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Survival Camp

Post by strods on October 2nd 2013, 11:44 pm

Well we have announced our 2nd Annual Survival Camp, and the elder boys are excited. And this time I have 3 youth knocking on my door interested in coming. Not including the new ER we got this year.
I borrowed Mark's line about "Bring your own, cook your own, or go hungry" and the woman giving the announcements (the Pastor's wife) laughed. That was soon followed with " No tents, no problem" this is a tarp shelter camp.

This year's focus will be fire. Advanced fire craft so to speak. Not even feral rods. we're going to teach bow drill, magnifying glass, and other alternatives. I have half a mind at 10:00 when they are settled in to lead a night hike just so they can see and feel what the woods are like with out it. Help to develop more appreciation for it.
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Re: Survival Camp

Post by red squirrel on October 3rd 2013, 11:16 am

Howdy!

Sounds like a nice time.

If I were you, or anyone doing or teaching this sort of thing to anyone, I would include the ideal of insulation from the ground. Most lads only think to cover up, and not about getting one's self off the cold ground.

A good bed of dry leaves helps a lot, as does pine or similar boughs. It can save a life someday if they are caught out when not expecting. One can even make a large pile of leaves and sleep inside with leaves over and under their bodies, if they do not have proper sleeping gear.

Also teach (in cold weather) to remove anything of clothing that is wet or sweaty, and replace it with dry stuff. A constant recirculation of wet to dry clothing is best when out in the woods spending the night. When wearing dry stuff, dry out the wet stuff, then switch again if needed.

Hope you have a great time!

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on October 3rd 2013, 11:39 am

Guys great advice and sounds like fun. You guys have a great time and get some pictures. It's been a while since I pulled one of these off. It would be fun to do it again.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Phillip Gross on October 3rd 2013, 9:46 pm

Sounds good Strods! We're trying to get there. Our camp coming up the third weekend of October, rain or shine, will have our ARs and ER building a primitive shelter to sleep in. That's their last requirement for that merit. The DRs will he in regular tents.

When is the camp going to be?
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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on October 3rd 2013, 11:40 pm

We will camping 10/25 - 10/26

Sounds like you are there. When I say Survival Camp, I don't mean specifically the Wilderness Survival badge. This is our annual "event" to train for it.
I'm probably way over thinking this but as my DR's grew up I needed a few things with the program.
1.) I wanted to give the AR's something on their own, on their skill level, without worrying about the DR's. (This is the only camp I elevate the age to AR's and up so don't think I'm too hard on them.)
2.) I needed an event for more "dirt time" for survival skills and survival focus badges.
Last year it was Shelters, this year it is Snares, etc. This has also served as an annual hike to allow us to complete the Backpacking badge. And I am so nice that I make them lighten their loads by keeping their tents at home.Laughing  This year since shelter isn't the primary focus, I'm letting them bring tarps and rope.
3) Experience, a bite at a time. We all know the big variables: Shelter, Fire, Water, Food. Part of what I'm doing is focus on a 1 or 2 of those at a time. Last year it was Shelter. This year Fire and food... you get it.

After a few years, when I see Ranger who I feel wouldn't just endure Survival Camp but would do well, then we'll do the full out 24 hr in the bush with just a knife and altoid tin.

Or at least that's the plan in my head. How crazy am I?
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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on October 3rd 2013, 11:43 pm

red squirrel wrote:Howdy!

Sounds like a nice time.

If I were you, or anyone doing or teaching this sort of thing to anyone, I would include the ideal of insulation from the ground. Most lads only think to cover up, and not about getting one's self off the cold ground.
SE
Totally. I actually plan to bring out some contractor grade trash bag and teach the boys how to fill those for simple and easy grass beds. a few other tricks. I want to teach them the usefulness of the humble garbage bag. Cool 
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Re: Survival Camp

Post by arcliner on October 8th 2013, 7:26 am

Looking forward to the report or photos you are posting soon!

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on October 8th 2013, 4:44 pm

Good job Strouds. Those trash bags can save a life in a pinch. Useful for many things. Collecting water, making a shelter, rain poncho to name a few.

I request the boys to bring a trash bag with them on backpacks. Sometimes we dont' use them. Other times...they are used for trash and other times... they fill a need we have of some kind.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on November 6th 2013, 2:47 pm

Survival Camp went well. From 2 adults, 2 Rangers, and 1 guest youth member last year we increased to 4 adults, 6 Rangers and 5 Youth guests.

Camp started at 6:00 with an hour of daylight burning and marching orders as prep shelter and fires for the night. You would think with a tarp and cordage this would be a simple feat but I had to assist and guide in building of 3 shelters, not including my own. and I only needed 10 minutes for prep Cool.

Every camper was issued a trash bag and briefed on how to fill it with plenty of the hip high grass we had surrounding our site, and use it as an under bed for their sleeping bag. Two boys didn't think they it would make any difference. Coincidently, those two boys didn't sleep too well. It didn't freeze but did drop to 38.

One Youth's visitor's idea of backpack dinner was his father delivering a personal pizza. I just smiled and was at least happy he was out here. Of course, he then tried to tell his father that his fire was keeping him warm enough and tried to give his Dad his sleeping bag to take home. He "wasn't going to need it". I put my foot down on that one and reminded him he has a good 12 hours of dark and cold in front of him. Might not be the smartest thing to get rid of the warmest piece of kit he had.

Two of the youth boys needed some refresher in basic fire craft. I let them futz for an hour before I finally got their actual fire going, but gave them a stern warning that "that's your "gimmie" for the night. You keep that fire fed and going or you'll have to figure out the restart of it"

One pair of brothers invited their soccer team and they functioned like a well oiled machine. I was vey impressed. They pre-planned their camp and built a council fire between two lean-to's. Then even experimented with using a mylar blanket under their cover tarp to reflect the heat back down to them. I was very impressed with their self-management and general success.

As 10:00 rolled on and the true cold of the night settled in you could start to tell some of the veterans who were sitting pretty drinking something warm and those who were gathering more firewood because they were light before. Also kind of smiled to myself as I'm seeing some boys bring in pots and pans and cans of food and boxes of pankcake mix, while sitting quietly with my homemade MRE that fits into a 1 gallon bag and holds over 3k calories and I cook in some tin cans liberated from the recycling bin and smiling because I taught the outpost how to do that last year, and handed out the material again a month ago. Once they were resettled I broke out my surprise from my pack which was a peanut butter jar of hot cocoa mix so everyone went to bed with something warm in their belly.

Funniest laugh was when one boy, he's been with me for 5 years now, asks "how do you make cocoa."
I thought he just meant "where is it?" So I told him the plastic jar by the water jug.
"But how do you make it?"
"Oh, nothing special. I don't mess with milk or measurements, just hot water scoop some in. Help yourself."
"Oh . . . Where's the hot water?"
At this point, I'm cocking my head. "Water jug." I point. "Fire." I point.
"Ohh... how do you heat the water?"
Now this boy has earned his firecraft and cooking badge years ago and served his time on KP at previous camps. So at this point I'm reminded of Basic Training when my TI said "If I have to teach you breath, neither of us are going to like this."
But I got my billy can and lent it to the lad. Made him get a stick and we soon had his water boiled and cocoa in his belly.

The next day was focused on fire craft. The winds were high so even our fire master couldn't get the bow drill lighting, but every boy at least made smoke and learned an appreciation for it. We did cover a lot of non traditional lighters. My fire lens seemed popular when all you had to do was stand still. Then they found out it was only a dollar. I still need to send out a link to parent for that. Laughing

My partner commander brought in a plethora of tins and denim strips so every boy made charcloth and kept his char tin.
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Re: Survival Camp

Post by ccm2361 on November 6th 2013, 9:32 pm

Sounds like you guys had a great time Thumbs up 

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 6th 2013, 9:51 pm

I brought cord and tarps to a survival camp once and they still took forever to setup shelters.

It doesn't surprise me a soccer team could do better than most patrols even without experience. They know how to work together and how to follow a leader.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 6th 2013, 9:56 pm

Sometimes boys know how to do something but they're still at that stage where they sometimes want to be taken care of.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on February 26th 2014, 7:26 am

We are doing a survival camp the 2nd week of April. Will be teaching 2 merits there.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on February 26th 2014, 10:30 am

so many are possible, which ones?
I found out I'll be teaching Shelters at Pow Wow again in May

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on February 28th 2014, 7:18 am

Most likely primative shelters and primative snares.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on February 28th 2014, 7:20 am

Sunday night we will make strike anywhere one match wrapped in tolet paper dipped in wax fire starters. The cardboard wax kits as well.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on March 17th 2014, 10:08 am

Each boy made 6 strike anywhere fire starters. It's a good design.
I used the wax from tea candles and just discarded the aluminum for about the same amount of money as a block of wax. Use 2 tin cans one with water in it to act as a double boiler so the wax doesn't get to hot and ignite.

1. Take one section of toilet paper and fold it in half.
2. Take 3 strike anywhere matches and roll them up in this half folded toilet paper with the heads sticking out 1/4 inch.
3. Lick the paper like a roll your own cig.
4. Take a 6" piece of Walmart Floral Wire and wrap a half turn around the toilet paper and matches to be used as a tool to dip the matches in melted wax.
5. Dip the toilet paper and matches using the wire and hold in until they stop bubbling. Remove and lay them out on wax paper allow to cool for a minute or two before you remove the Walmart floral wire.
6. repeat the process until you have enough of these.

With 3 strike anywhere match heads your odds are pretty good they will ignite and light the wax on fire. One match only and you can get duds out of them.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on March 17th 2014, 10:11 am

This weekend on our Backpack one of my AR boys didn't use his tent. He made a primitive shelter by leaning a small tree against another tree at a branch and then laying smaller branches on each side of it. He did a great job of it and I only told him how to do it last week and he remembered how to do it. GRIN!

We survival camp out in 2 weeks.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on March 17th 2014, 10:50 am

Impressive! Our boys are starting to write checks I don't know they can cash. Feeling pretty confident they are starting to say they can outdo us old timers.

I'm thinking of a Cmdrs vs Rangers Survival camp

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by RRCmdrBennett on March 17th 2014, 12:10 pm

Pride goes before fall... (Boys) lol

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on March 25th 2014, 10:01 am

Tried using a magnifying glass to start a fire Sunday night in rangers. Even used the 3 paper fold over trick with black print..no fires..it was 6:45 pm so a very week sun to work with.

The boys enjoyed the cotton balls and metal match. I showed them how they can get it to light then put it out with their hands and do it again and they learned the more it got charred the faster it caught a spark and lite.

They really enjoyed the metal matches. Harbor Freght offers them for 2.99 on sale beats walmarts 7.00 ones.

We camp out in weekend after next supposed to get snow today....I love spring!

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on April 5th 2014, 7:43 am

We are off to a day and night of survival camp. Nothing but the clothes you are wearing can be used or taken. (taught them layers and no cotton will see if they listened)
They do get to bring some beef jerky and some dried fruit, a knife, some walmart floral wire, some waterproof match fire starters and metal match , a walmart survival blanket 2.50 kind and a one gallon can with a few simple items in it. a few pieces of duck tape. A homemade first aid kit, a couple of tea candles, fishing line, lurer, hooks and some tinfoil. Bare bones.

All week I kept wanting to add stuff to what we are bringing. I kept putting it back on the shelf and saying know..it's survival..the most likely won't have access to that.

I have 10 boys scheduled to go. Will see how many show.

We are staying at one of my Lt. Commanders who is also our District Director.

Weather is perfect. Low of 41 high of 60 No rain chance and no wind.

It's gonna be a long night..commander is living by the same rules as the boys.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by strods on April 5th 2014, 11:49 am

Survival camp is always our most popular. Even have youth boys coming out.

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Mark Jones on April 7th 2014, 8:14 pm


We had a great time. Report and pictures at this link.

http://readyrangers.tzo.com/2014SurvivalCampout/2014survivalcampout.htm

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Re: Survival Camp

Post by Phillip Gross on April 7th 2014, 9:42 pm

Good report Mark! I bet those eggs and bacon strips you trapped were right tasty after that night! Laughing
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