At the beginning of December, our Troop takes on the challenge of collecting all the skills they want to practise, myths the want to solve and fullhearted adventure they wish to wish to prepare for into one camp. It's called Skills Camp. We never wanted to dismiss any skills development that youth wanted to explore during our brainstorming sessions. So we build a camp around that pot pourri of skills.
Our first year doing the camp, we had a few items on the list of Skills our Scouts wanted to try out.
Being a sniper
Bake a cake
So the camp we used, gave us access to their kitchen, range and had plenty of fallen trees to build some shelters. It was a relaxed camp with tons of opportunities to be curious and to experiment with items our Scouts wanted to try out.
Fire starting without matches
Canned food cooking
102 things to do with your knife
Rustic cabin accommodations
2016 skillz camp really go the ball rolling. Gave us a chance to perfect and experiment once more with some new skills. Older youth were able to transfer some of their knowledge this time.
Chop a tree down with an axe or saw
Full survival camping
Dutch oven cooking
small and big shelters
Lashing / Build some furniture
Edible plants and wildlife.
This camp got to be more interesting. And our troop number have double since the past other years. So with some creative work, we offered two series for the Skillz camp. Survivalist series and the Voyageurs series. Scouts had to pick one of them for the weekend. Each with specific skills development, though some series did have some items that we were able to duplicate.
Camp Started on Friday night and ended Sunday early afternoon. Both Teams met at the lodge for their first night of sleep. Starting Saturday morning, each team went their separate ways with only the items on their back for their adventure.
This group would hike to a beach area, and start collecting materials to build fire and shelters. They also got to set up snares, and collect some food for consumption later. Due to some fowl weather. We had to help our Scouts out a bit. Focussing on a one pot meal, Scouts had to balance water boiling and cooking their dinner at the same time. They made sure they had prepared enough water for the day, then started cooking whether they snared. We placed rabbit carcasses on their traps. From their veggie hunt, they manage to collect some potatoes and carrots and a few other items. Rabbit stew was on the menu! Most of their day was building the shelters they were going to sleep in that night. Many different shelters were built. For breakfast the next morning , the Scouts had oatmeal and left over stew, packed up and headed back to base camp.
Having access to a canoe, the Voyageurs Scouts got to be a bit more frivolous. The portages a canoe and their gear to the site, also on a beached campsite. First , we split into job teams. We needed fire and a work space. We collected wood and spars that we could use for our site, got the fire going and built a table that we can do food prep on. We introduced some basic lashings to help build the table. Fire is going and we now have a table, More jobs to be done, cooking lunch and collecting wood to build our shelter. The Scouts decided on building an Adirondack shelter where they can all fit in it for the night. So we chopped some dead trees and cleaned some deadfall to build our castle. The task did seem a bit impossible at first, we needed lots of wood to complete our task. But as Scouters , we were simply happy to see them working hard, collecting all this wood and doing it safely. Lunch was a vegetable soup made form scratch with fresh bread cooked int he dutch oven, dinner was foil meals with apple crumble in the dutch oven. Breakfast was mountain man, every breakfast food baked in the Dutch oven. Scouts took turns to help chop veggies and any of the food prep tasks. They all managed to sleep in the shelter that night. Scouters slept in their tents back at camp. Leaving our Scouts the site they built to them selves.