focsp banner

Chicks in the Sticks

Class Descriptions and Instructor info

Class Name Description Instructor Information
Adventure Foods
(p.m. only)
Never leave home again with just another tasteless, store-bought, granola bar that is nothing better than a glorified candy bar. There are so many options for nutrient dense trail foods that taste great, travel well, and go deep to fuel your adventures. We will discuss what works and what doesn’t for everything from quick day hikes to ultra trail running, or any other adventure that requires you to maintain energy and stay healthy. This class will open your eyes to easy options, great recipes, and even some quick treats to take home with you. Tambra Sabatini is a local author-adventurer who enjoys sharing her love for the outdoors with anyone and everyone! A lifetime of adventures has provided Tambra with the skills and experience to demonstrate that women of all ages and backgrounds can become comfortable and confident outdoors. A few of her many published books include: Adventure Foods; Live Now, Touch Today; Warriors & Wildcatters; Average Jane’s Guide to Choosing & Enjoying Your First Kayak; and many more, all available on Amazon.
Archery (4 Sessions) This class is an overview of equipment, basic shooting: stance, posture, draw, aiming, release, and follow through. We will pull all this info together and practice what we have learned. DCNR personell will be presenting this program.
Art of Wood Burning
(4 Sessions)
This class will teach the fundamentals of pyrography (wood burning). Each student will get to choose a pattern to burn into a piece of wood which they will get to keep. Kirby started woodcarving professionally in 1992. he began dabbling in wood burning in 2006. Since then he has added this to his business and has won several awards for his work at shows and competitions. He has done straight wood burning in the past, and has painted some of his pieces. Recently he has added using colored pencils to his creations. Many of his products can be seen at his business Facebook page at North Country Creations.
Basic Backpacking, "Pack It"
(a.m.only)
Learn the basics for beginner backpackers: How to pack (lightly and efficiently), what to carry (and what NOT to carry), water and cooking/food options and how to use a filter, setting up a campsite, along with how to obtain lightweight gear options without spending a fortune! Quick tips on dealing with the elements and outdoor issues so that your overnight hike/campout is a total success. Tambra Sabatini is a local author-adventurer who enjoys sharing her love for the outdoors with anyone and everyone! A lifetime of adventures has provided Tambra with the skills and experience to demonstrate that women of all ages and backgrounds can become comfortable and confident outdoors. A few of her many published books include: Adventure Foods; Live Now, Touch Today; Warriors & Wildcatters; Average Jane’s Guide to Choosing & Enjoying Your First Kayak; and many more, all available on Amazon.
Basic Kayaking
(4 sessions)
Paddling practice dependent on creek depth and speed.
Participants will learn about different kayaks and paddling gear. Class will cover paddling techniques, reading water, and water safety. You will also have time to do some paddling on Oil Creek. Barb Lake retired after 35 years of teaching Adventure Education, Health & P.E., and Early Childhood Education. Barb has done extensive paddling for the past 30 years. Barb will be assisted by Bruce Getsinger of the Friend of Oil Creek State Park.
Beekeeping
(4 sessions)
Buzz will present and discuss equipment and supplies needed for keeping bees. He will bring an observation hive with live bees. He will discuss and demonstrate bee suits, and hive parts. He will also have posters and pictures of many hive types. Buzz Swank has spent 20 yrs. as a hobbyist bee keeper. He has done many demonstrations and can answer many questions You are sure to have a good time.
Bird Identification Techniques
(a.m. only)
If you are new to watching birds or are just thinking about getting started, then we can help. We will give pointers on how to ID birds and where to look for them. Other topics will include everything from where do I go, to how do I dress, to how should I behave. Bing biboculars if you have them. Kathie Goodblood has been watching birds as a hobby for 30 years. She not only watches birds here in Venango County but has traveled to more than a dozen countries to view their birds. She serves on the board of director of the Bartramian Audubon Society.
Building an Alcohol Micro-stove
(4 sessions)
In this fun workshop, Mike will teach participants how to take a single aluminum beverage can and, with just a couple simple tools, convert it into an efficient alcohol-burning micro stove, perfectly suited for ultralight backpacking and for survival kits. This stove, while weighing just a couple ounces, is capable of cooking an entire meal. All materials and tools will be provided for each student to handcraft their own stove. See the flier Mike has been an avid outdoorsman all his life and has enjoyed some great adventures that include backpacking into the Grand Canyon and into the glacial ridges of Mount Rainier. He has traveled extensively throughout the U.S., exploring many of our National Parks and wilderness areas. Mike currently resides in the beautiful countryside just a mile away from Oil Creek State Park.
Come Forest Bathing
(2 sessions)
What’s it mean? And how might we experience it? We will focus on seeing, tasting, sensing with our eyes and our ears and smelling the individual aromas around us. Covering a very short distance, likely no more than ½ mile, while leaving pen and paper behind and our cell phones/cameras turned off, we will stop to discuss our experience as we invoke sense after sense. Each experience will be a personal one, and throughout we will come together to share aspects of our journey in a group, passing a talking stick from person to person. The end of our journey will include a taste treat and an opportunity to discuss our experience. Leslie Alexander is a professional herbalist and works locally with plants and people. She's co-owner of Restoration Herbs, where she has a clinical practice and works as a community herbalist. Leslie takes a holistic approach to health and wellness, and promotes the use of medicinal herbs in every day life.
Cycling: Trail Readiness and Skills
(4 sessions)

This introductory hands-on workshop is designed to make you feel more comfortable on and around your bicycle. Workshop includes bicycle anatomy, bike and helmet fit, proper pre-ride checks, repairing flats, simple skill drills, proper signaling, and position. Also included will be some simple riding skills to improve participants experience and confidence. Bike and helmet required.

Instructors are Brian J. Hoffman and Kevin Culbertson. If you live in the local area, there is a good chance you’ve passed them on the road. Both Brian and Kevin have over 20 years of experience riding, racing, and maintaining their own bicycles. Collectively, the two own over 20 bicycles. Odds are, if you have a question, they’ll be able to answer it.
Fly Casting/
Fly Fishing
(4 sessions)
The Fly Casting class will give explanations of the fly rod, reel line, and accessories needed to fly cast and fly fish. A hands-on class of fly-casting will follow, and students will learn several different types of fly fishing casts. Mark Signorino is a Fly Fishers International Certified Casting Instructor, a PA Fishing Skills Instructor, a member of the Pittsburgh Casting Club and a member of the Gem City Outdoorsmen Fly Tiers.
Its Always a Good Day for a Hike! (4 sessions) Hiking is an activity that Is accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. We will learn about equipment, safety and how-to have a successful hike. In addition we will take a trek through a portion of beautiful Oil Creek State Park. Jan Nordstrom says walking and hiking are my passion. Born and raised in Oil City, I have spent the past 40+ years living in the Midwest, returning a few years ago to start walking and exploring the amazing trails in NW Pennsylvania.
Invasive Species ID
and updates
(4 sessions)
We have all see the destructive effects caused by wildfires in the West, however, there is a threat in the East that just as destructive and just as damaging. Wildfire affects can be clearly seen, however, invasive species can be far more subtle. Invasive species are of particular concern because they grow, reproduce and spread rapidly; establish over large areas; and persist in the environment. Going unnoticed until it can be an overwhelming issue. Learn how to identify invasive non-native plants by learning about their characteristics and the threats to native species, communities, and ecosystems. Learn what you can do to help control their pressures. Ty Ryen is a Bureau of Forestry, Service Forester for Forest and Venango Counties. His office is located at Oil Creek State Park.
Leather Crafting (a.m. only) Venture into the past by learning about leather and how it evolved over the ages. Come away with your very own leather tooled key chain. Judy Frost is an art teacher at Venango Catholic High School. She graduated with a B.S. in Art Education from the State University of Buffalo, NY.
Making Herbal Tinctures
(2 sessions)
Medicinal Herbs are often available seasonally, but what about out of season? Tinctures are alcohol extracts that enable us to preserve herbs for extended periods - decades even. Join the workshop and we’ll talk about tinctures, taste a few and learn how to make them. Participants will collect herbs and make tinctures to take home. Leslie Alexander is a professional herbalist and works locally with plants and people. She's co-owner of Restoration Herbs, where she has a clinical practice and works as a community herbalist. Leslie takes a holistic approach to health and wellness, and promotes the use of medicinal herbs in every day life.
Modern Fur Taking (p.m. only ) Modern techniques for taking PA fur bearers. Kevin Moon has over 40 years of experience in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and trapping. He has 25 years of teaching hunting and trapping education.
Nature Terrariums
(4 sessions)
Participants will assemble nature terrariums from various plants, moss, and rocks. We will discuss the care and maintenance of terrariums. Rosalyn Espy has been an avid gardener of both flowers and vegetables for many years. She has been a member of the Oil City Garden Club for 20 years. She has also been the Garden Steward for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Oil City Gateway Garden for 10 years.
Wet Felted Bangle Bracelet
(4 sessions)
Learn the basics of wet felting while creating a felted bangle bracelet using alpaca fibers from animals on our farm. April Cox started Tupelo Alpaca Farm with husband Tom in 2012. Since then she has learned about the wonderful world of fiber art. Her alpaca fibers are used to spin, crochet, wet felt, and needle felt. The alpaca is skirted, prepared, and dyed at the farm. 99% of her products are handmade using an assortment of fibers including, alpaca, wool , and silk. April teaches many fiber art classes and demonstrates spinning at various events. She sell her products at local shops, craft fairs, festivals, and online. Of all the fiber arts, felting is her favorite.
Painting a Bird's Nest
(a.m. only)
Come and work with acrylics to complete a painting of a nest complete with with eggs. Participants will be guided step-by-step through the process, with the freedom to make changes if desired. Marie Krautz is a middle school art teacher with a masters in Art Education.
Pottery -
Imprints of Nature
(a.m. only)
Capture imprints of nature and play with clay. Create a ceramic wall pocket with flowers, leaves, feathers, shells, etc. The wall pocket will adorn a wall to stow your keys, mail, or fresh flowers. Participants will need to pick up the kiln-fired ceramic piece at a later date. Cynthia Blackwell is an artist and has been an art teacher for 33 years. She enjoys creating in ceramics and watercolor painting. Cynthia incorporates nature imagery in all that she makes.
Self Defense
(4 sessions)
You will learn techniques that will keep you safe on and off the trail. Venango County Sheriff Department presenters are highly skilled in self defense techniques where safety is priority one.
Water "Bugs" - Macro-invertebrates
(a.m. only)
Collection dependent on creek depth.
Collect and identify aquatic-macro invertebrates from the rocky bottom of Oil Creek. Learn how to identify them with key and phone apps. You will also learn about the special adaptations each organism has to life in the aquatic environment. A skill useful to fishermen, fly tiers, and those interested in healthy clean water. Bring wading shoes or boots for a walk in Oil Creek. Evelyn K is a retired high school Biology teacher. She taught Aquatic Biology for many years. She is a member of the PA Senior Environmental Corps stream water monitoring program.
Woodland Meditation / Yoga
(4 sessions)
Connect with nature through walking & seated meditation and yoga poses on a 1-mile trail in beautiful Oil Creek State Park. Peg Teeter is a graduate of EmbodiYoga Teacher Training in Pittsburgh, PA. She has taught yoga classes at Oil Creek State Park, Venango College, the Belles Lettres Club, and currently at the YWCA in Oil City. She worked as an elementary teacher for 11 years before becoming a full time mom, yoga instructor and volunteer.

alcohol micro stove class
Building an Alcohol Micro-stove (flier)

Aquatic bugs
Collecting aquatic macro-invertebrates (Water "Bugs" - Macro-invertebrates)

Archery
Archery

Cycling
Cycling

Kayaking
Basic Kayaking

Wood burning
Art of Wood Burning

Art project
Constructing an art project