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Notes From The Field: Wildland Firefighter Project

On June 14th, 2008 the lives of five high school students were sparked alight as they set out on the week-long Wildland Firefighter Project offered by the Cottonwood Institute.  Led by two amazing people, Steve McCue and co-guide Megan Hurley, the adventurous group based themselves just outside of Buena Vista, CO, and set about experiencing the wild ways of the outdoors. The days were spent learning wilderness survival skills and how to minimize their footprint while camping. Star-filled nights inspired the group to philosophize around the campfire as they made coal-burned bowls.

Working with instructors from the Colorado Firecamp, the students learned about wildfire behavior and fire ecology and practiced wildland firefighter techniques. Students practiced using a fire hose, learned about prescribed burns, wildland firefighting equipment, and practiced setting up emergency fire shelters, which are used by firefighters as a last resort for survival if they are being run down by a wildfire. By the end of this course, the students had used their newly acquired wildfire skills in undertaking an Action Project to minimize the fire danger of the Upper Arkansas Valley.  Way to go!

From a parent of one of the course participants…

“I wanted to thank you for the opportunity the Cottonwood Institute provided my son. The experience he had on the Wildland Firefighter Course was truly a life changing experience for him. He was noticeably different from the moment I picked him up from his course. In particular the influence of his Instructor was vital to his growth and change. His Instructor became an inspiring role model whom my son has referenced and quoted many, many times. As a single mom, I need for my son to get just this kind of positive influence, which I cannot offer. My son’s entire experience with his course was initiatory and transformative. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
– Anrahya Arsted, Parent of Wildland Firefighter Student Damien Mayo, Griffith Scholarship Fund recipient.

Check out the Wildland Firefighter Project video with clips from the course edited by our new marketing intern, Jacob Rothbaum.

If you are interested in other courses the Cottonwood Institute is offering this summer, please CLICK HERE.

Categories: Notes From The Field

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