Year 6 Bushcraft

Year 6 Bushcraft

On Wednesday 7 June, a very excited Year 6 made the short coach journey to Penshurst Place where they – along with a select group of lucky teachers – would be spending the next three days fully embracing the wilderness and developing their outdoor skills…as well as having a lot of fun! As soon as we arrived at the site, the camp leaders made the children feel very welcome and it did not take long for the chanting and singing to begin. After splitting up into tribes and collecting wood, the children helped to make campfires, which were then used to cook freshly made burgers – a delicious lunch to get us started.

The afternoon was time for camouflage and concealment. After covering their faces (or the majority of their bodies in some cases) with naturally sourced camouflage made from the ashes of the fires, they were taught tactics to hide in and amongst the woodland areas and evade capture from each other. A hearty dinner was followed by an evening activity of shelter building and s’mores. It would have been a shame to not make full use of the shelters, so children spent the first evening sleeping out amongst the stars – a magical experience!

The early sunrise meant that children were wide awake by 5:30am, but after a short – and encouraged – lie in, they were up and ready to start the day. A full day of activities were planned which included first aid, knife skills, paracord survival bracelet making, archery and tomahawk axe throwing. Special mention to Diya and Miss Blair as they only two that managed to get the tomahawks to wedge into the wooden targets. Homemade pizzas were enjoyed for lunch and then we were treated to a demonstration of pannassing, a traditional way of cooking salmon, in which it was de-boned, butterflied and cooked over an open fire for about four hours producing the most amazing flavour. The eyeballs were up for grabs and two very brave volunteers opted to get in a pre-dinner snack and try them! Apparently, they were not that bad, but I think we will just take their word for it. The evening saw children practising and then performing ‘Tribe’s Got Talent’, which produced a whole host of skills we never knew the children had. Samuel and Harry’s golden buzzer dance performance certainly provided a lot of laughs before finishing the evening with brownies and freshly pannassed salmon.

Children spent the second night sleeping in large bell tents and given the early morning and busy day, children were out for the count and fast asleep before we knew it. After a good night’s sleep and hot breakfast, children spent the morning learning how to make traps that could be used in the wilderness to catch a whole range of animals. However, with no animals in close proximity, it was up to the unsuspecting teachers to fall prey to the children’s cleverly made and concealed traps. Using biscuits as bait – they just knew the lure would be too much!

After a clear up of camp and final meal, it was time to bid farewell to the Bushcraft adventure and our Year 6 residential. We returned tired and with bags of dirty washing, but most importantly with plenty of stories and some fantastic memories.

Well done Year 6!

Mr Snow

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