Thanks for the comments above.
The "formal" stage of this seminar might be done, but in some ways I have not really even scratched the surface of this vast topic. But in preparing for this seminar, and through the various discussions this prompted, I've reached some tentative conclusions.
1. The practical and the esoteric aspects of Druidry need to be fully integrated for meaningful practice.
2. Bushcraft / woodcraft are important (if not essential) aspects of Druidry.
3. "Skills" need to be learnt by doing, rather than just by reading about them.
4. Disconnection from the land is a major threat to the wellbeing of community and society. Active efforts need to be made to re-establish this connection.
5. There are easy connections to be made between formal Druid studies ("Druid" encompassing all grades etc.) and "bushcraft".
6. Druidry integrates seamlessly with so many other interests - I mean, who ever thought that mountain-biking, flint-knapping, rattlesnake dodging druid spirituality could become a speciality in it's own right!
7. Every day is a school-day in the woods.
Given that there are yet so many other aspects to be discussed, we might just keep this thread alive. A series of seasonal postings may be interesting.
To finish off, a couple of other matters / insights.
On Saturday I was walking in the woods when I came across the berries below. I've never consciously noticed them before, and their pearly sheen was very attractive. Naturally my thoughts turned to foraging. But they needed checking. Which led to this fantastic web site: http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Symphor ... laevigatus
And I discovered that they are not great for eating but make a good soap. Today I was chatting to an aul fellow, a Woodsman with vast knowledge, and he told me that the berries are traditionally used for protection - specifically to stop the fairies milking cattle at this time of year (Samhain). Thus in these white berries is the essence of woodcraft for Druids: mythology, learning, practical applications and the surprising beauty in nature.
The second point in closing this seminar, relates to the news today. The "superstorm" Sandy is awesome, and has surely affected some DHP'ers. I was reading that some 350 000 people have had to evacuate NYC. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-575 ... out-power/
So 100's of thousands of people in arguably the most sophisticated city in the world, have been reduced to primal survival circumstances. The bushcraft priorities discussed above (security, shelter, food, warmth, water) will be very real concerns for many people. Some will have been prepared, but others will have been caught short. Bushcraft skills are life skills!
Also, with (distant) relatives in Upstate NY, I will be mindful of all the wooded areas affected by these extreme conditions. People with woodland, outdoor, and chainsaw skills will be providing life saving services under highly dangerous conditions to remove trees from roads and electrical installations, and to provide access to homes and public services.
Blessings of protection to all so affected!