UConn Woodsmen: Their Sport is the Great Outdoors

a man chopping a log
Nick Accurso '18 (CAHNR) cuts a log in a standing block during a UConn Woodsmen Team practice session at their lot off Horsebarn Hilll on April 20, 2018. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The term “lumberjack” might bring to mind a bearded man in a buffalo check shirt and fur hat, but for one group of students, it describes a typical Friday night practicing such skills as fire building and log rolling.

Down a narrow road across from Horsebarn Hill Arena is an area full of logs ready to be chopped, rolled, thrown, and sawed by the UConn Woodsmen. The club sports team competes in intercollegiate timbersports, or traditional lumberjack sports.

Whether trying to build a fire and boil water as fast as possible or sling heavy logs 20 feet through a set of stakes, the co-ed group practices feats of strength and skill that might not seem typical for a 21st century college student.

“I didn’t even know this was a sport, I didn’t think it was real,” says UConn junior Natalie Chmielewska, an environmental engineering major.  “It’s interesting and it challenges you to do something you never thought would be possible. You really see progress within yourself and it’s inspiring. You can take that and apply it to other things, whether it’s academics or anything else in your life.”

The group will host its ninth annual Jack and Jill meet at Ratcliffe Hicks Arena on March 7.

Julie Bartucca of the UConn 360 podcast visited a UConn Woodsmen practice to learn about the club. Listen to the segment here:

Learn more about the UConn Woodsmen at facebook.com/UConnWoodsmen or email uconnwoodsmen@gmail.com.