Shelter building

Big shelters, small shelters. Shelters made with sticks, grass, rope, string, tarpaulins, and coats. Group shelters. Single-man/woman/boy/girl shelters.

I would say that we’ve seen them all. But every time I think that, someone comes along and proves me wrong.

Building shelters (dens, shops and headquarters – once even a mining store, for reasons that never became totally apparent) is a frequent part of our days. It isn’t planned like that, but there seems to be a law that says you can’t go into the woods without building a den.

Fortunately we know people who can do that…. 

Tracking

Ever fancied yourself as a ninja? It’s a surprisingly common hidden profession, in our experience.

If you are (or aren’t) classically trained you’ll be pleased to know that we offer a training programme of stealthy movement, tracking, trailing and camouflage that is compliant with the latest EU and international ninja standards*.

Leaving the dojo aside, it’s surprising how quietly a group of children can move when they want to (and have been shown how to), and how much wildlife there is to get close to once you know how to move in the woods.

* headbands and poisoned darts not supplied

Woodland crafts

We make: God’s eyes, snakes, bows (and arrows), string, jewellery, paint, wattle and daub houses, masks, hats, boggarts (if you don’t know you’ve not been on one of our days), face paint, rope bridges, bird feeders, quoits, journey sticks, story stones, ground art, tree faces, spider webs, Halloween shrunken heads, boats, magic wands.

And you can too!

Fire lighting

We don’t use fire at all our sites, but where we do we teach the safe, responsible use of fire, and lots of different ways to light it. Most children won’t need to light a fire every day, of course. But they will find the skills of risk management, attention to detail and following instructions useful in everything they do. There’s also a great sense of achievement in getting the spark from your fire striker to catch (although it’s not as satisfying as the taste of toasted marshmallow once the fire is going properly!).

Please be aware that while the hot and dry weather continues there will be no camp fires or fire lighting at any sites.

Survival skills

If you were stranded on the famous hypothetical island could you 

  1. Build a shelter that would keep you warm and dry?
  2. Light a fire and keep it going?
  3. Find water and make it safe?

Wild Learning children are familiar with those three aspects of the survival triangle, as well as tracking, how to be seen (and how to stay unseen) and (season-dependent) foraging. 

So, if you don’t have those skills, and are planning a shipwreck make sure your children have been to us first.

Games

Ah….games. But, to be clear, we’re not talking about the genteel whack of leather on willow, nor civilised exertions on the tennis courts. No, we’re thinking of the woodland laser maze, the frenetic Eagle Eyes, the stealthy (and usually drenched) Ninja, The Wizard and the Troll, Hunter, Mammoth, Mouse…. and (dare I mention it) the infamous Killer Frisbee. 

Those are just the standard (if you can apply that word) games we play. A so far infinite variety of variations and made-up-on-the-spot games also happen, seemingly without any input on our part: just add children and stand well back….

Or join in.