Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Sunday, 24 July 2011 07:49
This weekend we had the pleasure of delivering a special Badger Bushcraft Childrens Party at our farm based site in Kent to celebrate the birthdays of Edward and Fred both of whom have attended our Family Learning Day Course many times before.
Phil rigged the parachute shelter, delivered the logs for the campfire and the water the evening before and ensured that the site was “good to go”. An early start on the day of the party ensured all the kit was to hand, the fire lit and the kettle on before the party guests arrived. Phil and Inca, “The Bushcraft Dog”, met Edward, Fred and their families and friends at Egerton village hall and travelled in convoy to the farm with Phil leading the way in our Land Rover Defender.
Once at the farm we immediately started with fire safety before moving on to a firecraft lesson. All the children learnt how to safely and confidently strike matches, blow birds nest tinder bundles to flame, make sparks with both flint and steel and modern firesteels. They were then able to light their own fires using the modern Light My Fire steels with cotton wool and Vaseline.
After toasting their marsh mallows over their well built and maintained fires the guests all dug in to a wonderfully prepared birthday feast that the parents had provided.
When the guests were replete we moved on to making tree rubbings on coloured A3 card that would be used as the background for a nature based and inspired collage for the guests to take home. Some beautiful work was produced and the subtle differences in the variety of colours selected looked absolutely stunning.
Next the guests made some wonderful models with some air drying clay which is great fun to use and the sculptures can then be taken home and painted. The masterpieces included snails, dogs, blobsters, a hedgehog and a host of other very creative figures.
The next session of the day was a nature walk around the farm grounds. On the way to the orchard and pond area we found squirrel feeding sign, pigeon egg shells, feathers, and a host of plants and trees. We also found mistletoe growing on an apple tree in the orchard and greater reedmace growing in the pond. From the pond we followed the stream and hedgerows to the top of the hill en route Andy, Fred's dad, found some footprints left by a fox in the soft mud at the edge of the stream. The walk continued to provide some beautiful finds supplied by Mother Nature including alder cones, mare’s tail, sheep wool and a variety of leaves from a host of plants and trees. A visit to the badger’s sett even provided a selection of small bones, mainly rabbit, and several strands of badger hair that was turned out of the sett in the discarded bedding.
Returning to the camp, kettle and coffee (especially for the adults) Phil set to with the collage making. The children produced some beautiful and very creative art work; it is always very inspirational for us to see how the natural finds can be used and to see the creative flare of our clients of all ages.
The final session of the day was spear throwing with the atlatl which is always great fun. Everybody managed to throw their spears with great success and it never fails to amaze how accessible this ancient hunting device can be to all age groups and abilities. Dana, Edward’s mum, had made some beautiful camouflage material party bags for all their guest full of goodies and we concluded our day with a final group photograph and we even managed to Inca into the pictures!
With the day done and the guests departed Phil dropped the chute, packed kit, tidied the fire sites and departed with one very tired dog, poor Inca had been up since 06:00 without a rest. Once back at Badger HQ Inca had her supper and was then taken out for a walk! Phil took her through the fields surrounding our base here in Egerton and up to watch some of the cricket before she finally managed to get some sleep at around 22:00 and Phil was not too far behind her to bed. All in all a long but very rewarding day for us here at Badger Bushcraft.
More pictures of Edward and Fred’s birthday can be found in an album on our photobucket account which can be viewed here.
If you would like to arrange a Badger Bushcraft Party for your family please contact us and we will be delighted to discuss your requirements.