Tag Archives | ponassing trout

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!

More practical skills for Scout Leaders

Scout Leaders never tire of learning new practical skills. Blessed with a sunny day, it was out with the parabolic mirror to create an ember – success! We had fun with fire-by-friction, flint and steel and create magical firework displays with wire-wool and batteries.

Solar fire lighting with a parabolic mirror

Solar fire lighting with a parabolic mirror

Enjoyed the whole weekend, the tasks were very well explained – book a place, every Scout Leader should attend!

Youth leaders enjoying making lunch on their campfire

Youth leaders enjoying making lunch on their campfire

Creating successful fires, it was then time for some well earning lunch; kebabs cooked over an open fire.

Natural shelter, big enough for two!

Natural shelter, big enough for two!

The afternoon was spent building natural shelters and then setting up tarps and hammocks. Then it was time for more food after learning how to ponass trout and cook it over the campfire.

Great teacher with lots of knowledge and experience