We set off into a little woodland area about 10mins walk from the hotel. We played a few ice breaker games and got to know all the other participants from Italy, Romania, the U.K. and Cyprus. We discussed what to do if you found yourself lost in the wilderness and what you need to survive. The next activity that we did was building shelters. We were shown how to do different knots and different shelters we could make. In pairs, we made shelters using the surrounding trees, a piece of tarp, rope, string and tent pegs.
After the shelter building, our next activity was filtering contaminated water. Using a plastic bottle and the surrounding nature, we had to make a filter that we best thought would work for filtering water. So, we each went off and collected grass, flowers, twigs, bark and whatever we thought would make the best filters. We then tested our filters using dirty water to see if we could filter water from the stream.
In the afternoon, we spent a couple of hours discussing the challenges that face youth in our society and how bushcraft can be a good tool to have to teach them, as well as making sample lesson plans and evaluating the day’s activities. In the evening, one of the local Cyprians took us to the town of Nicosia and showed us around, explaining to us about the history.
We went to the little woodland area again after breakfast. We spent the morning learning about and making various tools from wood. We learned about the safety measures that have to be taken when doing tool work and then we set off making our own tool of choice. We could make whistles, medallions, kazoos, mallets.
After making our tools, we had a lesson in cordage. As a start, we learned how to make cordage from cling film to get some practice. Then we used raffia leaf to make cordage. We then went into the woodland area and tried out cordage on different materials that we could find to see what could work.
We spent the afternoon, once again, making sample lesson plans and evaluating the day, as well as discussing risk management and how risk can be assessed. In the evening, we crossed over the border into North Cyprus, which is occupied by Turkey.
On the final day, we headed about an hour and a half away to a campsite, where it was safe and legal to make fires. We spent the morning learning all about different ways to make a fire and the tools you need to do so. We watched demonstrations and then had a go using all the methods shown to us. For lunch, we enjoyed local food that one of the Cypriot participants brought along for us.
To finish the day, we learned about putting out fires, fire safety and we played a few outdoor games that we could incorporate into lessons. In the late afternoon, after we returned to the hotel, we evaluated the day and made appropriate lesson plans that could be used.