When I observe how mainstream kids are raised nowadays, I want to wag my finger and croak in a brittle voice, "Back in the old days, we walked to school barefoot, even in the snow." Yeah, yeah, yeah, not really, but almost.
My heart hurts about how much time kids spend in front of screens, how disconnected from nature they are. Mind you, I don't mean to judge here, because I know how addictive screens and devices are, and if given the chance, my own children would spend hours in front of them.
My kids are allowed to have some screen time, but much, much, much less than the average American kid. Most of their days are spent outside or pursuing their interests, like reading, drumming (Oh Lordy, why did I ever allow my husband to buy the kids a drum set?) playing guitar (Oh Lordy, why did I ever allow my kids to talk me into getting an amplifier for the electric guitar?), doing art, building forts in the woods...
Then there are chores my kids have to do: Feeding animals, weeding the garden, doing dishes, laundry, preparing meals, cleaning up... This is an upside to homeschooling: the kids are at home, so they have to work.
Many people who have observed our lifestyle are begging us teach their children wilderness and homesteading skills, to let their own children experience how we live. Many parents are yearning for their children to be connected to nature, to get a taste of country and wilderness living.
So we obliged. We created summer weekend overnight camp for kids on our homestead.
Over the years, Steve has taught many children (and adults) wilderness skills, and I teach homesteading skills, so we are combining our talents and are offering weekend summer camps for kids this year.
If you are interested or know someone who might be, head on over here to read about it on the website. It will be a life-changing experience for the kids who attend, I can tell you that for sure.
They will build primitive shelters in the woods, track animals, build bows and shoot arrows with them, make fires with friction, twist cordage into ropes, and tell stories around the camp fire.
They will milk goats, help harvest food from the garden and prepare it, and learn how to bake the best and easiest bread ever. They will eat home-cooked, organic, tasty meals and treats and love them.
They will get muddy and dirty and happier than they've been in a while, without any i-pads or i-phones or computers, but plenty of new friends to share these new adventures with.
We would be honored to take your children under our wings, serve as teachers and role models, and teach them skills.
If you are not local, we are 2 1/2 hours away from the airport in Seattle, WA, and there are lots of options for you to stay and do things up here while your kids are in camp.
Just know that when they come back home, you'll have to do some extra laundry.
Click here for more info.
"In the past few years my son and several of his friends have participated in Sahlin family events at their Marblemount Homestead. They have learned bow-making and archery, as well as outdoor skills like building brush shelters and maing fire without matches or paper. Through these fun, challenging and creative activities the kids develop a closer connection with nature and an awareness of how to be stewards of the natural world. Steve and Corina are gifted teachers, do a great job wrangling groups of kids (goats and humans alike), and foster a sense of community and cooperation that is genuine and impactful. These experiences allow our kids to be wild, which they need so badly, in a safe and supportive environment. I cannot say enough good things about their Wilderness and Homesteading Camp!"
Marjie B., Deming, WA
"All three of my children have attended several outdoor camps hosted by the Sahlin's, and they all three loved the experience. The Sahlin's pack a lot of information and outdoor education into these camps. They provide hands-on experiences, and the students get to dive right into the real deal. They learned how to identify plants and materials commonly found in the woods. From these materials, they learned how to start a fire with no lighter or matches or paper, how to build a survival shelter, and how to make rope or cordage. These are valuable skills to know and really increased my kids' confidence in themselves. They also had a lot of fun with the other students and with the Sahlin family. It was time really well spent and I highly recommend the Sahlin's courses to other students and families."