GREENFIELD — The 246th Battalion of the California Cadet Corps of Greenfield High School had 15 cadets attend the Winter Wilderness Skills Course for four days in January and work to earn their Specialized Training Ribbon.
While in the Los Padres National Forest, the cadets learned basic survival skills, such as how to start a fire, knife safety, knot tying and trap making.
“The Wilderness Skills Course taught me that a knife had so much purpose in the wilderness,” said Cadet Cpl. Bautista. “I am grateful to learn that you can use it to cut wood and make tinder. We also learned how to build shelter, which would be useful if I ever find myself in a dire situation in the future.”
The Wilderness Skills Course is preparatory training for cadets thinking of going to Survival Training during the summer.
While there, the cadets were welcomed in an environment where everybody was equal and had no ranks. Instructors showed them basic survival skills, such as fire starting, shelter building and water purification.
On the last day, cadets faced challenging weather conditions with some tents even flooding, but they prevailed and completed the course because in a true survival situation, one has no control over the weather.
“Wilderness Skills Course affected me in a positive way because of the fun I had with friends and new friends that I made. It was an enjoyable experience,” said Cadet Cpl. Villanueva. “Personally, I learned new things that I never expected would be useful, such as starting a fire, how to be social with people, and how to build shelters. It was fun, and I expect to go again in the future.”
Overall, the Wilderness Skills Course was fun and an opportunity for the cadets to learn basic survival skills and interact with each other through learning. Cadets also stated that they would take the course again if they had the chance.