Monday, July 24, 2006

Volunteering at Camp Delafield

Last Wednesday I volunteered at Camp Delafield. It is a camp conducted by the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana. The children have academic tutoring and participate in recreational activities. I spent the afternoon there as a "mystery guest". In the past they've had fireman and police officers. I was there to teach a little about wilderness survival. It was pretty cool because I got to teach whatever I wanted. I came up with a pretty cool lesson plan.

I had the kids list the things they would need in a survival situation. I expected to hear some crazy stuff, but berries, a cell phone, and a grown up were about the craziest. They were pretty smart and listed all the important ones without my help. I wrote all their ideas on a dry erase board and then ranked each one for importance.

This allowed me to cover the Sacred Order of Shelter, Water, Fire and Food. I focused on shelter since it is the most important. After covering the importance of shelter location, I described the debris hut and how to build one. I asked, "So, are you ready to go build one?" The kids got really excited and immediately got to there feet.

I led them out to a site in the woods where I had already gathered the materials for a shelter. Then we all built the shelter together. It was cool to be able to actually illustrate the points I was describing in the lecture. The kids had a really good time. I heard a lot of them refer to it as a fort which is probably why they were so interested. Unfortunately there weren't really enough leaves around to even come close to finishing the shelter, but I think they got the basic idea.

On August 3rd I plan to go back to the camp for their campfire night. My plan is to light their campfire using my bow drill. Hopefully I can also teach them a little bit about fire.


fooiemcgoo said...

those kids are pretty cute.

you are the man. you might have saved one of those kids, if they are ever in the need of shelter.

Lighting a fire with a bow should be pretty sweet, make sure to tell them not to play with it though. actually, i bet they won't like that as much, becasue all they can do is watch, and they probably won't respect how difficult it is.

is archery too dangerous?

Pinger said...

VERY well done. It looks like you had a great time. I'm sure the children did too. Don't forget to journal the experience offline too.

When you do the bowdrill fire, make sure you have extra spindles and notches burnt in in case your first set doesn't work. All you stuff should be at the varsity/all star level.

I agree with fooie, archery sounds dangerously fun.

Bleach n Sheets said...

I think at the end you should leave the kids in the woods for a minimum of 7 days. Stress the importance of eating one another if the situation gets drastic.

In all seriousness, good job! It is stuff like this that makes life grand.

Sassmouth said...

Actually, I think they were doing archery earlier in the day. I didn't get to see the range though.

Originally I was going to incorporate fire into my lesson. I was going to give them one match to start a fire so they would see how hard it is before I even taught them anything. They would most likely fail at that. Then I was going to start a properly built one with a bow drill.

Pinger, I did prepare two notches on my fireboard and have been practicing for the occasion. I remember what you said about the class you taught. I'm still using the cedar set from my standard class and can usually get a coal in less than a minute.

fooiemcgoo said...

stick with me, I'll teach you how to use that firebow correctly. (for iso-metric excersize, not fire)

ratty said...

as an advocate of volunteering i have to say that i think it's awesome that you took the time to share your expertise! you deserve a big pat on the back sassy!! hope you get to go back out and share more with the kids.