Survival of the fittest, junior ranger style
The Maryland Park Service is beginning a seven-lesson series Saturday to teach kids the basics of survival.
No, not how to score Justin Bieber tickets or coping with the painful effects of texting thumbs. These lessons are designed to make youngers ages 8-13 more wilderness savvy.
Sign your kids up for one 90-minute class or all of them by calling 410-461-5005. None of the lessons costs more than $7 and most are less. All classes begin at 10 a.m. and will be held at the McKeldin area ranger state at Patapsco Valley State Park.
The courses are:
Sept. 18: Knots and Cords, $7/person
Make rope or cordage out of simple plant material. Learn the proper knots for climbing, bag hanging, binding shelter poles, and first aid. Each child will make a decorative craft using their knot-tying skills.
Sept. 25: Shelter Building, $4/person
Learn to build a debris shelter, lean-to and a heat shield to hold in warmth and provide protection from the elements.
Oct. 2: Tracking and Traps, $2/person
Recognize game trails and to create and set traps to catch small game for food.
Oct. 9: Building Fire without Matches, $4/person
Build, start and extinguish a fire from scratch without matches. Students will start a fire using flint and steel, batteries, bow drill and fire plow, among other ways.
Oct. 16: Finding North, Navigation in the Wilderness, $5/person
Navigate with or without a compass, using the sun, the stars, and wits to find your way out of the wilderness. Make and take home an Ottomani (or sun) compass.
Oct. 23: Edible Plants and Slow Moving Calories – Survival Cuisine, $4/person
Identify food sources in the wilderness, including plants and insects, and learn how to prepare them. Tasting welcomed, but not required.
Nov. 6: Basic Wilderness First Aid, $4/person
Learn to treat burns, control bleeding, and recognize the signs of shock and hypo- or hyperthermia among other mishaps.