Starting a Farm from Scratch: Part 1
by Chris Grataski
Roots School was founded in April of 2007 in order to provide high quality education in the skills and understandings of wilderness survival, place based awareness, tracking and naturalist studies, primitive living skills, and a wide variety of traditional self reliance skills. Soon after the birth of the school we began providing a variety of programs for youth in addition to our adult programs. We started with long term one-day-a-week programs and moved into summer camps and even a few weekend courses throughout the year. Our youth programs are mainly divided between children up to 13, and teenagers 14 and up.
We found quickly that in order to teach difficult skills, and to not dull the challenges down, we had to be able to work with each young student as an individual, and because of this we keep our staff to student ratio at least one staff to every five students. We have also chosen to hire very experienced staff, and to make sure that every group of children has direct contact with instructors who have been teaching in the field for many years. In the case we do hire new staff they are always paired with long term instructors.
The journey of working with children and teenagers as well as their families is extremely rewarding, as we get to engage and become a part of each student's life and history, and what shapes them into the adults they will become.