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Chicks in the Sticks

Class Descriptions and Instructor info

Class Name Description Instructor Information
Archery (2 sessions AM) 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. Presque Isle State Park will be providing the instruction
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 Holmer 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.
Bird Identification Techniques
(2 sessions AM)
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. 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.
Build your own 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 ultra light 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 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.
Cycling 101: Basic Maintenance & Trail Readiness
(4 sessions)

This introductory hands-on workshop is designed to make you feel more comfortable on and around your bicycle. Topics covered in the workshop include: Bicycle anatomy, General bicycle fit, How and when to lube your chain, Wheel removal, How to fix a flat tyre, What to carry on a ride, Pre-ride checks

Instructors are Brian J. Hoffman and Mark Chatley. If you live in the local area, there is a good chance you’ve passed them on the road. Both Brian and Mark 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.
Dutch Oven Cooking
(4 sessions)
The workshop will demonstrate Dutch Oven cooking on an open fire. Participant will make a complete meal and discuss cleaning ovens. J. Lee Baker is a retired Pastor, teacher, and former camp ranger for North East Ohio Boy Scout Camp. He also is a member of the Over the Hill Gang trail maintenance group.
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 casting instructor and fly tying demonstrator. He is active with the Gem City Outdoorsmen Fly Tiers, a board member of the PA Steelhead Association, and is a PA Certified Fishing Instructor.
First Aid (2 sessions PM) Outdoor First Aid will include helpful advise on how to handle emergencies in the outdoors such as sprains, cuts and sudden illnesses. More importantly the course will give useful information on the prevention of emergencies, what to take in your pack and preparatory actions that should be taken before and after an outdoor adventure. Red Cross Certification for First Aid, CPR/AED is available upon request. Marla McVay is a Health and Physical Education Teacher and Aquatic Director for the OCASD. She has a Masters in Exercise Science and Certificate in Corrective Exercise. She is a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and has extensive experience in First Aid, CPR and AED'S. Marla and her husband Jeff are avid trail runners and love to be outdoors. Luna, a 1 year old Labpei, joined the family last year and also enjoys being outdoors. Their son JJ is currently serving as an MP in the Army leaving them empty nesters which gave them more time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Geocaching
(4 sessions)
A treasure hunt with a twist! In this class you will learn what geocaching is and how to use a GPS (provided for use in class, but bring your own if you have one). You will enter coordinates into a GPS and search for hidden treasure. Christina Lynn Moss is graduate of Clarion University and has worked in many areas of media and marketing. She is an avid photographer and loves the outdoors. Geocaching has been a hobby of hers since 2005. She is a member of Tri-Go, Oil Region Cachers, PAGA, and BACON geocaching groups. Christina has a published article on geocaching in the Franklin Spirit and has radio interviews that aired on WOYL/WFRA Franklin. She participated in the bid for the Geocoin Festival held in Pittsburgh, PA, and she assisted with the Allegheny Geotrail Project for the Venango County area.
Herb Walk
(2 sessions 1 AM, 1PM)
Spend time with medical herbalist Leslie Alexander and explore plants that are found growing in the park. Over the course of about a 1/4 mile amble, the workshop will focus on correct plant identification and medicinal uses of these local flora. This workshop is for anyone interested in becoming familiar with the many weeds that can be used to promote health: medical herbs that can form that foundation for any herbal medicine chest. All ages welcome. You should be able to navigate grassy turf. Bring your sketchbook and camera. 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.
Making Herbal Tinctures
(2 sessions 1AM, 1 PM)
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.
Nature Inspired Jewelry Making (2 sessions) In this class, you'll get to make your own piece of jewelry to take home based on nature's beauty. All supplies and tools needed for the class will be provided, but feel free to bring anything you may want to incorporate in your own personal creation. Rebecca Beach has been creating her own jewelry for over 15 years. She is currently serving on the Friends of Oil Creek State Park board of directors.
Outdoor Photography
(2 sessions)
This will be a very basic course to introduce you to the world of photographing nature. To help keep it easy to understand, technical language and instruction will be kept to a minimum. We will talk about cameras and lenses in general, as well as other gear and equipment. We'll talk about composition, lighting, and subject matter. And we will touch briefly on using a computer and photo processing software for storing and editing your photos. Kirby began outdoor photography in the late 1980s using a 35mm film camera. He got his first digital camera in 2006. It wasn't until about 2012 that he started to get more serious about it. He photographs wildflowers, landscapes and wildlife as the opportunities arise.
Outdoor Survival Hacks
(2 Sessions 1AM, 1 PM)
Learn how to use common items in new ways as survuval aids in the wood. Think of it as McGyver in the woods. Chris Mossbach has a degrees from Penn State in Forestry and Environmental Education. He has worked and studied natural history all over the United States. Chris lived for 3 years on the Cochiti Indian Pueblo in New Mexico. He was the US Army Corps of Engineers government representative to the Seneca Nation of Indians for 16 years. He has presented hundreds of walks and talks dealing with the natural history.
Outdoor Weaving
(2 sessions) AM
Weaving natural designs using sticks as your loom. Maria Krautz has taught art for 10 years at Oil City Middle School. She has an undergraduate degree from Edinboro University and a Masters Degree in Art Education from Ohio State.
Pottery We will create a handbuilt slab platter using natural texture found in the enviroment. It will be a functional and decorative piece with imprinted texture, approximately 12" by 8" and can be used for food service. I can fire and glaze then return to participants. Angela Bowersox has been teaching for approximately 15 years. She has a bachelors degree in Art Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership. She teaches children and adults wheel thrown pottery, ceramics and painting at Oil Creek Earthworks Pottery Studio in Oil City.
Secrets of the Indian Medicine Man
(2 sessions 1AM, 1 PM)
Learn how American Indians used native plants and animals to survive in what we now call Pennsylvania and the Oil Creek Valley. Chris Mossbach has a degrees from Penn State in Forestry and Environmental Education. He has worked and studied natural history all over the United States. Chris lived for 3 years on the Cochiti Indian Pueblo in New Mexico. He was the US Army Corps of Engineers government representative to the Seneca Nation of Indians for 16 years. He has presented hundreds of walks and talks dealing with the natural history of Pennsylvania and Native American uses of plants and animals for food, medicine, and survival.
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.
Trail Trecking
(4 sessions)
Learn a few of the basics about trail treking - gear suggestions, how to fuel your body, where to find local trails of varying difficulties in the Western PA areas, and how to be safe out there. Then take a short walk/run on part of the Gerard Hiking Trail. Bring your running shoes, water bottle, and snack for after. Adam Peterson is an experienced trail runner. He is a two time 100 mile finisher of the Oil Creek 100 race. He has four years experience with trekking poles, and is a Committee member/volunteer for Oil Creek 100 trail runs.
Walking Stick Making
(4 sessions)
Learn how to identify the best tree species for making a walking stick. The class will also deal with stick selection, preparation and ornamentation. Ty Ryen is a Bureau of Forestry Service Forester for Venango and Forest counties. His office is located at Oil Creek State Park.
Water "Bugs" - Macro-invertebrates
(2 sessions) AM
Collection dependent on creek depth.
Participants will collect aquatic-macro invertebrates from Oil Creek and use a simple key to identify them. They will also learn about the special adaptations each has in the aquatic environment. A skill useful to fishermen, fly tiers, and those interested in healthy clean water. Bring wading shoes or boots if you can. 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.
Art of Wood Burning
(2 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 woodburning 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 woodburning 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.
Yoga in the Park
(4 sessions)
Practice postures to enhance your mind and body in beautiful Oil Creek State Park. Peg Teeter is a graduate of Embodi Yoga Teacher Training in Pittsburgh, PA. She has taught yoga classes at Oil Creek State Park, Venango College, and Belles Letters Club of Oil City. She worked as an elementary teacher for 11 years before becoming a full time mom.