Tag Archives | fire lighting

Enrichment for Princess Risborough School

David has been providing Bushcraft enrichment at Princess Risborough School – once per week all students have an enrichment session. These sessions provide an opportunity for students to broaden their knowledge, acquire new skills and above all, have fun learning something new. As part of this programme, David was invited to provide Bushcraft sessions for year 5 (rising 12 years).

For our first week, we started with fire lighting skills, covering a few different methods and lighting a fire on the school playing field (we all found that fun!). Students practised leave-no-trace, which meant there was no evidence left of our campfire, just as well given where it was! The following week saw us erecting shelters and building on previous skills: lighting a storm-kettle to boil water.

Lunchtime whittling at Princess Risborough School - Bushcraft enrichment

Lunchtime whittling at Princess Risborough School – Bushcraft enrichment

Each week we spend an hour learning something new whilst building up a little more experience with previous skills – this week students were learning to safely use knives and were practising by whittling hazel sticks. It was good to see their care and attention to the task.

Watchful eye as students practice carving - Bushcraft enrichment

Keeping a watchful eye as students practice carving – Bushcraft enrichment

We have adopted a corner of the school sports field for our Bushcraft activities. It has the advantage of providing shelter from the wind if it gets a little blowy and yet receives the lunchtime sunshine too. Looking back at these pictures, it’s nice to see other students playing rugby while we whittle hazel sticks!

Happy carving a pointy stick - Bushcraft enrichment

Happy carving a pointy stick – Bushcraft enrichment

It’s always a pleasure teaching the students at Princess Risborough School – great to see their smiles too as they achieve new things each week. Oh, and what happens in the winter months you may well ask, we will be wearing coats and dressing up warm – just like those playing outdoor sports we will be outside enjoying nature.

Proud of their achievment - Bushcraft enrichment

Proud of their achievements, lots of wood shavings everywhere and some pointy hazel sticks on show – Bushcraft enrichment

Interested in Bushcraft enrichment for your school? Contact David for details!

Scout Leaders enjoy a weekend in the woods

A few more Scout Leaders enjoyed a weekend in the woods learning Bushcraft; introduction to knife skills and safety, making candle sticks, splitting wood without an axe, lots of different methods of fire-lighting, building shelters, setting up tarps and hammocks, and cooking all their meals on a campfire.

Knife skills; camp gadgets candle sticks

Knife skills; camp gadgets candle sticks

For more details of what is included – click here!

Lovely feedback…

Thank you again for an educational, fun, really enjoyable weekend. As a leader just starting out I have come away with more helpful knowledge to hopefully pass down to the younger generation. As long as I see one scout with a smile on their face after showing them something that you have taught me then the mission is a success

A day of backcountry cooking at Black Park

A day of learning to bake, steam, roast and cook on campfires. Starting with bread making, we made an unleavened  dough, baking the bread around the campfire. The campfire oven, a fire pit with hot rocks had been slowly cooking our joint of lamb and now it was time to dig it out, carefully uncovering our roast lunch!

Steaming trout in damp moss over a campfire

Steaming trout in damp moss over a campfire

A selection of fish, tuna and trout were steamed over the fire. Wrapped in burdock leaves, the fish cooked in the steam of the damp moss, creating a delicately cooked fish.

Backcountry cooking, lamb roasted in a fire pit with fresh baked bread

Backcountry cooking, lamb roasted in a fire pit with fresh baked bread

The star attraction, roast lamb cooked in the woods. The lamb was cooked to perfection, eaten with some of the baked bread, no one went hungry. But just in case, there was a variety of items to kebab and then it was on to making drop scones, topped with home made damson jam.

Backcountry cooking; campfire kebabs

Backcountry cooking; campfire kebabs

Back to Bushcraft for Scout Leaders

Another lovely weekend in the woods at Chalfont Heights Scout Camp teaching Scout Leaders Bushcraft.

Learning how to light fires successfully

Learning how to light fires successfully

Being the first course of the year there was plenty to do; building a new table, setting up benches with timber from the managed plantation, making big tent pegs and cutting timber for the fire. Friday afternoon was spent setting up camp, putting up the parachute, big tarp and or course the on-suite toilet facilities!

Fire-by-friction success!

After a short tour of the woodland site and a safety brief – first subject of the day was knife skills; safety and the law, then on to cutting techniques, demonstrations and then whittling pegs and making kebab sticks ready for lunch!

Excellent instruction – more than worth going for the weekend, highly recommended

Cooking kebabs on the campfire

Cooking kebabs on the campfire

After a cuppa and biscuits, it was on to camp fires or more importantly how to light them successfully using a variety of methods. Whilst we were blessed with good weather, that didn’t go so far as having enough sun for solar ignition, but sparks were all working fire; fire steels and flint against steel, plus batteries and wire wool.

Next up was having some fun with fire-by-friction. After discussion about the components; bow, drill, hearth and bearing block, the technique and a demonstration it was time for the Scout Leaders to have a go. The Scouting motto “be prepared” could have been written just for this task – it’s not always as easy as it first might look, but I was pleased to see some success! And what better way to use those campfires, then to cook lunch – kebabs again; salami, ham, mushrooms, sweet peppers all wrapped up in a tortilla,  yummy!

It was good fun – family will be surprise that ‘bushcraft’ didn’t involve eating anything “weird”

Natural shelter building

Natural shelter building

Where were we going to sleep? The answer natural leafy shelters and in hammocks. Just a few simple knots for the hammocks and advice on checking they are secure and techniques for getting in and out safely. The natural shelters were a success, the most built on these courses so far, great fun and excellent team work meant a few leaders slept out in these cosy camps.

Preparing trout ready to ponass

Preparing trout ready to ponass

After a long day, with lots of tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits, it was time for some dinner and a lesson in fish preparation. Trout was on the menu, many people are put of fish because of the bones, so learning to ponass the fish, meant we could just enjoy the lovely trout with out the bones (well almost).

Ponnassed trout ready for cooking

Ponnassed trout ready for cooking

After gutting, filleting and ponassing it was time to cook them over the fire. Served up with salads, they were rather tasty.

Go on the course, I learnt a lot while having great fun, well worth the time, it’s fantastic, superb value!

Girlguiding Survival Camp

It may have been November, but the local Girl Guides were keen to be out side having fun at their ‘survival camp’. The day started with a safety briefing and introduction to the Bushcraft skills they would be learning. The first activity was with learning how to successfully light campfire. The Guides gathered tinder, sticks and branches from the woods and then set about lighting their fires using fire steels. After some practice with the fire steels, each team had a fire.

Children enjoy building shelters and dens in the woods

Children enjoy building shelters and dens in the woods

Next it was shelter building. The shelters were made using the natural resources of the woodland; guidance was on hand at all times.

Girlguiding, Guides had fun making natural shelters

Girlguiding, Guides had fun making natural shelters

It was lovely to see the Guides competitive nature, the youngest team really wanted to have the best shelter and they did a fine job if it too.

Natural shelter building as part of a survivor challenge

Natural shelter building as part of a survivor challenge

Time for a challenge; preparing Rainbow Trout for tea. The Guides gutted and filleted the fish – not everyone was keen at first, but they soon got stuck in and got the job done. The Trout was ponassed over their campfires. Ponassing is a little like a kebab, using a split stick and skewers to support the fish and then the fish is cooked over a bed of embers. Everyone enjoyed their tea of Trout and salad wrapped in a tortilla.

Thank you very much David, the feedback from tonight’s meeting is that the Girl Guides all really enjoyed the Bushcraft, so thank you!