| Madeline Bachner

Colorado Academy: Colorado Firecamp: Colorado Knowledge


Colorado Academy (CA) and Cottonwood Institute teamed up to provide a Wildland Firefighting course for the middle school interim trips. The Wildland Firefighting course took place at the base of Mt. Shavano peak near Salida, CO.  The group stayed at Angel of Shavano Campground and spent time at the Colorado Firecamp learning about fire mitigation and the many skills of a wildland firefighter.  Fire skills ranged from starting one with friction using sticks, managing small campfires and harvesting firewood responsibly, to the methods of putting out a fire over many acres.  In addition the group played games, worked as a team and went for a burly hike into the high elevation snow!

Some highlights from the trip include:

  •  A herd of big horn sheep sighted when they pulled into camp.
  • Learning how to see in wide angle vision (which is gently blurring your eyes to take in the whole scene of wherever you are, and becoming extremely sensitive to minute movements).

  • The subsequent animal sightings as a result of this quieter way of being, including a chipmunk who sat on a student’s

    leg for a while.

  • Feeling the full weight of a wildland firefighters backpack.

  • DSC05522

    Learning to make throwing clubs, called rabbitsticks and playing a game of throwing the sticks at targets. Cheers could be heard from their camp for miles around!

The group was sad to see the trip end and returned to CA with many great memories and new knowledge about the world they inhabit.  It was a pleasure to re-create this course after several years off. Many thanks to our friends at Angel of Shavano Campground and Colorado Firecamp for making it possible.  We hope to continue working with CA Middle School in the future.

 More pictures from this course are available at: http://coloradoacademy.shutterfly.com/pictures/128

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