Liam is into bush craft and survival stuff. Big time. He's never happier than when he's outside building fires and shelters and practising his skills. Or inside creating survival kits or organising and re-organising his pack and gear.
He had a Man vs Wild birthday party last year and wanted the same sort of thing again this year.
So I got my thinking cap on and tried to come up with some activities that would push them a bit and make them work as a team. It was actually trickier than I thought to come up with a plan!
Here is what I ended up with..
1. The first thing they had to do was fill a pack with essential items. I hid a whole lot of things that they took turns to try and find, once they had found something they had to take it back to the team and decide if it needed to go into the pack or not. They were only allowed 10 items so there were a few tough decisions to make as to what to leave out.
2. Collecting water - they had to transfer water from the bucket down the line to the container using only their hands. They had to really concentrate and work as a team to make sure they didn't loose it all on the way. Once the container was full it had to be carried during the next activities, if the container touched the ground I told them I would tip it out and they would have to start again!
3. Keeping a flame going and target practise - They had to hit down targets using whatever they could find lying around whilst keeping a candle alight. If the candle went out they had to stop and relight the candle before carrying on with the targets. (They had chosen matches as one of their pack items).
I was amazed at their ingenious idea of holding the tealight - they wrapped a piece of bamboo bark tightly into a roll and sat the tealight in the top. Apparently something they had seen on youtube :).
4. They had to find a hidden bottle and then they could transfer their water into it. It still was not allowed to touch the ground so they had to tie the water bottle to their pack... but they were only allowed to use one hand each! It was hilarious, their two hands kept sneaking in there without them even realising. It took major brain focus and team work to get it done.
5. One of the team members (Liam) injured his foot so they had to bandage it (fortunately they had chosen a bandage to include in their pack) and they had to support him through the next challenges so that his foot stayed off the ground.
6. Collecting food - there were bags of food hidden around the place that they had to collect up as they did their activities and put into their backpack. They also had to try and pick up popcorn kernels while wearing giant leather gloves. (They had chosen and empty container as one of their backpack items so they used it to hold the popcorn). When they lit their fire they would have to cook the popcorn over the fire.
The food items they ended up with:
Salami sticks - (giant worms)
Potato chips - (pigs ears)
Cheese - (pig fat)
Raisins - (rabbit poo)
Marshmallows - (fungus)
Biltong - (dried camel)
Oranges with grated chocolate - (dirty oranges)
Bananas - (found growing on a 'banana' tree)
Chocolate pieces (dirt - to put with the bananas)
Apple juice in jars - (urine)
Then they had to get a fire going and cook all the food using only items that they had chosen to put in their backpack and sticks and wood from their surroundings. They cooked the bananas with chocolate stuffed inside. Cooked the popcorn in a pot they had in their pack. Melted the pieces of cheese in tinfoil and roasted the marshmallows on sticks. It was quite a feast in the end! And they did an awesome job of getting a good fire going.
They were rewarded with chocolate birthday cake to finish. (Same recipe as last year which is grain free and refined sugar free - I make only half a recipe and replace the honey with less maple syrup/coconut sugar. And I make up my own frosting recipe).
And then to make sure that they were well and truly worn out we finished the day with some speedy downhill luge racing!