As instructors we teach based on our knowledge, skills and abilities. Those teaching aids come from successes and more importantly from close failures. So when we teach, share and mentor we bring with us everything, both good and bad, to the table. Anyone who knows me knows that I always share my stories of near failure and destruction. I do that because those were the experiences that I learned the most from and truly believe that my students will learn from them as well.
When we talk about and teach winter survival we always discuss the survival pattern and survival priorities. With the winter climate in Eastern Ontario it is no secret that after first aid that fire and shelter are of equal importance.
Shelter is an instructional topic where I always try to preach creativity and flexibility in location, design and materials. With that being said there are always fundamentals that must be considered and followed when possible.
I also believe that constructive criticism is an amazing way to learn as long as it's delivered in a positive manner. Team 1 struggled with their shelter because they weren't flexible or creative. However, with some mentoring they realized this and came together to ensure that regardless of a poor location selection that they maintained the fundamentals of a great shelter.
I had never seen a shelter like it before and although it looked like an A-Frame from the outside it was more like a double lean-to on the inside. During the last visit before the night fell upon our school I was concerned about heat retention, smoke retention and exit area.
When we returned around 2200 hrs I was pleasantly surprised. Although the smoke was an issue there was warmth, space and a great team atmosphere.
Through these courses I am as reminded of the true task at hand as the students are. This is not college construction. This is not camping. This is not a walk in the park. This is SURVIVAL !
Here are some more pictures from Team 1 working on their shelter and supply collection.
|Matt starting to build-up the outside wall.|
|Mike working hard at collecting the bedding|
and roofing materials.
|Dean, the workhorse, felling trees for|
fire wood and reflection walls.
|Team 1 hard at work. Notice the team unity|
as they are all working closely for one
common goal. SURVIVAL.
|As the sun begins to wander low in the west sky |
the lads start taking stock of their supplies.
|A great shot of Team 1 about an hour shy of|
dusk. Ready for the night !