frame of a survival shelter (photo by JHY)
based on a news story in the Ludington Daily News, July 30, 2014
Twenty children recently participated in a survival course at West Shore Community College's College for Kids program. The offering was taught by Mark Willis, a teacher of environmental sciences at Ludington High School.
The kids put together basic lean-to frames and then covered them with ferns as thatch in an attempt to waterproof the temporary shelters. Some students covered the floor area with ferns, as well, for comfort. Other skills taught were how to find water, and packing a survival kit. The students started fire with flint and steel, fire building, and cooking a fish they might catch using only a stick and piece of string.
However, "the shelter is the first thing you worry about," Willis said.
Each afternoon, for four hours, the kids studied survival lessons. Time in the classroom was spent creating first aid kits and survival kits, or learning what to do if you become lost. Then the group headed outside to build the shelters, learn about edible and poisonous plants, and practice the lessons they'd been taught.
The campus woods at WSCC, near the pond, was the site of the outdoor activities. Shelters were a group project; everyone voted as to which was the best. Members of the winning group received a useful prize to go in the survival kit.
Both boys and girls signed up for the class. Most were 11-13 years of age.
See Survival Lessons for the whole story.
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