What does the word survival mean to you? Struggling in the wilderness or living for days in an open sea? That is partly correct but for scouting, it has other definition. Survival means knowing how to stay alive in the wilderness, which may not be so encouraging but it means a lot for a scout. Survival Camps prepare them for whatever emergency situation that he/she will faced throughout his/her life.
Survival Camps in scouting could not and should not be liken to the different trainings of the armed forces. Skills that will be discussed must conforms to the safety and standards to ensure the safety of our scouts. Many training resources available are commonly taken from military manuals and subsequently, this trainings are not always practical.
The Enemy Within...
Fear of the unknown is the common enemy that we will face in aiming to survive after untoward situation may occur. What could add more to worsen the situation is that you are injured, no food and water source, too cold or hot, tired and most of all being alone. The only way in overcoming our fear when this situation comes to us is by preparing and training ourself, so that the unknown becomes the known.
Skills required for surviving is found in the programs and trainings of the scouting movement and this is what we call as the basic Scouting Skills such as fire lighting, shelter building, cooking without utensils and so on. In our common scouting event is that you dont mind about the weather, getting wet in the rain nor lighting a fire in a wet environment since you can always rely on your pack belongings in your tent nor go into store to get more matches, whereas in Survival Camp every match counts and making your own shelter is a must.
The Skills Required....
During the Survival Camp, we will be looking at a number of skills, but you need to practice all those skills until they become your second nature, just as the professionals do, because you may very well need them when you least expect to.
Now let us look at some of the important factors that will mean the difference between staying alive or not:
1. Being able to find or make shelter.
2. Being able to make a fire for warmth or cooking.
3. Being able to find your way to safety with or without a map and compass.
4. Being able to make sure that water is safe to drink.
5. Being able to find and cook simple food on a fire, without utensils.
The most important thing is to have practiced doing all of the above before you need to do them for real. A desperate situation is not the right time to have to start practising!