Waubonsie State Park December 17-19, 2010

On Friday night, December 17th, I met up with Troop 25 of Lincoln, Nebraska. I had been offered the opportunity to teach the Wilderness Survival merit badge. We made way for Waubonsie State Park in Iowa. There were no other campers in Waubonsie for the duration of our time there. Friday night I slept out under the stars. It was 16 degrees. A little after 4:00 am I woke up, too cold to sleep. Venus was as brilliant as I've ever seen it. At 5:00 am I ventured out of my bag, grabbing my fathers planisphere which I recently found. As I walked about to warm up, I studied the chart and in doing so, doubled my knowledge of constellations, memorizing the locations of Bootes, Virgo, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, and Leo. The first half of Saturday, the 18th, was mostly spent lecturing on wilderness first aid, survival priorities, survival techniques, etc. The second half was spent constructing shelters. Three boys made their shelters around a central tree, while mine stood alone. We returned to the cabin for dinner and peach cobbler and afterwards returned to the shelters, where we slept for the night. It was 26 degrees outside that night and, tucked into a wiggle-room only leaf hut, it was quite warm. The 19th was mostly an uneventful return to Lincoln and the end of a productive weekend.

Lecture portion of merit badge

Beginnings of the shelters
Skeleton of my shelter begins to take shape over leaf bed

Woods are covered in light layer of massive snow flakes
Making cocoa for the boys