Rewild Camp Portland Weekly Debrief

This thread is going to serve as a place for me to talk about what’s going on at Rewild Camp Portland and answer questions about running the event.

Today was the second Sunday in row of hosting Rewild Camp. Last week we had about 10 people, each working on a different skill. This week the weather was very bad. Just pouring and pouring rain today. But I persisted and held space anyway and it’s a good thing that I did because 3 people actually showed up just as I was packing up my things! We chatted about Language Revitalization (he was part Klamath and wants help revitalizing it) while his 5 year old son shot at a coffee cup with a make shit bow and arrow. Before anyone came I worked on a Cedar bark Quiver for my arrows, processed the rest of the Cedar bark for a plaited basket (once Perere shows me his technique!). I also worked on mixing up some clay that I dug out of a cave at the beach about a month ago. It needs some work but I did the noodle-bend test and I think it’s good stuff. I’m planning on making a big cooking pot and maybe a few mugs for Rewild Camp. I also looked more closely at the Ocean Spray shoots I collected for arrow shafts yesterday. I’ve got 10 of them I think maybe half will work out well. I’m going to fire straighten them soon but I need an arrow straightening stone. I also couldn’t finish my Cedar bark quiver because I forgot my Flint-Knapping kit and I needed to make a hand-drill with a stone tip for drilling through the bark (you have to drill, not poke through, poking causes it to split). An old friend of mine from Boy Scouts came and we caught up. I’m looking forward to nicer weather and more people sharing skills and crafts next week!

Another successful rewild camp this week.

Hard to count the number of people there, since a lot of them were kids and were playing, but there were about… 10 people there. Perere has really brought the bow-making/arrow-making element to rewild camp. He’s infected us with the bug! We’re all talking about bringing stalves to the next one. I taught three women how to make pine needle baskets. I processed more of the clay… made a new stone drill… Tony straightened some arrows… Garth worked on a bow-drill and we all shot arrows at some point. It was great.

I now have several teaching kits. A bow-drill kit. A pine needle basket kit (or rather coiling basket kit). A flint-knapping kit. I’m going to eventually put pics of them up here with lists of what’s in them to get people the idea for how to make your own.

After I experiment more with clay and pottery I think I’ll have a kit for that. Also Plaiting basket kit is up next. The twining style of baskets is difficult to build a kit for because of the sheer size (long willows) of the raw materials. However I do have a soaking pit in my backyard at this point so I may utilize that in some way or other. Arrow making kit will be nice… Perere is showing us the bow-making kit… I’ve got some brain-tanning stuff but am working with a friend on creating a small bark-tanning kit as well. I’ve got some leather working stuff too that I would like to expand on.

I bought 10 knives on a wholesale website the other day because no matter how many times I tell people to bring knives, they never do. So now I’ve got 10 knives that are pretty decent.

I’ve had a few people offer their house/yard as possible places for rewild camp now and I’m thinking I may switch things up a bit. I like the Archery range in Portland for several reasons. It’s a built-in activity first and foremost. But also, archers generally like the craft aspect of rewiding and when they see homemade bows and arrows they get excited (well, not the compound bow assholes haha). But also because we sort of take over the trail and hikers have to walk through us and they generally stop and talk with us about what we are doing. It’s a way of built-in marketing too and that’s good because I hate having to do anything that goes out of the way to market stuff. And it’s not like I’m getting paid to do this. There have been a few people who have donated cash (and now I’m charging for materials) and that’s going to help build more of the desired kits above.

Not sure what else to report on other than I’m thinking of making a schedule now… but it might also steal from the freedom and relaxed feel of the camp. But I feel like a schedule might bring more people. Not sure.

This week… Photos! After much thought about pictures at rewild camps, I decided to say “fuck it” and take some photos. Check it out.

The spread:

Perere works on Bow, Garth works on Bow-drill:

Scout gettin his archery on:

Garth gettin HIS archery on:

Noah preparing for battle:

Pics from last week’s camp:

Today’s photos.







Scout making mullet brush

Well, I didn’t really keep up on this thread. You can look at photos from Rewild Camp over the past year at our blog:

Wow. It’s funny looking back at this now!

We are officially sponsored by Portland Parks and Recreation and we changed the name from Rewild Camp to Rewild Skillshare to Rewild Free Skills Series. With official sponsorship, we get donated permits for the event and provide free education to the public and parks employees. Since it’s environmental education, they can write it off as free staff training which is great! We both benefit.

We now get about 30-40 people at each Skill Series. Our donations fluxuate a bit but generally $35-150 depending on theme, class, size of skill series. These funds don’t even come close to paying for all the admin funds to run the non-profit, but that’s what our fundraisers are for. :slight_smile:

Camp made it sound like a camp out.
Skillshare made it sound like you had to have a skill to share.

We’re at “Free Skills Series” now, because it’s more like a free class. We changed from open class to monthly themes. This seems to be the best and easier way of doing things. Check out our webpage for the Free Skills Series now:

That is really awesome about the PP&R sponsorship! And being able to offer folks free classes is super awesome too.

But I hope there will be plenty of opportunities for actual Rewild skillshares and actual Rewild campouts as well!

I look forward to a time when my responsibilities might allow me time to participate in something along the lines of the wilderness hike/adventure the Rewild staff did recently. But I’m really sad I missed that one night camp out at Joyce Lake! I really wanted to be able to bring my kid to that sort of thing, and he loves camping, but it just felt a bit too challenging for a 6 yr old, (too far away, too remote).

I chatted with another Rewild community parent with similar feelings, and we really want to try organizing a short, family-friendly camping trip/skill share for families in the community. It would be much closer to Portland, just 1 or 2 nights, and probably somewhere with access to bathrooms and running water. The summer break is almost over, so we would want to schedule it on a weekend when Portland Public Schools has a Monday or Friday off, so families with kids in the PPS system could attend too.

And of course, we would welcome folks without kids to come camp with us and share skills with us as well! We just want the event to focus on the specific needs of families with kids first.

And in addition to sharing crafting-skills, I think it would be really great to have the opportunity at such an event to share ideas and insights on Rewilding parenting, and family and community.