December 18, 2012

Naturalist Challenges

The Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program just completed its final week of school before several weeks off for winter break.  Our final week of classes included bird language studies and working with traps and snares.

The final day of class before break was a day of naturalist challenges.  Both cohorts got together and worked in groups in a friendly competition to see who could earn the most points in each of the various challenges.

One challenge was the naturalist scavenger hunt, which included mapping a detailed map of the Alderleaf Property, and recording as many species of flora and fauna as possible... all within 1 hour of time! 

Here, instructor apprentice Shaun helps students Ryan, Roy and Alan identify some of the more challenging plants.

The next challenge involved making a friction fire as quickly as possible, and making it hot enough and high enough to pop a suspended water balloon.  The catch is that they could only use fire wood found in the forest during the challenge.  It happened to be a very wet day, which made this especially difficult.

Here student Scott blows on a tinder bundle after placing a coal in it in hopes of getting a fire.

After a great deal of effort, and team work, here is what the moment of success looks like:

Here is Sean, a successful member from another group just after the balloon was popped.

Victory is evident by the big smile and the numerous droplets of water that came from the exploding water balloon.

The final day before break was a blast, and there was much fun and celebration.  We look forward our Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program students returning from break.

Look for more updates from Alderleaf in the new year!

No comments: