Nature Studies & Outdoor Skills



Introduction to Fly Tying

Paul Sinicki

This is a fun and relaxing art that helps keep your fingers nimble and creative ideas flowing. This class is designed to help beginners learn to place materials on a fishing hook and the intermediate tiers to hone their skills. The flys to be tied in the class will be determined by the skill of the students. Materials used in the class will be natural and synthetic. We will also go over different tools and substitutes used. If you have your own fly tying tools please bring them, if you do not have a tying kit, one will be provided to use.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $15
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $60 (members)         $70 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1403-0330    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat March 30, 2019 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

1403-1006    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun October 6, 2019 9:00 am - 12:00 pm




A Beekeeping Journey: Being the Beekeeper

Tim Norray

The journey into beekeeping continues! This is the second part in our exciting 3-part series in successfully becoming a beekeeper. Grandpa used to say, "plan the work and work the plan" and that is what this class is all about. Learn the different designs of beehives, and build your own frames, build your bee hive boxes and even the covers. Learn how to find the best location for your apiary, and what should be around for them to succeed and make you honey. We will cover pest management, and options on harvesting honey. This is a very hands-on course, but no special woodworking skills are required. You will go home with your own wooden beehive ready to be painted. As a special bonus, you will get the family recipe and a quick lesson on making the best honey butter around. Instructor Tim Norray from Black Sheep Honey company will be back again and this time teaming up with our in-house woodworking expert Jim Schreiner.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $75
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $120 (members)         $130 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1497-0331    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun March 31, 2019 9:00 am - 1:00 pm




Fly Fishing - Casting Basics

Paul Sinicki

The goal of this class is to help you get started in fly fishing or better your casting. We will go over different types of fly rods and when to use them. The proper way of lining a fly rod will be taught. You will be doing the over hand cast, roll cast and side arm cast, for a few examples. You will need to bring a hat and a pair of glasses or sun glasses. If you have a fly rod please bring it, otherwise one will be provided. To end, students will get a chance to try different fly rods.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $10
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $55 (members)         $65 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

This is an active casting course. Students 16 or older who have a NYS fishing license can cast into the lake. Those without will cast on dry land. Students must bring a hat and glasses to wear for safety.

Sessions:

1405-0413    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat April 13, 2019 9:00 am - 12:00 pm




Herbal First Aid Kit

Christine Eberhardt

Ever wonder what we would do without a pharmacy? Natural medicine is everywhere, it even grows up through the cracks of sidewalks! What better day than Earth Day for making your own herbal first aid kit. This is a beginner's 101 kit, which will include different types of herbal salves, a liniment, capsules and more!

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $35
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $80 (members)         $90 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1365-0422    Add registration to shopping cart
      Mon April 22, 2019 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm




A Beekeeping Journey: Your Own Apiary

Tim Norray

Take the step from "want-a-bee" to being a real beekeeper! Yes, this is the exciting day you get to play with live bees. Learn how to successfully introduce your bees into your hive box. We will actually be installing bees at the school, so you can see how it's done. You will learn how to find the queen, and how to handle frames of bees without getting them upset. You will need to bring your bee veil or jacket and gloves and be ready to get up close and personal with some of the most amazing insects ever. You will learn how to light your beehive smoker and keep it going and learn when the best time is to check your hive. You will be receiving your own bees in a started 5 frame nuc box which will be ready for you to introduce into your own equipment at your own apiary. Start off with some of the best genetic lines of honeybees around which have been proven to do well in our area. Instructor Tim Norray from Black Sheep Honey company will be taking you through the steps to make sure you are ready to enjoy your new hive. He even gives you his home phone number in case you have any bee related questions down the road.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $175
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $220 (members)         $230 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Sessions:

1498-0427    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat April 27, 2019 9:00 am - 1:00 pm




Seasonal Attunement - Walking the Wheel

Margo Mullein

Experience the seasons from mother nature's perspective, as we follow her journey through spring, summer, fall and winter. This course is a blend of observations, teachings and hands on experiences which can guide us to live sustainably while incorporating a practice of attuning to the season. We'll begin on our River Trail to collect natural material which will then be used to create a Medicine Wheel, based on Native principals. Walking the wheel we'll stop at each segment for an in-depth look at what it has to offer us, discussing the 4 seasons, their corresponding compass direction, animal totems, elements, body organ relationship and the life cycle / energy of plants. Working with plants at their peak, we'll harvest plants from the wild and return to the course room for the hands-on portion of our day, where each of us will make and take our own seasonally attuned herbal preparation: SPRING (4/28): Plant Infused Oils; SUMMER (7/21): Balms for Bites, Stings, Rashes; FALL: (10/27): Botanical Scrubs for Face and Body; WINTER (12/8): Breathe Deep Salve. A seasonally inspired lunch is included in each class!

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

The herbal preparation made during the first class (spring), will be the base ingredient throughout the other seasons. While each class stands on its own, the work is accumulative. A seasonally inspired lunch is included, so please let us know of any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Sessions:

1354-0428    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun April 28, 2019 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

1354-0721    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun July 21, 2019 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

1354-1027    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun October 27, 2019 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

1354-1208    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sun December 8, 2019 10:00 am - 4:30 pm




Bird Language: Interpreting Calls and Movement

Dave Muska

Our fields and forests have a "news service" signaling to all who are aware. Birds report everything and understanding this language is an amazing way to deepen your outdoor experience. Interpreting bird language is an effective, fun and exciting tool for observing the relationships of the natural world. Join Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures in this interactive workshop as he introduces bird language and how to develop this amazing awareness and skill. This class does not require any prior knowledge of bird species or their calls.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a notebook and writing utensil to this class, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a portion of the day will be spent outdoors. *Photo credit: Marcy Herrick

Sessions:

1506-0511    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat May 11, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Sacred Union of Plant & Water

Margo Mullein

This course is a delightful journey for the senses as we explore the differences between a "polite cup of tea" and an infusion of plants made with the purpose of increasing and aligning wholeness and balance. We'll taste, touch and smell a variety of commercial teas, as well as what nature herself provides. We'll take a walk to do a simple harvest and return to the class room for a hand-crafted infusion making experience. We will also make an herbal, dairy free Chai using fresh ingredients. As we sip tea, and infusions, we'll discuss the many roles they have played throughout history and the benefits of inviting them into your life.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Materials: $15
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $60 (members)         $70 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Please let us know if you have any food related allergies we need to accommodate for this class.

Sessions:

1352-0518    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat May 18, 2019 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm




Fairy Lore: Stories, Poems & Houses

Margo Mullein

Let the everyday slip away on this imaginative walk along the River Trail with Margo. Drawing from Celtic lore, she will weave a tale about Fairies, while connecting the dots between the Faerie folk of Ireland and the Adirondacks. During the walk we will each create a house out of natural objects for the Fairies of the River Trail forest. At the end of the trail, we'll sit around the fire for some Fairy bread and Enchanted tea. Here, Margo will share her experiences on the Fairy Tree Trail of Ardgillan Castle in Co. Dublin, Ireland, the story of the Cottingley Fairies of England, and a poem or two of Jeanne Robert Foster.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $45
         Non-members: $55
  • Course Length: 1 Half Day

Make a permanent Fairy House for your own garden or home at Don Polunci's Build a Fairy House and Fairy Door class held from 9am - 12pm on the same day. Fairy Houses created in this workshop are temporary structures intended and designed to remain in the Forest of the River Trail, and not to take home.

Sessions:

1455-0525    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat May 25, 2019 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm




The World of Mushroom Foraging in the Adirondacks

Ryan Bouchard and Emily Schmidt

Join Ryan & Emily in spring, summer &/or fall and learn how to observe, identify and describe the finer details of fungi in the way a mycologist does. This course will familiarize students with mushroom science and the fun of mushroom hunting culture with an emphasis on the mushroom species of the Adirondacks that are considered "safe for beginners". We will study techniques for mushroom photography, collections, storage...and yes, delicious wild mushroom cuisine. Using wild mushrooms of the Adirondacks, we will demonstrate (and enjoy) various mushroom cooking concepts from around the world, as well as original wild mushroom recipes from Ryan and Emily. Ryan's book: Gourmet Mushrooms of the Northeast will be available for $20 at the class.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $330
         Non-members: $360
  • Course Length: 3 Days

Students should wear weather appropriate clothing, suitable for hiking. Students may wish to bring with them a notebook and writing utensil, pocket knife and camera (or phone with the ringer off).

Sessions:

1438-0607    Add registration to shopping cart

      Fri June 7, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat June 8, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sun June 9, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1438-0821    Add registration to shopping cart

      Wed August 21, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Thu August 22, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Fri August 23, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

1438-1003    Add registration to shopping cart

      Thu October 3, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Fri October 4, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      Sat October 5, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Tinder Conk Fungus: The Many Uses of Fomes fomentarius

Dave Muska

The Tinder Conk Fungus has been used for tens of thousands of years for both utility and medicine across the globe. Join us as we explore the uses of this incredible and useful fungus native to the Adirondacks. In this class you will learn how to use this fungus for survival, medicine, fire craft and more.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife.

Sessions:

1507-0622    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat June 22, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: An Introduction to Herbalism

Amy Cason

Herbalism is an art unique unto itself. There are many aspects to be considered when we begin learning such an art. In this class, we will cover the fundamentals. Students will learn the importance of names, different types of herb preparations and why to use each method. Sustainable sourcing of herbs and the responsibilities of using plants will also be covered. Ten native and common herbs will be discussed in detail and supplied. Thorough discussions on these plants will allow students to start learning the properties of plants and their uses.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1396-0624    Add registration to shopping cart
      Mon June 24, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: How They Work

Amy Cason

Take an in depth look at how herbs function within the body. We'll take a walk back through history and view some of the theories about the use and effectiveness of plants as well as some of the more modern understandings of plants. We will also look at situations that can cause herbs to work less effectively than they should.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1397-0625    Add registration to shopping cart
      Tue June 25, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: Enhancing Efficiency and Strength

Amy Cason

Let's look at some of the factors that affect the efficiency and strength of our herbs, as well as the forgiving nature of plants. We will take an in depth look at various herbal preparations, the type of plants used in them, which parts of the plant are best to use for a truly effective product and how to best care for them so they maintain potency. We will talk about common herb preparations like Echinacea tincture and learn why herbs should be prepared in specific ways according to their desired effect. A look at the ideal use of herbal tonics and essential oils will help to understand many of the herbal products around us.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1398-0626    Add registration to shopping cart
      Wed June 26, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Wilderness & Backcountry Safety

Dave Muska

Join us as we explore fundamental skills and tools of wilderness survival. In this course you will be introduced to the skills necessary in keeping yourself and loved ones safe in the forest and off trail. We will cover fire making including friction fire, emergency shelter construction, water allocation and purification, as well as seasonal wild edibles. This is a great course for hikers, backpackers, and outdoors people alike. All skill levels are welcome.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Participants are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife for carving, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a good portion of the day will be spent outdoors.

Sessions:

1508-0720    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat July 20, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: Emergency Survival Situations

Amy Cason

Throughout the history of humanity, the ability to care for the sick and wounded has been part of everyday life, a necessity of survival and a staple in every family. The knowledge of what plants to use for food, wound care, infections and contagious diseases were paramount for life. This class will focus on the historical use of native and common plants for emergency and survival situations.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1399-0904    Add registration to shopping cart
      Wed September 4, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: An Alternative Approach to Pain

Amy Cason

Chronic pain is one of the most common daily problems in our nation today. This class will look at using a holistic approach to eliminate the pain from our lives as opposed to using prescribed narcotics to suppress the pain. We will look at some of the causes of pain and inflammation in our daily lives and discuss a multitude of options for dealing with them. Different foods that can help along with herbs and other natural therapies that the students can incorporate into their daily lives, will be discussed and made.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1400-0905    Add registration to shopping cart
      Thu September 5, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Herbs: A Natural Approach to Antibiotics

Amy Cason

Antibiotics are a hot topic today. Learn about the body's natural defense systems, natural immunity and how infections affect the body. We will also discuss the difference between plant-based antibiotics and ones created in the laboratory. We will learn how to make different herbal preparations for common occurrences like the stomach flu, anti-fungal tea and chest colds. Superbugs, candida, resistance and our modern understanding of contagious diseases will be discussed as well.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $85
         Non-members: $105
  • Materials: $45
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $130 (members)         $150 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Sessions:

1401-0906    Add registration to shopping cart
      Fri September 6, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm




Art of Friction Fire

Dave Muska

In this class you will learn time-tested techniques to starting fire with friction. Yes, you can do that! We will cover the local species of plants that provide the greatest success along with the fundamental components of friction kits, how they work and why they sometimes don't. You will leave this class with a new appreciation for the gift of fire along with the tools and knowledge to create fire on your own. Subjects covered will include tinder bundle collection and construction, strap drill (2 person), bow drill (1 person) and hand drill. All participants will build their own friction kits to take home.

  • Location: AFS, 51 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, NY
  • Tuition:
         Members: $145
         Non-members: $155
  • Materials: $10
  • Total course cost due at registration time: $155 (members)         $165 (nonmembers)
  • Course Length: 1 Day

Students are required to bring a full tang or locking blade knife for carving, and to wear weather appropriate clothing as a good portion of the day will be spent outdoors.

Sessions:

1509-0928    Add registration to shopping cart
      Sat September 28, 2019 9:00 am - 4:00 pm