Survival Camp Teaches Kids Valuable Skills


By Brandon Merano
By Benjy Jeffords

 JACKSON COUNTY -- This week kids in Southern Illinois are learning some of the skills you see in shows like Man vs. Wild.  

Over the past week the participants have been swam, smelled, and even tasted the great outdoors. 

"It tasted kind of like lemons," said camper Caleb Harris.

These kids wrapped up survival camp with an edible hike.  They learned about the medicinal benefits of plants and which ones are safe to eat.

"We've done so much and this is the second week!" exclaimed Counselor Torri Withrow.

"We've been hiking around here at the lake. We got to canoe some, learned how to get water in case you need to survive," commented Harris.

Caleb Harris and the other campers also developed another key survival skill, building shelter.

"We got two Y-shaped sticks and set them up, then we got a long one and would put them up on the sides.  After that we would cover it with leaves," Harris explained.

After the week of lessons, Zoe Harris felt confident about her outdoor skills.

"Do you think you could survive alone in the woods? I think I would at least last a week," Zoe told News three.

The camps not only teach kids valuable life skills, they give them the chance to stay active.

"They're gaining friendships every day and being outside so they're learning about the environment they are in. They arent getting taught that sometimes in public schools," said Withrow.

Camp counselor Torri Withrow says she enjoys spending time with the kids.

"It's incredible because they are coming to you and they come up and hold your hand.  They show you something exciting to them so you are going to be excited also."

Some campers had so much fun they didn't want to leave.

"I'd like to keep going," said Harris.

Marion Regional
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