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Friday, February 06, 2015

Arctic Survival Skills Patch

Cozy under the emergency space blanket!

Looking at survival kits and first aid kits together. 
In my search for fun outdoor based girl scout patches, I found the Fairbanks Council Arctic Survival Skills Patch. Right away, it struck me as a useful, interesting patch. The requirements:

Do six of the following activities, including the starred requirements.
  1. * Find out what hypothermia and frostbite are. Know the steps to prevent them in different weather and water conditions. Know the procedures to take if either of these occur. Demonstrate them.
  2. Know basic compass and map skills, and demonstrate them by following an orienteering course.
  3. * Invite a Wildlife Specialist to a meeting to inform you about such things as bear protection and wildlife awareness (as appropriate to each area).
  4. What is stress? How can stress interfere with survival? Discuss feelings such as fear and loneliness. How do you deal with tensions like thirst, hunger, and pain?
  5. Shelter, food, water, warmth, and clothing are basic survival necessities. Show how you can provide these for yourself and consider their order of importance.
  6. Arctic wilderness provides its own challenges. Think about and discuss characteristics of water, plant life, geographic conditions, and weather of the arctic that would help or hinder you.
  7. Make a basic survival kit. Know how to use each item properly.
  8. Plan and carry out an overnight camping trip to implement the survival skills you have learned. (Remember to turn in your troop trip application and a list of what your survival kit consists of.)
I enlisted the help of a troop father, Ryan. His twin daughters are in my troop and he volunteered to help take our troop through the patch. He is a retired coast guard rescue swimmer and is now a firefighter. Through his work as a rescue swimmer, he had extensive arctic survival skills training and was excited that our troop was undertaking this patch. 

On our first meeting to chip away at the skills, we all learned so much. I learned all the many uses of parachute cord (rope) and how it has 15 strands of very strong string inside of it. 
We learned about emergency space blankets and the different applications for them. 
We learned about the 3 stages of hypothermia ANd that 50% of heat loss is through our head-so put a hat on to stay warm. (Or take it off first to cool down!)

The girls were mostly captivated by the knowledge. I realized just how interesting of a topic survival is!


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