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What is Bushcraft?

7th March 2019

What is bushcraft?

The term ‘bushcraft’ isn’t it seems, a term used in many other countries. We’ve found a lot of people who enquire about our residential Ultimate Survival Programme haven’t come across the term or aren’t particularly sure what it is or what it means. I think everyone understands what survival means however if you don’t have the full context of the programme then you might have visions of children being dropped off in the middle of know where with the task to survive!

Bushcraft or Survival programmes are very popular in the UK with children and adults alike. Children especially relish the opportunity to get into the woods and try things that they don’t get to experience in everyday life. As well as having lots of adventurous fun, programmes of this type offer children the opportunity to develop a variety of skills and try new outdoor activities.

Ultimate Survival

Our programme is run by our sister company Ultimate Survival and is a brilliant opportunity for international children to learn practical bushcraft skills alongside local British children. The programmes help to build children’s self-confidence, improve their problem-solving, give them an appreciation of the natural environment and gets them working in teams with British children which helps to improve their English language communication skills.

Children stay each evening at our residential venue, Cothill House School and attend Ultimate Survival for full days from Monday to Thursday. They can, if they want, camp out at Ultimate Survival on the Thursday evening, staying in in a tent and experiencing a night under starlit skies with evening activities and fireside stories!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are spent with the other children on our residential programmes, going on excursions and taking part in activities.

What activities will children take part in and what bushcraft skills will they learn?

Children will do one of three Ultimate Survival themes depending on which week they attend and the bushcraft activities and skills they learn differ from one theme to another. 

Extreme Earth

Young adventurers will pit themselves against the elements to go through a series of fun survival scenarios teaching them how to overcome extreme weather conditions whilst learning about the environment around them. Challenges throughout the week include forest fire and flood survival, protective shelter building, bridge construction and raft building!

Survival Island

Children will experience a variety of ‘desert island’ scenarios learning how to use their surroundings as resources for survival and to help them escape whilst putting their teamwork skills to the ultimate test. This programme teaches children life-long individual survival techniques such as hunting, trapping & skinning, wood whittling, fire cooking and jungle first aid whilst also working together to complete daily escape challenges.

Survival Games

Young survivors are grouped into tribes to take part in team-based survival challenges with each day ending in a giant Arena Challenge. Children will take part in team activities ranging from tribal base construction and assault courses to scavenger hunts and wilderness cookery! This programme will put the children’s team work skills to the test and challenge them problem solve and work together.

A unique way to spend a week or two this summer

For international children looking to come to the UK this summer and improve their English skills, this is a unique programme that gives them a high level of integration with local British children. 85% of the children on the programme will be native speakers and all attend as individuals so everyone is keen to get to know each other regardless of where they are from.

Written by: Mark Vingoe, MD