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Survival Skills  - Story of the Day

November 22, 2020

Greetings Survival Skills Families!


The forest was full of birdsong and anticipation this morning as our students arrived at the Earth Native land. To get our bodies moving, we jumped into a game of Scramble - an every person for themselves chaotic and oh-so-fun version of dodgeball. Games like Scramble help get our blood pumping and our awareness of our surroundings dialed in. Then we settled into a big circle, busted out our water and snacks and spent some time getting to know each other! Every person shared their name, nature name, and what they would want with them in their backpack if they were lost and alone in the woods. Your kids clearly arrived with a deep instinctual understanding of what they need to survive and excitement to learn more. Trent shared a folktale about two twins with very different life perspectives and got us thinking about how our attitudes affect what we can learn from nature.


After morning circle we split into two clans, found our own special spot in the woods, and got busy making fires! The younger crew started out by practicing safely lighting matches and placing (not throwing) them in the fire ring. Then we learned about how the developmental stages of a fire are very similar to a human and that you can't feed a baby fire a giant log, you have to start with small and soft fuel. The group worked together to gather plenty of fuel for a lunchtime fire and soon enough we were roasting our sandwiches, oranges, and even our already roasted seaweed. The older clan was issued a two match fire challenge and quickly realized that building a match fire is not as easy as it sounds! Trent demonstrated what types of fuel to look for and where to look for them and then the students tried again, this time with a bit more success!


Our groups met back up in a big pecan and box elder grove and got to work on their next survival skill - shelter building. We challenged our students to work individually or in teams to build a natural shelter big enough for at least one human hand to fit in that could withstand a rainstorm. We discussed classic styles of natural shelters like lean-tos and A-frames and also invited folks to get creative with the resources around them. The creativity and focus was astounding! Students used mud, sticks, bark, leaves, grasses and old vines to build their shelters and not only were they each one beautiful and unique but they also withstood the hurricanes that conveniently passed through the woods just when we needed them. 


Lastly, we demonstrated how to make a fire using a friction fire method called bow drill and talked about using fire for water purification. Then it was down to the creek to splash, climb, run, and play! We closed our day together by each sharing our favorite part of the day and gratitude for all of our ancestors who were clearly expert survivalists or else we would not be here!


Thank you so much for joining us today and we hope to see you again soon!



Julia & Trent

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