What a full week of fun and skill building we had this week.
A Monday spent at the Norski Trail was the perfect opportunity to learn about the Leave-No-Trace Principles, how to be prepared with the 6W’s (who, what, where, when, why, and weather) and what one should do if one were in a survival situation.
Shelter is a high priority, so we learned the finer points of the Debris hut, the most suitable shelter for our climate, and tried our hand at making them. Two groups worked together to make a couple of pretty amazing shelters in a short period of time. A shelter tour ensued, bisected by a tour of our local Catarpillar Sanctuary, which had been created by a third group of empathetic campers.
We used Leave No Trace principles and dismantled our shelters, which can be very fun, and an important part of our play in the forest.
We played Eagle Eye to end our day, a great way to practice our hiding and sneaking skills.
Fire is another important aspect of wilderness survival. Tuesday took us to Chupadero where we learned several primitive ways to make fire from Michael, a wonderful Primitive Skills educator. We tried our hand at the bow drill and the hand drill in small groups. Primitive fire making takes a lot of practice, and the campers all practiced…. soon there was a good fire smell wafting around the tent and wisps of smoke could be seen. Ultimately we all worked together to make a coal for a fire. Team work saves the day! Not inly does team work help in a survival situation, we spoke about the importance of attitude (keeping it positive!) in a survival situation.
Archery was a popular activity, especially when we began to play “Bark Bunnies”, a game where small targets of bark are donned with some Turkey Jerky. If you hit the target, you eat the jerky. Yum!
Wednesday took us to the Borrego trail, with handmade fish hooks and rods. We charted our hike with a topographic map, determined which direction we were headed and how far we had to go. While the length did not seem daunting, the topo lines also show us that there was some significant elevation drop and gain along the way, making our hike more difficult than it would be if flat! We spoke about the importance of telling someone where you are going and when you will be back.
Thursday was all about water, and games! We played another sneaking and hiding game called “Pig” and talked about various ways to filter and purify water in a survival situation.
Actually, Friday was really all about Water! We spent the day cooling off by swimming and practicing our camouflage, getting muddy at Abiquiu Lake.
Thanks for an action-packed and fun week, Mountain Kids!