Museums and Nature Centers

Natural History and Native American Museums as well as Nature Centers naturally draw in those who seek a connection to the past and to the natural world. Roots can provide programs in the form of primitive skills demonstrations, lectures, and workshops through museums and nature centers throughout New England.

ROOTS is committed to fitting your needs by designing workshops, demonstrations, and lectures around the setting in which they are taught. If you wish for us to modify a pre-existing class, or simply run one at your location, that is an option as well.

Please contact us for further information or to begin to design and plan a class for your organization.

Sample Day Programs

 Introduction to Primitive Technology and Ancient Living Skills

This day of study gives students an experiential look at ROOTS school’s offerings. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of primitive skills through an interactive gallery of hand-crafted stone-age tools. In addition, ROOTS staff facilitates three workshop stations throughout the course of the day.

 In workshop station 1, students will be introduced to the fundamental skills of friction fire-making. The components of the bow drill apparatus are explained through demonstration. Students learn how to manufacture the bow drill kit and are instructed in the form and techniques that are essential in order to produce an ember that will then create fire.

 In station 2, Tracking and Awareness, students learn the basics of several arts of tracking: track and sign positive identification, interpretation, aging, and trailing. Students are lead through the landscape finding tracks and sign of the animals whose lives can be better understood through the stories they leave behind. Through sensory-based exercises and practical field time students quickly learn that the use of awareness and tracking are one and the same.

 At station 3, introduction to cordage and the fiber arts, students learn how to identify fiber-producing plants, as well as extract and process their fibers. From these fibers students learn the reverse wrap technique for manufacturing cordage ranging from fishing line to rope. We use cordage of some sort daily; here is a chance to learn how to make it from the landscape.

 Following the workshop rotations there is a closing lecture with a question and answer session.

Outline:

1. Orientation and Introduction to the world of Primitive Technology and survival skills.

 2. Workshop Stations: Friction Fire; Tracking and Awareness; Fibers and Cordage

student groups rotate through each station for a pre-determined period of time.

3. Closing Lecture and Q&A session.

Tracking and Awareness

Arguably the oldest human science, tracking takes human cerebral abilities to their ultimate limits. So much more than simply answering questions, tracking is an entirely new way of looking at the world. Tracking asks us to push our awareness, ask penetrating questions, and always keep an open mind. It applies on the city streets and the deepest forests. The class will cover the basics of tracking such as clear print identification, gait studies and interpretation, sign tracking, cluster tracking and much more. As well as tracking we will discuss the importance of awareness and learn ancient techniques of how to open our senses and observe a greater depth in the world around us.

 In workshop station 1, Clear Print Identification, students learn how to identify clear prints through the process of elimination. Lessons on food morphology, habitat and habits, sexual dimorphism, diet and more will empower the students in this process.

 In station 2, Trail Interpretation, students learn to read the stories left by the animals through gait analysis and pattern recognition. This is where a series of marks on the ground begin to add up to a narrative that gives the tracker a unique glimpse into the lives of animals.

 In workshop station 3, Track & Sign Aging, students learn to distinguish fresh sign from less recent activity. Once the basics are grasped, we will look at ways to more accurately pinpoint the time in which the track was made. This workshop station also covers the identification of sigh left on plants, trees, and other non-foot print tracks on the ground.

 In station 4, Trailing, students learn to follow a series of tracks over a variety of substrates. We will learn to see compression tracks in the leaf litter, as well as in the short and tall grass, dirt, and even on stones.

 Following the workshop rotations there is a closing lecture with a question and answer session.

Outline:

 1. Orientation to ROOTS School and Introduction to Tracking and Awareness.

 2. Workshop Stations:

Clear Print ID; Trail Interpretation; Track & Sign Aging; and Trailing

Student groups rotate through each station for a pre-determined period of time.

 3. Closing Lecture and Q&A session.

 

Wilderness Survival and Self Reliance

Shelter, Water, Fire, Food

This day of study is an immersion into the skills of wilderness survival. Students will learn the important role that attitude plays in survival situations, learn how to make an emergency shelter with only your hands and the materials from the landscape; locate, carry, filter and purify water without modern tools; build fire from friction; and find food on the landscape, both plant and animal.

 In workshop station 1, Survival Shelters, students learn the important principals regarding shelter, including: location, materials, hazards, and heat loss from convection, conduction and radiation. The details of constructing a debris hut survival shelter are covered experientially as the students collectively build one with an instructor.

 In workshop station 2, Friction Fire, students will be introduced to the fundamental skills of friction fire-making. The components of the bow drill apparatus are explained through demonstration. Students learn how to manufacture the bow drill kit and are instructed in the form and techniques that are essential in order to produce an ember that will then create fire.

 In station 3, Drinking Wild Water, students learn how to locate, carry, filter, and purify water from the landscape without the use of modern tools. A discussion about water-born pathogens and chemical hazards leads into the construction of a “primitive” charcoal water filter, followed by the process of boiling water with fired stones.

 In station 4, Food from the Wild, students learn to identify the top 10 wild edible plants, as well as common toxic plants. Primitive hunting skills for survival situations are introduced in the following skill sets: stalking and movement, natural camouflage, primitive weapons and their use, and primitive traps.

Following the workshop rotations there is a closing lecture with a question and answer session.

Outline:

1. Orientation to ROOTS School and Introduction to the world of Wilderness Survival.

 2. Workshop Stations:

Survival Shelters; Friction Fire; Drinking Wild Water; and Food from the Wild.

Student groups rotate through each station for a pre-determined period of time.

 3. Closing Lecture and Q&A session.