Surviving in the Wilderness

Contribution by Mr Mike Dessens and Ms Nané Paraiso

One of the activities during the Induction week at ISD secondary was a Bushcraft workshop in the Delftse Hout. Due to the timetable and bad weather on one of the days, not all students were able to go during the induction week, but rest assured, these students participate at a later date. 

The idea behind the bushcraft workshop *was for students to learn different skills that one could use when left alone in the wilderness. All of the students did their utmost to survive in the woods. Archery, lighting fire, foraging, building a small cottage, there were many activities and skills they learnt in order to live off the grid.

First, they had to learn how to build a shelter using the natural environment (logs/trees/mosses/ etc.). Secondly, they focussed on plant life and were taught which plants could be eaten, and which would be poisonous. Some students experimented with eating bugs and nettle. After that, they had to try and purify the water, which meant they had to find different materials they could use in order to do so. 

The final two activities were the ones the students seemed to enjoy the most. One involved hunting of animals and the other focussed on making fire. It turns out that there are some really good hunters at our school, and more worryingly quite a lot of pyromaniacs. 
For the hunting, students had to try and “kill” a stuffed animal using different hunting techniques such as spear throwing and using a bow and arrow. Whilst embracing and appreciating nature the students played definitely the part of the actors in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. After all of their hard work and tenacity, they were treated to some well-deserved ice cream.

All in all, it was an exciting day out and it was great to see the students mingle and get to know each other so much better.