Memories Of Camp

2nd Apr 2012

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Before the Native Awareness season begins I find myself very restless and full of excitement and anticipation for the coming year. I think about the adventures of that last year and all the laughter and good times, we had as I walk around our now quiet camp.

Recently, whilst looking through some old emails, I found one from student who took Native Skills 1 in 2011. I very much enjoyed re-reading it as it gives an insight into what the atmosphere is like on one of our classes and I decided to share it with you, as part of this news and announcements.


Hello James and Zara,

It's been over a week since I went on Native Skills 1. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you both and your team of volunteers for such a fascinating insight into primitive survival skills and the ethos of Native Awareness.

We were fortunate to have three superbly sunny days for the course and the welcome from you and your enthusiastic and knowledgeable assistants was as warm as the weather. I have to admit that I had been a little apprehensive about the weekend as I had practically zero survival skills to speak of and imagined that the other participants would be pretty au fait with bushcraft and fending for themselves in the wild and that I'd struggle to keep up. 

I needn't have been worried. James, you are an expert in the field of survival skills and a very engaging instructor, who is able to impart your knowledge with wit and great humour and you have a plethora of instructive and inspiring anecdotes, which reinforce in a subtle way the lessons to be learnt. You have an easy charm which belies the great depth of understanding and respect you have for Nature and these ancient survival skills. The volunteers, all very experienced in the native skills themselves, were always helpful and encouraged each of us to acquire these new skills.

Zara was superb in cooking some great campsite food and, as my attendance on the course had been a birthday gift from my wife, she baked a delicious honey and almond cake for us all, which was a really lovely, thoughtful touch.

The whole weekend was really inspiring and it was a real pleasure to have met so many people from different backgrounds who all shared a love and enthusiasm for primitive survival skills as taught by you James. Thank you once again. I was buzzing with excitement by the time I got back home to Nottingham. Strangely, it wasn't just the practical aspect of the course that was so good but the Awareness side to it. One of the participants named Mark had a strong emotional reaction to the course and I was surprised by how Native Skills 1 had resonated on an emotional level with me too. Mark said as we left on the Sunday afternoon "Well, it seems like a lifetime since we first met on Friday." And he was right. We had had a weekend full of new and positive experiences. Simply superb!

And by the way I created fire using the bow drill on the Monday after the weekend. It was a lot cooler and the wind was strong but after an hour or so I did it. So pleased....

What to look for in the woods this month: