Last weekend saw the 11th Wilderness Gathering. Fellow trainee Instructor Trooper and I were responsible for the running and setup of the Woodlife Trails stand as one of our assessments.
Woodlife Trails Exhibition Tent
The team also consisted of Pablo, Hannah, JP and Beccy. JP and Beccy brought long a small part of their menagerie that was Spock the Ashy Faced Barn owl, Harry the Harris Hawk and three Ferrets.
Spock The Ashy Faced Barn Owl
The stand consisted of lots of examples of feeding sign, scat and not forgetting the Famous Woodlife Trails “Table of Death” as it has become know (no animals were harmed in the making of the table of death, it consists of donated items, natural death and road kill animals). This table gives people the chance to touch and feel the, skulls and fur, examine the feet that leave the compressions shapes that we so often track.
Trooper and I were also responsible for running a session for the kids called Nature Detectives. Initially we showed and spoke to the kids about feeding signs, scat, looking for tracks and trails. After this it was off to the woodland to find some real life examples. Well the kids did really well. They found various feeding signs including shells, feathers and bones. Depressions in leaf litter around a pile of logs creating a visible run made by a mouse entering and exiting its home. Another sign of mouse was a nice clear band around the base of a tree with feeding sign.
This for me was one of the most enjoyable sessions of the weekend. To see the kids so enthusiastic and taking in all the knowledge imparted on then and then putting it to use was fantastic.
This year Woodlife Trails ran the Master Class on Night Tracking. Again the whole team was involved and we each gave a talk / demo on various subjects which encompassed the subject of Night Tracking. There was a mix of participants from ex-military, deer stalkers to others with no experience at all. This was another very enjoyable session / experience on our journey to becoming instructors with very good feedback from the participants at the end.
One surprise for those of us that completed the first year of the Woodlife Trails Diploma was a presentation prior to the Master class where we were awarded a certificate and necklace made from antler engraved with concentric circles, this I will wear with pride. It wasn’t an easy first year but with the standard set by JP & Pablo you wouldn’t expect anything else.. Cheers Guys.
It was great to catch up with Tribe guys, old friends but also making some new.