It was great to be out in the woods again! As a teacher I could feel the rustiness of my teaching practice grinding up to speed as it changed gears to become what it should be, thanks lockdown (sarcastic emphasis added). By the end of the day, I thought I was just about on point again, and wished I had another day on survival camp to hone some skills.
My inadequacies aside, the kids were amazing! They remembered a number of poisonous plants from last years work including fox glove and hemlock and we introduced more flora, such as the beautiful bright green colours of Wood and Sun Spurge. There are over 1600 species in its genus (Euphorbias), far too many to remember! The students quickly knew to not just pick and eat everything around them as I explained that the spurges can kill if its white sticky poison, phytotoxin is ingested! None of us had any warts or verruca’s to blob it onto so that was that.
The rest of the day was spent in the delightful spring warmth. Carving spoons and later roasting marshmallows over a fire that they had prepped and tried to light using only natural gathered materials from the woods. The tinder bundle was good and the kindling was neatly piled, carefully collected from the trees and nothing picked from the ground. This time they didn’t quite light it without assistance; Sam helped with some ‘fat wood’ he found nearby, the pupils were amazed to see where it came from and how it burnt, as it was a new resource and technique for them. That’s my favourite part, when the students really love a new bit of learning and get super excited about it.
The marshmallows got gooey and burnt, and after the fire died, a whole bunch of sticky fingers walked their way back across the beautiful school grounds to the school for the end of the day.