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Evergreen Trees in Winter

Winter Survival

Class Details

3 Hours

4th Grade to Adult


How do outdoor skills and teamwork help in a winter survival situation?

Students will use the winter woods as a classroom as they participate in a small group survival situation. During the first 45 minutes indoors, students will participate in a simulated bus crash, make a list of the seven body needs for survival, and learn about hypothermia. Two hours will be spent on a survival activity in the Sawmill Creek Valley. Using limited resources, each group will construct a shelter, make a fire, boil water and make a hot beverage. As the instructor makes rounds from group to group, team-building skills and a positive attitude will be stressed. Students will relate this experience to small group performances in everyday life and the benefit of positive group interaction to the environment.

Lesson Plan


  1. The essence of human survival is maintaining internal body temperature, which is accomplished by meeting 7 basic
  2. needs: oxygen, shelter, warmth, water, rest, food, and a positive mental attitude.
  3. Outdoor survival skills, such as shelter and fire building, follow basic scientific principles and good judgement.
  4. Successful survival requires creative thinking, growth-oriented mindsets, constant experimentation, and effective communication and teamwork.
  5. Lessons learned from challenging experiences can be applied to future experiences.


  • List the 7 basic needs for human survival and the causes and effects of hypothermia.
  • Collaborate with a team to build a survival shelter, maintain a fire, and possibly melt snow for water.
  • Practice and recognize the physical, mental, and interpersonal skills required for successful outdoor survival.
  • Identify how meeting challenges in outdoor survival can apply to teamwork and other challenges encountered in future situations.