Third year pupils sharpen skills during Bushcraft break

Forty seven third year pupils spent an action-packed weekend in the countryside as they took part in a Bushcraft experience at Cholmondley Castle Gardens.

Throughout the weekend, the girls and boys were taught a number of essential survival lessons such as igniting fires, making shelters and basic first aid.

To make a fire the pupils were split into groups and had to scour the forest for wood. They then used skills shown to them by the camp leaders to create sparks to get a fire going.

The adventurers then moved on to the very important job of setting up camp and making a shelter. To do this they used materials including paracords, tarp, pegs, branches and any other items they could find in the forest.

As part of camp life each shelter had to create a set of rules that all camp mates would have to abide by. These included some interesting regulations, from the sublime: “there is a democracy” and “everyone must do their job”, to the silly: “cake always to be in stock” and “no Manchester City fans!”

The pupils then used their hunting skills as they donned face paint during a camouflage and concealment game before learning how to gut a fish.

The second day focussed on first aid. The adventurers were told to assess their surroundings and given tips on how to locate casualties. They were also advised on what to do to give the person the highest chance of surviving.

Next up, the boys and girls were thrown in to a ‘real life’ situation where they had to utilise the first aid skills they had acquired. Mr Ehegartner, Mr Byrne, Mrs Goddard and Mr Hanson acted as the injured survivors of a plane crash and the pupils discussed and put into action everything they had learned.

At the end of the visit the boys and girls were the first group ever to clear camp, which they were allowed to do because they had impressed the camp leaders so much.

Head of Life Studies, Mr Alex Ehegartner, organised the trip and was delighted with how the trip went: “We spent the weekend learning basic survival techniques and doing practical activities to reinforce their learning. It was great to see kids being kids, running around the woods enjoying themselves and playing forest games – all with no technology!

“They really impressed me with the way they ran the camp and how they carried out their roles.”

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