Week in the Woods 2018 Session Highlights

Week in the Woods 2018 came to a close last Wednesday. By now everyone involved should be clean, rested up, and their gear put away awaiting the next adventure. The memories of the week are beginning to blur among the “trees” of our busy lives. Hopefully most of us will hold onto the most enduring aspects of the experience as numerated in our last circle around the fire:

WITW is an opening
WITW means all teach, all learn
WITW forms a primal village
WITW is feeling
WITW is respect
WITW is pensive

For 11 years and12 sessions this was our second smallest group at 14. What we lacked in numbers we more than made up for in energy, spirit and curiosity.  Nine were from out of state, 2 from Eagle river and just 3 from Fairbanks. Our out-of-state visitors are thanks to the “Pied Piper effect” of Scobie Puchtler.

We had 3 firsts this year: with the help of Tony Perelli we turned bowls on the spring pole lathe, we put birch handles on knife blades, and we steam-bent birch and made spatulas. We also made shrink boxes and tues’, wove and folded birch bark vessels, carved spoons and story knives, made bow saws, carved small bowls, made birch tar and copters.

Under the guidance of Carolyn Parker, Terry Chapin and Derek Sikes we learned about plants and plant communities, climate change and “bugs”. Bruce Campbell showed us how to prepare both savory and sweet dishes in a dutch oven. As usual the annual WITW play was a tremendous success and included a huge blood thirsty mosquito.

The weather was perfect, bugs were tolerable and the forest provided us with everything we needed both physically and spiritually. Thank you to all who volunteered their time to make this program a reality.