1978 Ahwahnee Survival Camp
Notes on Original Schedule
- Staff was not assigned to different cooking groups due to size of staff (3)
and amount of work to be done that day.
- Scouts were not weighed in. Make an effort to get a scale.
- Course director did not go over resource sheet with each of the scouts due
to amount of work to be done that day.
- We did not have an actual campfire Sunday night, although scouts were
invited to staff shelter for manzanita tea and bull-session. It was suggested
that next year we show a modified version of the Bunny Foo Foo skit to help
loosen things up from Monday.
- Morning instruction began at 9:00. Gave the scouts cards indicating
what they need to bring to each session. Need more instruction on twitch-up
snares. Try to get surgical (highly elastic) tubing. Have prepared diagrams.
- It is best to do skinning, gutting, and tanning all at once. Do not leave
the hill until done. Fryer rabbits have less fat than stewers and are easy
to tan on the spot.
- Jerky didn't turn out right on several occasions. Let scouts hang their
own jerky in their own campsites. Suggest smoking the meat.
- Food is issued to each group after entire group has finished the rabbit
kill. May cook rabbits now for early supper. Scouts were informed how long
food would have to last.
- National Supply flint worked poorly. Next year pick some up on PC2000
trail during staff week.
- We did not teach how to make a sewing awl. Instead we used Tandy #1195
"Easy Thread Needle", which worked fine.
- We did not teach arrowheads after the first week. The obsidian was of
poor quality. It was very hard to knock off blanks and two scouts got
fragments in their eyes.
- Morning instruction (9:00) included what to do if you get lost, finding
direction without a compass, and fire by friction.
- Morning was spent practicing fire by friction, sewing possible bag, and
making award belt-loop.
- There was a problem with too much free time for some scouts.
- An edible plants walk (2:00) was taken prior to afternoon instruction.
- Afternoon instruction included hypothermia and dehydration. Used brochures
from "By Nature's Rules" and "The Thermal Wilderness". (This made for a much
better understanding of the movies this evening.)
- When teaching about hypothermia include readings from "Hupothermia: Killer
of the Unprepared", by T.G. Lathrop, M.D.
- In the evening (7:15) we hiked to the main camp, saw both films, and scouts
were given a chance to swim and shower.
- Morning instruction (9:00) included survival kits, fire bed, water
purification, and solar stills. Next year use well prepared slides or easel
- Each group set up a solar still. This was really more trouble than it
- Next year teach various firestarters and demonstrate their use.
- The morning was spent passing off skill awards. Again, there as a problem
with too much free time for some scouts.
- There was no "confidence course". The afternoon (1:00) was spent
rappeling. It worked best when we took time to teach how to tie a swami and
had each scout tie it once before leaving the camp.
- Allow packs on the hike - anything except blanket. Scouts must be allowed
to take ponchos on the hike. During the fourth week we had a hail storm. The
scouts that week skipped solo.
- There was not much orienteering on the hike. It was strictly trail and
creekbed. Try to get proper topos next year.
- Rested after returning to camp. Again, some scouts complained about too
much free time.
- After one of the staff demonstrated the chicken kill, the scouts were left
alone to do it. In the meantime one of the staff heated rocks for the sweat lodge.
- Dinner was by cooking groups, not everyone together.
- Wilderness camp did not have a trading post. Souvenirs were sold in main
camp on Saturday morning.
- There was not a closing ceremony although I would recommend this for next
year. Order Tribe of Ahwahnee Mountain Man neckerchiefs.
- No breakfast.
- No long distance run. Hike to camp as a group at 8:30am.
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Copyright © 1978, 2000 by Bill Qualls. Last updated March 9, 2000.