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Training Exercise Scenarios

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ItalianGator, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Had a random thought come across my mind and wanted to poll the community for some thoughts. My sons are getting older now, the oldest is 5. We've gone camping as a family, but I would like to begin introducing him to more of the preparedness skills he's going to need in his life (not to mention good practice for me as well).

    Come next year, he'll be able to join the Cub Scouts and will get some of these skills, but in the interim, and perhaps more broad and/or in-depth, I'd like to begin exploring some different scenarios that he and I can both learn and enjoy together. These could be quick lessons and some involving overnight stays at a campsite (primitive or otherwise).

    I'm not without the creativity to come up with some ideas, but wanted to know if there are a collection of scenarios that can be looked to for ideas and specific challenges associated with learning these new skills. Sort of like a military training exercise where there's a story to go with the skills & equipment needed needed to solve the problem-solving (or perhaps there are limitations on what type of equipment can be used to force practice in other skills). Finding information on particular skills is relatively easy, but having them tied together in a logical/reasonable scenario would be nice.

    It would seem to me that for his age, having a imaginative story to go along with the skills needed will almost be like playing rather than seen as something he has to do because his father dragged him along. The good news is that he's anxious to do these things with me, but I want to make sure there's enough to keep a young mind's interest beyond the initial excitement through the hard work that may be required of him.

    Like I said, I'm not without the creativity to come up with some of these on my own, but given my extreme time constraints, I'd like to spend less time doing the creative work and more time doing the actual work.

    Your thoughts, ideas, website URLs, book titles, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    One of the funnest things that I had the opportunity to teach my kids was how to cook using a solar oven. Of course, to make it a worth-while kid-fun reward; we opted to cook brownies in our first oven. :)
    Sapper John likes this.
  3. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I remember one of the best times I had with my dad and can't wait TIL my daughter is old enough. I was around 6 and we went to the river and he showed me how to make a tree limb fish pole, tie my line, hook and sinker onto it. Then we hunted up some bate and started to fish, after a couple of hours we had caught a couple small trout. Dad said now time to eat he showed me how to clean them and build a fire. We put two forked stick at each end of the fire about a 2ft above the fire put the trout on stick and cooked them. I don't know I just had this feeling of pride that I was with my dad and we had done all of this with nothing but some line and a hook.
  4. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    my experience with the cubscouts was that they didnt teach beans
    not stuff you really need anyway
    spend time teaching your kid tree, plant and animal identification
    learn what is edible, medicinal and just plain toxic
    how to make emergency shelters from whats on hand
    how to make a working bow and arrows or a spear and how to use them
    how to make a clay bowl and fire it so he can boil water for drinking
    and how to disappear if the need arrises
    Okie_Doke and Alpha Dog like this.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Teach him

    Actions to be taken if lost....it just may save his life and you some grief.

    The scenario.....he's hiking in a large group of about 20 or so young people on a day trip....the group reaches a point where the track splits in several directions. Two of the tracks lead to the same objective, your son moves off the track to answer an urgent call of nature ....The group divides into two and leaves, each taking separate tracks....each group thinking that your son is with the other group.

    Your son, in the quest of privacy goes a fair distance from the group and by the time he gets back...the area is abandoned. it isn't until the end of the day when the day's objective is reached and the groups consolidate and a headcount is taken that they realise that your son is missing.

    In his daypack he has a tin cup, 2 litres of water in a PET soft drink (pop) bottle, a smaller 1 litre bottle which is empty, the remains of his lunch (a peanut butter sandwich (wrapped in tinfoil and plastic cling wrap), a mandarin and a banana peel and some sultanas). He has a pullover, an anorack with hood, a broad brimmed hat, a bandana, a cheap emergency plastic poncho, a space blanket, a pair of gloves, a metal match, a magnifying glass, a whistle, a 35mm camera (it is quite a good Pentax variable focus pocket camera with a built in flash...bought cheaply in a thrift shop). The boy also has an mp3 player (with 2 x AAA batteries) (Note1), a whistle and a small folding penknife. He is wearing a digital watch.

    Topography: The track junction is at the top of a craggy plateau that is dissected by a number of ridges and spurs. The fall to draws and gulches can be quite steep in places. The vegetation is mostly scrubby shrubs with some larger trees. There are no major predators about, but the boy hears what he thinks are feral dogs in the far distance.
    Met. It is spring....the days are warm, but it is still rather chilly at night...his son finds that he is abandonded at about 2pm, sunset is about 6:30 pm, the group discovers that he is unaccounted for at about 6pm. By the time that authorities are informed and a search is launched it is about 7:30 pm. Sunrise is approximately 5:45 am. As darkness approaches there is breeze of about 5 knots, rainclouds are developing and bit by bit...the stars are being obscured...there is a full moon, though the light is diffused by cloud. It has rained moderately, but consistently until a few days ago, so there is plenty of water to be found in soaks, natural springs and in pot holes.
    Note1 The MP3 player has some of the boy's favourite music, and some children's stories (he likes Roald Dahl and he is currently listening to the BFG (Big Friendly Giant)) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_BFG .

    The boy's father and mother have thoughtfully added to their son's MP3 play list an MP3 file on what to do if lost in the wilderness. This survival guide for five year olds is acted by his dad in the guise of the Big Friendly Giant, and his mum as Sophie.
    Okie_Doke and ItalianGator like this.
  6. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    This is a good idea. We made a small pizza box solar oven, but should try something larger. Any recommendations on an easy/inexpensive solar oven that would have the capabilities to do some baking? The kids like brownies and bread.
  7. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing. See, that's a sort of scenario... going fishing and using the natural materials around you with only a line and hook brought in. I'm willing to bet that even if you didn't catch anything, there's still a lesson and memories to be made. Glad you had some luck with your catch.
  8. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    That's my fear with Cub Scouts... that I'm going to go in to more details than what they think the kids are ready for. I'm still sure there are worthwhile lessons to be learned from CS, but I feel I'm still going to be supplementing his learning with my own activities. Hopefully he'll be able to teach his fellow scouts a thing or two as a result.

    Your clay bowl idea is a new one I had not heard of before, but makes sense. I'm sure that would have been an old Native Indian skill. If one didn't have a container for holding water, that certainly would be a good skill to have.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    The hardest thing I ever tried to do, and still try, is walking silently in the woods. Easy if it's wet, not so when dry. An excellent skill for hunters or evaders. Good for a ten minute diversion, at least.
  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    For a 5 year old..I'd roll with the catching fish as Da Dog would...
    Just make sure that he does'nt get bored...Perch jerking is the best for young kid's...

  11. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    This is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for! I could even recreate much of this scenario and go through it with him. We could start a day hike with my son thinking we're just going for a hike (like the kid in the scenario), but surprise him with the notion that we're going to practice what to do when lost. We won't really be lost (communications & GPS available, but not used), but we'll have to manage the scenario and wait for SAR to find us in the morning (an adult friend of mine playing his part).

    Did you copy this scenario from a resource that you could share or did you come up with it on the fly? Doing these sort of things together would do much to grow his skills and confidence as well as it would do to my skills and confidence. This is as much fun for me as it would hopefully be for him.
  12. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Another good thing is for you and him practice building a fort. Maybe go camping and just take a couple bags and you and him build a fort teaching him how to build a shelter from the element's and then camp in it for the night. If lost or seperated for any time he would have an idea how to stay dry and warm. Plus he gets to play army with Ol dad
  13. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    You make a good point. I have on one prior occasion taken my boys outside just to the back yard and had them use their other senses. Kids are so visual, especially with TV, computers, and books for that matter. But I asked them to close their eyes and listen for 2 minutes without any speaking and without looking. Then I did the same thing (eyes closed), but asked them to focus on what they felt (sun on their skin, wind blowing, the textures of things around them).

    One can never know if you're going to be able to keep a young child's attention for any period of time, but they did well (this time).

    I appreciate your suggestion and think I'll work that in to the pretend notion of them hunting with me. They'd like to go, but they're still too restless to stay put long enough and quiet long enough to spot any game. In the meantime, we'll pretend like we're looking for game... who knows, maybe we'll even spot some!
  14. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    You're right... it's an important skill to have. I heard contractor plastic bags are best because they're large and thick(er). Are they labeled as "contractor" bags? Do you know if I can find them at any ol' store or is there someplace in particular that's best for finding them?

    The idea you have is one I've been wanting to do right here in our back yard since he's always asking if we can. Thing in, the AC unit runs nearly constantly in this blasted Florida heat (not including the neighboring AC units)... not exactly conducive of a peaceful night's sleep.

    This reminds me to check out a primitive camping site at a local wildlife management area. Only 2 sites about a mile or so in from the closest parking spot. That might work out without much of a chance that there will be somebody else around to interrupt/criticize our little exercise.
  15. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    They learn quick and even when we think they didn't get any thing from it they always surprise you. The best way to go about it is just have fun with him. He has already got a good start on when SHTF a caring dad that wants to spend time with, have fun with and teach him.
    Sapper John, ItalianGator and oth47 like this.
  16. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    I've stuck two of these in each of our BOBs and keep a box of em in storage. Super handy, and sturdy as well, thicker than just about any poncho. I get the 3 mil Husky bags at Home Depot or Lowes: Amazon.com: Husky HK42WC020B 42-Gallon Contractor Clean-Up Bags, 20 Count: Patio, Lawn & Garden
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  17. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    OK, I've seen those at Target too. Didn't pick them up because I wasn't sure if there was a thicker bag out there somewhere. I'll go pick them up. Thanks for the info!
  18. bobzilla

    bobzilla Monkey+

  19. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I've done it with two generations and I don't consider it "education" as much as pure enjoyment.

    Although it sounds easy disappearing into the local terrain is one of the most difficult things to do.
  20. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Adding to my initial inquiry

    For those of you that have gone through similar activities with your kids (or perhaps you were the kid going with your parents), what would you say are some of the more difficult lessons, activities, etc. and do you have any recommendations on how to work through them. I don't want to avoid a topic just because it may not be as excited or because it might be more work (there's a lesson in there too), but might there be some recommendations on how to get the message across better?

    And maybe it's not just words, but actions. Maybe a surprise reward if he does really well with an activity (a surprise so that he doesn't feel like he's missing out / punished for not doing well on a new skill... I have to remember he's still just 5, not 15).

    Guess I'm asking the follow-on question to spur on more thoughts from you all based on your past experiences. I've enjoyed reading what you all have shared.
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