View topic - what to teach in dry land training for kids?

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PostPosted: May 6th, 2018, 9:00 pm 
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Hey folks, looking for some input.

This week in my Scouts meeting we start paddling season - w00t! We always start with one night of 'dry land training'. Basically we split the Scouts into 3 groups, and do 3 different things and then rotate them twice. So you have 3 different stations being run and have about 25 minutes to try to get something done. Then you rotate and do it again. Then again.

So Scouts get 3 different topics each for about 25 minutes. We call these "stations" or "rotations"

I know, I know, what can you possibly teach in 25 minutes? That's your challenge!

Our meetings are only 90 minutes long.

And in case you have never worked with kids before, you have to keep them in small groups otherwise you really can't get anything done. So putting them all together and doing one thing for 90 minutes is just not an option.

We used to do 1 "rotation" on water safety, 1 on paddle strokes sitting on a chair with a paddle, and 1 on canoe tripping in general, talking about how camps work

I've been changing it around a bit from what was handed down to me, and last year for the first time I introduced actual canoes to dryland training, where we showed them how to load and unload canoes on a vehicle, how to pick them up with 1 or 2 people, and how to portage them with 1 or 2 people. I know a lot of people say you cannot portage with 2 people but it is just simply not true, and I have to think those people have never gone on a canoe trip with a bunch of kids where the adults are doing most of the portaging with 70 lb canoes :-)

This year we also have a Scout who is going for his Chief Scout Award, and as part of that we want to get him to show the other Scouts how to properly fit a PFD

So this year I want to do :
- 1 rotation for loading / unloading / portaging
- 1 rotation fitting a PFD
- you pick the last rotation!

What are the important things to include in that last rotation?


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PostPosted: May 6th, 2018, 9:52 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I meet several times in time periods of 20 minutes to an hour before we go on a trip. We cover a bunch of topics, ranging from hypothermia/hyperthermia, standard CPR, portage practices, camp routines, how not to get lost/what to do when lost, lightening and bad weather routines, map reading, compass workshop, proper clothing and rain gear, etc. This week since the snow is finally gone we will be doing portaging practice. Each kid has to carry a canoe 400 metres (once around the track) without stopping. I also put 50 pounds of water in a bunch of barrels, and they have to carry them around the track too.

Truthfully though, most of the discussion/paperwork stuff doesn't stick until they actually experience a trip. Most boys on their first trip in the 14 year old range will have all their clothes and dry shoes and sometimes their sleeping bags wet by the second day. Since their mommies aren't there, lol, they have to live with the results of their lazy or bad decisions. Generally by the next year, they are better.


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PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 12:04 pm 
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Clothing--demonstrate why cotton kills. Show acceptable and not acceptable choices. Kids who are comfortable in the backcountry will want to go again. Misery is a bad teacher.

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PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 3:02 pm 
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Too bad you don't have water available.. Anyone who can put a PFD on within a minute while treading water over their heads gets money.. And they will never forget why they need to wear it.
You won't lose money.
Make em sit around in damp cotton.. as long as they have brought spare clothes to the meeting..

The more you can get kids to DO in these meetings the more I think the lessons will sink in..

Map and compass is good and there are lots of dry land orienteering exercises you can do.


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PostPosted: May 8th, 2018, 9:42 pm 
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That's a great idea with the PFD - we'll try it when we are on water!

I think we decided on some good hard work - we have one canoe with wood gunwales and they will spend some time giving them a light sanding and some oil.


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PostPosted: May 10th, 2018, 3:27 pm 
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I taught an outdoor ed course to high school students. We were very strict about clothing. We also taught them how to pack a backpack efficiently. We learned quickly that many kids don't have much endurance, move slowly, don't kow how to dress, forget things by the trail, leave gear outside overnight. Most were just very happy to be outside--they didn't have any peak fever for instance.

One of the best things they learned was about preparing a meal. We took them into the high school cooking area one morning and each group of 2-3 had to prepare a one-pot meal. They could use canned food as an ingredient but could not use any pre-packaged meals. great lesson.

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PostPosted: May 12th, 2018, 6:16 pm 
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Throw rope and what to do on certain rescue situations. Depends on age, but they should know basic jobs to perform.
Jeff

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PostPosted: May 12th, 2018, 6:34 pm 
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What was ended up doing for the 3rd "rotation" was good old fashioned elbow-grease - washing canoes!


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PostPosted: May 20th, 2018, 9:15 am 
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I realize this doesn't quite match your request.

I like to show Bill Mason's Path of the Paddle, as much for the scenery etc as for the paddling techniques. It helps boost enthusiasm.

One can obtain a DVD from the National Film Board and from some outdoor stores.

Don't


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