30 Days of Wildness – Day 27 – Survival with Bramley Beavers

Day 27 of the 30 Day Challenge found me running a survival session for our local Beaver group – the  2nd Bramley Beaver Scouts. My son is a Beaver so I was more than happy to run this.

I can only publish a few pictures due to the Scout policy on this and must apologise about the quality of the pictures as I had left the focus on manual instead of auto.

I set up a scenario where the Beavers were lost in the woods and in trying to find out where they were, they found a ‘supposed’ aircraft crash site. Everything they found at the site such as a discarded parachute was put to use.

In no time they had the chute up to offer them some protection from the sun.

Photo 29-06-2015 21 53 08
Rigging the chute

Once the chute was up the Beavers went out to collect wood and tinder for their fire (all strategically placed for speed as we only had an hour and a half for the whole event).

The Beavers lit the fires (we made two) using firesteels and we set up a cooking rig to boil water in a couple of kettles (a brew for the staff).

Photo 29-06-2015 21 55 08
Getting the fire ready

I had set up a load of hammocks around the crash site for the Beavers to try out. I took ten at a time on the firelighting while the other ten were told to conserve their energy and rest up in the hammocks. I had no arguments on this from any of them.

Photo 29-06-2015 21 55 49
Hammock time

Once the fires were going we set off to do two other activities. I asked Amber (aka Kiwi) if she could run a drum stalk. This is where the Beavers are blindfolded and they have to walk towards the sound of the drum and touch the drummers forehead. All the Beavers managed this. It is a good game for teaching them the importance of using all their senses and not just their sight.

Photo 29-06-2015 21 56 39
Getting the tea on

The other activity was the Atlatl. They had a great time pinging Atlatl darts down the range to finish off.

Photo 29-06-2015 21 58 13
Some Atlatl time

I had a great time with this event and by the smiles on the Beavers faces afterwards I think they did too.



30 Days of Wildness – Day 20 – Reflecting with the Beavers

Day 20 of the 30 Day Challenge was not one I needed to think about much. My son Finlay is a member of the 2nd Bramley Beaver Scouts.

They had decided for tonights activities to visit Morgaston Woods near The Vyne National Trust property to explore the area, discuss the idea of self reflection and of course – toast a marshmallow or three.

I tagged along as an interested parent and also to meet the boys as I will be working with them next week.

Photo 22-06-2015 21 17 25
Reflection at Morgaston Wood

The Beavers split up into about five different groups and chatted about what they themselves felt they had to be thankful for in life. Once they had decided they wrote their thoughts on a tag and hung them of a line to swing in the breeze.

I found the whole process quite relaxing, fun and crucially quite mentally stimulating – I too had to take part 🙂

Photo 22-06-2015 21 17 26
Messages in the wind

A fire was lit in a tray and I managed to catch the initial flare as all the kindling went up – made for quite a flame. The flames soon died down and after a little while (a story was read about pigs and poo – laughed too much to understand what it was all about) everyone got on with the serious business of marshmallow toasting.

Photo 22-06-2015 21 17 27
Marshmallow time

There was time for a bit of daft fun in the lean too shelters while we were heading home.

Photo 22-06-2015 21 52 07
The lock up

As we drove Finlay’s friend William home we spotted some Poppies growing on the roadside – could not pass up the opportunity for one more picture.

Photo 22-06-2015 21 17 28
A Poppy find on the way home

I liked tonight as I did not have to think about what to do and the Beavers were an excellent and well behaved bunch.

I am looking forward to working with them next Monday with a spot of survival training.



30 Days of Wildness – Day 16 – Hammock Time

I am running a bushcraft evening for our local Beaver group in just over a weeks time and so I went out with the pack leader Amber to check out the woods we would be using.

I took the kids with me as Alison is in London today and also took along a hammock to see if we could easily string a few up on the evening. Hammocks I thought was a good theme for the 30 Day Challenge.

After a good reccee of the site the kids found some clay blobsters the school children had made so they had fun playing with them. We also spotted a colony of ants with lots of flying ants among them (the pictures did not turn out well though).

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 37
Class Recee

After tea we went for an evening bimble and spotted lots of small willowherbs and quite a few ripe wild strawberries.

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 38
Willowherb and Wild Strawberries

In keeping with the hammock theme I put up my small EDC hammock for Catherine and Finlay. This kept the kids happy while I wandered around looking for pictures. Finlay though could not help himself and was soon shimmying up a tree.

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 39
A bit more hammock time

While the kids were in the hammock or up trees I spotted these little critters. The one on the left was sitting on the tip of a small mullein leaf. There was a fight going on in the top right picture and the chap in the bottom right was just sunning himself.

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 39 (1)
Bug spotting

The beauty of the EDC hammock is that it has a zip – great for containing the kids when out and about 🙂

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 40
EDC – Perfect for naughty kids

It was soon time to go home but Finlay could not resist one more shimmy across the narrow ridge over the stream.

Photo 18-06-2015 21 14 41
Carefully does it

Another successful Wild Day I think and who knows what tomorrow will bring (need to think of something fast).