Bonaly would like to say a huge congratulations to the 65 Explorers who attended the first Halloween Survival Camp. They built and slept in their own shelters, using natural materials, a piece of plastic sheeting and a few ropes. They also cooked all meals on open fires with only some tinfoil, large bean tins and a stone. No pots and pans on a survival camp! Saturday dinner was game stew (pheasant, wood pigeon & partridge) in a bean tin, and Sunday breakfast was rainbow trout cooked on hot stones. We also had vegetarian and vegan alternatives. All the ingredients were prepared by the Explorers following a fish and game preparation demonstration.
The event started with a shelter building skills training session where the Explorers looked at different shelter designs and appropriate knots, including the brilliant “tarp corner knot” and “guy line hitch”. Most of the day on Saturday was spent building the shelters and cooking meals. When it got dark, we had a night orienteering activity followed by the campfire where we were joined by the 11th Braid Cubs who were staying in the Forth Lodge.
An early start was needed on Sunday to get the fires prepared for breakfast, well done again guys! The Explorers then took part in survival skills training and learnt how to start fires with natural tinders. They prepared bark from the silver birch tree so it could catch a spark from a fire steel, then added dry grass to start the fires. Next, they learnt how to strip fibres from nettles to produce natural cordage. These are both great survival skills to know as they use materials found commonly in the UK.
The last challenge for the Explorers was to dismantle their camps and leave no trace that they had been there.
We now hope to make the Survival Camp an annual event at Bonaly. If you’re interested, keep an eye out in the next newsletter for the Bonaly Scout Centre 2023 events calendar.