Creating A “Teaching Village” In the Forest
Zoë Van Nostrand, May 6, 2016
A few weeks back, I sent Primitive Pursuits Co-Founder Jed Jordan an email asking for a few spare minutes to interview him about his work up at the Arnot Forest.
For the first time in our 15-plus year history we can offer long term programs for youth development and nature mentoring. With an expansive forest space, that has 13 cabins, a bathhouse, office, and main lodge we also have the opportunity to invite nature educators from around the world to train with us, and trade methods and skills. Jed expressed his excitement at the potential of creating a “teaching village”, a concept that pairs beautifully with Arnot’s long history of research and outdoor education programs with Cornell University.
One of the most powerful realizations for Primitive Pursuits as we passed the 15 year mark, is the recognition that our earliest students have been adults for many years now. And that some are continuing to pursue and share the primitive skills and wilderness awareness they learned with us as children. Arnot, with its infrasctructure and expansive wilderness, allows us to have a physical home and grounding space for this growing community.
In our first few weeks and months establishing our relationship with this glorious forest the potential for what our 10-year lease could mean is glowing with possibility. Right now though it’s all hands on deck repairing winter damage, stocking the office and kitchen with supplies, and creating a greater degree familiarity with the land and it’s local inhabitants, including a bear who has been spotted several times in recent months. Bear tracking anyone?