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Vaskebjørn 2018 keynote & Saturday Deep Dives 


Each year, Vaskebjørn invites thought leaders to highlight their visions for a childhood connected to wild spaces within communities of the midwest.  Members of Raintree School will be available to provide insight into our unique blend of reggio-inspired forest school. Registrants are invited to join this vibrant community to maximize networking opportunities and learn about the efforts your colleagues are making for children.

This year, Vaskebjorn is glad to bring Richard Louv to St. Louis for a thought-provoking, soul stirring keynote on OUR LIFE CHANGING ENCOUNTERS WITH OTHER ANIMALS, THE FUTURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER SPECIES.

Primitive Technology:
Matchless Fire
Wren Anjali
The craft of making fire calls out the ancient Fire-Keeper in all of us.  There is an art and finesse to this skill that gives us access to a range of primitive fire making methods.  Gathering with intention, we will bring our wisdom and power to light as we explore the materials and skills to create spark and coal, harnessing and bringing fire to life.  

Items to bring:  Any current fire-making tools, drinking water.

Please wear weather-appropriate non-synthetic clothing, closed-toe shoes 
Optional:  Bush-craft/survival knife, cushion for sitting and kneeling on the ground
Mushrooms and More: Edibles in the Wild
Angela Wildermuth
Angela Wildermuth is a Forest School teacher at Ambleside Academy, the Montessori Workplace, and Raintree School. She loves sharing her excitement for nature and wild edibles with children and leads pop up foraging adventures and family friendly workshops through her Facebook page, Urban Wild Adventures.  
This year she’ll be teaming up with a local mushroom expert to go more in depth on fall edibles. After learning what’s in season, the group will head out to hunt for some treasures, bring back the goods and cook them up for a tasting extravaganza!
Primitive Technology:
Functional Wildcraft
Gary Schimmelpfenig
Head out into wild nature to gather plant leaves and stems, vines, and native grasses to make cordage, mats and possibly even simple baskets. Under Gary's guidance we will imaginatively and playfully journey back in time when these skills were valuable. Gain tips and techniques on schoolyard plant possibilities and ways for students to create functional products.
Gary is your guru for this day-long class.  For over 45 years, Gary has served Missouri as a tireless steward of environmental education as a restoration biologist, field educator at Shaw Nature Reserve, Land Stewardship Coordinator, and classroom science specialist.
Tree Climb Facilitation for Outdoor Educators
Guy Mott
Certified arborist, wilderness first responder, and outdoor enthusiast Guy Mott is ready to take you up in the trees and teach you how to facilitate tree climbs with your students.
With a Masters of Education in Adventure Learning and years teaching ropes courses, Guy will help you learn the skills to help your students climb.
Learn the basics of setting lines, tying your climbing system, and a variety of  techniques for effective tree climbing.  From anchoring to safety practices, choosing the right climbing gear and tree assessment, you'll learn it all.
Storytelling to Communicate Content, Empathy, Mission, and Process
Jim Jordan

Stories join the head, heart and soul together and is one of the most powerful methods to make connections with your audience (students, parents, administrators, funders). Everyone is a storyteller and this workshop presents different forms from third-person theatrical characters to “how come” stories as well as stories to motivate supporters and funders. We will practice using an easy to implement structure to craft stories as well as examine the results of an action research storytelling project Jim conducted with educators. A field trip to the Zoo and Kennedy woods provides examples of telling in different settings.

Primitive Technology: Atlatl
Kevin Lohraff
One of humankind’s first mechanical inventions, the atlatl allowed early modern humans to throw a spear much faster, farther, and with greater force than before. Around 11,000 BC, people in the Americas used atlatls to hunt Pleistocene megafauna like mammoths and mastodons.
You, too, can hold the power of the atlatl in your hand, as you learn to make and use your own atlatl. We will forage in the woods at the Raintree school for materials, fashion our own atlatls
and spears (darts), and then put them to use.
Kevin Lohraff has been an outdoor skills education coordinator and education programs/curriculum supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He is currently the manager at Runge Conservation Nature Center.
Kevin Lohraff
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