Friday, September 5, 2014

LANDS Semester Training Week

Week 1

Week 1 of the first ever LANDS Field Semester was awesome. We met in The Forestry Center and Laura, a LANDS leader began the daily tradition of Bringing The Minds Together with a reading. Then, we got to know each other by playing a name game. It had been a while since we saw each other in the spring. The first day we went over the LANDS handbook and moved into our new space in The Forestry Center.

We ended the day with a nature walk, concentrating on using our senses and observing the landscape. Day 2, we went over self care and how to be prepared for potential hazards we may encounter in coming weeks.

We then calculated our pace. I'm 19 paces per 100 feet!

After doing some math in the grass we went around and collected samples of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plant species to familiarize ourselves with the abundance of plants at The Forestry Center. We used Wildflower, tree and shrub field guides to determine the species.

After that, we read Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic and discussed our own land ethics. Next, we went through an obstacle course blindfolded with a partner guiding us through it to improve our communication skills.

Day 3, Emily brought our minds together with some yoga in the grass and hopped in the van for our first field trip to Gleason Brook at the base of Camel's Hump. We learned navigational skills and map orientation by using our handy-dandy advanced compasses.

Then we met with Liz Thompson who works for the Vermont Land Trust and also co-authored one of our books Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to Vermont's Natural Communities. She was very knowledgeable and excited to show us various soil profiles and the differences in natural communities that went along with them. She gave us a lesson on the geologic history of Vermont and how it has implications for the soil and therefore the plants that are able to grow in the area.

Liz glowing like an angel.

We also did a lot of plant identification in the woods with Liz.

Friday, day 4, Flore brought our minds together with some stretching and read a poem called The Word. We planned our meals for our first camping trip. We then piled in the van, headed to Hannafords, got our ingredients, and headed to Oakledge by the water.

We gathered in the Forever Young Treehouse and discussed group dynamics and how to reach our maximum group potential.

Then we took a swim in Lake Champlain and ate lunch on the rocks. Next, we went to Centennial Woods to identify invasive plant species. The first week has been a great experience.  We can already tell we're going to learn a lot from both our teachers and peers. Can't wait for next weeks Wilderness First Aid training. Until next time bloggersphere.

Love: Nick and Shannon

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