Feb. 3rd, 2017
Outdoor education with the Clark Fork High School:
In the Panhandle of North Idaho, we see blizzards as an opportunity instead of a hindrance. The outdoor education class at Clark Fork High goes out every Friday in search of learning, fun, and connection with nature. KLT partners with the class 4-5 times a semester to engage students in a diverse range of topics and opportunities.
Since we had a blizzard, we decided it would be a perfect time to learn about snow shelters, fire making and some of the health concerns one faces in the snow like hypothermia and frostbite. As the snow fell heavily around us we built snow shelters in teams and then engaged in a 5-minute fire challenge. Students gathered materials for 5 minutes and then were given one match (or several matches as it turned out for some) and attempted to light a fire in the center of their snow shelters.
Graham McLaren told Jack London’s famous story ‘To Light A Fire’ to inspire and teach the basics of good fire starting. Small tinder, tree sap and birch bark were keys in each group getting a fire to warm themselves. Lots of foot stomping and running games helped to keep the blood circulating and faces smiling.
We gathered Douglas Fir needles to make some tea on the central fire and enjoyed a day spent outside making new connections and friendships. The outdoor education class at CFHS has grown in its second year and KLT has several more classes planned throughout the spring semester.