Survival Camp

Surely 3 months *is* Survival Camp? Three whole months of school holidays. Sheesh.

Last week was Music Camp since the boys performed in Make Music Day (international day of free musical performances on the streets of participating towns). They came, they rocked, they got tips!

At home we have a varied “curriculum” for the summer and this week is Survival Camp. If we make it through (spoiler: trying to light a fire had us at each other’s throats) we can write, sew, bike and film our way to September.

Survival Camp follows on from an emergency consultation we had at home over the weekend. Bottom line: we need more prep but we’re on the right track, that didn’t stop me panic-shopping the next day, though.

Last night was the first night – started fine but it ended up a bit rough. There was a full moon, I think, because it was light when I opened my eyes but it was only 2.15, and then 3.15, and 5.25 and 6 something. The kids all talk in their sleep and it’s super convincing! The inside of the tent was soaked from monkey breath and we couldn’t light a fire for breakfast ir lunch. We have a flint to make sparks but nothing wants to start a flame. 9yo was under the impression one or two sparks would have us roasting our dinner… At least with eventual matches, we could boil water.

We’ve been hiking, wood-collecting, foraging and did some knots for an additional shelter. We did go back to the house for water and the hammock, but refrained from the oreos and chips in the spirit of it all.

We’re hoping to fashion our own arrows and try our hand at a snare but it’s all a bit daunting since the fire illuded us for so long. I’ve got a solar charger and am cutting my losses but survival is survival, right??


Grade: Gardening Camp

Well, Gardening Camp lasted for a week and a bit of the scheduled two weeks but we did pretty well. Here is the original curriculum:
“…weeding and seeding… also making transplant starts of hydrangeas and roses; a fairy garden; using the lawn mowers, and probably riding around in the ride-on mower trailer, to keep the merriment rolling along; composting; working on the hillside path, and perhaps some landscaping blocks around the joint.”
So. We weeded and seeded one of the planter beds; hydrangea starts;


This one has grown from last year

fairy garden; hillside path. We also finished the hideout and had a few playdates centered around the hideout, so I consider them garden-centric and therefore part of the camp.


I alwats olant from seed, so it isn't at its "gardeny" best yet

Grade: B+

Survival Camp has been a different story, and my conclusion is thus: if SHTF then we are in trouble if it’s really hot, because we haven’t managed to do much at all this week.


We did redistribute the emergency supplies amongst the five backpacks

With all the earthquake activity along the Pacific Rim/Ring of Fire, I am doubly glad I had this idea.
Archery; making fire from scratch; foraging edible plants; camping; making emergency backpacks for the kids (we already have 2 big ones); making a solar oven and cooking with it; diy cheese; basic first aid. Conveniently, there is a Ham radio convention in our local area at the beginning of our scheduled camp week, and I have a book which teaches the basics. I shall try and include fishing, as well.
It was hot as a bastard last week and the week before that, so the plants from the first camp are struggling. The sprinklers are all on timers, though, so I will hope for the best.
We did the emergency backpacks, and some archery but it turns out that the arrows occasionally ricochet, and that shit is scary, so we need other safety gear before next time.
We didn’t forage or identify edible plants, but we did look out for poison oak, and the boys already know that dandelion is for tea and wine, and also bread and cookies. I completely forgot about the Ham Radio convention because it was super hot and we helped a friend with moving plans and then did bmx, and we didn’t do any camping because the tents might have caught on fire from the excessive heat.
Grade: pendimg; postponed.

Parent Teacher interviews went great, though.