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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Bushcraft Isn't Fun


I love bushcraft and am passionate about it and of course it is fun but do I feel that it's fun when I'm absorbed in practicing or teaching it?
For me probably not, and I can say that of a number of other subjects which I am equally passionate about, for example when I am engrossed in coaching someone on how to shoot a rifle or light a fire by friction I am not conscious of having fun, this has been described as a 'flow state' (Csikszentmihalyi 2002) perhaps more commonly referred to as being focused or 'in the zone'.
I've seen this in my students as well, recently they have been working on friction firelighting as part of a bushcraft element of the BTEC skills for landbased outdoor and adventurous activities module which I teach them. Although I think they enjoy learning the bushcraft skills I am teaching them there have been times, especially while working on their friction fire projects, where some students who would normally be very prone to loosing concentration, chatting with friends instead of working or surreptitiously using their mobile phones while they think my back is turned have concentrated on their projects to the exclusion of all else. They have found their 'flow state' they will work and work and work. Those that have reached this stage have always been the ones who make fire first. The same goes for other subjects, some students get engrossed in deer management or firearms but for those who find the 'flow state' the subject becomes more than that, they become passionate about it and able to dedicate their time and attention to it beyond what they normally would.



Is reaching your potential and finding a subject to be passionate about more important than fun?


References

Csikszentmihalyi M (2002) Flow London. Rider Press

Bushcraft Education Videos