Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Winter Forest Playground Awaits Curious Young Explorers

Let’s go on an adventure! I don’t know where we’re going today but the surprise is worth the wait. Wherever our journey takes us, I know that trees will be patiently awaiting our arrival, creeks will be eagerly flowing to greet us, creatures will leave their tracks behind for us to discover and follow, and there will be SNOW! Crunchy, icy, wet, cold, melting, deep, powdery, packable, crusty, slushy snow! It has blanketed our forest destinations, tucking in all the members of the wooded community.

But we know as we trek through the diverse forms of snow, that not all the forest creatures are asleep. Even though we often can’t catch a glimpse of these carefully silent denizens, we can track their footsteps. On our expedition, we pause and let our curiosity take over as we examine animal tracks, gaze at the towering, naked trees whom we know by name, and listen to the rushing stream or pure silence when the Ice Queen freezes over the water. We turn snow-covered cliff sides into natural slides, play stalking games to understand our animal friends, and create fire solely with the wood of the land and the work of our hands. We don’t follow a predetermined path, but make a trail of our own accord, pursued by our inquisitive minds.

A frozen waterfall at a distance from the trail catches our wandering attention. A less curious mind may not see the inviting journey that the cascade of ice offers. We scurry off the trail to explore this mountain of ice. As we scramble to the top with hands and feet, we peek inside openings in the ice to gain a different perspective of the frozen water. We listen to the trickle of water echo underneath the ice.

Oh look! A willow tree is spotted for making bow drill kits out of its branches. Again we trudge through the snow toward the tree, creating our own path.

There seems to be an alluring force within nature sparking our curiosity and guiding our exploration. The natural wonders of the forest keep pulling us in to unearth their mysteries. Our curious minds are always open to new discoveries from which we can learn. In the same way, I encourage you to create your own journey through the forest. Let your interest in the fascinations of the earth guide your exploration and stimulate your yearning for knowledge.


Katie Power - grew up in Newtown, Connecticut exploring the woods and creeks near her house. Now a student at Ithaca College studying Outdoor Adventure Leadership, she has continued her love for exploration, seeking out new adventures within the woods of Ithaca and surrounding areas.

Interning With Primitive Pursuits

Ever wanted to get a taste of what it’s like to work as an intern with a nature-based education organization? Step into my shoes and join the Primitive Pursuits team on this nonstop journey of learning.


The great benefit of this experience is that I instantly became an active participant…..a learner among the kids, a mentor to my peers and to the kids, a leader of program activities, and a contributor to an organization which encourages my input.


Would you love to work with kids in nature, but have never had the opportunity to learn about primitive technology and aidless survival? Have no fear! I was in the same boat when I first started interning with Primitive Pursuits. One of the best aspects of working here is that I am constantly in a state of active learning; I learn by doing. I then put these skills to use in other scenarios, thereby reinforcing them.


In addition to learning primitive skills, I feel that throughout my time here I have learned more life skills such as leadership, teamwork, community building, risk management, and self-awareness than I do in a typical classroom setting. I may be working at a program with other instructors out in the field one day, and the next day I may be in the office working at the computer. Either way, the skills I master will stay with me for the rest of my life because I am putting them to use by observing, doing, and teaching them.


Katie Power grew up in Newtown, Connecticut exploring the woods and creeks near her house. Now a student at Ithaca College studying Outdoor Adventure Leadership, she has continued her love for exploration, seeking out new adventures withinthe woods of Ithaca and surrounding areas.