July 27, 2024 @ 9:30 am - July 28, 2024 @ 3:30 pm£30 – £190
A whole weekend of real outdoor skills for parents and kids. This two-day course is designed for an adult to accompany their child(ren) whilst you learn together. It’s perfect for parents or grandparents wanting to give their children an authentic and memorable outdoor experience. We will introduce you and your kids to the secrets of making fire, building shelters and the joys of bushcraft. Whether you’re planning a family camping trip or simply want to gain confidence in wilderness-living skills then this course is for you.
You will have the option to experience the ultimate adventure by spending the night in your own woodland shelters, all build by your own hands. It’s an experience that you and your children will not forget.
Show me a child who doesn’t love the idea of building dens out in the woods, lighting their own campfire and getting to grips with sharp tools. You will learn how to do these things effectively, safely and responsibly, whilst having a fun and rewarding weekend out in the woods together.
We’re told as children not to play with fire, but if we discover it’s secrets and learn how to be safe when lighting fires outdoors then it can be our best friend. It warms us, cooks our food, lights our way and hypnotises us whilst campfire tales are told. We believe that kids should know not only know how to light fires, but also learn to manage their risk and be responsible for their own safety and have an awareness of their impact on the environment. If children never get to “play” with fire then they’re missing out on a whole lot of what a real childhood should be about.
If it’s raining, no problem. James will show you how to find dry firewood in the forest and start a campfire, even on a wet day. All the above skills will be presented in a fun and engaging way that will appeal to both adults and children. You’ll go away feeling confident and with the right tools to be able to have wilderness adventures of your own with your kids.
We believe that today’s children need to see that the outdoors is not a scary, uninviting place but a place that they can (with the right skills) make a perfectly warm and dry home away from home, enjoying everything nature has to offer. Our goal is for all children to get the chance to develop a love of nature and the outdoors.
Your weekend long course is all set against the backdrop of the ancient woodland of the National Trust’s Chirk Castle estate.
Sleeping out in the woods on Saturday night is optional. you can head home if you prefer. This course acts as a natural progression from our Family Bushcraft Experience day but attending that course in advance is not a requirement.
- Make fire using modern and ancient methods… no need for damp matches ever again.
- Create your perfect woodland getaway that keeps the weather out, using all natural materials.
- Sleep out in your own woodland shelters (optional)
- Share campfire cooked meals, made by you in our dutch ovens.
- Develop sharp tool skills; safe techniques for using knife, axe & saw.
- Learn the ancient art of Fire by Friction, make your ancestors proud.
- Find, identify and gather a range of natural tinders & building materials, right from the forest.
- Craft clever campfire gadgets to aid you in cooking outdoors.
- Cook up tasty snacks over your own campfire.
- Learn how to manage an open fire for outdoor cooking; boiling, roasting, grilling & baking.
- Dare you take the “Rain-Proof Challenge” with your finished shelter?
- Identify useful trees and plants with confidence.
- Play woodland games which hone your bushcraft skills.
- Understand the law relating to wild camping & firelighting.
Your Tutor: James Kendall
James is the Head Bushcraft Instructor at Woodland Classroom, having worked in outdoor education & conservation for over 10 years. James’ approach to teaching steers students toward fostering a deeper connection with nature through understanding the landscape around us; “Bushcraft skills are an effective way to do this as we learn how to make use of natural materials and live lightly with the land, whilst also connecting with our own ancient past by seeing the land through the eyes of our ancestors.”
In 2017 James received the Bushcraft Competency Certificate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of teaching experience and practical study. He is also a member of the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practise Group. The group aims to promote best practice in the growing industry of bushcraft activity providers.
YOUR WEEKEND IN THE WOODS
Your family adventure will begin with arrival at our woodland basecamp set amongst ancient trees and wildflowers. From here we will take a short walk out into the woods to learn how to view the natural world through the eyes of our ancestors.
A good portion of our first day will be spent building natural shelters ready for you to sleep out in. You will learn how to build shelters that keep the weather out and give you a comfortable night’s sleep.
Next we will gather around our new woodland homes to practise safe sharp tool use with knives. You will learn a selection of simple but effective knife grips. Your children will carve their own butter knife, ready for use with tomorrow’s breakfast. You will also be shown how to use a folding saw safely and effectively. Lastly, it’s time to get to grips with the axe as you’ll be splitting firewood ready for the evening cook-out.
Kids will make their own flaming torches ready to light up our shelters after dark
Of course, we make time for play too as we lead you through fun games which also teach key bushcraft skills such as tracking and tree identification.
On the Saturday evening we will prepare and enjoy a freshly cooked campfire meal on the campfire, along with some sweet treats and hot chocolate too. The rest of the night is yours to spend together.
The following morning will be focused on firelighting skills. You will gain skills using modern firesteels to produce quality sparks which will build to your own campfire. You’ll be exploring the woods on the hunt for natural tinders, kindling and firewood, including how find them even in wet conditions. If we have time, we will look at some alternative methods for lighting fires.
We will then turn our attention to making natural cordage from nettles. Children can turn their string into a bracelet to take home or make use of it in camp.
At lunchtime on Sunday we come together as a group to prepare another campfire meal in our traditional dutch ovens. You’ll enjoy good food and good company around the campfire as families have done throughout history.
Next you will unlock the secrets of fire by friction by learning to use the bow drill, an ancient form of firelighting. Finally you will be be shown how to minimise your trace and lessen your impact on the land when bushcrafting.
Finally you’ll take the Woodland Lego challenge as you’re tasked with creating useful campsite gadgets from a selection of sticks. Children often come up with something new and surprising.
Skills you will learn
Over the course of the programme you will learn a range of skills, including…
The course costs £190 per family (maximum of 2 adults & 1 child aged 6 up). Additional children (aged 6 up) can join your party for an extra £30 each. Activities are suitable for children aged 6 years and over. Younger children are welcome to join us at no extra charge, however do get in touch with us before booking with kids under 6 if you intend to sleep out in the woods. You can read our Event Terms & Conditions here.