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Survival instructor Chris Stephens teaches Junior Survivalists and their families how to make emergency shelters at the Lake Solano family campout. Charlotte M. Orr/Courtesy photo

Local News

Davis area youths learn wilderness survival skills

By From page A1 | July 31, 2014

More than a dozen youths ages 10 to 14 from Davis and elsewhere in the Sacramento region are better-equipped to handle wilderness emergencies thanks to a four-day Junior Summer Survival Series presented by Tuleyome Home Place Adventures.

The kids met daily last Wednesday through Saturday to learn wilderness survival and safety skills through hands-on activities and demonstrations and from guest speakers. Survival instructor and distinguished military veteran Chris Stephens led activities on all four days at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve, Conaway Ranch and Lake Solano Park.

Tuleyome’s award-winning outdoors program, Home Place Adventures, encourages people of all ages to become more connected to and involved with the natural world that surrounds us. The program provides engaging outdoor experiences and service projects that encourage local youths to engage in outdoor recreation, and become leaders in conservation, sustainability and land stewardship.

Home Place Adventures also offers free guided hikes and outings for the public. Online visitors will find a Tuleyome Trails page that includes a free database of trail maps and local recreation information. The program also has opportunities for volunteers to participate in habitat restoration, and trail-building and maintenance projects.

The goal of this program is to educate and empower our community to care for and help protect the land and resources that we enjoy and on which we depend.

The survival series began with “Survival 101” on Wednesday at the Cache Creek Nature Preserve in Woodland. There, youths learned basic survival intuition, animal tracking and the uses of native plants. Education specialist Fred Vanderwold from the Cache Creek Conservancy taught participants about local wildlife and how to make plaster molds of the animal tracks.

On Thursday, the kids visited the Conaway Ranch, where they got a “Search and Rescue 101” lesson. They learned basic first aid and emergency signaling, and met author Kaye Hall and her search-and-rescue dog, Julot. Kaye and Julot taught the participants what to do if they get lost, and gave a demonstration that simulated finding a missing person.

On Friday, participants and their families went to Lake Solano Park for a family campout. After dinner, participants learned shelter and fire craft, and then enjoyed roasting marshmallows under the stars.

On Saturday morning, the Junior Survivalists were put to the test with a series of obstacles, and then awarded certificates and their own mini survival kit.

Tuleyome Home Place Adventures is made possible by the Conaway Preservation Group, the Wynant Foundation, U.S. Bank, The Norcross Wildlife Foundation Inc. and PG&E.

For more information about upcoming activities, visit www.tuleyome.org.

Charlotte Orr

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