Boy Scouts from Coronado, Calif., received survival training from some of the Navy’s best survival training instructors at the Warner Springs Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training facility May 30-31.
The Boy Scouts of Troop 806 got a glimpse into the wilderness survival training military members learn while at the survival course.
“The boys are here working on a wilderness survival merit badge,” said Scout Master Matt Pittner. “They are supposed to learn how to survive in cold or hot weather situations, how to get food and water and everything you need to know in case you would get lost in the woods.”
Three Navy SERE instructors volunteered to teach trapping and hunting techniques, navigation and fire building.
“[The instructors] taught us different styles of shelters at this training, and I think that the instructors were more experienced,” said scout Daniel Chapa, 14.
Scouts also learned the importance of using only what they had in survival situations. For example, the scouts worked through a crash-landing scenario and had to navigate through the wilderness to find a safe base camp. Instructors taught the scouts to construct a shelter using only a parachute and anything else they could find around them. Later in the night, some scouts slept in the structures they had built earlier.
“After we built our shelters, I went to go hang out with a few of my friends, but their shelters collapsed so we had to sleep under the stars on the parachute,” said scout Sam Ruiz, 11. “But it was fun to work together with my friends and hang out.”
Former Navy E-2C Hawkeye pilot Roger Chapa completed the SERE course in 1982 and knew his 14-year-old son, Daniel, would benefit.
“I believe that young men should be exposed to the type of training they got up there,” said Chapa. “The survival portion of the training is actually pretty good from what I remember. It gives you a good idea on how to make it out there on your own.”
Scout mother Juli Ruiz thought the course would be exciting and would expose her son to a different side of the military.
“I think it’s really great, especially for our troop in Coronado because so many of the families are military,” said Ruiz. “It exposes the boys to a different side of the military other than what they see their parents do. It was a really great opportunity for him, and we thought it would be something that would be exciting and memorable for him as well.”
“The training they received here is years ahead of what they would have received at a Boy Scout summer camp,” explained Pittner. “This is truly something that they are going to remember forever.”
For more news from Naval Special Warfare Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsw/.
Story Number: NNS090615-04
Release Date: 6/15/2009 1:08:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique M. Lasco