My name is Ibrahim Moussaoui. My Outdoor School name is “Tiger” and I love Outdoor School because it’s a unique opportunity for me to leave that outside world of machines and technology and buildings and come out to nature where I think humans really should feel most at home — surrounded by nature, beautiful weather, amazing sounds of the animals and beautiful scenery. It’s really refreshing to be at a place like Outdoor School for an entire week.
This is my fifth year with the Philomath Outdoor School program. I came as a sixth grader then I came back one year as a cabin leader in high school. This is my third year as college staff teaching field study lessons during the day.
The best part of teaching lessons to sixth graders at Outdoor School is seeing their curiosity and hearing all of the questions that they ask. Many things that I haven’t really considered before come up during my lessons. They’ll ask, “Why is the world the way it is? Why does nature work this way? Why do we learn about science?”
It’s fascinating to see what’s happening in their minds when they’re trying to understand how things work and how it affects the world around them.
My most memorable experience here at camp was last year when I was teaching "Sixth Graders vs. Nature," a wilderness-survival lesson. I was on my knees and across from me was a sixth grader called Shrub." Together we were trying to build a friction fire, and he was holding down the bow drill and I was pulling the string with the two handles. The drill is spinning and smoke is coming all over the place and everybody else was watching us. He just had incredible strength holding down that drill, which is the most challenging part of the friction fire-making process. We got so much smoke that we eventually got a little tiny ember and I was able to blow that into a flame. That was the first time I’ve ever successfully got a flame from doing the friction fire. I almost lit Shrub on fire that time! It was unreal.