With the onset of real winter weather we are spending time learning about winter survival and wilderness first aid. We had talked about emergency shelters recently, and the important aspects to consider when planning them. Today we put it into practice – we bundled up warmly and headed into the woods where we split into two teams. Dillon and Kieghan were together and Lucas and Jake comprised the second team. Each team selected a site and had about an hour to design and build an emergency shelter. The hardest part for me as a teacher was NOT building or making suggestions.
The students did a great job and came up with very different designs and final results. We decided not to cover the shelters with pine and hemlock boughs, which we would have done in a real emergency. But since it was not the real deal we didn’t tear the branches off living trees. One of the most reassuring things was that although it was only about 10 degrees, no one got cold until the very end when we stopped moving and conducted peer reviews of the structures.