Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Survival Camp for Kids

Here briefing the kids on the mechanics of the obstacle course.  The parents will of course be everywhere with ready cams.  

Start them young.  Kids need to have fun, exert physical effort, hone their motor skills and creativity, socialize and learn a lot.

My first attempt of organizing a kids’ version of survival camp turned out to be more fun than expected – even the parents loved it, but managing a chaotic environment full of excited kids (and parents) made it difficult to properly execute each activity.  Nonetheless, I will rate this ‘successful’ in many ways especially when funding is low and resources are scarce.

Lectures are boring, so quick background of activities is the only talk topic possible ;)

In the ideal world - various relevant outdoor skills should be included in a day-only (or half-day) event.  I’m sharing this as possible template for parents or school faculties who may wish to organize such event (either as a birthday party, outdoor class event, or PTA activity of some sort, etc.).  My thought of a basic-level survival camp for kids may include these list below...
Bring me - first aid kit, water bottles (with water), torch, etc.  The parents were not really participants but they can't help but join in the fun! :)

a.      Build basic know-how on survival essentials.  In a game format, I made this a ‘bring-me’ type where team members gather items such as water bottle, water, food, first aid kit, flashlight (or torch) among others. You may add various flavours such as filtering water (if they’re getting it from a pond), making carry-bags from cloth, waterproofing techniques (like using large plastic bag inside a backpack), etc.

b.      Temporary shelter.  If there’s a major disaster such as earthquake or fire – and there’s a need to camp out without tents, it would help if kids (and adults alike) learn some simple know-how on building temporary shelter.  All you need are large pieces of tarp, or even just water-resistant cloth or ‘blanket’; short-length cords -- and a game format.  Like a race to build a decent-looking tent attached to a stable wall or tree where x-number of kids can comfortably fit.

c.      Navigation.  Use of compass and maps could be tricky even for adults – so the general idea here is more on environmental awareness.  Of landscape, of general directions, of reading terrain and assessing danger areas.  A game format could be as simple as orienteering with basic directions (like due West, or North) and estimated distance - leading to a spot where they can retrieve an object (like a bag of goodies).  Additional challenge like terrain difficulty or any obstacle may be added to hone their creativity in navigating through a not-so-straightforward terrain, or retrieving the goodies (say it's hanging 6ft above ground).

d.      Water skills are a whole course or several courses in itself, but presence of stream or swimming pool may add a good element of fun.  Like how to save a drowning classmate from the shore – as an example.  Simple rope-throwing techniques, willing volunteers and some basic rescue skills and know-how may help you pull this through.

e.      Disaster drills are things that we should do at home, at school even in other areas like malls or boats.  Process awareness is like pre-conditioning or programming that may help kids act properly in disaster situations. Fire, earthquake, flooding, (even home intruder scenario) – are all common things that may be included in a fun drill. 
In the absence of drills - we just did a long obstacle course.  This leg is a team-walk using "kadang-kadang".

Another leg is 'roll the tire' typical of old-fashioned Pinoy kids' tire-rolling race.

As our kiddie participants progress from basic to advanced, or as time permits – new skill-building activities may easily be added – such as overnight camping, fire-building and cooking, night treks, and other things where the element of FUN can always be injected.  

Oh and never forget the 1st rule – SAFETY!  
Old-fashioned game of 'hit the pot' (with goodies inside).

Clay pots are cheap and eco-friendly but the game is no longer popular, this activity offered lots of excitement for kids and parents.
Prizes or give-aways could be something relevant, useful and eco-friendly.  In the pic are camou 'survival sling-bags' where kids can store their - well small toys and gadgets.  Includes a mini-torch. Small items may be added such as whistle, short cord (that can be used as necklace) and for bigger kids - a small foldable knife even.

Added traditional varieties like tirador (sling shot), marbles, turumpo (top), sipa (kick ball) and jackstones.

Team management requires effort. Make sure you have people safeguarding and managing them.

Red team strategizing.  Team work and individual leadership are essential elements.

Partially assembled TNF tent; tents are big lure to kids and babies - for some reasons ;)

Good healthy food - teach them what's good to eat.  This one is for trail mix with captions on benefits of nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruits.

No comments: