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Cutting class: Students learning lumberjack skills in Adirondacks throw axes, climb poles, saw

  • Lumberjack School-1.jpg

    In this July 10, 2014 photo, Tommy Grunow of Riverside, Conn., peels the bark from a white pine log at the Adirondack Woodsmen's School at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Eighteen young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    In this July 10, 2014 photo, Bevin Rainwalker, left, of West Rupert, Vt., and Liam Gilbert of Blue Bell, Penn., saw a log at the cross cut station at the Adirondack Woodsmen's School at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Eighteen young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    In this July 10, 2014 photo, Zach Brown, a guest athlete, demonstrates the boom run for students during Adirondack Woodsmen's School at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Eighteen young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    In this July 10, 2014 photo, Emily Eidman, of New City, N.Y., performs the boom run on Lower St. Regis Lake at the Adirondack Woodsmen's School at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Eighteen young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

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    In this July 10, 2014 photo, Madison Lemoine, of Chepachet, R.I., checks the tape on her fingers before using a hand saw on a log at the Adirondack Woodsmen's School at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, N.Y. Eighteen young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) (The Associated Press)

Ax throwing is encouraged in lumberjack class.

The annual Adirondack Woodsmen's School is being held this summer amid the tall pines and placid waters of Paul Smith's College in New York. Despite the course's name, there are no bushy beards and no flannel shirts.

Instead, 18 young students in matching gray sports shirts took part recently in a weeklong crash course on old-school lumberjack skills such as sawing, chopping, ax throwing, log boom running and pole climbing. Student Tommy Grunow says he wanted to learn the "lost art of lumberjacking."

Instructor Brett McLeod says students get a hands-on experience about natural-resources management and the history of the Adirondacks, a popular upstate wilderness destination. Some students will need these skills if they go on to work as park rangers in wilderness areas that don't allow mechanized equipment.