bringing out the best in boys

Year 7 Bushcraft Experience

Posted at 1:21 pm on 20th June, 2023

Wildlife Survival Training

There was a real buzz amongst Year 7 as they packed and set off on the annual Year 7 Bushcraft residential in Castle Howard, North Yorkshire!

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Welcomed by their Tribe Leaders, and accompanied by Mr Whitehead, Mrs Hartley, Miss Harvey and Mr Clare, the students hiked into the forest to begin their wildlife survival training. 

The first and most important task - building a campfire. Students would need this for warmth and storytelling in the evenings and, more urgently, to cook their lunch! They learnt about fire-lighting using a flint, and the process of kindling, finger sticks and thumb sticks to build the flames. 

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Shelter-building was next and students were given basic materials of tarp, rope and pegs to construct their tents among the trees.  

Some of the students opted to sleep in these make-shift constructions for the night, rather than the camp tents, and found the experience very comfortable! 

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The camo and concealment activity was a messy one, with students using camo paint and charcoal from extinguished fires to conceal their faces and hands in order to play a huge game of hide and seek game in the trees with Tribe leaders. 

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Students learned trap making skills and were shown different types of traps to snare small creatures. They also learned to whittle wood in order to make a peg for their contraptions. One group tested their trap using an apple with great success. 

There was plenty more fun and team games around the campfire including shaolin kung fu, songs and story-telling, and making delicious s’mores at bedtime.

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The boys had an incredible time and had lots of say about their favourite activities:

“My favourite thing was making the shelter with the equipment they gave us and using all the tree branches to build it.”

Sonny, Year 7

“I liked whittling the wood, I thought my peg was really good and we used it in the trap we made.”

Eric, Year 7

“I loved lighting the fire and then putting it out the next day. It was amazing to walk into the woods and be in the forest for the night.”

Nash, Year 7

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Principal, Mrs Sharrock, said:

“The students had a fantastic time. Thank you to the staff that accompanied them.”

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