What brings me joy is the opportunity to share my passion with others and to see their interest while I teach them and their enthusiasm when demonstrating their newly learned skills. I was privileged to teach survival classes at the Turtle Island Preserve 2015 Older Boys Camp where boys ranged in ages from eleven to seventeen. For some of the boys it was their first camping experience but for others it was a valued return trip.
At the beginning of each class we shared informal introductions and then I passed out slips of paper to each boy listing survival priorities, and discussed the “rule of threes”. I then demonstrated how to build a campfire that would would later serve to make charcloth for flint & steel firecraft. Each boy who attended the classes successfully achieved this fire method.
They also learned how to make a whistle out of acorn caps and soda bottle caps for signaling. We discussed cooking methods using unconventional tools such as cans and plastic bottles. I demonstrated how to use hand-sanitizer as fuel to cook an egg. They also learned about “Hobo” fishing and had the opportunity to cast a lure using a soda can instead of a conventional rod and reel. At the conclusion of the class I demonstrated a little flint knapping using glass from the bottom of a glass bottle.
I reflect on the days of my youth and value the folks who shared life-skills with me and hope that the information and demonstrations that I shared will be a benefit to the boys who attended my classes.