Wilderness skills aren't just about the wilderness. Survival skills aren't just something you use when you wander too far into the woods. The York Region Planning and Development Department learned these things this week, as Sticks and Stones was invited to provide a day of out of the ordinary activities for their annual Christmas celebration.
It was not your usual corporate gathering. Lunch was served before the city staff received their real treat. It was a cold day, with some flurries... most were shocked to learn that they would be spending it outside, learning survival skills. Skeet's introductory talk definitely sparked excitement. The students would be rotated through four stations, learning fire by friction, archery, tracking, and the basics of outdoor clothing (shelter) and water purification. It was a team building exercise, and a competition to see who could learn the most. And all did learn!
The most important lesson of the day was that life in the wild isn't all that different from life in the city. The deer spend their days foraging, hanging out in social spots, mating, looking for good shelter for the winter and keeping track of the health of their community. We spend our days working in departments like that of York Region to pay the bills for food, clothing, and entertainment. We make city plans and developments so that our community may be strong for the future generations. As living creatures, we're not so different than the deer, engaged in our own circle of life that provides for ourselves and those who will follow and continue the cycle. Survival is really just life, and we're all in it together.