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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