I am so pleased to be able to report such an amazing start to Sun and Stars Bushcraft! We opened for business on 15th May 2016 and instantly had a number of bookings for both our Day Camp and Bushclub programs. Only 6 short weeks later it was time for the Winter break and in this time we got to know our new tribe; we found our place and settled in to Baden Powell Park, drinking in the beauty of the surroundings, playing in the creek and exploring the dam.
We played games, challenged ourselves, went for bushwalks, learned about plants, animal movements, lit fires, drank hot chocolate and got to meet so many wonderful new friends. Our after school Bushclub was fully subscribed from day 1, the older kids took their knife licence to allow them to whittle in camp, we tackled the obstacle course and bonded in our new community…what a great 6 weeks it was!
I am doubly excited to announce that this term sees the introduction of two new mentors, Scott and Maya to our after school Bushclub! This means even more kids can come and enjoy our nature play space and immerse themselves in the environment.
Each week of this term will have its own bushcraft theme which we will explore together in our play. There will be physical activities, age appropriate skills workshops, games, arts and crafts and stories all centred on the following common themes…
Week 1 – Animals
Animals paint the most vivid pictures in our minds, whether it’s the inquisitive marsupials, the majestic birds or the buzzing insects, there is a place for all in nature. This week we explore animals that live around us in the Samford Valley, we will become them as we learn their movements and learn to spot and identify them.
Week 2 – Tracking, Foraging and Sourcing
Food and water are essential to survival, and the skills to find these are paramount. This week we investigate the skill of tracking and of finding water. Tracking and awareness are one in the same, one without the other is but half a story, and the same goes for sourcing water.
Week 3 – Plants
Plants are not only used for food, but also for construction, for medicine, fire lighting, insect repellents or indicators of nearby animals. It’s a wonderfully diverse world out there as we explore our local flora in Plant Week and all that they have to offer.
Week 4 – Fire
The campfire is quintessential to bush lore, camping, and survival. Learning how to light fires, being safe around fires, managing them and extinguishing them is a crucial skill we investigate this week, but we also investigate it’s other uses besides cooking, warmth and light…how many more can you think of?
Week 5 – Environmental Awareness
Environment; the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives. This week we will investigate our environment and eco-system from the micro to the macro; from the ants in the ground to the stars in the heavens, how they affect us and how important each is to the greater workings of the whole.
Week 6 – Land and Country
Feel your way through your country, know it intimately, understand topography, geography, make maps, use compasses…navigate. This is week 6, as we connect to the very land we frequent so regularly and call it Home.
Week 7 – Pioneering
The art and science of building structures such as bridges, shelters or towers with rope and locally sourced timber. The beauty here is not simply the technical knowledge of knots, lashings and anchorages, but it also provides elementary engineering training and is great at developing initiative, resourcefulness and team building. This subject is always popular.
Week 8 – Self Development
Connection to self is one of our core principles and paramount for all humans no matter how old we are. Without getting too deep with the little ones, we can still take stock of ourselves, pay attention study martial arts such as tai chi, or yoga. We can learn to breathe, to express ourselves in art, music or movement…what makes us happy? What are we grateful for? What do we need?
Week 9 – The Tribe
After the self, can come our connection to others, our Tribe, our Community, our Family. This is week 9 because the final week is a celebration of all we have achieved together, it’s a time to dance and celebrate, to play trust games, put on performances and sing, whoop or howl at the tops of our voices.
Considering we have only 9 hours each week it is impossible to cover all these themes in every detail and to explore every angle. As such we will re-visit them each term, noting the change in seasons as we go and how it affects each area as well. As the kids grow and learn they will be able to delve deeper into their skill sets and slowly open up their awareness and over time.
I hope this provides a little more insight into the planning and intent behind our bushcraft programs, and if you’d like to come join in the fun, you can buy tickets to our Monday Day Camp Program or Friday’s after school Bushclub by clicking these links to our Eventbrite page.