Three-day workshop for women upcoming
UTICA — Jason Thompson is a survival skills educator.
Even though he has a youthful look about him, don’t let it fool you. He’s been at this for over 13 years.
He will soon share his love of the outdoors when he teaches several sections of Starved Rock’s upcoming “Outdoor Woman’s Workshop.”
Scheduled for May 18-20, the three-day fun-filled weekend is designed for women to learn non-traditional skills in a non-threatening environment.
Workshop topics include archery; basic fishing and boating; bird watching and wildflowers; backpacking; fly-fishing and tying; garden mosaics; a geological walk of Starved Rock State Park; basic horsemanship, awareness and tracking, plus native tools and plants (taught by Thompson); photography; outdoor cooking, principles of fire making (taught by Thompson), upland bird hunting; medicinal plants; women with power tools; edible plants and basket weaving.
“When I watch one of my students light a fire with two sticks for the first time, it’s like watching a kid ride a bike or hit a homerun for the first time,” said Thompson.
“It’s spiritually renewing to share my passion for primitive human instincts in a way that reconnects people with nature; it brings out the ancient spirit in all of us, even if we don’t have Native American roots.”
Thompson, a full-time literature teacher at a local elementary school, is a life-long outdoorsman who credits Tom Brown, Jr. (America’s renowned wilderness survival and tracking expert) as his mentor.
Last year, the Lodge piloted a series of non-traditional events, one of which was the Outdoor Woman’s Workshop. Thompson will lead the outdoor survival modules within the workshop (introductory and intermediate levels) as well as Outdoor Survival Skills classes, which include a variety of instruction ranging from rope-making, primitive hunting, bow-drill and hand-drill fire making, edible/medicinal plants and more.
Thompson summarized his philosophy of teaching by saying, “What I do helps to preserve a lost way of life as it opens people’s hearts and minds to a simple way of life. ... Many of us are searching for a way to reduce day-to-day stress, so this has the potential to change the way you look at the world around you.”
“It’s all part of our goal to create enriching activities that make a two or three-day stay worthwhile,” said Edna Daugherty, Activities Director.
“We never stop looking for great educators and entertainers. We even became certified to train teachers through a ‘Flying Wild’ program which focuses on birding. Whether it’s family-friendly fireside stories or corporate teambuilding events, we try to provide memories that last a lifetime.
The Outdoor Woman’s Workshop is $195 per person. In addition to the workshops, six meals and two nightly activities and transportation to all workshops are included, but the price does not include overnight accommodations.
Advanced sign up and registration are necessary. Call Daugherty at (800) 868-7625 ext. 386 for more information.