Tom Brown Tracker School

May 1997 Back to Back

Advanced Standard
Advanced Tracking and Awareness

(click for large image)
Not your typical class photo!

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One of my favorite pics... Tom lecturing next to his Hummer.

Some of us online folks! That's John Fisher, Kevin Reeve, and Carl DeMarco (from left to right).

The daily hike from camp to the maze (and back again).

A front view of the beautiful men's swim area.

A rear view of the swim area. Can you find the two naked men?

More pictures coming... stay tuned!

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 10:13:18 PDT
From: "Platanus occidentalis" <>
Subject: b to b
Message-Id: <>
Content-Type: text/plain

hey folks,

benn back from the back to back for a few days now. gotta go to scout class in less than two weeks where i'll be lookin' out for joe schilling and kevin reeve. I quake in my moccassins.

So here's a quick rundown of btob while i try to catch up on all my email and office work.

First week was very intense. We spent the whole time perfecting our debris huts, making bowls and spoons, arrows, arrow heads (from bottle bottoms donated by the local pineys), fish spearheads, fish arrow heads, advanced throw sticks, primitive pottery, baskets, etc.

We also got into advanced camo (shadow camo as used by the apache scouts) which made for some fun on sunday with the newcomers for advanced tracking. I camoed up, dropped a big bright blue towel on the path to the swimmin' holes and concealed myself at the edge of the path.

innocent passersby would stop, look around, ask other passersby if they dropped a towel to which the reply was invariably negative, then they'd walk off with the towel towards camp or the swimming hole.

"Hey, where ya goin' with my towel?" would come the voice of the hidden. The initially startled samaritans usually got a good laugh out of it. It really got fun when people already nailed would lure other people into the game.

sometimes they just hung the towel up on a bush inwhich case the voice would say, "wouldja mind puttin that that back where ya found it?" and so forth. It was really fun when a very cute and sweet little girl (well bout college age really, but we're all kids fer life (god, i'd hate to have to think of myself as a "man")) ambled right over the towel on her way to the swim hole, then stepped over it again on the way back. "fine citizen you are leaving people's towels in the road." What followed was an elaborate expostulation about why that's better than, say, turning it in or bringing it to the wrong swim area.

Sure is fun to practice what ya learn at tracker school.

The second week was really intense, but the food was substatially better. Each day we hiked or fox ran a five mile roundtrip to the "anvil" or "crucible" to study tracks. A CNN crew went out with us tuesday and filmed tom's students making all kinds of errors (though entusiastically) about they're tracks. The highlight of the day was watching tom act out what a deer was doing when making the tracks he showed us. The passion was intense.

We also did a blind drum stalk and got into some basic spirit tracking that drove one scientifically minded fellow to tears. Said the success of the exercise shattered his belief system. All that science he learned was crap. He was a changed man after that, full of infectious joy to boot.

Then there was murphy and his didjeridoo. he played wonderfully and set a profound note for the whole course the first night. The music was primal and just made ya feel you were there that much more.

That's about all i can write for now. I'd be happy to hear from any of you who have questions about the course or the experience. bear in mind i'll be away this weekend and at scout next week so the responses won't exactly gush from my keyboard.

good tracking and much peace,