Saturday, September 5, 2015

Josiah's 10th birthday - Wilderness Survival

With Josiah's birthday falling on the same day as my due date for baby #6, we decided to celebrate his birthday a little early.  We don't typically do much for birthdays, but we've always done some kind of special party for them when they turn 10.  Josiah found a bear scout book out in the barn earlier in the summer, and he's been tackling all the assignments in there and taking very seriously the things he needs to do to check off all the activities in the book.  He accomplished a great deal of them during the summer and is continueing to work at it.  We decided it would be fitting to have a wilderness survival party for him as that seems to be most of the focus of the bear scout.  We invited lots of friends, had a campfire with hobo dinners and hot dogs, had little lessons on certain areas of survivalism, and had a patch ceremony.  It turned out to be quite a great night for him and everyone who attended.    

The first lesson was on medicinal plant identification, taught by Sadie Smith.   This was Josiah's favorite lesson. The children learned some great things to eat and some plants to use for healing purposes.

The next lesson was on how to start a fire without matches.  The boys had a good time trying out the different techniques.  This one was taught by Jonathon, who had all the children engaged in what he was teaching.

Then they headed to the front yard to learn about how to use a compass and tell which direction you are going in according to things in the wilderness.  Jonathon taught this lesson as well.  It was short, but most of the children already knew the information, so we continued on with more interesting lessons.

I followed behind everyone keeping track of what everyone was doing.  We had patches to honor each child with what they succeeded best in.  Some of the patches were "Best Hot Dog Burner", Best Smore Maker", "The One Who Knew the Most about Plant Identification", "The Best Helper", etc.  It was fun to make sure everyone qualified for something and see what all they were learning.

My Dad did the lesson on cordage.  This one was some of the boys' favorite area as they didn't know much about it.  Was glad that some of the children who are very familiar with nature and it's elements still were able to go home with some kind of new information.  He did a great job explaining what kind of plants to use and then showing them how to twist the plant leaves to make cordage.

The last lesson was in different knots.  How to tie them and what to use them for.  Alegra and Josiah were prepared to teach this one.  The children took some time working at making the 2 different kinds of knots that they chose to teach.  Some got the hang of it easy and others struggles, but all had a good time working together trying it.

 Amalyah won the "Best Smore Maker" patch.  It looked so yummy!

Patch ceremony time!  Since we don't plan on putting Josiah into an actual scout group, we decided we should come as close to giving him a patch as possible.  We should have got more pictures of the patches.  They were really cute.  First we presented each child with the patch they earned for the night, then we talked about all the tasks that Josiah accomplished through the summer and presented him with a nice bear patch that was slightly bigger than all the other patches.  He was a little embarrassed by the whole process, but these moments are good for him.  We should have make him give a speech that might have pushed him over the embarrassed edge.  :)

 We are very proud of his accomplishments and how serious he took the assignments.  The neat thing is that it wasn't all about wilderness lessons.  He learned how to serve the community, how to help others, and how to be a good citizen.  Those are something that every 10 year old should be learning and practicing to become a better person in life.  

He then opened gifts that were mainly survival items.  He loved everything that people gave him!

And we finished the evening showing 72 the Movie.  You can find it through or go to Above Rubies. com and you can find it for sale there as well.  It's about 4 cousins who take a mason jar of supplies to the wilderness for 72 hours.  It's their journey of how they endured the wilderness and learned what works best in survival situations.  A very good movie!

We know that God gave us Josiah to raise and train up.  He is a harder child to know how to handle. He has a sensitive spirit in so many areas, yet he has so many gifts also that flow from his hands so easily.  He will become someone who uses his hands for good in whatever situations the Father puts him in.  I pray this party was an encouragement to him and his accomplishments, and that he will continue to thrive in becoming a better young man in our community.