NORTH Shield- Distillation and Integration.
The days have shortened and darkness rules the land. With the cold north winds blowing, winter is upon us. It’s a time when living in the natural world calls on your skills to survive. In the past, winters could be so harsh that your age was determined by how many you’ve lived through. The NORTH is about sharing the wisdom from your life experience and stepping into the role of an elder in your community.
In the curriculum of the NORTH Shield, we focus on survival and long-term wilderness living skills. We do things like fire making, shelter building, purifying water, and more primitive living solutions. We also focus on Trees. They are used to make fire and shelter. They are used to make our weapons and many other tools. Trees also provide water and medicine. Look around your house and count how many things are made out of wood.
Though it is great to be self-sufficient and able to survive by yourself, we find that thriving in community fulfills a great human need. Being able to communicate effectively in a stressful situation is a valuable survival tool. While the “lone survivor” is often portrayed in movies and television, humans evolved to survive in community. At Anake Outdoor School we focus heavily on group survival.
This Shield is about integration and distillation. It’s important to have a big picture view of your process and what you have learned. You now have the ability to creatively and adaptively respond with whatever resources are available. Your skills are deeply engrained in your muscle memory. You are able to calmly respond in a challenging situation. Through experience you become self-sufficient and highly capable with your skills. You also develop empowered interdependence and become stronger when part of a team.
On a facilitation team the NORTH is the team lead. They develop and coordinate the big picture. They support all other team members in their tasks. The NORTH keeps a pulse on the vision and mission of the program to make sure it is running smoothly. They manage any challenges that may arise on the team, within the students, or in the greater community.
You have been through a lot on this journey. In the plant cycle the NORTH is represented by the seed. When are the fruit has rotted away, what genetics will be carried forward for the future generations? In our life cycle, we enter into Elderhood. What lessons are most important to teach the up and coming generations? As we enter into the winter, what skills and tools are most important to ensure our survival? Many people may not make it this far in their learning or life journey so it is important to recognize and learn from those who have. We are nearing the end of our journey. But at the end starts a new beginning.
Learn more by coming to visit our Adult Program, The Anake Outdoor School