We combined two badges together with our Keepers Club, meeting at the house of one of our club members rather than the usual village hall so we could light a fire.
Beforehand, everyone had to look at some preparatory materials such as a knife safety pamphlet, listen to advice on what to do if lost, learning what essential gear for day-hikes is, and lessons on using a compass. On the day, we set up three stations, and separated the club into three age groups. One group started with the pocketknife requirements of finding wood, whittling, sharpening, etc. (see photo)
Another group practiced their compass skills, and the third group discussed what to pack for a day hike by sifting through a lot of clothes and equipment (including snorkels, flippers, and other such silly items) and putting appropriate items into a backpack.
After everyone had a chance to rotate through all three stations, the group went to gather firewood. Once they had made a large pile, the three groups separated again to go on age-appropriate treasure hunts, using their compasses to find provisions for a marshmallow roast.
Fire-building was demonstrated and everyone toasted marshmallows, most of them using their whittled sticks from the pocketknife portion of the badge work.
In the weeks that followed, two walks were organised: one took the children along footpaths for two miles to a chicken farm, from which they had to find their own way back. Interestingly, they learned an additional lesson about keeping an eye on the stragglers so no one got lost. The second walk required a map and using a compass, and even though it was a 2-plus-mile circular walk, a two-year-old managed to do it as well.
Oxfordshire Keepers of the Faith Club