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Survival skills camp 2015

posted 24 Oct 2015, 14:17 by Zak Warren   [ updated 10 Dec 2016, 06:01 ]
Everyone survived the survival skills camp! All the Scouts achieved their Survival Skills Activity Badge as well. 

Sharpening the axes
We arrived at our campsite, a forested SSSI in the middle of nowhere, on Friday evening. The Scouts' first task was to build shelters out of whatever they could find. This was made more challenging as darkness had already set in. Using branches, logs, bracken, tarps and a little ingenuity, they managed to build comfortable bivouacs that kept them warm and dry overnight. 

Saturday saw us up bright and early to make the most of the daylight hours. In the morning we finished setting up camp. The campfire was stoked, a chopping area was defined, sleeping quarters were perfected and the Minecraft-style lat pit was dug. 

Joining us were two Leaders from Merlin Explorer Scout Unit, who taught us a range of survival skills. First up was learning about knife and axe safety and care. The Scouts were so keen and competent at this that I soon found my tent pegs replaced by specially carved new ones! I was impressed as it stayed up all weekend without any problems. They put their new skills to the test when gutting and preparing the fish for lunch. Some of them may have felt scared or squeamish to start with, but they all had a go and cooked a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, we had a look through their homemade survival kits and had a go at building signal fires, before being taken on a walk to learn about some of the natural food and water sources you can find in British woodlands. 

After one last night on site it was time to pack away. Everyone left with more skills in their repertoire and hopefully a little more confident in their abilities.