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A New Workbench for TTC at Smokey House

Up to now we’ve made good use of old desks and tables for our projects in the classroom barn, but under the guidance of teacher-carpenter Robin Chesnut-Tangerman we have built a sturdy workbench to make our projects easier to manage.  We’re really proud of the end result!

Design came first, followed by measurements and cutting lists.

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We glued and screwed two layers of plywood together, built the frame, sanded and polyurethaned.
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IMG_0123We took the drawers off an old desk and installed them at one end of the workbench.  We bought a new lockable tool chest for the other end.

The boards for the shelving under the bench came from an old table that we tore apart, cut, and sanded.  We also made shelves for the end wall.  Underneath, we used flooring remnants to protect the old carpet.

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The finished product!

Wilderness First Aid at Smokey House

YouthWork & Learn students have been studying  survival skills this season, from fire and shelter building to emergency first aid.  This culminated in the official SOLO Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course, a two-day event resulting in certificates of completion for the students.  We now have four staff members fully certified in WFA, and all our students have experience dealing with emergency care.

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Doing a “chunk check” as part of the ABCDE’s of the primary survey

In reviewing what we did and learned, Dillon wrote:  [On February 27 and 28] “we had a wilderness first aid survival course. It was for 16 hours, 8 hours each on Thursday and Friday. The instructor was named Jeremy, and he is from New Hampshire. I learned about “ABCDE”, which stands for Air (or airflow), breathing, circulation, deformity and environment. This is how we treat a patient and the order we should go in.
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We debriefed after every hands-on practice.

We also did many outside learning practices with fake injured persons. The one that stood out was with Juanita, Jim (science teacher), John (participant), and others. Juanita’s car was in the middle of the parking lot, parked sideways in the middle. Juanita was laying on the car’s hood. It appeared a drunk driver (John) hit her and Jim as well,  as he was walking with his walking stick on the side of the road. People had fake blood/injuries on themselves. I was a part of the team helping Jim. I had to hold his head so it wouldn’t move.

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Learning to make good splints

Another thing we learned about was writing/using SOAP notes. It is a document that records all the information you received from the patient if they were conscious. It can also record everything you did for a patient (checked vitals, etc). The course was a little tiring, but it was well worth it.”

When asked what he felt was the most important thing he learned in the course, Lucas replied, “not to panic.”   Being able to stop, think, and assess a situation without reacting impulsively is not only a key skill for first aid but also an important life skill.

As well as running WFA for the students, we offered a second course to the public on Saturday and Sunday, subsidized by The Tutorial Center.  We’re pleased to be able to share this opportunity with others, and we hope to sponsor the course again in the future.IMG_0020

Logging and Honeysuckle

IMG_7466What do a lost logging village in the Green Mountains, a French-Canadian “cirque”, Christmas trees and invasive honeysuckle have in common?  Answer:  they were all part of the curriculum at YouthWork & Learn last week.

IMG_7405Monday, our guest instructor was Brad Bender, president of the Danby-Mt. Tabor Historical Society. After hearing the history of Silas Griffith, local business and logging millionaire of the 19th century, we headed out to the remains of two of his logging villages.  Various adventures later (through snow and high water), we explored the remnants of barns, railways, and one of the first fish hatcheries in the U.S.  We’ll go back in the spring for more hands-on history, including a closer look at hill made of saw dust.

Tuesday, we drove north to Burlington.  As part of our interest in the history and economics of logging, we enjoyed an inspiring performance of the Cirque Alfonse “Timber” at the Flynn Center, a rustic-themed performance that included log tossing, hatchet juggling, and saw jumping.IMG_7458

Wednesday and Friday we continued with our project of turning invasive bush honeysuckle branches into coat hooks.  We also cut Christmas trees, including the Smokey House Center tree donated to the annual gift-giving to the children of Danby, courtesy of a legacy of Silas Griffith (see above).  Friday we also met with SHC director Jesse Pyles, who talked to us about the history and mission of Smokey House and as well as the management of its natural and economic resources.  A full week indeed!IMG_7449