Lesson Materials: Foreman

Untitled Document
Lumberjack Math Introduction

Essential Questions

  1. How many board feet have the jacks cut this year?
  2. How much money needs to be paid out to cover the camp’s expenses?
  3. Will the lumber baron be happy with the results?


A classroom set of worksheets, including:

Helping the Foreman (optional lesson extension activities)


The Foreman is the boss, “the push,” in charge of the logging camp and the lumberjacks. He plays an important role in the camp, and has to make the big decisions, like deciding if the men should work at night because it is too warm during the day, or if they need to work on Sundays to guarantee the camp meets its logging goal.

The board foot goal of logging camps varied from season to season, and camp to camp. A logging camp’s expectations were typically based on timber cruiser reports compiled years before. A camp could earn a bonus from the company if it exceeded its board foot goal.


Bull of the woods: Domineering camp boss or foreman

“Can see” to “can’t see”: The time the lumberjacks worked. There were not a lot of clocks in the camp, so the lumberjacks worked from dawn to dusk, or from when they “can see” to when they “can’t see.” Short days in December meant less work, but longer days in March meant a longer workday.

Foreman: Sometimes referred to as “the push,” the foreman was the boss in charge of the logging camp and the lumberjacks. At $70 per month, the foreman was the highest paid person in camp.

Give ‘er snoose: Lumberjack slang for “work faster”

Log hungry and money mad: An owner who pushed to cut down a higher-than-average amount of trees

Lumber baron: A man with great wealth, power, and influence who owns the lumber, the camp, and often the land

Foreman videos

Meet Our Contract

Transcript | Watch video Meet Our Contract on YouTube

Help the Ink Slinger

Transcript | Watch video Help the Ink Slinger on YouTube

Report to the Big Boss

Transcript | Watch video Report to the Big Boss on YouTube