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Bushcraft for children – learning survival skills

Not all classrooms have four walls. 

 For many of us, adults and children alike, the majority of our average day is spent behind a desk. Although playing outdoors was a major part of childhoods gone by, the world our children are growing up in is drastically different. The reality is that there is a generation of children who are now growing up with little connection to the natural world. As a result a so-called ‘nature deficit disorder’ has emerged amongst our youth. Fresh air and sunshine are vital to a child’s health and wellbeing, they thrive outdoors. At United Education we have created a bushcraft survival Camp that enables children to reconnect with nature.  Enhancing their awareness and understanding of the natural environment around them.  As children learn more about the environment, they in turn become more invested in protecting it. 

Our Survival Academies provide the good, messy, back-to-nature kind of fun that we all crave. Our activities are informative, hands-on, and most importantly full of fresh air fuelled adventures!
Below we have included some of what we get up to on Camp and the benefits that these skills have for your children.

Animal tracking gets children outdoors and interested in the local wildlife. It gives children a fun reason to get moving and pay close attention to their environment. It’s also a great intellectual exercise as they have to rely on visual clues to spot the animal tracks. At a time when reports show that children can easily identify over 1,000 corporate logos, but only a few can identify local animal and plant species, this seems more important than ever.

This is one of our favourite activities on Camp. We practice building shelters using natural materials. Helping children develop an understanding of the natural world. Children learn to manage and work as a team because building a shelter requires all hands on deck to get the best result. Building shelters is also a brilliant physical activity for children without them even realising it. Campers are so busy finding materials and getting their shelter built that they don’t notice all of the physical activity that they are doing. Building shelters is also great for developing a child’s gross motor skills, strengthening muscles and promoting an active lifestyle.

 In this activity, we cover the skills of camouflage and concealment. Our Bushcraft Leaders show Campers how to make natural camouflage. Then we go out into the wilderness to play lots of camouflage-based games to test their stealth skills. This activity is great for encouraging creative freedom and stimulating our Campers’ imaginations.

With our trusted bushcraft leaders, Campers learn the basic skills of whittling. They are shown how to use a knife safely. Taking small pieces of wood off a stick, stripping the bark and carving shapes out. The process of whittling has often been found to be very calming for children because of the need to focus and the repetitive nature of the task. Children love creating and this is a great hands-on activity that channels their natural curiosity into something useful. Once campers learn how to take strips of bark off they can apply this to make different objects.

 As a group, our Campers learn the ancient skill of lighting a fire in a safe and relaxed environment. We practice different fire lighting methods and gain an understanding of how fire is created and how it can be safely managed. This is incredibly fun and exciting and also helps children learn how to manage their own risks. It’s also a great and novel way to introduce our Campers to cooking through wilderness cookery. There’s nothing our Campers love more than finishing the day toasting marshmallows and sharing tales of their Survival Academy adventures.

Children who are taught basic bushcraft survival skills become confident, empowered individuals who excel in life; no matter what life throws their way.They become problem solvers who can think outside the box and develop a strong connection to nature.

Sound like something your child would love? Check out what we have available this October Half Term in your area by clicking the link here.