Below is a story from our our Ropes Teen program back in February.
Fire and crafting were the themes for the evening, with a break later on to silently walk to the creek, gaze at the starry night sky, and delight our senses in a meditation led by Jonathan.
Our fire was built to burn for at least an hour before we had to add any wood (see our fire structure above). It was a fire made of all hardwoods with the intention of keeping us warm and having lots of coals for coal burning red cedar containers.
When we can, we challenge the teens to light our night time fire using a bow drill kit. It always takes a little longer than with a match, but the gift of fire becomes more alive when we really have to work for it….remarkable to think of how our ancestors did it!
In addition to coal burning containers, we made primitive torches with cattail and mullein stalks. We experimented with tallow (rendered beef fat), and paraffin wax. The wax seemed to burn better than the tallow, but it was neat to see that with some work torches could be made solely from materials gathered on a landscape.
We finished our evening with a small feast around the fire, stories, and gratitude for another beautiful evening spent together on the Stony Kill land.
Thank you so much!
Michaela, Stephanie, and Jonathan
Big thanks to the Maya Gold Foundation for supporting this program and helping to bring teens into the woods for character building adventures!
Wild Earth joins inspired leaders in offering multi-generational programs and events that strengthen connections with ourselves, others, and the Earth while building ecological, social and cultural resilience. Located along the Shawangunk Ridge in New York’s Hudson Valley, Wild Earth is a not-for-profit that runs nature-based programs for children, teens, families and adults. More about Wild's work.