Tag Archives | knife skills

Home Education Group

Following on from our fun sessions throughout the summer holidays, David has been running more Environmental Learning and Bushcraft sessions at Shortenills Environmental Centre in Chalfont St Giles. The morning sessions are with children aged up to 7 years and those in the afternoon for age 7 and above. They have proved to be very popular, with sessions regularly fully booked.

Making natures dream-catchers with home-education group

Making natures dream-catchers with home-education group

In this weeks session, the younger children made dream-catchers, with a little help from their parents who are actively involved throughout. We gathered pieces of green-hazel and bent them into hoops and then created a web of jute string and wool – the n fun began with weaving in things found in the woods: leaves, feathers, pieces of bark and more. It was lovely to seem them turning in the breeze.

We finished off with cups of nettle tea, with the kettle boiling over the campfire and nettles foraged from the edge of the woodland.

The older group were introduced to the safe use of knives. Each child was shown how to whittle a tent peg, with the younger ones receiving one-to-one instruction and supervision to ensure they had fun and successfully made their tent peg! More nettle tea followed!

Making fat lamps with home-education group

Making fat lamps with home-education group

Other weeks activities included making fat candles. We used a variety of fats, pork lard, beef dripping and vegetable. The children found interesting pieces of wood with shallow holes or crevices in which to place their candles. Then we filled them with fat and each child lit a match to light their candle.

Bread baking with home-educator group

Bread baking with home-educator group

And yes, we baked bread too. The children made the dough using string bread flour, milk powder and baking powder. With a little help, they wound the dough around the sticks and cooked them over the campfire.

David is looking forward to running more Environmental Learning and Bushcraft sessions – if you’d like to know more the by all means do get in contact – thanks!

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

Buckinghamshire Scouts – Back to Bushcraft

Everyone wants to be doing Bushcraft; an opportunity to learn new Bushcraft skills, sharpen up on old ones and put them all into practice.

Scout leaders relax in their natural shelter

Scout leaders relax in their natural shelter

Starting on a Saturday morning, you will be learning knife skills, fire-by-friction and other methods for lighting fires, building natural and man-made shelters.

In the evening we’ll be back country cooking and sleeping out, experiencing our new shelters. The sleepover will finish after breakfast on Sunday morning.

Real confidence booster for being a new leader

Itinerary:

  • Knife skills; the law, safe and practical use
  • Folding saw; techniques for safe use
  • You’ll be making a craft item using these skills
  • Building successful fires; tinder, kindling and fire lays
  • Fire by friction; using a bow drill to create fire
  • Other methods for fire lighting
  • Building shelters from natural materials
  • Putting up tarps and hammocks
  • Back country cooking

Fantastic experience, learning the basics, sleeping outdoors without tents, cooking on open fires and not relying on gas

Includes: teas and coffees, a light lunch, dinner and breakfast! Just as at camp, everyone will be expected to help with meal preparations, etc. To ensure everyone gets the most from this event, numbers are limited to 10 Leaders

Super location, animated and expert instruction, very useful refresher course for all Scout Leaders

Explorer Scouts Bushcraft Weekend

Setting the scene for the weekend, the Explorer Scouts sat by the campfire, in the outdoor classroom, a big cargo parachute. They listened to the weekend’s itinerary and safety brief. Whilst the camp is located on a Scout site, we were a ten minute walk from the main camp. Based in a small plantation, there is a nice variety of trees and under-story, so we disappear into the woodlands, out of sight of the campers on the main site.

Explorer Scouts learning Bushcraft

Explorer Scouts learning Bushcraft

All the Explorers were keen to be learning and or improving their knife skills. After discussion of knife safety, small groups were shown how to use a Mora knife, an important step up from their penknives. They, practiced cutting techniques and ultimately made tent pegs, to be used later in the day for shelters set up and construction.

Explorer Scouts learn knife skills

Explorer Scouts learn knife skills

Explorer Scouts learnt how to improve their fire lighting skills, covering fire steels, flint and steel and wire wool and batteries (always a favourite – just like a small firework display). Fire-by-friction can be challenge, so to help the Explorers be successful, they worked in teams. By having two Scouts holding the bearing block in place, and another two on the bow, each Scout had one task making the job far easier.

Explorer Scouts learn fire-by-friction

Explorer Scouts learn fire-by-friction

The Explorer Scouts, learnt how to build natural shelters from the materials found in the woods and then went on to learn how to set up a tarp and hammock. Here you can see them setting up the first of many tarps and hammocks. By the time it was getting dark they had a small village set up and enjoyed chilling out in the hammocks.

Explorer Scouts learning how to set up a tarp and hammock

Explorer Scouts learning how to set up a tarp and hammock

Along with ponassing fish and plucking pigeon, the Explorer Scouts helped to prepare a Muntjac deer. The dear had been shot a few days earlier and gutted immediately to ensure the meat was not spoiled. But the Muntjac still needed to be skinned and jointed. The venison joints were cooked in an earth oven / fire pit, with hot rocks cooking the meat, the heat sealed in with the earth dug from the hole.

Explorer Scouts learning game preparation

Explorer Scouts learning game preparation

In all there were 18 Explorer Scouts, from two units based near Aylesbury, with their respective leaders helping. A few of the Leaders had attended the Youth Leader Bushcraft Training course earlier in the year. Everyone had a great time, leaders too, helped no doubt, by the Explorer Scouts enthusiasm throughout the weekend.

A day of woodland crafts at Blackpark

A day of making bark containers and wooden spoons using the natural resources of the woodlands of Black Park County Park, The park provided lovely Birch for carving spoons and Sweet Chestnut for making pots. Black Park has a secluded area for Bushcraft activities, not far from the lake, with the camp kettle on throughout the day for cups of tea and coffee.

Woodland crafts making a sweet chestnut container

Woodland crafts making a sweet chestnut container

The day started with learning basic knife skills and considerations for the their safe use. First off it was carving tent pegs and becoming familiar with carving green wood. Once everyone was confident with general carving, we moved on to carving wooden spoons.

Woodland crafts making a sweet chestnut container

Woodland crafts making a sweet chestnut container

Containers were made from rounds of Sweet Chestnut. The bark was carefully cut and peeled away, ready to form the container and strips of bark used to stitch them together. Disks of Birch were used to provide the base and lids for the containers.

Everyone was pleased with the results, taking home some lovely bark containers and wooden spoons.

This group of Forest School leaders were pleased with their spoons and bark containers!

This group of Forest School leaders were pleased with their spoons and bark containers!