Tracker teaches students about survival skills

Thursday, October 26, 2017 01:49PM
Tracker teaches students about survival skills. Tamala Edwards reports in this week's Art of Aging during Action News at 12 p.m. on October 26, 2017.

A man who's spent his life tracking men and animals in the wilderness is now teaching those survival skills to a younger generation.

In the past 40 years, Tom Brown has attracted lots of attention for tracking lost people and fugitives and writing 17 books about it.

His mission now is to share that knowledge through the Tom Brown Jr's Tracker School.

"There's more out there than lighting a fire, and that's what we want to try to open to them here," Brown said.

Tom's team learns by working to keep this part of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation pristine.

"We repair damaged areas. We stop the illegal cutting of trees, the dumping of junk autos," he said.

Kyle Keller is a veteran who returned from the Middle East with PTSD. He is also an instructor at the Tom Brown Tracking School.

"When I found the school, I found a connection to the earth and it was probably the biggest healing aspect for me," Keller said.

Sandor Jozsa came from Transylvania, Romania to South Jersey to learn from Tom.

He showed Action News a shed he built. "This is a style called wigwam. I gathered all the materials from the cedar swamp, collected all the barks and rootlets. It's all natural," Jozsa said.

The school has built sheds and meeting spaces so students can live in the woods and learn year-round. Tom believes exposure to pure nature provides the awareness needed to be really alive.

"It's getting into who you really are without the rush and din and chaos of society, so they're no longer blind to sunsets or deaf to the sound of butterfly wings, you know, to get more out of life."

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