Last night, engineering students came to the forest to sing songs around the campfire. At some time after 9:30, several vehicles drove into the forest, disgorged engineering students, and -- after a little ceremony -- chanting and singing could be heard in the cabin. Later, they all left, tire tracks in the grass the only evidence, other than a sheaf of papers with lyrics, that they were here.
Still, the idea of engineering students standing around the campfire, singing songs, and watching a fire seems a little more visceral to human nature than at least I would have thought of engineers. (Of course, the idea of a stereotype is that it is an extreme example of the type, so I don't know why it is so surprising.) As far as I could tell, though, the event was supported solely by Prof. W., so maybe it is because of him that this tradition continues at all.
Prof. W. did come out here in February, a month after I started my residence here to conduct the same activity. I expect that he will be out here in the winter again to do the ceremony once more, although it will be much colder at that time, and he will likely need to burn through some of the snow to get to the piled ashes below.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.