Proctor Academy: Survival Skills Class Project.

David Fleming, the Art Teacher, Football Coach and Martial Arts/Self Defense Instructor at Proctor Academy in Andover,NH, recently wrote to me about a very interesting class project. 

David Fleming writes:
"Once a year, the week following our Spring Break, students and teachers of Proctor Academy gather for what we call 
Project Period. It's a time for teachers to host activities for which students sign up.  Every year there are projects off 
campus and on. This year choices included Quilting, Skiing with Handicapped, Knitting, Soup Kitchen work in Boston, 
Maple syrup making from our trees, a Concert Choir tour of Bosnia and Croatia, Martial Arts and more.  My group was 
Survival Skills.

We learned how to start fire with flint/steel and the bow drill.  Build shelters, trapping, snaring, canning, ice fishing and 
non-compass orienteering with the use of a watch and shadow stakes.  We learned to make shelter first, find water second
and food third.  In addition we had a "craft" time.  This included making the handles for our knives, leather tooling our 
sheaths.  We additionally learned about firearm safety and shot .22 rifles, shot skeet with 12gauge and learned how to fire a
handgun.  .45 cal 1911.  In the evenings we listened to one kid's guitar as we leather tooled and watched survival movies like,
Jeremiah Johnson, Man in the Wilderness and episodes of Survivor Man.  
Thanks again for your help.  It was fun.  Hands down their favorite part was making their knives and shooting.  It was a blast."
Here are some pictures of their class project. The class all made Commando Knives with their choice of handles and hand 
made leather sheaths.

Click on any of the thumbnails below for a more detailed photo.

Greg, the Woodshop teacher, shows a student how the handles are fitted to a knife blank


Here are the Commando Knives that the class made. Every student got to choose his own handle material and style

All of the sheaths were handmade, too, and show a wide range of creativity

Hats off to Proctor Academy and David Fleming and Greg for introducing a new generation to the enjoyable hobby of knifemaking