Part of Nature Connection and Earth Education is understanding that there is a baseline to the outdoors. Learning the baseline in your area will inform you when someone is nearby or if an animal is hunting. The most efficient way to learn this is through the sit spot. Having a consistent place where you can sit each day to look and listen helps you learn this baseline. It will guide you into knowledge of the animals, knowledge of the trees and plants and knowledge of the seasons. The more you sit still the more you learn.
The second aspect of the sit spot is keeping a journal. A place where you can reflect on your sit each day. You can use field guides to help identify a plant or animal you saw at your sit that you did not recognize. Noting the weather and behavior of the animals will help you keep a record of what you learn. Each student at Making Tracks is encouraged to find a sit spot and visit it each day.
Fire by friction, shelter building, flint knapping, hide tanning, stone tools, cordage, basketry, traps, bowery, bone tools, jewelry are all essential survival skills that connect people to nature. When mastered, they make a person efficient at wilderness living. Making Tracks believes skills such as fox walking, wide angle vision, tracking and bird language are just as essential to a student's training. These are the skills that change the way they perceive and interact with the world. Before where they may have only seen oak shrubs, in wide angle vision they can now see the slight movement of the deer watching them from the hillside. These experiences are the lessons one can only learn through doing.
Making Tracks believes it is the quality not quantity of time spent in nature that builds character. Wandering is a quality way of moving through a landscape without a sense of time or destination. It is a mindset of being in the here and now; something that is not practiced enough in the modern experience. In a survival situation, it is the mindset of the wanderer that saves lives. At Making Tracks it is the mindset we help cultivate in students to give them a quiet and focused mind.
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