Meet our campers (part 2): Brant MacDuff

1 Comment

Meet our campers (part 2): Brant MacDuff

Brant MacDuff is a taxidermist and wildlife educator. He gives tours at the American Museum of Natural History and lectures on the history of taxidermy and conservation. He hates Baby on Board stickers, loves Ferdinand the Bull, and makes delicious bacon chocolate chip cookies.

Project Woodchips: What made you sign up for camp? 
Brand MacDuff: I love working outside and collecting new skills. This was the perfect opportunity for me to try something new that included a lot of my favorite things (trees, sharp objects, and plaid.)

PW: What was your favorite part about camp? 
BM: Climbing the pole like a Brazilian spider monkey. And getting to drive some draft horses through the woods to haul logs. 

PW: What are you hoping to get out of it this year?
BM:
I want to get better at everything I tried last year, and hopefully pick up some more new skills. Also, maple syrup. They make the best maple syrup I’ve ever had there, and I’m going to buy gallons of it this time. 

PW: What advice do you have for someone coming for the first time? 
BM:
This is a working vacation, get ready to sweat. Also, save room in your bag for maple syrup.

1 Comment

Meet our campers: Cait Dunn

Comment

Meet our campers: Cait Dunn

Project Woodchips: What made you sign up for camp? 

Cait Dunn: I met co-founder Caitlin doing strongman competitions, and she invited me on the first Project Woodchips trip in 2016. I have a love for weird sports and I love being outside. She knew I would love it.

PW: What keeps you coming back? 

CD: I personally love "active" vacations, I'm not a lounge in a pool chair type person. The experience is like none other, it's so easy to just get lost in it and forget about your daily grind back home. First, the Adirondacks are gorgeous. Second, the professors and instructors love sharing their knowledge, you can tell they love what they do. Each day is planned out with a mix of activities, so I can learn new things and also build on what I learned last year. 

PW: What are you hoping to learn or get better at this year? 

CD: I would like to get better at chopping and sawing so I can hopefully try my hand at competing for the first time. And maybe conquer my paralyzing fear of the speed climb. Maybe.

PW: What advice do you have for someone coming for the first time? 

CD: Be ready to work hard! We are constantly moving from breakfast to dinner. It's a ton of fun, but also tiring. You will be ready for bed once the sun goes down. Also, sunscreen and bug spray are gold.

PW: How do people react when you tell them you're going away to woodsman camp? 

CD: Most people have no idea what it is! Then they get super interested and ask me to tell them all about it. Then they ask for pictures/video and basically think I am the coolest person ever, which is cool with me. So many people have said "I'd love to do that too!" 

Comment

Meet a Professional Woodchopper

Comment

Meet a Professional Woodchopper

Nathan "Bucket" Waterfield makes woodchopping look easy. The STIHL Timbersports pro remembers growing up watching real-life Paul Bunyans on TV swing shiny axes, run giant modified chainsaws, and chop their way up a tree while standing on wooden boards.  Now, he's one of them. And he's also the world's most patient coach--last summer he visited the Project Woodchips Woodsman Camp and spent hours helping us (attempt to) nail our chopping technique. Fresh off from competing in Australia, Nathan shared some words of woodchopping wisdom. 

Comment

Meet a Professional Lumberjack: Erin LaVoie

Comment

Meet a Professional Lumberjack: Erin LaVoie

Erin LaVoie is a badass. The record-holding professional lumberjack athlete has been a fixture at competitions since she first started chopping in college. As if that's not enough, she's also a CrossFit Athlete and the owner of Predation CrossFit in Spokane, WA. In June, we'll have the unenviable honor of going up against her at the first ever Stihl Timbersports Women's Qualifier  (about time, fellas). As we ramp up our training, we sat down with Erin for some inspiration. 

Comment

Meet a Farmer: Joe Orefice

Comment

Meet a Farmer: Joe Orefice

You know that cool professor you had in college? The one who made you feel like everything you learned had a purpose and made you want to go try it out? Joe Orefice is the quintessential badass professor. He taught us how to pole climb, bake bread over a campfire, and bail out of a flooding canoe. In his spare time, he just happens to run his own farm in Saranac Lake, where you'd be hard pressed to stump him about anything that grows from the land. Recently named Director of the Uihlein Forest and Northern New York Maple Specialist(!) for Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources, he's had a busy 2017 already, but we managed to catch him in a quiet moment to pick his brain about what it takes to be a modern farmer. 

Comment

Saying goodbye to a friend

4 Comments

Saying goodbye to a friend

Project Woodchips has brought so many great people into our lives—many with experiences and backgrounds so unlike ours; all of them generous and real. But there was only one Scott MacBlane, and it breaks our hearts to say goodbye to him so soon.   

4 Comments

Meet an archer: Brandon Ramos

Comment

Meet an archer: Brandon Ramos

It's no secret that we're big fans of Gotham Archery. They've partnered with us to introduce woodsman skills to Brooklynites during our first demo, and they're partnering with us again on October 7, as the hosts of our first-ever hands-on class in Brooklyn. So we wanted you to get to know them better—by introducing you to one of their rad archery instructors, Brandon Ramos. 

Comment

Pack your bags! The woodsman packing list

Comment

Pack your bags! The woodsman packing list

Packing is a life skill. A well-packed bag has everything you will need (and some things you hope to not need) without weighing you down.

We put together a basic packing list based on what we recommend bringing to the Project Woodchips Getaway this summer, but you can use it for any outdoor trip where you don't have to worry about shelter or cooking supplies (we've got yurts and kitchens on the Paul Smith's beautiful Adirondacks campus). 

Download, check things off, color in the little icons if it pleases you (look at that tiny flashlight!). Did we miss anything? Let us know what else you're always sure to pack. 

Comment

Meet a craftsman: Robert Penn

Comment

Meet a craftsman: Robert Penn

Long before he became a successful author, journalist, and TV presenter, Rob Penn was a kid with an ash tree in his backyard. After moving to the Welsh countryside and setting up a woodland community 14 years ago, Penn found himself reminiscing about his old tree and his latest book, The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, is a love letter to the ash, which has provided the raw material for everything from Achilles' spear in The Iliad to the bodies of London's Routemaster buses. In learning about the tree's secret history, Penn met with equally storied craftsmen who continue to connect human to nature by making things with their bare hands. Ahead of his book's US release next month, Penn sat down with us to answer some questions. 

Comment

Meet a woodsman: Justin Simmons Tamez

Comment

Meet a woodsman: Justin Simmons Tamez

Justin Tamez didn’t mean to become a woodsman, but it’s a good thing he did. Since first coming across timber sports as a high school senior scouting out colleges, he’s become a focused competitor on the Paul Smith’s Woodsmen Team, and is one of the most patient coaches we’ve ever met—trust us: he spent hours helping us improve our bow saw technique, and still talks to us.

Comment

Meet a primitive skills coach: Bethany Garretson

Comment

Meet a primitive skills coach: Bethany Garretson

There's more to do in the woods than throw axes and chop stuff with axes and talk with your friend about axes. In fact, there are some things that don't even involve axes (we've heard). That's why Bethany Garretson will be joining us at the Project Woodchips Getaway this July: She knows tons about primitive skills, from starting a fire with a bow drill to building a shelter out of available materials to making 

Comment