Interest is sparked at an early age. Watch children and what they gravitate towards. As a child, I felt comfortable in the barns, gardens and woods. Trace back a few of your favorite things today and I’m sure you’ll find early roots. Whether you’re an artist, teacher, mechanic or writer. Sometimes, we know ourselves better when we’re young—before society tells us what we are and what we should be.
That’s why a component of the Osgood Pond Semester is community outreach and education. This past weekend, Andy and I traveled to Richfield Spring Central School to talk about yurt life and lead a primitive skills demonstration with two sections of seventh graders. Richfield Springs is a small town of about 1,300 people, located in Otsego County NY. Growing up down the road from Richfield Springs, in Cherry Valley, I gained primitive skills experience through working at the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown and at Hawk Circle.
Friday morning greeted us with a double rainbow stretched over my parents’ corn field. Andy and I looked to the clearing sky and hoped the weather would hold for the next two hours. From Cherry Valley, we drove the fifteen minutes to Richfield Springs and met Mrs. Rathbun, the middle school history teacher at RSCS. Mrs. Rathbun and I go way back (she’s my oldest sister). I even slipped up a few times and called her by her first name.
The RSCS seventh graders were engaged and active participants with inquisitive minds and thoughtful questions. A few had heard of Paul Smith’s College and one young man hopes to attend five years down the road.