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Howdy Folks of Great Hollow,

I’m Daniel Quiray, and this spring I’ll be helping Greg with teaching the Wilderness Skills Class.  For over a decade I’ve been actively involved in learning, practicing, and teaching “primitive” skills, the skills that indigenous people worldwide have used to live for thousands of years.  In particular the physical technologies and gathering of plant materials have interested me and consumed many hours of my time.  I also spend a lot of time foraging, kayaking, and exploring, on top of reading and writing and occasionally making my own hair-gel (after all, not all of wilderness living is subsistence).

As a recent graduate of Rhode Island College’s School of Anthropology, I gained invaluable experience and insight into the traditional lifeways of indigenous people throughout the world, but especially those in our own backyard.  This education has dovetailed nicely with my long held interest in primitive and wilderness living, as well as my belief that living sustainably and in tune with our landbases is important not only for our own satisfaction but for the freedom and wellbeing of the rest of our human and non-human relations.

I see these skills as the base, the roots, that allows us to create cultures in tune with the rest of the world, cultures in which people live freely.  From these roots we can grow a healthy tree.  I’m very glad to have the opportunity to work with a great group of people doing something so important, and I’m sure I’ll have a great time with all of the young people enrolled.  I look forward to a future in which we’re once again free to live indigenously, and I’m excited to play a part in that.

See you in the woods!

Daniel N. Quiray

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Hi Great Hollow Friends,

My name is Darcey Blue French, and I’ll be teaching at Great
Hollow this spring in the Jr. Naturalist and Scouts programs!   I have
spent much of my life, both during childhood and as an adult enjoying,
learning about, and getting deeply intimate with the wild, natural
places on our great Earth.  I am an herbalist, and nutritionist by
trade, but deeply passionate about wild medicines, wild foods, and
deep nourishment of the body, mind and spirit through connection with
nature, and our relationships with plants, animals, water, food and
place.

I’ve worked in and studied the natural world and nature skills in
various ways over the years, including backcountry work for the Forest
Service, primitive/wilderness skills courses, camping, backpacking,
wild plant identification, wild foods preparation and cooking, nature
awareness, ecology, organic gardening and more!

I’m deeply honored and excited to be able to work closely with the
children and parents of Great Hollow to awaken, deepen, and nourish
the love, understanding and living experience of nature, wilderness
and the Earth.  I am so hopeful for our future when I think of
children and families who are knowledgeable, confident and empowered
to value themselves, their connections to life, the people in their
community and the ecosystem in which they live.  Looking forward to
meeting you all very soon and having adventures aplenty in the fields
and forests of Great Hollow!

~Darcey Blue French

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Fire TendingStaff training was great. As I write this, Wilderness Skills, is already in the woods on their first day. I’ll admit, I watch them go by and a wave of pride and happiness washes over me as they slowly disappear into the trees, with their packs donning handmade bow drills and laces of twirled Milkweed cordage. The land seems to breathe them in as invited company.ST on trail Our fearless leaders this Fall are ready. Most of them you may know, as they are already seasoned Great Hollow staff. This made for an incredibly rewarding and rich training, as everyone had plenty to share and many regulations had already been learned. 
Staff contemplationHere, we have (left to right) Greg, Broch, Ingmar and Joe, discussing various plants suitable for cordage, tinder, and the myriad uses for Artemisia Vulgaris; our locally abundant Mugwort. GRbee The bees hummed along. 
Ingmar harvest packWe toured the trails and blazed some new ones. Beaver bridgeWe stopped to learn about some of the important flora and fauna in the area, and how they affect their surroundings. Fearless leaders 1We practiced looking cool for the kids. Fearless leaders 2… and practiced looking closely; at mystery flowers, beautiful moths, and differentiated toxic plants versus safe plants. We planned games, brainstormed new projects, and taught each other skills.Sweet Everlasting

Staff Training fall 09 004

seed

Staff Training fall 09 024

Here they are! Clockwise starting at left: Greg & Broch, (Skills, Pioneers & JNats) Ingmar (Micros), Jen & Patrick (Scouts), Joe (fort security and inoculations of philosophy and play), and Emily(Challenge and Micros).

Patrick is new to Great Hollow, but comes to us with a wealth of experience as an Eagle Scout, certified lifeguard, skilled archer backpacker, and teacher, all at the accomplished young age of 16. In addition, Patrick has also been homeschooled throughout his life. Welcome Patrick!

Dave managed to escape from the Camera but he is ready for, well, a lot of challenge!  And Joe will be filling in during absences since the Explorers is not running. Thank you Joe! You always fill the Meadows and Woods with joy.

Welcome to Autumn!

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ARE YOU, or some one you know…..

~Passionate about Nature? 

~Concerned about caretaking our Earth?

~Great with kids?

~High energy, creative, motivated to make a difference?

~Knowledgeable about Nature and/or primitive skills and excited to provoke other’s curiosities?

~Passionate about education reform, or alternative education?

Looking for a place to integrate and apply your gifts? Come to Great Hollow!

 

Whole Earth Homeschool is hiring! Come and be a part of a unique and vibrant community of families and educators committed to Nature and to experiential learning. We offer nearly 900 acres of breathtaking land to learn from… replete with rivers, forest, field, bogs mountains, trails, abundant wildlife and rich biodiversity. 

Our team of staff members provide training, curriculum and leadership support, and supplemental development resources to help feed your passion and further your personal growth.

Harvest an incredible experience of reciprocity, challenge and endless fun.

Contact me (Ananda, coordinator) or print out an application and send it in. (please note that the forward does not address the Homeschool program, but rather the regular GH staff – the below forms are what we need.

The schedules are on the calendar linked above if you need dates. 

In Green ~ Ananda

black-ash-baskets

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Ahh yess……. back at the hollow……

We are stepping into the new semester with fruiting ideas and energy, in tandem with the ripe concords, the juicy Russian Olives, and crisp heirloom apples. The breeze whispers invisible lessons of growth, discovery and ancient ways of walking the land.

Within half an hour they were no where to be seen….. traces in the barn of supplies collected, a walkie talkie brought, the pencil box opened and wrappers peeled back from a fresh package of moleskine journals. With hillsides rich in diversity, there wasn’t a chance of missing something astonishing. Stored in the mentors minds are basketfulls of questions and clues just ready …. open to the learning that unearths at any moment. Multiple animal tracks and traces were found and recorded, plants were identified and gathered, and teamwork was practised and tested. A first day foundation is built.

……………..”Cue the music”………..welcome Melissa!

Personally, I can’t help but hear the Allman Brothers’ “Sweet Melissa” when I see her. A bright, shining light of wonder and cheer, Melissa brings us a background in education but a present moment of openness and excitement. Let’s just say Melissa and Ethan are both very lucky – not to mention us!

OK – this really goes without any special narration. Just a goofy celebration of a great first day!

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Hi! My name is Dave Schneiderbeck, and I will be leading this years Wilderness Challenge program at Great Hollow. I’m 38, and have lived in the area since 1982, first in New Fairfield, and after college, Sherman. I currently own and have run Rizzos Garage in the center of Sherman for the past eleven years.  

Besides having played outside in the woods most of life, I am also an accomplished mountain bike racer, rock climber, swimmer, and canoeist. I have also skydived, and I am a certified scuba diver and Medical Response Technician. I also am a board member and trail steward of the Nairomi Land Trust . I completed an Outward Bound program as an adolescent in the Adirondack Mountains, which to this day remains on of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I hope to instill some of the lessons I picked up there in your children, while having a good time as well!

 

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