True North Blog

An Evening with YMCA Indian Guides

An Evening with YMCA Indian Guides

I spent a really enjoyable evening around a campfire this past Friday evening with roughly 150 Indian Guides and their fathers at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer.  Conveniently located in Frombell, Pennsylvania, about an hours drive north of Pittsburgh, the camp provided a wonderful setting to help kick off their weekend.

The theme of their weekend was “Wilderness Survival” so the group had asked me to show them the basics of making a fire and to introduce them to wilderness survival.

The YMCA Indian Guides program is designed to foster companionship between a father and his son through such shared activities as campouts, monthly meetings, community outings, and competitions.  This particular group hails from the Wexford, Pennsylvania area, and the ages of the children is between 5 and 8 years old.

Right on time at 8:30 that evening, a long stream of kids and parents marched single file through the dark woods, marked only by their flashlights and much banter and laughter, towards the fire ring, which was dimly lit by four torches.  After I talked to them about the nature of “wilderness” and “survival,” I showed them how to set up and start a campfire.  As the flames continued to grow, a few of the fathers kept the fire going as I then talked about the priorities of dealing with remote emergencies and answered questions from both the children and their fathers for the balance of the hour.

Many thanks to the group for inviting me!

Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

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