Primitive Skills Weekend 2

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Primitive Skills Weekend 2

Post by J. J. Magnum on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:24 pm

As you may remember I put together a "Primitive Skills" campout for my Scouts last June as a part of my Wood Badge program. My boys had such a great time they begged me to get the guys from Great Lakes Bushcraft ( back for another session, this time with emphasis on the "Wilderness Survival Merit Badge". Never one to refuse my Scouts I got in touch with the guys at GLB and we were able to get their skills to again visit us last weekend.

We again used the Scout facility at Thornton Farm Camp just a few miles north of my house; if you go to Google Maps and put in the address 1192 Dunks Rd.; Sherwood, MI the overhead view shows the property. The St. Joseph River is at the top and you can see the fields and treelines.

Friday was something of a mess. We no more than arrived around 5 pm and the bottom dropped out rain wise. Setting up tents in the rain gets everyone's clothes wet and spirits dampened but we muddled through. We soon had a roaring fire going cooking up dinner and started swapping tales and generally thumbing our noses at the weather.

Saturday dawned C-O-L-D and damp...

After a breakfast of bag omelets and Goetta the GLB lads started instruction in the making of survival kits, fire, shelter, water purification, use of fixed blade knives, knots and so on.

One of my Scouts was the first to make a "sustainable fire" using just a Fire Steel and gathered (wet) material - congrats to Dominic who won a Mora for being first!

One of the most interesting classes (to me) was the "5 minute shelter" class. Jamie Burleigh demonstrated his "5 minute shelter" which consists of a heavy duty survival blanket, two bungee cords, and 4 tent stakes.

Here it is all wrapped up...

And spread out in front of a fire. We had two Scoutmasters simulate trees so we didn't have to move the fire; however, the temp outside was 45 degrees, but under the tarp was 75 degrees. Stuart looks real comfortable...

Shelter building took place later in the afternoon with several of our boys setting up to sleep in their shelters (part of the Merit Badge requirement). Here is Bryce with his set up. The next morning he claimed to have been warmer in the shelter than in his tent the previous night...

Of course no gathering is complete with out suitable vittles. We cooked two large Dutch Ovens of stew over the fire. One was buried in the coals and the other suspended on an improvised tri-pod. We had been joined by Scouts from Troop 325 (Battle Creek) and it was their Scoutmasters who put together the tri-pod for our use...

I'd show you pics of the stew but honestly it disappeared before I could get any!

Here's a group shot on the last morning...

Great time was had by all; thanks again to Great Lakes Bushcraft and my Troop!
J. J. Magnum
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Re: Primitive Skills Weekend 2

Post by Jeff "LFB" Kindy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:23 pm

We had a great time JJ! I don't know how I missed this post????
Thanks for the report!

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