Puckerbrush Primitive Gathering underway in Columbia

Camp runs through Sunday
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 5:01 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, Maine (WABI) - It’s Puckerbrush Primitive Gathering weekend for the Pleasant River Fish & Game Conservation Association.

Camp runs through Sunday
Camp runs through Sunday(WABI)

“This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about the outdoors and get more involved in hunting, fishing and recreation vs. sitting at home playing on iPads and iPhones. I have grandkids and kids. I want to see them outside. I grew up outside. To me, that is one of the best aspects of living in the state of Maine: what we have available to us fore resources,” said Alton West, PRFGCA member.

At Puckerbrush Primitive Gathering, learning bow and arrow is just the beginning.

“We’ve got a full plate here. We’ve got a nature awareness talk, fly casting lessons, blacksmithing, fur sewing, knife making, leather sheath sewing, green woodworking, canoeing, and making buck saws and canoe poles. Also, we’ll be swimming and hiking here in the beautiful Pleasant River and a whole lot more,” said Larry Balchen, event coordinator.

The Primitive Gathering plan is rooted in tradition.

“The concept really came from the club that my dad belonged to many years ago. Rather than being a shooting-focused club, they were well-rounded outdoorsmen. They’d have days like this with canoe races along with races to start a fire and boil water and things like that,” said Balchen.

Puckerbrush teaches outdoor sporting and survival skills.

“If you run the course of the primitive skills that we teach here, you can successfully survive a night in the woods, be on a pond and know where the fish are, catch a trout on a river, or know where to find a whitetail deer when you’re hunting. It just gives you a lot of opportunities to try different things,” said West.

West and Balchen said it gives campers a chance to build self-worth, self-reliance and responsibility.

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