Wilderness Survival Weekend – March 18-20, 2016

Survival Camper Report

Wells Property, Jackson County

Scouts began arriving for Wilderness Survival Weekend about 5pm at WCA.  Due to some unforeseen but small delays, the group of 9 Scouts that were to go through the wilderness survival left a few minutes early in order to have as much daylight as possible.  Once we arrived at the property, the Scouts were divided into their 3 groups and assigned an area in which they were to build shelter, have fire, and cope with few supplies, few tools, and little food.

Group 1, consisting of Drew C, Ryan D, and Collie P (1st time survivor), were the first group to have fire.  I gave them 5 points.  They did a good job of picking a site for their shelter and fire pit and seemed to have made good decisions on which items they included in their daypack.

Group 2, consisting of Tristan M, Sean M, and Brody J (first time survivor),  got to work quickly on making a shelter and had done a great job of collecting leaves and debris for cover over their shelter (5 points).  This group was brave and went without a fire the first night.  Luckily it didn’t get too cold, and a lesson may have been learned.

Group 3, consisting of Joseph H, Pierce S, and Stephen P (1st time survivor), stood out with their oval shaped shelter that fit 2.5 people.  I gave them 5 points for a great shelter.  However, it was so large that covering it appropriately to keep out the impending rain was going to be difficult.

With night came the threat of rain, but the Scouts got lucky and rain stayed just a threat. Checking on the Scouts through the night found some of them comfortably sleeping away on the ground, and some of them tending fire (even at 2:30 am).  Tending fire paid off about 4:30am when the temperature dropped noticeably.  But dawn and the sun came out Saturday morning to reveal all had made it through the night well.  The Scouts were awarded with a small bag of food for the day.

Another check of the camps and some helpful hints saw group 2 update their shelter to better accommodate 3 people and move their fire pit to a more useful spot.  They did a great job of improving their situation, another 5 points.  Group 3 added to their shelter with a second “room” and a little bit of a roof.  Group 1 was definitely the best scavengers, ending up with lots of items from pots and pans to a fire barrel.  Ryan D even completed an advancement requirement by creating a “useful gadget” using proper lashing technique.  His day pack and hat rack were excellent.

A long day of learning from each other and finding just about anything to keep from getting bored eventually turned to evening and the need for shelter and fire for warmth again.  Knowing the temperature would be a little cooler Saturday night, the Scouts began preparing for a second long night, this time on an empty stomach.  Clear skies again meant that the Scouts didn’t have to deal with rain, but cool temperatures and a cacophony of sounds from barking dogs to yipping coyotes,  owls and a very confused rooster who crowed all night meant sleep was sometimes difficult to come by (that may have just been me).  The Scouts did well again overnight, although staying up to tend fire was a bit more difficult.

Morning brought with it the knowledge that base camp was preparing a feast of bacon, eggs and pancakes for the survivors.  By 7:30 am, the Scouts had begun or even completed (good job Group 1) clean up of their campsite including the proper dousing of their campfires.   A quick check of the campsites and the survivors made their way out of the woods to a cheer and applause from base camp as accomplished survivors!   Breakfast was fantastic and really hit the spot!

Great Job Survivors!

Great breakfast base camp!

Thanks to the Wells family for letting us use the property!

Thanks to the Adult Survivor help Tap P.

This entry was posted in Trip Report. Bookmark the permalink.