Tomahawks, arrows and fishingPublished 10:25am Friday, July 12, 2013
Hormel Nature Center holds survival class for area youth
Sixteen students tested their survival skills this week by attending the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center’s Heritage Survival Class.
Participants are fishing, making fire and learning what it takes to survive in the wild. It gives those children an introduction to living in the wild and how earlier humans lived.
“There’s a little bit of everything for different interests,” said Larry Dolphin, director at the Nature Center.
The Nature Center has offered the five-day program for more than 20 years. This year, fishing and an extra day were added to the schedule.
“We added an extra day because there was too much to do,” Dolphin said.
In previous years, fishing was a seperate class, but it was added with the Heritage Survival Class this year thanks to a $500 donation made by the Noon Kiwanis Club. The Nature Center used the money to buy fishing rods and tackle which will remain at the Nature Center.
“We do things for kids and kids programs,” said Noon Kiwanis Club president Dave Sorlie. “It gives you a good feeling to be able to help these kids.”
Another important aspect to the program is learning about the history of Native Americans. Storyteller Kevin Strauss talked to students about different tribes and the stories of their people. The class also included Dan Block’s demonstration on how to use an ancient spear-throwing tool called the atlatl.
“If we know our past, we can make better decisions about our future,” Dolphin said. “Our time here is very short compared to them.”
Participant Nathan Grav was fascinated by learning about the past and taking a class that provided activities that he enjoyed.
“We did tomahawk and arrow throwing, which are all things I love,” Grav said.
Along with many other participants, Grav’s favorite activity was firebuilding, but it was a tough decision to pick just one favorite.
“I like the choices we have,” he said.
Second-year participant Jacob Venenga enjoyed learning to survive and being in the wilderness.
“I like nature and learning about it,” Venenga said.
The class will ends today with a morning canoe ride and an afternoon campfire and cookout celebration for the survivors of the class
“It’s been a good crew this year,” Dolphin said. “These guys are hanging in there, even though we caught our last fish 30 minutes ago.”