Sunday, February 21, 2010

SKIP - Week 5

What a fun day!

On Sunday our SKIP gang enjoyed a fantastic session at the Lally Homestead that featured learning about two great outdoor skills: building a shelter and cooking bannock on a campfire.

Our participants were divided into two groups. The first group hauled the discarded Christmas trees and branches that had been brought from outside of the provincial park (since we don't cut or destroy natural features in the park) to the shelter-building location. It was a good spot because it featured a fallen tree and some shrubbery that made for additional protection. We talked about how to use the trees as the main supports and the cut boughs for the walls, roof and floor. We also learned about considering things like wind direction, natural features (trees, rocks, hillsides) and terrain or elevation in choosing a shelter location. Then the crew got busy, working together to make a nice cosy shelter.

After a while the teams switched, with the shelter builders heading to another location where SKIP volunteers were tending a campfire that had developed some lovely coals for cooking the bannock. The group had learned that bannock is a kind of unleavened bread - a bit like a pancake or even a beaver tail. The kids were given bowls containing all the ingredients except the water (the recipe will be sent home with the kids next week) and mixed it up with their hands, flattened it like a pancake, wrapped it around a stick and cooked it over the fire.

Towards the end of the session we all congregated in the clubhouse where we enjoyed the bannock with local maple syrup, hot chocolate and apple juice while looking over the results from our previous photography and craft sessions. Great stuff!

Special thanks to our knowledgeable session leader Beth Peterkin, along with volunteers Jane Irwin, Heather Lunn, Pat Batchelor and Judy Fletcher for a great day!

Next week is our final SKIP program for the winter session and will feature a Discovery Hike. Don't worry, though, we're busy planning activities for the spring!

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