Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft News Thursday, 09 June 2011 07:43
Earlier this week the Badger Bushcraft Land Rover Defender 110 was packed to capacity for an exceptionally busy day at Madginford Park Infant School Bearstead, near Maidstone, delivering a bespoke bushcraft day.
We had been watching the Kent weather closely as we were booked to work with 90 pupils in the wonderful outdoor spaces at Madginford Park. Fortunately the rain dispersed from the previous day, which had been incredibly inclement, and we started our morning session under white cloud with the sun finally making an appearance shotly afterwards.
Phil arrived on site early to set up an emergency 7m x 5m tarpaulin shelter just in case the weather turned. This would allow us to continue our work outdoors but with smaller groups throughout the day.
The Land Rover provided a good focal point and an excellent place to store kit that was not required. It never fails to amaze us that there is always a large proportion of pupils, especially boys, that find Land Rovers incredibly exciting.
The programme for the day included:
- Demonstration of Fire Making Methods – including chemical, solar, pressure/compression, electrical and sparks. Each pupil was able to work in a group and took a spark to flame in a tinder bundle with the close support of Phil.
- Animal Skulls - examining the differences between predator and prey creatures by understanding the difference in animal teeth, eye position and field of vision.
- Nature Walk - school grounds looking at plants and trees in the school grounds and discussing identification points, various uses, history and folklore.
- Plaster Casts – how to make plaster cast moulds with each pupil making a mould collar and cast an impression into sand.
- Art Collage – class groups made a large art collage each with natural materials on the school field.
- Sound Mapping – an interesting way to use our senses to explore our environment and to map the sounds around us.
The large art collages produced were tremendous in both detail and size with the pupils constructing and enormous hedgehog, butterfly and snail.
All the sessions were exceptionally well received and we had a wonderful time at Madginford Park Infant School where the pupils were exceptionally polite, well behaved and fun to work with. We are now discussing dates to revisit the school in the autumn term to deliver this syllabus to another group. We are really looking forward to revisiting this school and continuing our work in the outdoor classroom.