RVTC students participate in Game of Logging training

Northeast Woodlands Training instructor, Allan Sands, teaches students about the uses for different wedges. Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – You could hear the chainsaw and see the blaze orange through the trees after a short walk into the woods at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land in Springfield, Vt. This is where River Valley Technical Center students in the Horticulture and Natural Resources program, with their instructor, John Harmer, participated in Game of Logging training through Northeast Woodland Training Inc. Seth Martin, Adin Bortlein, Jake Matulonis, Zach Connor, and Nick Davis are in the level three training, which is about felling difficult trees.

During the training, Seth Martin identified hazards associated with the felling of the tree, planned for how to cut it safely and efficiently, and conferred with his classmates and the Game of Logging instructor, Allan Sands. He followed the plan and hit his target.

Participants are scored on their felling plan, hazards, side lean, escape destination, hinge dimensions, and back cut techniques. They are also scored on components of their stump after felling a tree.

The Game of Logging is a nationally recognized chainsaw safety training program that has four consecutive levels. Students in RVTC’s Horticulture and Natural Resources program have already completed the first two levels that focus on precision felling techniques and maximizing chainsaw performance. The students with the top three scores will have the opportunity to compete in the Regional Game of Logging competition.

The students look forward to the competition and to the training. Instructors Sands and Harmer work together to give feedback and correct and reassure students during the training. “This is real world, hands-on learning for students; there is just no way to simulate this in the classroom,” said Harmer.

Students apply physics concepts, estimation skills, and basic geometry concepts when making their plan and felling the tree. Students are given the opportunity to struggle and make their own corrections.

To learn more about the Horticulture and Natural Resources program at the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield, Vt. go to www.RVTC.org or call 802-885-8300. To learn more about the Game of Logging and Northeast Woodlands Training Inc. go to www.woodlandtraining.com.

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