A school holiday programme held only for boys last week has demonstrated the different dynamics of survival in the bush.
The Northern Southland Community Resource Centre Charitable Trust organised the holiday programme, which was held on Wednesday, October 5.
Northern Southland community co-ordinator Kim Spencer-McDonald said the bush survival day was run by Laurie Ngakai, of Lumsden, Aaron Horrell, of Mandeville and Dave McFadzien, of Five Rivers, at Irthing Valley Picnic Area at Five Rivers.
The programme attracted 10 boys aged 9-13.
Mrs Spencer-McDonald said the participants had to write a letter of application on what they liked about the outdoors.
The programme focused on three main areas, the first being preparation, including what to do if they went hunting or into the bush with a family member.
They also covered what clothes to wear and the basics to pack, Mrs Spencer-McDonald said.
The groups were then taught how to build shelters, collect safe drinking water and start a fire using flint.
“Birds’ nests are a great little thing to actually start a fire with,” Mrs Spencer-McDonald said.
The day finished with roasting marshmallows over the fire.
Mr Ngakai, Mr Horrell and Mr McFadzien gave them advice about what to do when lost: stay put.
“There was lots of practical advice about staying put,” she said.
They were also taught to hang a backpack up on a tree and wait to be spotted.
Mrs Spencer-McDonald said the children really enjoyed the day.