Starting a Farm from Scratch: Part 1
by Chris Grataski
When your child is with us, we understand their safety is our first responsibility and we take that seriously. One of the first things we do with every new group is to teach hazard awareness of the landscape that is our classroom such as poison ivy, ticks, spiders, etc. We follow a safety protocol regarding the use of all sharp or edged tools. All students are require to pass a safety test specific to that tool (knife, saw, awl,etc.) before using it, and all tools are used under supervision. This is true for other risk oriented activities that involve risk such as tree-climbing, or making and using throwing sticks or atl-atls and archery. Since accidents can happen, at every program there is at least one staff member present in each group who has current wilderness medical training. Our staff carries radios, and when applicable cell phones and all of our locations are close enough to not be considered "back country". There is no deep water swimming at Roots, any water activities are carefully supervised in wading deep streams and small rivers. We take pride in creating a safe environment for our students to experience the growth and self-discovery that comes from taking risks.
All of this being said you kids may come home with the occasional minor cut, bruise, scrape, or burn. Running and playing, hiking in the woods, and learning to use tools all come with natural consequences. As much as we address risk management, we cannot let the kids enjoy the natural world with out being exposed to minor risks. It is pushing up against minor risks that allows them to learn the natural consequence of not being careful with their bodies.