Student Life

Cut to the Chase

Woodsmen Club hones competitive skills, helps community.

Accidentally brush your finger against one of the Woodsmen Club’s cross-cut saw’s teeth and you may learn the definition of “scary sharp.”

The largest club on campus, with some 50 members, uses the saw and other traditional forestry tools in competitive intercollegiate co-ed lumberjack events held across New England. Events include sawing, chopping, axe throwing, log rolling, pulp tossing, fire starting and more.
38 seconds… that’s how long it takes Seth Hathaway, president of the club and power engineering technology major, to chop through an 18-inch log with an ax.

MMA’s largest club teaches forestry skills competition.

Members of the club can also make quick work of timber-related efforts that serve the community.

Every year the club takes initiative to put up a Christmas tree on Leavitt lawn for the holidays. This year’s tree was provided by the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust in recognition of service from the Woodsmen Club. “The club put in close to 36 hours cutting trees in the Wildlands in accordance with the trust’s forestry plan and re-purposed the tops of many into suitable Christmas trees that were donated to a charity to help local families,” says the club’s faculty advisor, Zanny Stwertka, instructor of physics and engineering.

“The physical nature of the competition, the skills required, and the fact that it’s a unique endeavor are some of the reasons the club is in line with the type of person who comes to MMA,” he says.

“It’s a great escape from school work,” adds Hathaway. “You get to be out in the middle of beautiful places working in the woods with a great group of people, learning how to master the tools, and just chop on some wood.
“It’s very satisfying.”

Photo: Zanny Stwertka

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