Archive for the ‘Survival Skills’ Category

Spring time in Texas is unpredictable and this year was no different. Planning for the Survival Skills day camp took a lot of thought and even more praying. Storms, rain and wind threatened our camping fun, but once again the Lord hedged us and cleared the day for us.

This year’s camp was held at beautiful Black Creek Lake.


Our day began at 8:00 am sharp.


It took a lot of effort on everyone’s part to set up camp. 005-IMG_8046006-IMG_8051007-IMG_8052008-IMG_8054.JPG

The fire was especially difficult this year considering the damp and the wind and it took everyone huddled together to make it happen. I am very happy to say that for the first time ever, the fire was started with a flint and dryer lint. A great victory!


Once the fire was going the shelter was next. This also took team work because of the wind.



Some very quickly moved onto the fishing . . . .



While others focused on the pancakes.


After tummies were full of pancakes and hot cocoa, it was time for kayaking.




There was some more fishing . . .


more kayaking . .


whittling . . . .

playground fun . . .

hiking . . .



and camp fire talk .


Lunch time came quickly, more wood was added to the fire and the hot dogs were on.



We topped off our lunch with some delicious s’mores.


I am so grateful for the parents and students for all their help! It was a wonderful day thanks to all of you.

See you there next year!


And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25






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Let me just start by saying Glory to God in the Highest!

With storms and rain in the forecast we did not know if this day camp would happen, but through much prayer and the tender care of our Lord, the rains paused long enough to make it happen. It was the most perfect day (of course it was, He planned it that way), gorgeous weather, little wind and He did it just for us!!!

This years Survival Skills day camp was held at the Black Creek Lake.


The day was started by setting up camp.

The camp fire was started and the tent was put up.


Pancakes and hot chocolate were cooked over the campfire and served up with loads of butter and syrup. Yummy!




There were plenty of good places to go exploring.


Then it was fishin’ time!


There were a few fish caught, but they all were thrown back into the lake. But it sure was fun catching them.


Kayaking was at the top of the list of things to do. The lake was the perfect size for it and the wind was calm enough to ride the kayaks the entire time.



Lunch time was soon upon us and we cooked up some hot dogs on the camp fire. We served chips and sweet tea along with the the hot dogs.


What better way to end lunch and the camp than with s’mores.


It was a wonderful day at Black Creek Lake! Thanks to the parents and students for all the help! For coming and helping set up and tear down, and for sending food!

Until next year . . . .


When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain And brings forth the wind from His storehouses.

Jeremiah 51:16

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Texas is a great place to be if you every find yourself in the predicament of needing to use your survival skills. 

Our survival skills class has already discovered  the astonishing Mesquite tree with it’s tasty bean pods. You can check it out here:


Our next discovery was just as surprising–Prickly Pear Cactus!  Texas has no short supply of yet another annoying little plant that covers every. entire. inch. of the state. Well . . . not exactly, but it sure seems like it does, it’s everywhere! In fact, it is just a few yards outside my front door, in every direction. Little did I know what gems that existed within my reach.                    Image


The tops of the cactus, which is the fruit can be made into candies, jellies and smoothies. But we concentrated on the green part called the pad.




The pad is full of spines, so we scraped them off with a knife and cut it up into long, thin pieces. 




Then we boiled it in water with an onion and some garlic for 40 minutes, then let it cool. 





Next we fried them in oil until they were almost crisp, then salted them–salt is a must!



Then comes the tasting?!?!?!



Everyone agreed that they tasted a lot like green beans . . . . but wait!



The wonder of these plentiful prickly plants is that not only do they survive the extreme Texas weather, but there are some medicinal properties as well.  The Prickly pear cactus can be used to help control type 2 diabetes and for high cholesterol!  

I have had a change of heart, the Prickly Pear Cactus is definitely worth a second look.



Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.  Numbers 13:26

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Today marks the first annual Survival Skills Day Camp.  Many thanks to the Kelly family for hosting our event and sharing their beautiful home with us.                                  ImageImageImageImage


This is an account of our day. I took 389 pictures and had to use much restraint in picking my favorites!

Our camp started at 8:00 am and the first thing that needed to be done was to start a fire.  Since we are learning about survival we tried to start the fire with brush and a starter flint.                                      ImageImageImageImageImageImage


The brush was damp so after several attempts at starting the fire to no avail, we called for a lighter.                ImageImage

Then up went the tent.                           ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Soon the water was on for hot chocolate and the pancakes we being made.                     ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


After breakfast it was time for some fishing.                              ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

There was also time for archery, play time and some R&R.                         ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


We took a ride on the squirrel through the grass lands.                        ImageImageImageImage


Then it was time for the kayak.          



Lunch time was soon upon us.                             ImageImageImageImageImageImage

We topped off our lunch with some delicious S’mores!                                      ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Everyone enjoyed the tasty treat!                         ImageImage ImageImageImage

We ended our day with one last adventure to the Ball Knob Cemetery, with many of the grave markers from the 1800’s. 



Our camp ended at 1:00 pm and we had a wonderful day! One student thought it would be a good idea to do this once a month, and I’m with her! Once again, Kudos to our amazing hostesses!!  Until next year!                                        ImageImageImage


The heavens declare the glory of God.  Psalm 19:1a

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Tarp Shelter

Our Survival Skills class is learning about different types of shelters.          ImageImage


So on a Wednesday afternoon we made way to the empty field to make a tarp shelter.




It was totally a group effort and everyone took part in setting up the shelter.




We found two trees that were close together, and using some of the knots they have learned from class, strung and tied a rope between the two trees.




They draped the tarp over the rope and hammered tent stakes into the ground.





After spreading a tablecloth inside the shelter,   



we all squeezed inside.




We finished our afternoon off with some mesquite cookies.  



For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy, I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.  Ps. 61:3-4

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Mesquite Pancakes

My survival class made an amazing discovery!

The most annoying, gnarly, thorny tree in Texas turns out to be a diamond in the rough.  And it was by sheer accident that we made this incredible discovery. 

While my husband was out on location, surrounded by mesquite trees, his partner began to give him some astounding information about the overlooked ugly duckling. It would seem that the Indians and the pioneers used to make flour out of the mesquite pods and beans. Knowing that I am always on the lookout for such things for my survival class, he relayed the information with one pod in hand.

So I did some research myself, and sure enough it was true.  

And to my great delight not only could you buy mesquite flour (try Amazon.com) but it is super good for you. It is rich in dietary fiber and protein. It also has significant quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc  and is naturally gluten-free. It has a nutty flavor with a cinnamon spice flare to it. There is even a cookbook filled with just mesquite recipes.

So . . .  our class made mesquite pancakes.                                                                               While some mixed the pancake batter, 


others shook the jar of heavy cream to make butter.

ImageImage ImageImageImageImage  

And still others prepared the griddle.



They worked together to mix, cook and serve each other and they made me smile!ImageImageImageImageImageImage


And finally it was time to taste the mesquite pancakes . . . . ?           ImageImageImageImageImageImage


Drum roll please.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

It was a winner!ImageImage


For the most part everyone liked them, but more than anything, we had great fun together.

And tomorrow we will have mesquite cookies!




The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.  1 Kings 17:16

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