Ontario Trackers club

Past Meetings - 1997

October 4-5:  Twenty-three people gathered at Allan & Lucy's near Penetanguishene.  Walking, sweatlodge Saturday evening.

November:  Meeting at Hildegard's.  Here is a young participant's story of her experience that weekend:

The Bow Drill by Felicia Saunders (8 years old when she wrote this):

On November 22, 1997 my family went to Hildegard’s house to do bow drill fires. Claudette went there too. When we got there everyone went inside for lunch.

A bow drill is something to make a fire with. The bow part is like a bow from a bow-and-arrow but only the bow part. The spindle or drill is 6 inches long and spins with the string from the bow drill. The handhold is a piece of wood that you use to hold the drill in its place. The fireboard collects the coal, and the tinder is what you dump the coal into and then you blow, then poof!, there’s a fire.

(Back to the beginning). We ate and then we went outside and watched Matt try to make a fire with a bow drill. Then I asked, "Mom, can I try the bow drill?". "Yes", Mom said. First I tried with Kathy a tiny bit but I had to stop because she wanted to see the ceremonial fire, and I couldn’t do it with Mom because she was going to help Matt make the fire.

When we got to the firepit everyone was getting smudged. Then Matt put wood in a square. Then he put rocks in a triangle. Then Mom and Matt tried to make a fire with the bow drill. It took them 20 minutes, I think.

Then Mom and I tried to make a fire with the bow drill. But it was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  It took us forever to get a coal. We worked at it and worked at it and worked at it for a long time. It took us an hour, I think. We were working so hard we had to make a new hole! (You make a hole by just doing the bowdrill without a hole in the fireboard until you get a dent, then you cut a V-shape in the wood).

I was getting more and more tired, so I stopped and Mom did some. The she stopped to see if there was a coal, and there was! So we carefully dumped the coal into the tinder, and I blew and blew and blew! Finally it burst into flames!

So that was my adventure with the bow drill, at eight years old.

(no other records of meetings are available for this year)

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