The Rugged AORians


Read Time: 2 Min

SO, what did we AORians learn during our Wilderness Survival Skills Course, led by our friends at the Cottonwood Institute? Well first off, after kicking and screaming and whining that this is sooooo not for me, I was quickly reminded how peaceful and relaxing our beautiful mountains are, and how I under-appreciated the great outdoors of late. All in all, the ‘Sit Spot” time was amazing. I mean, how often do you hangout in a beautiful place, completely detached from the world and out of range of technology, on a work day, and think…look…smell…breathe? AAAAAH.

Sure we learned all sorts of vital survival things (thanks to our fearless leaders – Ford and Kristin) like: the difference between Flat Fir and Spikey Spruce; when and why to use the the valuable neon orange shovel; the definition of “splatter cakes” and why thigh muscles are so important; a great introduction to the Admiral and the Peabodys; how to build a Teepee fire vs. a Self-feeding fire – BUT NOT DURING A STATE WIDE FIRE BAN; and the importance of the number 3.

The all-important orange shovel…

There was also a wildly competitive shelter building contest, a water straining demo, interpretive outdoor human sculpture, teachings on the many uses of the cottonwood tree, a really cool bow drill and fire board demonstration, an amazing lunch full of energizing goodies (some I forgot how much I love), etc, etc, etc.

But all in all, a firsthand education of outdoor survival skills, with a group of people who I both like and admire deeply…now that was a great way to spend the day.

To learn more or experience this for yourself, go to

And click here to read Ford Church’s take on AOR’s day in the wilderness (including the most-important result of the day: which AOR team won the all-important Oskar Blues round-buying contest.)

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