Introducing the key elements of axe and saw work for the Outdoor challenge badge. Including a discussion of safety, precautions to take whilst working with saws or axes, what to wear, and covering basic techniques of handling axes and saws.
Small axes, saws, large firewood/ pallets/ etc for practice, rope for marking out safe working area, work gloves, sensible shoes (leaders and scouts).
Start with a discussion about safety. Make sure scouts are wearing sensible shoes, and then get them to mark out a safe work area in a place where there might be good logs/surfaces for sawing. Discuss the rules of the safe work zone, and why these are important. Collect some practice wood from the storage area to practice with and put this in a pile in an appropriate place within the safe zone.
Teach some basic technique for axe and saw including:
- feet wide and 1 handed for the axe
- where to hold and support your wood whilst sawing
- how to finish off a piece of wood once you get a 'bite' with the axe
- sawing in stages to cut larger pieces of wood
Before letting them get on with things, teach them the things to watch out for, and to be aware of when working with these tools:
- Stay well back from axe wielders
- caution with splinters in wood
- nails etc that may be found in the wood they will use on camp
- the purpose of sturdy shoes
- people outside the safe zone
Then let them have a try, with sufficient supervision. This activity will work best in smaller groups - i.e. 5 people or less at a time.