Alaska- Frontiers Fall Issue 111
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Frontiers Flashes- News from around the Alaska 

Building a Pit House 
at the National 
Boyscout Jamboree

BLM-Alaska’s archaeologist Robert King was part of a BLM cultural team that created a replica of a 1,200-year-old “pit house.” The pit house was similar to those found in Colorado at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The 15-foot diameter pit house was one of the BLM’s interactive exhibits at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. The
July 26-Aug. 4 Jamboree coincided with the 100th Anniversary
of the Boy Scouts of America.

Scouts lash willow saplings on the pit house frame that later was mud coated. Photo by Robert King.After a year of planning, the BLM cultural team constructed the basic pit house frame and clay mud roof before the event. The work involved cutting 40-50 large trees and hundreds of saplings for the wooden frame. Scouts lashed the saplings onto the structure to hold the exterior mud coating.

They applied mud to the walls and entryway. By the time the Jamboree ended, an estimated 6,500 Scouts and leaders visited or participated in the construction of the pit house. At the conclusion of the Jamboree, the pit house was dismantled and land reclaimed in one day.

Pit house structure with lashed saplings partially mudded. The entry way is twice as high as the traditional pit house entry so today’s taller people can fit. Photo by Robert King.

Tim Sunlov (right) teaching student Theodora Sutton of Togiak fly casting. Photo by Clark James MishlerIt’s all about Fishing 

Imagine attending a class where you learn about fishing techniques, fisheries science, and area fisheries on the world-famous Nushagak River in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. From Aug. 9-13, BLM Fisheries Biologist Tim Sunlov (right with student Theodora Sutton of Togiak) and seasonal Matthew Vos from the Glennallen Field Office, taught aquatic and stream ecology, the anatomy of fish, life histories of salmonids, and even fly casting and fly-tying techniques to youth and young adults, ages 15-22, at the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy.


You Don’t Want to Miss Campbell Creek Science Center Events

Fireside Chat Lecture Series: Come spend the evening by the fire listening to a timely tale about science in real life. Complimentary hot drinks and cookies provided by Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center. All monthly programs begin on the third Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Nov. 17; Dec. 15; Jan. 19; Feb. 16; March 16.

Science Saturdays: The BLM Campbell Creek Science Center and Anchorage 4-H have teamed up to offer special monthly Saturday science programs for kids ages 8-13 and their parents: Nov. 13; Dec. 4; Jan. 8; Feb.26; March 19; April 16; May 7.

Winter Trails Day at the BLM Campbell Tract offers free use of recreation gear (cross-country skis, skate skis, and  snowshoes), GPS navigation and geocaching, snowshoe hikes-ski touring, outdoor winter recreation safety clinics, many recreation groups and more. Feb. 12.

Iditarod Sled Dog Race Ceremonial Start ends at Campbell Tract on Saturday, March 5 . Come see the mushers and their dogs, and learn about the Iditarod Centennial and Trail while warming up with hot chocolate inside the Science Center during its open house.

Visit the Campbell Creek Science Center Calendar

Last updated: 10-28-2010