Although this doesn't exactly constitute an "expedition" by any sense of the word, today appeared to be a bit of a turning point with my kids as far as their sense of enthusiasm for doing things "bushcrafty."
Up until today, most things that my girls have done in the realm of bushcraft have generally been as a result of dad's poking and prodding to some degree. Bushcraft/fieldcraft/woodscraft was something that was essentially dad's hobby that they would tag along with to spend time with me. However...
Yesterday we took the girls to go see the movie "The Hunger Games." It was actually my wife's idea since she recently read the book and promised elder daughter that we'd go see it over Easter break if elder daughter finished the book in time. In short, the protagonist/heroine of the story is a teenaged girl named Katniss who is forced to rely on her own survival skills in order to survive a barbaric, government sanctioned game. The girls absolutely LOVED it!.
I only realized just how much they loved it when, as soon as they got home from Easter church services, they quickly changed and went storming out of the house with their knives and younger daughter's hatchet. When I asked them what they were going to do, I was informed that they were going to "make some spears!" The little stinkers spent the entire day in the woods behind the house making spears, throwing spears, making bows, shooting bows, overturning logs to try to camouflage themselves or to make caches for their newly made weaponry and setting makeshift snares with 10 lb fishing line. They were out the whole day except for dinner and came in just before dark when the blackflies came out.
I started to think about it and realized that, up until seeing the movie, bushcraft was an "old man's" pasttime. It was something that your dad did, not something cool. After seeing this movie, they could envision themselves doing these things because they now had someone that is like them to emulate. Not an old man, but a young girl. And not just any young girl, but the heroine of the story.
It is my opinion that stories like this that portray young girls in a positive light are far too few and far between. For those of you that have kids, especially daughters, you may want to take them to see this movie. It may make all that stuff that you want them to do with you a whole lot more relevant.
Guess who is starting the book after the kids go to bed. The wife says the book goes in to much more detail about how Katniss finds food and shelter.
Here's my little spear makers.