tuition, for this course we’re defining a youth as anyone 7-17 years old. Kids 6 and under are free.
Basic bushcraft knowledge is important for anyone who hikes, camps, paddles, or spends any time in the backcountry of the northern hardwood or boreal forests.
Not only will participating families get the opportunity to learn about the outdoors in a hands-on way, but they’ll also get the opportunity to experience the joy of simple living for a week. More and more in our world, we’re moving away from time with our families, and the time we do spend with them tends to revolve around entertainment of some form. In this weeklong course, families will get the chance to work together on projects like building a shelter large enough for everyone to sleep in, cooking large group meals as a team, and getting a hands-on insight into ecology from a wide range of age groups.
Here’s an example of what a day looks like on our family bushcraft weeks.
Daily Agenda Example
Start at 8:30 Am, break for lunch around noon, then finish up with focused instruction at 3:00 Pm.
- Intro to Fire (One Match Fire, Bowdrill Kits, Fire Lays)
- Outdoor Cooking 101
- Axe Use 101
- Pot Hook Carving
“A big thanks to Chris for giving us a wonderful experience at the School in the Forest and to Tim for creating Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. Chris was a phenomenal teacher, full of wisdom, humor and an ability to effectively connect with people of all ages, personalities and skill levels. The schedule was relaxed and flexible so even with two small kids we were able to participate in all the lessons. We learned skills such as axe work, basic canoe paddling and rescue techniques, campfire cooking, dry and wet fire starting, how to make a shelter and much more. These skills have given us the confidence to enjoy adventures in the great outdoors with our kids and feel comfortable in an off-grid situation. We are already looking forward to our next trip to School Of The Forest.”
~Heather, Julian, Julian, George and Scout, Family Bushcraft Week 2019
We’re firm believers and proponents of families and communities getting outside more often, and this weeklong course will send everyone, no matter the age, home with a set of skills that will make the outdoors something the whole family can enjoy for a lifetime.
Topics covered include:
- Wilderness Survival 101
- Introduction To Bushcraft
- Fire Making: The Five Stages With An Emphasis On 1-Match Fires
- Bushcraft Tools: Axe, Knife, Saw And How To Care For And Maintain Them
- Basic Axemanship: The 4 Major Processes (Felling, Limbing, Sectioning And Splitting)
- Safe Knife Use And Carving
- Sawing Technique And Building Bucksaws
- Shelter Theory, Design, And Construction
- Navigation With Map And Compass
- Open Fire Cooking: Hanging A Pot, Baking In A Reflector, Using A Dutch Oven
- Cordage, Rope Making And Essential Knots
- Group Sanitation And Composting Toilets
- Purifying Water
- Introduction To Field Ecology: Edible And Medicinal Plants, Mammal Tracking, The Night Sky, Weather Forecasting, etc.
- An optional final exercise of spending the night in a shelter you construct.
The course is $300 per adult and $150 for each child. Children six and under are free.
So, whether you’re looking for an alternative vacation, a chance to learn more about sustainability, or just want to see what we’re all about, come out for a week and enjoy spending time as a family swimming, cooking over an open fire and enjoying the pleasures of a simple outdoor life.
For more information about the philosophy behind these courses, here are a few articles on the Jack Mountain Blog about the value of getting kids outside early in life. These are constantly being written, so check in as the course gets closer for more insight into our teaching philosophy.
Travel Information and Directions: Our campus is located just outside of Brattleboro Vermont in a little town called Guilford. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.
Arrival and Departure: Plan to arrive on sunday afternoon, between 4 and 6. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 6. The course is over on Friday at 4 PM.
Accommodations: Bring a tent, tarp, or another shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. We’re located just outside of Brattleboro, and there are plenty of hotels and air BnB style lodging available if needed.
Meals: Information on food and meals at the field school is located at About The Field School: Food.
Cancellation and Refund Policies: Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.
What is included with the tuition: Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group food, instruction, and group gear.
What is not included with the tuition: Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any food or meals other than the group bulk foods provided.
Course Insurance: Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.
Tobacco: Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.
Vehicles and Parking: We’re located on a private dirt down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles.
Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity in our teaching area. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic devices), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.
Other: Please don’t bring any pets or illegal drugs.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factors that make them impractical or unsafe.
If you have questions about the course, don’t hesitate to contact us.