You’re just a kid out strolling in the forest, kicking leaves and following trails. The wind comes up, rain begins to fall, and shadows grow longer. Nothing seems familiar anymore! CUT…..now ask your child to finish this story. What does this little person figure out that they need to do?
Now it’s time for us to learn the skills to survive in the wilderness with only some basic tools, teamwork and lots of ideas. What kind of shelter did we construct in our group? Talk in step by step or sequential detail about how the team made a mini-shelter for Pumpkin Camper. What were the three (3) things that were most important to consider (strength - can it withstand a branch falling or high winds, comfortable, waterproof). How did we test for these things? Did your lean-to pass the tests? Was Pumpkin Camper a happy camper???
Once shelter is taken care of we need to focus on warmth. We didn’t have matches, so how did we get our fire started? We used a flint and steel to make a spark and cotton ball with Vaseline to get the fire going. What materials did we need to have on hand to feed the flames? Are there any safety rules about fires that you talked about?
Most people carry a pocket knife when they go camping. What might we use knives for when outdoors? Today we started teaching about how to safety use knives to whittle. Our first step was using vegetable peelers to get the technique down. What are some steps we need to follow before we start whittling (HINT: blood bubble, elbows on knees, safety glove on). How did you use the peeler on your green stick (stick points down, helper hand away from working hand). We created a marshmallow stick and just had to test whether it worked or not. This is our first step towards the beautiful practice of whittling for art and function. Does your child remember where whittling started and what these first whittlers created? (WWI soldiers)
Our tree friends visits today included burying a special nut that we opened together. What was it? (Hickory). Did you notice any changes in your tree friend today?
So Much Other Fun Too...
Look over these pictures and see if your child can give you a story about these happenings.
Off away from the farm we met up at Willow House, everyone dove in. More walls were added using goldenrod, making this a cool hideaway. We took time to start a new chapter book linking with our wilderness survival theme. It's called 'The Poet's Dog'. Ask for the story events in chapter one, but keep this particular book for us to carry on with at nature school please.
We took the plank bridge up to the crop field and noticed that Purple Vetch makes a soft bed. What did we do with this plant and how do we plan to use it? (mattress).
Our afternoon challenge was to build a full size lean-to that will stay here for us to use. What should we consider in choosing a campsite? We worked together to haul cedar rails to set as our walls. This will be finished next week when we have more rails ready. We also got a full size fire going at Pine Haven. Thanks to our three fire starters who worked along with Dragonfly.
Journals were filled with pictures of the perfect campsite. What did you include in yours? Did an animal come visit? If you added some words or description, what details did you choose?
The final treat was using our roasting sticks to make the perfectly brown, or burnt, marshmallow. We are certain to practice this skill again soon:).
Everyone survived the day, leaving us happy and tired.
We loved meeting our new friend Meredith (Cricket) who has been volunteering with our Heron group and joined us for the Chickadees. She is gaining skills towards her dream of becoming a teacher.
BIG Raccoon always helps in so many ways, but on survival day he got to swing an axe and use the old saw. Dragonfly and Coyote are becoming experts at tag-teaming to make sure the day is jam-packed with opportunities to learn, be heard, contribute, and simply feel relaxed. Just the way we like it! Even Pixie loved wilderness survival day. Happy camping until next week Forest Friends.