Survival Skills  - Story of the Day

February 9, 2020

Dear Survival Skills Families,


Oh my goodness what a bustling day of fun and learning we had today! Once our young survivalists showed up this morning and we headed right down the hill for our morning game of Scramble. In this game, the students used bandana balls in a fun nature version of dodgeball. Once we got some of our energy out, we gathered in morning circle and brought our minds together by sharing what two things we would bring with us if we were lost in the woods. Then one of the instructors, Sean, shared a survival story about a less than ideal weather day where he had to hike very far and then make his own shelter and cook dinner over a fire that was made from a bow drill. This really got everyone in the spirit to learn some survival skills so we ended our circle and got to it!

The first thing on our agenda was learning a primitive method for starting fire that is only with friction and different pieces of wood. Sean brought out his bow drill set and gave an explanation of all of the pieces and how they work. Then, while creating an ember with this kit, the other instructor Julia prepared a bundle of tinder to drop this ember into. To the amazement of the students, two small embers were made in a few minutes and quickly deposited into the nest of tinder. Julia gently blew into this nest and nurtured the ember until soon it was big enough that it turned into a flame and could start a full out campfire for us!

With our fire taken care of, this was a perfect time for a lunch break and a discussion of how fire is a great tool to boil water and purify it if you are in the wilderness and unsure of the cleanliness of your water.

Moving down our list of survival essentials, we have covered fire and water, but still need food! Luckily the land provides plenty of edible plants for us to enjoy if we are able to identify them, so we moved into a fun identification game with our local edible plants. Julia showed all the students 6 edible plants that she had collected, and gave the names of them. After a minute of viewing them, the survivalists had ten minutes to find and gather them and then return back to see if they had gotten it right. It was awesome to see that so many people correctly identified and found wild onion, sticky weed, chickweed, violet, inland sea oats, and dock. There are so many more edibles all around us too but unfortunately we only had time to cover these six.

To complete our survival knowledge, our next topic was shelters. Primitive shelters come in all shapes and sizes and today we had a little fun with our imaginations. To make their shelter, everybody pretended that they were a small creature like a frog or lizard or even a fairy, and that they would have to make a shelter to protect themselves from the elements such as rain and wind. Our survivalists were under pressure to make the shelters good because at the end of this challenge, an instructor-made rain storm was going to come through and test the effectiveness of these shelters. After about 40 minutes of busy and excited shelter making, every shelter was successful in keeping out the storm!

As an end of the day reward for all the hard work, we took a short trip to the creek and played around for a while. It certainly wouldn't be nature school if we didn't get a little bit dirty, and we saw so much enthusiasm in creek playing.

With some of our energy used, and plenty of knowledge in our brains, it was time to come together for closing circle. What an amazing and fun day we all had together with new and old faces to Earth Native. Even if it was someone's first time out here, everyone fit in so quickly and loved their experience today!

Until next time, we send our best wishes!

Sean and Julia

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