“Awesome! A day I will never forget!” Pablo
“We went home feeling grounded and connected to nature and each other. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.” Toby
A couple of weekends ago I had the good fortune of sharing a day with Toby and his son. Toby bid for me in a charity auction in aid of Billie (www.billiebutterflyfund.org) who has a brain tumour. I had previously taken Toby out, a couple of months ago, on a three-hour plant ID/forage as part of the charity auction. As Toby is a herbalist it was most instructive.
The day started early with some nature awareness and stalking exercises in the forest. Then we dropped down the valley and successfully stalked some deer. We then aimed for camp and to cook a campfire fry-up. Both Toby and Pablo learned some of the many ways of making fire and how to set-up a good fire-lay.
Toby cooked the breakfast – sausages, eggs, tomatoes in tortillas. Nothing tastes quite as good as a hearty cooked breakfast in a sylvan setting. We then settled down to learn knots, string up tarp and hang hammocks. Later on we went for a woodland walk – looking at plants and trees and their uses, we practiced safe saw and safe knife skills with various grips and cuts – made tent pegs, tracking sticks and pothangers. We filtered water and purified it and we shared many cups of nettle tea and hot chocolate.
The day finished with a review of what we had learnt – learning to move quietly through nature and be more aware of it, to make fire and cook over it, to source water and make it safe, to uses knots to hang a shelter, to look at plants and trees as a useful resource, to use tools safely and to make useful camp items.
It was great to have such enthusiastic company and very much hope that my son grows up to be as full of enthusiasm as Pablo. The day was topped off with a congratulatory pint in the local pub. Fantastic. I very much hope they had as much fun as I did. And all for a good cause!