Bushcraft And Beating Drums
Acclaimed percussionist Cormac Byrne running a bushcraft camp drumming workshop. Photo: Paul Kirtley
One of the things I love about teaching outdoors is the diversity that it affords.
Throughout the year, I'm lucky to be able to run a variety of courses at a range of venues. Every place is unique and has a different mix of resources that can be used for teaching bushcraft.
More stimulating still (and sometimes more challenging!) is the range of people I get to meet and work with. Prior to working as a full time outdoor leader, I had various jobs and have done my fair share of working in offices. In these roles, you tend to meet the same type of people, with a similar educational and social background, all of whom have similar lifestyles.
Working as a bushcraft instructor, however, I get to meet people from all walks of life, from all professions and at different stages of their lives.
One weekend I can be working with a group of business leaders, the next it is just as likely to be a group of schoolchildren.
And so it was that recently that I travelled to South Yorkshire to run a weekend bushcraft camp for a school. The organising teacher and I had spent some time discussing the aims and content of the camp. She had suggested inviting a percussionist she knows to do some drumming with the boys.
This is not something I'd included in a camp before but it sounded intriguing and I was very open to the idea.
As it turned out, the said percussionist was the reknowned and very talented Cormac Byrne, whose band Uiscedwr
won and Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2002 and amongst many other creative projects also plays with Seth Lakeman
It was an honour to have Cormac with us for the weekend and he did some great workshops with the students each day. It was brilliant to watch Cormac build this piece with all of the boys playing their parts in the percussive whole as well as having the sound of drums emanating from under our camp parachute and echoing around the woods.
Below is a recording I made of their final performance on the last day of the 3-day bushcraft camp, which we've made into a music video of sorts.
Everyone is having a lot of fun and it's worth watching the video just for Cormac playing a metal bucket.
We very much look forward to working with Cormac and QEGS again.
What's the best campfire music experience you've had? Let us know in the comments below...
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Paul Kirtley is owner and Chief Instructor of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too. Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog
as well as for various publications including Bushcraft and Survival Skills Magazine.