The Old School is a grass roots organization, founded eons ago when a loving father began to pass down valuable pieces of information and equipment to his offspring. He taught them – among other things – fishing skills, how to build a fire, careful selection of camp sites, and to avoid the temptation of consuming yellow snow. The faculty is comprised of sage veterans, experienced in the logistics of navigating the minefield of humanity. Qualified instructors tend to have a charismatic affection for seemingly antiquated equipment and techniques.
To qualify for enrollment in the Old School, students are first required to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks. This particular organization offers a difficult curriculum, and is not graded on a curve. Academics are measured by pass / fail only, with varying degrees of discipline applied for failure. Students typically enter the School of Hard Knocks at around 8 to 10 years of age, and graduate ages vary between 25 and 45, with exceptions at both ends of the spectrum. Examples of courses offered include Re-Inventing the Wheel , Instant Gratification , Listening 101 , Morals & Ethics , Self Accountability , The Golden Rule , and Newton's Law .
Most members of the Old School appreciate the basic simplicities of life, and often take time to reflect on and embrace the trivial aspects of our time here on Earth. They understand that travel on the gravel road through mortality at break-neck speed would unnecessarily cripple enjoy the endless experiences and scenery that blanket the landscape. Excessive speed is wreckless at best, and tends to depreciate the traveler at an astronomical rate while creating a sizable gap between them and their point of origin and its inhabitants. The end of the road is just that; and offers no reward, certification, or recognition if you are alone. Some attempt to turn around, but find that it is nearly impossible to backtrack when they have not taken the time to become acquainted with their surroundings. Everything appears different when you reverse your direction. The route is obscured, and a maze of trails begins to materialize from its previous cloak of invisibility. Where there have been no trail marks, signs, or signals posted, there is no clear trail for those that we care about to follow and many will be forced to choose alternate routes. This can be especially devastating when it happens to our children as a result of our own chosen path. Anyone from the Old School will tell you that we should only travel as fast as the slowest member of our group.
The skills and techniques employed to navigate rivers, climb mountains, make fire and catch fish have remained unchanged for decades. Although equipment continues to evolve, the basic concepts and fundamentals will always remain the same. There is an abundance of Old School outdoor gear that has proven timeless through the years. Pre-64 Model 70 Winchester rifles, Hudson's Bay wool blankets, Mitchell 300 spinning reels, Coleman lanterns, Gransfors Bruks axes, Filson Mackinaw Cruisers, Lodge Dutch ovens and Grumman aluminum canoes are all examples of old-school innovation that has proved immortal. Today there are more outdoor manufacturers and retailers in existence than any other time in history. It will be interesting to see which of them will be strong enough to withstand the test of time, and merit the good fortune of consideration for induction in the Old School.
Many view the Old School as an archaic and unnecessary organization. This could not be further from the truth. The curriculum is constantly updated, with relevant content added from every generation as they graduate from the School of Hard Knocks and transition into the Old School. It is in truth an accumulation of irreplaceable wisdom harvested from centuries of trial and error, success and failure, triumph and tragedy. The foundation of principals establishes preservation of all that is worthy and good, and adds value to our world and its success to posterity.