An outdoor classroom plan, large stumps, adolescents, and the saws all converged for a unique opportunity! It unfolded yesterday, the first day after Labor Day.
The saws had been in retirement for over 60 years. When I was at home visiting Mom this summer we were out in Dad’s shop. Dad was a “tool guy,” and he used the tools well on the farm, though these had clearly been inherited from a generation even prior to Dad’s. I don’t recall exactly what took us out to the shed, but I noticed the saws hanging on one wall. The ideas simmered and a few weeks later I asked Mom if she could bring the saws to Lincoln the next time she came. She wondered, “What are you up to now?” I doubt my antics will ever surprise my mom as she knows me well. So my 84-year-old mom brought me the saws. I replaced three of four handles, and the pictures show the rest. The students enjoyed trying them out almost as much as I did.
It is so good for our kids to use their bodies to experience such real life experiences from the past.
After tying it out and watching the kids do the same, I appreciate the modern invention of chain saws a whole lot more.
We will likely make a couple full cuts through these logs with the old saws, but many more will be made powered by sources other than human muscle.
These help embed the outdoor classroom process in our minds and hearts. May the goodness of God’s creation in the trees, simple saws and our flesh and bones become more real for us all.