Bush classes on BcUSA.

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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,851
1,335
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Pembrokeshire
You know the only folks who benefit when a hobby or skill set is listed/ certificated and regulated ?
The ones who administer the certification.

There is no need for any sub forums to pactice firelighting, shelterbuilding, navigation or campfire cooking, just add a thread in the relevant forum.

Or is that not 'special' enough ?

In an over paper qualificationed world bushcraft is a refreshing breath of fresh air, without overweaning 'better thans'.

A friend gave an very pertinant analogy on another forum; he said that now there are deerstalking certificates, and that almost without exception the enthusiasts are recreational stalkers with very little practical experience. They are now in the situation where stalkers of over forty years experience are being 'assessed' by paper-qualified individuals of very limited experience.
Ah but, there's money to be made from administering courses when your reputation isn't good enough to make a living from students or the job.

No, I don't want to see this set up become the norm, and comparing a woodlore course, with it's hands on personal experience, to an on line tick box is hardly a resonable comparison......or would you let someone pass your BCU courses sitting in a boat in their bathtub and taking short videos of their strokes, John ?

Off to spend the day spinning and dyeing in public......and the old ladies who taught me would be birling in their graves at the thought that this skillset might become 'certificated' too.
But some eejit will try it sooner or later :sigh:

cheers,
M
I quite see where you are coming from Mary...
Personally I am treating the classes as a bit of fun - but can see that some would get over serious about the quals aspect.
As to tarring all "distance learning" as hopeless box ticking - well the Open University has a good rep as do several other distance learning set ups...
At Mencap our "fire awareness" training - designed to help us save lives, our "food Handling" cert and several other professionally recognised certs are all done as distance learning either on paper or on line.
Off to have fun in the woods today myself :)
 

Martyn

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
5,252
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55
staffordshire
www.britishblades.com
I will never look at someone wearing a Woodlore badge in the same light ever again!
I'll be looking in the same light I always have done. It's not the achievement, it's the need to establish status.
Wow!
All badge wearers are chest-puffin nob clowns?
Depends on the badge John. If it's the VC, then no, obviously. If it's a bushcraft badge earned off an internet forum, then yes, they probably are. Sorry.
Who-ed a thought it!
Puts Baden Powel in his place for sure!
Well, if the badge fits. :D
 

Ahjno

Vice-Adminral
Admin
Aug 9, 2004
6,844
32
Rotterdam (NL)
www.bushcraftuk.com
Sorry that sounded wrong, and not how I meant it at all

Any more input from the Mod, Members, Admins?:)
That's better :nana:

We're looking into it from different angles, weighing pro's and con's, it's place on BCUK, whether or not if it's something that adds to the site, etc.

Personally I can see it having a place on BCUK, though in an altered version. Though decision making is up to the Boss, all I do is advice him - as I've already done.

Bushcrafter, patience you must have ;)
 

bushwacker bob

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 22, 2003
3,812
7
STRANGEUS PLACEUS
I thought bushcraft was largely subjective. I find the thought of going to the woods with a stove or hobo stove, abhorent and not really bushcrafty, although for many its the only way to go. If you have a permission, you can have a fire and the fun is how you choose to light it. lighter,matches, ferro rod, flint and steel, bowdrill, hand drill, plough or piston.
If I had a badge telling me I was a bushcraft fire starter, the temptation would be to think I had mastered the fire and would not be so bothered about learning new methods, perfecting the skills I already possess or even continuing to think outside the box to try to improve on things that haven't been improved for millenia.
I was awarded a badge on two occasions for teaching scouts bushcraft skills. I think it means I am already a better skilled bushcrafter than those who dont have the badges.
Anyone who wants to be a better bushcrafter can PM me and I'll send you the badges.:D
 

GordonM

Settler
Nov 11, 2008
866
51
Virginia, USA
I have been doing the online lessons and doing my outings over on BCUSA. As for the content of the lessons, I was taught all of those items in Scouts as a child, so nothing new for me. I am not interested in the badge or certificate. I have boxes of badges from Scouting for events, training and camps. As for the certificate, I think most participating understand it as nothing more than something showing they have completed all of the lessons and outings. In my opinion, no one is trying to create a bushcrafting "qualification" course in the same vein as some of the threads I have read here about PAWGI, ML and other award schemes. It is an very informal setup over on BCUSA and nothing more than outdoor recreation. Now, if it were some university or community college offering this, then I would be worried!

As for the Bushclass lessons, it has given me wonderful reminders of my childhood, doing these skills as a young Scout. So for me very pleasant. The tree ID lesson has got me out brushing up on ID and learning far more than just what was simply required in the brief lesson. So, a personal motivational point to learn even more. As for the outings, I think they are there simply to get folks outdoors. I have seen folks post outings with family members, other folks who are out for the first time in a while and folks using meetups for their outings. Getting people out doing outdoors stuff is a good thing. I don't see the lessons in any way as trying to define "bushcraft". As Southey has stated, just some core skills being shown. If you want to study the history and traditions of natural dyes for natural textiles, make fire with a hand drill or sit under a parachute and get drunk off the local drink, if that is how you define bushcraft in your own mind, then that is fine with me. I'm just glad to see folks outdoors and having fun!

Gordy
 
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Martyn

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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staffordshire
www.britishblades.com
As for the certificate, I think most participating understand it as nothing more than something showing they have completed all of the lessons and outings.
Show to who? For what purpose? Surely, if they have completed them, they know they have completed them? They dont need a certificate to remind themselves, ...unless they are completely bereft of a memory - but they could just jot it down and stick it on the fridge with a magnet if early onset Alzheimer's was an issue. It's like showing your passport when you go for a pint, just to prove to yourself you are old enough to drink it.

As for the Bushclass lessons.....
I take your point and I agree, why not. But i wonder at the value of an outdoor pursuit and set of practical skills being taught via a laptop. Sounds a bit like chainsaw certification via email. I'm not sure there is much more benefit than watching some youtube videos and then getting a certificate to show to your mum, to prove you've watched the whole series and now you're a bushcraft expert. Seriously, what value do they have, aside from forum bragging rights?

I think if they were offered without the certification, so the only motive for doing them was your own personal growth, then they could be a good thing. It's the certificate I have issue with. It's too easy to google you way through stuff like this (and heaven knows aren't there enough google experts already?), which makes the certificate worthless, aside from the obvious problems of teaching a practical skill over the internet. You could teach an engineer every nut, bolt and system of an aircraft, but that doesn't mean he can fly a plane. You can't read experience.
 
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Tank

Full Member
Aug 10, 2009
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tanktracks.blogspot.com
the bushclasses are a great way of showing what and the way you do things for others to learn, i dont see it as a course, more of a central place to look for ideas and insiration.

everything on the bushclasses could be done in seperate threads but then they would get lost amonst all the other threads. Works well as a knoweldge base.
 

Pict

New Member
Jan 2, 2005
611
0
Central Brazil
clearblogs.com
So... what's wrong with those who want to do the course doing it on BCUSA? Is it really necessary to do another one here, or is that just a case of "they have one so we should too"?
That's kind of how I look at it. I participate on BCUSA but haven't done the bushclass but it is very popular over there and lots of people are having fun with it. The guy administrating it, Terry Barney, is a very experienced instructor who has very graciously volunteered to run it. It is good in the sense that people are motivated to develop skills in areas they they may not naturally gravitate to. It is very easy to do the majority of our bushcrafting online and not get out or get our blades dull. Bushcraft is a hand's-on activity and it is good to see people doing more with it.

As for developing a hierarchy of who's who on the site I haven't gotten that vibe at all over there. I just see people happy with themselves for doing all the lessons and others happy for them for getting more involved. Recently there was a thread over there titled "confessions of a bushcrafter" in which everybody was owning up to the things they don't do well. Many of the bush classes address those skills. It's there, it's free, it's fun and it gets people involved. Even if we are two peoples separated by a common language, bushcraft is universal and I haven't seen anything on there that y'all can't do in the UK.
 

GordonM

Settler
Nov 11, 2008
866
51
Virginia, USA
Show to who? For what purpose? Surely, if they have completed them, they know they have completed them? They dont need a certificate to remind themselves, ...unless they are completely bereft of a memory - but they could just jot it down and stick it on the fridge with a magnet if early onset Alzheimer's was an issue. It's like showing your passport when you go for a pint, just to prove to yourself you are old enough to drink it.
I think you are putting too much into the "certification" part of the certificate. It is nothing more than saying you finished the lessons & outings, nothing else. That and fifty cents might get you a pot to p*ss in. Nowhere, other than with a few members of that forum, will it show that you have completed the lessons. It is simply for fun and possibly forum bragging rights.

I take your point and I agree, why not. But i wonder at the value of an outdoor pursuit and set of practical skills being taught via a laptop. Sounds a bit like chainsaw certification via email. I'm not sure there is much more benefit than watching some youtube videos and then getting a certificate to show to your mum, to prove you've watched the whole series and now you're a bushcraft expert.
Friend, as I am showing gray in my hair, lots have changed since I left uni and the educators are constantly telling me that learning methods have changed and how individuals learn is evolving. With that said, here in the States, you can earn Bachelors and Masters degrees without ever stepping foot on a "real live" campus. My barber told me that his daughter dropped out of uni because she was not being challenged by her traditional university education and has completed her Master of Science in Mathematics online (it is accredited by the very same organization that accredits the "bricks and mortar" part of the very same university). I can do one better than the online chainsaw certification! I am a volunteer Hunter Ed instructor for Virginia. Due to the new "trend" in online education, in part by the educators themselves, I have had to recieve training in how to administer the final exam, to candidates that have had all of their Hunter Education training online. The Virginia General Assembly has authorized, by law, that online "distance learning" will meet the State's Hunter Education requirements. For these candidates we do an "in person" firearms handling assessment, in addition to the normal written exam.

Gordy
 
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Martyn

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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staffordshire
www.britishblades.com
Aye, maybe I'm being too reactionary, but something that is essentially a simple outdoor hobby, for me requires no tests or certification. I learn what I want, practice what I want and take from it as much or as little as I want. I have enough certificates to complete IRL. But I can see the fun value in the courses and I suppose it is a motivator.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,774
1,860
S. Lanarkshire
I think I'd rather see suggestions :)

Can you do this ? and have a neat 1 to 5 list of things, fair enough if it's all in one topic, but it has to be relevant to the area in which the person lives or relaxes and the season that it's done.
And whosoever sets the challenge has to do it first and post their efforts in the opening thread :D

Like the, 'without any tools with you can you make a firebow, cordage, spindle, hearth and tinder set up?'
or without using anything but natural materials can you get yourself a safe drink from ground water?

to tie a hobby, a relaxation like bushcraft into some kind of structured syllabus though...no, totally agin the ethos, imo.

cheers,
Toddy
 
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Retired Member southey

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jun 4, 2006
11,098
1
your house!
Aye, maybe I'm being too reactionary, but something that is essentially a simple outdoor hobby, for me requires no tests or certification. I learn what I want, practice what I want and take from it as much or as little as I want. I have enough certificates to complete IRL. But I can see the fun value in the courses and I suppose it is a motivator.
Your last sentence is all I see in it, Not any way of certification for a qual, no need for badges, not defining Bushcraft, just fun:)
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,700
981
63
Florida
...to tie a hobby, a relaxation like bushcraft into some kind of structured syllabus though...no, totally agin the ethos, imo.

cheers,
Toddy
That's the real beauty of the system. There is no real structure; it's all self paced as I understand it.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,700
981
63
Florida
...a bit like chainsaw certification via email...
LOL. A chainsaw certificate? Martyn I was a logger in my mid teens and some of my family still log. No one would ever believe that such a thing as a chainsaw certificate actually exists.
 

Martyn

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
5,252
31
55
staffordshire
www.britishblades.com
LOL. A chainsaw certificate? Martyn I was a logger in my mid teens and some of my family still log. No one would ever believe that such a thing as a chainsaw certificate actually exists.
That's the irony. You have to have one if your job requires you to work with a chainsaw. Health & Safety, insurance and all that. A lot of proper dealers wont sell you a Husky or Stihl without a cert either, though you can buy em from ebay or the cheap Chinese ones from the local garden centre. It's daft really.