Today we had our first lesson. I've been teaching knife safety since I can remember from many years as a girl scout. The main points covered were these:
- Step 1 was establishing a safety circle: this is where you make certain that no one is in arms reach. To illustrate hold your arm out and in a sweeping motion spin around. It is also important to emphasize that you don't walk into a person circle if you observe them with a knife.
- Step 2 we went over the basics of how to open the knife and close it. Depending on the knife there may or may not be a lock involved. The most important part of this is to show that when closing the knife your finger should be clear of where the blade folds and closes into.
- Step 3 involved the cardinal rule of always whittle away from yourself. In addition make sure that your not going to slip and slice your leg! M's first inclination was to put the stick on top of his leg instead of holding it. We quickly fixed that!
- Step 4 was covering the basics of how to pass an open blade and the fact that it was a tool and not a toy. It is only open when being used for it's intended purpose.
- Step 5 I demonstrated how to make a point and skin the bark off a stick.
M- had a great time removing bark from sticks. I'm certain that our yard will look like a beaver attacked it and be filled with barkless sticks in no time all whittled to pointy "spears". The next lessons for M- will include sharpening, a customized hiking stick, a sling shot, whittled Waldorf gnomes (perfect for our nature table), soap carving, and perhaps if I can recall how a slip bark whistle (It's been a long time since my dad showed me).