This summer we are excited to offer wood carving as an activity for campers. We believe carving is a very useful skill for campers, one that promotes responsibility, creativity, and coordination. Northwoods will offer wood carving as one of the “choose your own adventure” options during camp. There will be other activities to choose from during this time. If you prefer that your camper does NOT participate in knife carving at NorthWoods this year, that is fine, please just let us know.
We recognize the hazards involved with using knives, and will do our best to assure that this stays a safe camp activity. Each camper will be required to pass our “knife safety test”, which we will go over in our camp groups.
The knife safety course covers the following guidelines:
1) Campers must always ask a camp instructor if they can carve. They must show an instructor what piece of wood they will be carving, and what they plan on making (for instance, a sharp point on a stick, or a stick where the bark is peeled off. Instructor will make sure the piece of wood chosen is free of knots, easy to grip, and otherwise suitable for the project.)
2) Camper will sit down in a “safety circle” (Camp instructors will pick a quiet area away from other camp activities, with an instructor close by who is supervising the carving. No one is allowed to carve while standing. Each carver must be at least a full arm’s length away from other carvers, and facing the supervising instructor.)
3) Concentration will be emphasized during carving. Talking and other distractions are kept to a minimum. If an unavoidable distraction occurs, carvers must sheath their knives and wait until an instructor says it is safe to begin carving again.
4) Campers are only allowed to carve away from themselves. Instructors will demonstrate safe carving practices.
5) When campers are done carving, they must sheath their knife and return it to the supervising camp instructor.
6) Any injury (even minor) must be reported to the instructor immediately, and the instructor will report to the parent at the end of the camp day or as needed if offsite care is required.
NorthWoods has ordered new stainless steel frost knives with locked blades for summer campers to share. We will always maintain a low camper/instructor ratio (5:1) while carving. Please leave your own carving knives at home.