Learn the skills needed for wilderness survival through a series of workshops February 22-24 at Daisy State Park in Kirby during Survival Skills Weekend. Take one class or take them all. Of note: space is limited so advance registration is required. Workshop discounts are also available for campers. Arkansas’s eighth state park, Daisy is located on 7,000-acre Lake Greeson about 50 miles west of Arkadelphia. The lake makes the park a favorite of campers seeking water sports and fishing. Nearby attractions such as the Little Missouri River, the Ouachita National Forest and Crater of Diamonds State Park make it a good base camp for other activities too. For more information, you can call the park at 870 398-4487. Classes featured during the weekend are listed below.
Friday February 22
Introduction to Geocaching
3-4 p.m.: Discover what geocaching is all about. Take a crash course in GPS technology, then learn the basics of one the fastest-growing activities in America. Meeting place: Interpretive Center.
Meet and Greet Campfire
From 6:30-8:30 p.m, the park will provide a warm fire, marshmallows and popcorn for all park guests to gather around and talk about the workshops and programs offered during this weekend’s survival skills challenge. Meeting place: Interpretive Center Porch.
Saturday February 23:
Dutch Oven Workshop
8-10 a.m.: Whether you are a professional campfire cook or just a novice, this 2-hour workshop introduces you to Dutch oven cooking. The workshop covers topics such as the history of Dutch ovens, maintaining cast-iron, and family breakfast recipes. Breakfast will be served during the workshop. Meeting place: Interpretive Center. Admission: $10
Emergency Shelter Building
8-10 a.m.: Shelter protects your body from the outside elements. This includes heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind. During this workshop, participants will be introduced to different types of emergency shelters. They will also gain experience by constructing a shelter. Participants are asked to bring gloves and bug spray. This program is designed for ages 10 and up. Meeting place: TBA. Admission: $5
9- 10: The Hug-a-Tree and Survive Program teaches children how to survive in the woods should they become lost. The program was developed to educate children in a select few of the most basic and vital survival principles. It is specifically designed for children between the ages of 7 and 11 but can be effective with slightly younger and older children. Meeting place: Interpretive Center. Admission: Free
Natural Cordage Making
10-12: Join guest speaker Mike Thennes to gain valuable hands on experience identifying and making cordage (rope). Included in the workshop will be an opportunity to view cordage plants in their natural settings by hiking different trails at Daisy State Park. Mr. Thennes has instructed many outdoor classes for Arkansas State Parks including edible and medicinal plants, shelter Building, tracking, and cordage. Meeting place: TBA
Catch a Fish with a Can
10:30-11:Learn how to fashion a soda can into a successful fishing pole. Then make sure to try it out on the shorelines of Lake Greeson. Meeting place: Playground.
10:30-12: The first step in wilderness survival is being prepared. This workshop will cover many different ways you can prepare for your next adventure. Topics will include preparedness packs and planning tips. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to create and gather supplies for their own preparedness packs. This program is part of the Survivor Skills Weekend series and designed for ages 10 and up. Meeting place: Interpretive Center. Admission: $5
1-1:30:Arkansas is home to a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, and other animals. This program will discuss Arkansas’s wildlife, and will have some animal-related items on hand to inspect and feel. We’ll also mention if there is any type of wildlife that should be feared as your trying to survive. Meeting place: Interpretive Center
Basic Map and Compass
1-3:During this basic map and compass workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn terminology and skills using each piece of equipment. Participants will also calculate their personal paces and try to complete a simple orienting course. Park will provide compasses for the event. This program is designed for ages 12 and up. Meeting place: TBA. Admission: $5
1-4: The ability to start a fire is an important survival skill to practice. Rubbing two sticks together to create fire can be a difficult challenge, if never done before. During this workshop, participants will get the knowledge and practice in using pre-historic, pre-modern, and modern methods of creating fire. This program is designed for ages 12 and up. Meeting place: TBA. Admission: $10
3-4: Learn several basic knots useful to an outdoors person. You’ll even learn what not to knot. The park will supply the rope and learning tools for participants to take home and practice. Meeting place: Interpretive Center. Admission: Free
Sunday, February 24
Survival Skills Challenge Course
Once your skills are sharp, it’s time for some fun: the Survival Skills Challenge and Competition. We’ll begin with all competitors and progressively whittle down the field with a variety of survival competitions. Sign up starts at 9 am with secret instructions revealed at 9:30am. Prizes will be given to 1st- 3rd places. Prizes include gift certificates from Action Fishing Trips on Lake Greeson, and free passes for campsites and kayak rentals at Daisy State Park. Meeting place: Interpretive Center
Admission: Free for workshop participants; $10 for non-workshop participants.