When Tracks & Tales started, over ten years ago, we focused on games and free play in the forest. Then more and more children began asking to learn more tangible skills.
They wanted to build a boat! So they did: out of bent branches and hand-harvested, hand-woven cordage, they crafted a canoe! Wrapped with a simple tarp, it held two children easily!
They challenged themselves to build fires — in the rain, with one match, or using flint and steel, or even a bow drill! Foraged fiddle-head ferns, nettles, and even crawdads were cooked and consumed with glee.
A fallen tree provided bark to clad more bent branches, this time curved over a small fire pit. Over the course of a year, they added a woven fern doorway, a smoke vent, more ferns tied over the bark, and their handmade shelter was waterproof and cozy!
Now we have a village style program where younger children tend to play more games and older children focus on learning new skills, and children of different ages work both with their peers and get to interact with the other groups of kids at various times.
Throughout, we encourage children to follow their passion and engage in what brings them most alive and free play is always welcome.
Skills taught may include:
Fire making, even in the rain, using just one match, harvested tinder, flint & steel, or bow drill.
Carving using fixed blade knives and harvested branches to create bows, arrows, rabbit sticks, atlatls and much more.
Hide tanning and sewing tanned hides.
Debris shelters and primitive structures. Created out of found natural materials for one or more people.
Primitive tools made with local basalt and bone. Focus on simplicity and use.
Edible & medicinal plants: identification, lookalikes, local harvesting.
Building traps and hunting tools.
Animal processing and primitive cooking.
Water purification with found natural materials.
Cordage and knots.
Weaving, baskets, and pottery.
The art of story telling.
Camouflage, tracking, trailing, stalking and bird language.
Open Enrollment So You Can Register Today!
Every Monday from September through May, our Weekly Classes for children aged 4-6, 7-11 and 12 and up meet from 11am to 3pm in our creekside forest.
Classes cost $50-70 per class, sliding scale, payable at the beginning of each month. Scholarships are also available. We wish everyone to be able to attend, so please pay as much as you can to help make this program happen. Payment is due for all offered classes, whether your child attends that particular Monday or not.