Cheat Mountain

Last week was our Cheat Mountain trip. The scouts, skills students, Jen, and Oso the dog piled into cars and drove past Elkins and up Cheat Mountain. As we leaned out the windows with Oso and smelled the lovely fresh scent of true wilderness, we knew something amazing was coming. First, we had a quick […]

So What Exactly Is Cheat Mountain?

Everyone is getting excited for the upcoming Cheat Mountain trip! This is the most advanced Mountain SOL class we offer, and it is where Mountain SOL scouts go with Jen to live on Cheat Mountain for the week with Maureen, Ivan, and their dogs and their cat. There is no internet on Cheat Mountain, no phone […]

Workshop last week: What’s in Your Survival Pack?

Last week, we adventured outside with Maya to learn what types of things we should pack in our backpacks when we go into the woods! This class was aimed at teaching kids who are new to Mountain SOL how to pack a “survival pack,” a backpack that is full of things that are useful in the […]

SurThrival Thursday: MORELS!

Welcome back to another SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain!  I realize my posts lately have been heavy on foraging, but there is a reason behind this.  Thriving in the wilderness is all about living in season, and spring is the season for eating in the forest.  It’s the time when every animal finds reprieve from […]

SurThrival Thursday: Foraging

Hi and welcome back to SurThrival Thrusday! This week I’m going to take y’all foraging with me and my family. Unfortunately my computer crashed mid-edit, so you’ll have to wait just a bit longer for the video! We are going to hike to one of our favorite places in the Monongehela National Forest, and show […]

March 29: Free-Range Fitness

We had an absolutely perfect spring day. You could not ask for better weather to spend time wander all over the woods with no shoes on. We started out the class with a warm-up…free-range style.     Then, we followed it up with a hike up the hill. We paused for our snack break on a bare, […]

SurThrival Thursday: Coltsfoot

Welcome back to another SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain. This week I’m very excited to begin featuring spring ephemerals! I’m referring to small plants that appear in the spring before the trees have leafed out, these plants usually flower and seed and sometimes die back completely by the time the canopy has filled in .The […]

March 16: Free-Range Fitness

  Another beautiful spring day; perfect for spending time outside.  What better way to prepare yourself for your next marathon (or your next marathon hiking adventure) than to run or crawl up and down a clay embankment! The students practiced climbing under the “overhang.” Then they had lots of fun running and jumping over the “hole” […]

SurThrival Thursday- Finding Clean Water

Hello! Welcome back to SurThrival Thursday from Cheat Mountain.  This week I’m going to talk a bit about finding water; we are very lucky to be able to find clean, drinkable water here in Appalachia.  Usually, this means that you don’t have to hike with more than a small water bottle, because water is everywhere […]

SurThrival Thursday: One-Match Fire

Hello! Welcome back to SurThrival Thursdays from Cheat Mountain. This week I’m going to explore fire making: nothing fancy or very primitive, just a simple one-match fire.  I laugh as I am writing this, because of course, there is nothing simple about making a fire on Cheat Mountain. As students from previous year’s classes remember, […]