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Sanding a bow. Creating seashell jewelry. Making coals with a bow drill.
Those are just a few of the things my kids have been up to this week, at Between the Rivers.
What Is Between the Rivers?
Between the Rivers is a gathering focusing on primitive skills for self-sufficiency. It’s held annually on our property in late spring.
Instructors come from all around to pass their wisdom onto students. Over the past five years, it’s been amazing to watch it grow.
What Do We Do at BTR?
I’d love to camp with everyone at the gathering, spend the whole week up on the hillside, and fully participate in the classes. Increasing my self-sufficiency is definitely something of interest to me.
But, this season of life isn’t right for me to take classes during the weekdays when Bryan is working. Someday it will be, and at the rate it’s growing, I’m sure Between the Rivers will still be around. 😀
Until then, I let the kids enjoy it for me. I love their enthusiasm, and hearing all about their adventures!
Jayme especially looks forward to this week. She heads up in the morning, comes back home for lunch, and then heads up for a full afternoon of learning. Over the years she’s made a bow, carved soapstone, and practiced making fire. Along with a whole host of other amazing things. Her favorite is the Teen’s Program. It’s each afternoon this year, and always a lot of fun.
Jeff, Ellie, and Sydney have been participating in Kid’s Camp. They play games, listened to presentations of skills by the various instructors, sanded down bows, and crafted with seashells. Sydney made these seashell earrings (love her creativity!)
Sydney showing off her seashell earrings at church tonight.
It’s been a busy week so far, with lots of running people back and forth to classes, but it’s worth it. The kids are enjoying so many activities, and I love that it’s at home. I mean, the kids can walk to camp if they want. When you live in the middle of nowhere, that’s kind of exciting!
And we can’t forget the porta potties. Simon is loving those things, and I’m sure he’ll be wondering where they went after camp is over! 😀
What Skills are Taught?
Between the Rivers instructors are so knowledgeable about so many things! So many of these skills used to be passed down regularly, but are not any longer. I love how willing to share the instructors are. It’s amazing just to sit nearby and listen to all the conversation and teaching.
Here’s a sampling of what skills are being taught:
- Brain tanning to turn deer skin into buckskin
- Medicinal herbs
- Basket weaving
- Tree Tapping
- Homemade salves
- Bow making
- Paddle making
- Fire starting
It really is quite the event, and I’m thankful that some of the kids have the opportunity to join in. I like Between the Rivers, even if I look like a crazy lady as I push Owen in his stroller while slinging Bryson and trying to keep tabs on the two toddlers. I really am having a good time! 😀
So, if you’re ever in Eastern Washington in late May, you should make it a point to register. There’s always a lot to learn, and a whole lotta fun! Click here for more information on Between the Rivers.
What Self-Sufficiency Skill Would You Most Like to Learn?
I really want to learn more about making medicinal salves and things from local plants. And I have to admit that brain tanning, though it sounds gross, sounds like an amazing skill to learn.
What self-sufficiency skill most interests you?