Within every activity at Camp Tuku, campers are learning something new, giving them the opportunity to practice patience, strengthen focus and attention, and enjoy the great outdoors. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at camper experiences in one of camper favorites: wilderness exploration.
Wilderness Exploration: Skills for the Outdoors & the Real World
Wilderness exploration activities are intended to help campers experience the health benefits of nature while learning useful skills they can use in the great outdoors as well as in their lives at home. Campers learn different types of knot tying and the use of a compass. They also have opportunities for fishing, hiking, and kayaking.
Riley’s Knot-Tying Lesson & A-ha! Moment
At Camp Tuku in Arizona this June, campers learned uses for different types of knots. For example, a slipknot is useful for crocheting, but it’s also useful for reigning in animals in the wild.
They also learned how to make a butterfly knot, and double figure 8.
Here’s what one of our campers, 12 year-old Riley, had to say about their wilderness class:
“I was surprised and really uncertain about whether I would like the activities, but my parents wanted me to be outside as much as possible.”
When asked how they felt about the activities, Riley added: “I’m glad that I got to come to the session. I am having fun learning to use the knots.”
Will Riley use knot tying back at home? After a moment of thought, Riley’s eyes brightened with an “a-ha” moment:
“Oh! Some of these knots are used to make a friendship bracelet or to tie things around the house.” After a little more reflection Riley said these knots would be useful when she goes camping with her family as they’re doing more outdoor activities this summer.
What Does Knot Tying Teach Campers at Camp Tuku?
- patience with themselves as they practice and perfect knot tying skills
- finger dexterity, which also requires concentration/mental focus
- critical thinking to consider the safe and effective uses of different types of knots
Riley’s final thoughts about learning knot tying at Camp Tuku: “All my camp friends and I are sitting outside, talking and helping each other when we get stuck. I am really glad I got to try something new!”
Finding Direction at Camp & in Life
With a GPS built into every device, most of us won’t ever pick-up a compass to find our way around. At Camp Tuku, knowing how to find one’s way around with a compass is an important part of wilderness experience.
When learning to use a compass, campers come to understand the basics of direction and navigation. Once they feel comfortable with their knowledge-base, they put it to practice by participating in a scavenger hunt in which directional instructions are given and they must use their compass to find the hidden objects.
Just as we need direction for where we are going on the road, around a building, in the woods, or to find a lost object, we similarly need direction in life. With our older campers, we might discuss having “an inner compass”– the reason we do things, also known as our “why.” Paying attention to thoughts and feelings, engaging in new experiences and taking time to reflect on our experiences all help to strengthen one’s inner compass.
Wilderness experience class not only gives kids time spent in nature, it helps them pay attention to detail, develop patience, and practice being mindful as they attend to the task at hand. They also enhance their communication skills and learn the value of teamwork by asking for assistance from their counselor or helping a fellow camper who is struggling with a task. In this way, Camp Tuku campers strengthen empathy and compassion, see the common ground they share, and learn new ways to support one another’s happiness and wellbeing.
Join Us at Camp Tuku!
Would your child enjoy time spent mindfully in the great outdoors, among new friends and exhilarating experiences? Contact Camp Tuku for more information about our upcoming sessions.