Green Earth Survival CampSpecial Thanks to Ms. Hutson, Mr. Reynolds, Ms. Wells, & Ms. Delgado our very BRAVE Parent Chaperones!
On the morning of Friday, September 24th most students in Palm Coast woke up from a dry bed and prepared for a typical day at school. Friday morning was anything BUT typical for a group of ITMS Service-Learning students who are learning about disaster preparedness. Led by Hank Fannin of Green Earth Survival school, this group of middle schoolers spent the night at Bulow Campgrounds, opened their tents to a downpour and prepared for a day of survival training.
The adventure began on Thursday evening when students gathered at the campgrounds to set up their tents. For many, it was their very first camping experience.
Once the tents were up, the group assembled for Lesson One on the itinerary-Fire Building. Students learned that it takes plenty of patience and practice to start a fire without a lighter or matches. They collected tinder, kindling and fuel which they ignited using a spark from a magnesium fire-starter.
The girls and boys used their new skill to build a campfire. After students toasted marshmallows, Mr. Fannin discussed the importance of emergency kits and how a kit must fit the situation at hand.
Mr. Fannin informed the group that the most important survival tool is one's brain and offered students the acronym "STOP" to use in the event of an emergency.
S = Stop T = Think O = Observe P = Plan
Mr. Fannin expressed that water, food and sleep are crucial components to maintaining one's ability to "think" in an emergency. With that, "most" students (we won't mention any names) settled in their tents for a good night's sleep.
By 7:30 am students were up and ready for a nature walk. During the walk, students observed some edible plants to consider as food in the event of an emergency. Mr. Fannin pointed out some of the poisonous plants to avoid, such as poison ivy.
After the nature walk, Mr. Fannin enlightened students with the "The Rule of Three". He noted that while there are exceptions, in general:
- Humans cannot survive for more than 3 hours in extreme temperatures.
- Humans cannot survive for more than 3 days without water.
- Humans cannot survive for more than 3 weeks without food.
Given this information, boys and girls learned some interesting techniques for building shelters and purifying water.
Students demonstrate how tablets, filters and UV light are used to purify water.
"Lost Proofing" was the final lesson of the day. Mr. Fannin stressed how important it is for someone who is lost or stranded to stay put and practice S.T.O.P until help arrives. He showed students how a whistle and reflector are used to communicate with search and rescue teams. He introduced students to a portable GPS unit and gave meaning to the coordinates generated by the devise. This led into a geocaching activity in which groups of students competed to find hidden boxes of treats.
As the dismissal bell rang at Indian Trails Middle school, students gathered their books and headed to the buses. Tired and tasseled, ITMS Service-Learning students broke down their tents, cleaned up the camp site and headed for home. On Monday, they will start planning for their Disaster Preparedness project. In an effort to help others in the community to be safe in the event of an emergency situation, these students will develop unique ways to share the knowledge and skills they have acquired from Mr. Hank Fannin.
ITMS Service-Learning students left this curious spider behind (hopefully)... Can you identify the spider??