Bivouac-Teaser-Poster-2018

Launch Update

Thank you for your interest in Bivouac 2018. Online applications launch here on 1st March 2018, for a three week period … don’t miss out!

badges_all-2018

42nd Annual County Survival Skills Activity Weekend

Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th September 2018 However, applicants MUST be available for ALL dates identified on their awards application information sheet; follow the link in the tabs below to download. Regrettably, if a participant misses any of the dates they will not be able to attend the activity weekend and we will not be able to refund their money.

The Activity

Run annually for over 40 years, Bivouac is unique to Birmingham County Scouts. Four sequential awards (Training, Assessment, Junior Leader and Junior Staff) span a four-year period, each specifically tailored to give participants the next level of skills needed to make the above example seem like an afternoon stroll in the woods. Participants have to successfully complete each award before progressing onto the next, earning the right to wear their awards distinctive and prestigious Birmingham County BIVOUAC badge. The awards don’t end there; Training participants are awarded the Survival Skills Activity Badge, Assessment Participants are awarded the Emergency Aid Stage 3 Activity Badge and Junior Staff complete Module A of the Young Leaders Award.

bivouac-photo-3
bivouac-photo-4
bivouac-photo-11

The Concept

Bivouac (biv-oo-ak) – to live comfortably in camp, a Scout must know how to make a Bivouac shelter for the night … a temporary camp without tents or cover …

 

(Adapted from ‘Scouting For Boys’) It’s getting dark and it’s starting to rain. You’ve been separated from your group and you’re hopelessly lost. It looks like you’re going to have to spend the night in the forest. With only the equipment in your rucksack and the countryside around you, would you know how to survive?

The Expectation

All who apply must understand what is expected from them. There are no backup facilities; no electricity, no running water, no flushing toilets, no lights, no mobile phones, no google – we go sofar as say you are entering a hostile environment. There is just you, your knowledge, your survival tin, your knife, your sleeping bag and 1500 acres of forest … Training and Assessment participants will need to build and sleep in a Bivouac made from natural materials – prepare, cook and eat your own selection of foods which could be found in the UK countryside (no processed food is found) – carried in the rucksack you bring – cooked on the open fire you build – from wood you find – using the utensils you make – with the knife you bring – whatever the weather.

bivouac-photo-8
bivouac-photo-7
bivouac-photo-13

The Awards

Training Award participants receive instruction and coaching throughout the weekend – topics include shelter building, fire lighting, knife safety, cooking without utensils, basic first aid, gadgets & utensils, water collection & purification, tree identification, direction finding, distress signals – and plenty of time is given to practice the new-found skills. Assessment Award participants must understand their training is now over. After being given the opportunity to refresh their skills at a preparation day, it is the individual’s skills that will be tested – all have to pass a series of tests, gaining at least 70% at both assessment events to achieve the Bivouac Award. All who have been successful wear the distinctive badge with pride, and rightly so – whilst leaders will be supportive, this badge is earned and not given away. It is essential participants prepare fully for both parts of the assessment – the links on the right contain a huge wealth of information, including every question and answer for Assessment Part 1 – we don’t think we can get fairer than that … Junior Leaders will experience a physically and mentally demanding 28 hours – participants do not have to build a Bivouac, but there are no tents either … survival is dependent upon the completion of a number of team building, problem solving and individual challenges. Ideal for Explorer Scouts who have a genuine interest in survival skills and wish to put those skills along with their own physical and mental abilities to the test. The activity weekend itself is shrouded in mystery and you will be hard pressed to find any former Junior Leader who will talk about their experience. Junior Staff now use the survival, leadership and teamwork skills that they already possess to help support the selection, preparation, assessment and briefing days, play an active role in the planning meetings and help coordinate a sector on the activity weekend with other members of Adult Staff. Bivouac Leaders & Adult Staff are the backbone of Bivouac. The activity needs the ongoing support of approximately 60 appointed adult leaders and non-appointed helpers, predominantly but not exclusively from Birmingham County. Applications are welcomed from anybody over 18 who has a valid up-to-date Scouting DBS check and be recorded on a Group, District or County census. For further information, the organising team can be contacted on bivouac@birminghamscouts.org.uk

Online Applications

bivouac-5

Bivouac Training Award

badge_training

Information Sheet
Open to Scouts (over 12* years old) and Explorers Scouts (over 14 and under 16* years old) *at the date of the activity weekend. Scout Leaders will be asked to confirm an applicant’s suitability for such an activity. It is suggested you speak with your leader before applying to save disappointment. Designed to make participants think about how they can use the equipment they have and how to put the countryside around them to best use. Ideal for those that wish to learn the skills that are necessary to pass the BIVOUAC TRAINING AWARD and the SURVIVAL SKILLS ACTIVITY BADGE, and who wish to be equipped with much of the knowledge and experience needed to pass the Bivouac Assessment Award and Emergency Aid Stage 3 Activity Badge in future years. Dates – see the “Information Sheet” download. Participants MUST attend the briefing session held shortly prior to the event. If the briefing session is missed, the applicant will not be able to attend the activity weekend and we will not be able to refund any money. Cost – £35, including briefing session, transport for the main weekend and a Survival Tin. Participants will be selected at random if applications exceed the maximum number of places available. All applicants will be contacted soon after applications close on 21st March 2018.
bivouac-1

Bivouac Assessment Award

badge_assessment

Information Sheet
Scout Leaders will be asked to confirm an applicant’s suitability for such an activity. It is suggested you speak with your leader before applying to save disappointment. Unique to Birmingham County Scouts, the 3 distinct stages of the BIVOUAC ASSESSMENT AWARD and the EMERGENCY AID STAGE 3 ACTIVITY BADGE has set the standard for over 40 years, providing a real challenge to those Scouts and Explorer Scouts who have taken part. All who have been successful wear the distinctive badge with pride, and rightly so – this badge is earned and not given away. Stage 1 – Assessment Preparation Day A hands-on, practical day, designed to refresh the skills and knowledge that participants learned during their Training Award and prepare them for their upcoming assessments. Topics include 7 first aid bases, food preparation & cooking on an open fire, knife safety & knife care, water filters, direction finders, distress signals, shelter building, gadgets, utensils and fire lighting. Stage 2 - Assessment Part One Candidates survival knowledge and first aid skills will be tested. It is highly recommended that you revise the “Test Base Questions & Answers” revision document before your assessment as a 70% pass mark is needed to progress onto the activity weekend. Stage 3 – Assessment Part Two / Activity Weekend Your training was in the past – it’s over to you to survive. Once off the coach and on sector, it is up to each participant to fulfil the “Activity Weekend Assessment Criteria”. Again, you need a 70% pass mark (70 points) to successfully complete the Assessment Award. It is essential participants prepare fully for both parts of the assessment – the documents mentioned above, and many others to help you on your way, can be found downloaded from the links to the right or searched for on The Scout Association’s Website (search “Survival Skills Activity Packs”). Dates - see the “Information Sheet” download. Participants MUST attend all 3 stages to gain the award. If any stage is missed, the applicant will not be able to attend the activity weekend and we will not be able to refund any money. Cost - £35, including all 3 stages and transport for the main weekend. All eligible applicants are guaranteed a place, subject to their suitability being confirmed by their Scout Leader. All applicants will be contacted within 7 days of their application being submitted.

bivouac-4

Junior Leader Award

badge_junior_leader

Information Sheet
Only open to Explorer Scouts who have ALREADY completed the Bivouac Assessment Award. Scout Leaders will be asked to confirm an applicant’s suitability for such an activity. It is suggested you speak with your leader before applying to save disappointment. Unique to Birmingham County Scouts, the BIVOUAC JUNIOR LEADER AWARD is designed for those Explorer Scouts with a real interest in developing their survival skills to the highest standard. The award is based on the use of modern survival equipment whilst completing a number of team building, problem solving and individual challenges, concentrating on developing leadership in a survival environment. Selection Demand is always high for this award. Sadly, due to the unique nature of it, we are only able to accommodate 14 participants. All who apply shall be invited to a Selection Day, where they will be tested on a number of Bivouac or Scouting Skills … this could be fire lighting or tree identification … knot tying or gadget construction … knife safety or distress signals … Selection is about how you perform on the day – only the highest scoring 14 applicants will be offered a place on the activity weekend. Dates - see the “Information Sheet” download. Participants MUST attend all 3 stages to gain the award. If any stage is missed, the applicant will not be able to attend the activity weekend and we will not be able to refund any money. Cost - £35, covering all 3 stages, including transport, food, stoves, fuel and the loan of a “Belt Order” for the main weekend – payment will only requested following selection, once a place has been confirmed. All applicants will be invited to a selection day to assess which 14 are to be invited on to the (briefing session and) activity weekend. All applicants will be contacted within 7 days of their application being submitted.

bivouac-3

Junior Staff Award

badge_leader

Information Sheet
Only open to Explorer Scouts (under 18* years old) *at the date of the activity weekend, who have already completed the Junior Leader Award and are current members of the Scout Association. Scout Leaders will be asked to confirm an applicant’s suitability for such an activity. It is suggested you speak with your leader before applying to save disappointment. The organising team are happy to extend an invite to all eligible Explorers to help run the activity as a member of the BIVOUAC JUNIOR STAFF team. There are no written assessment criteria, but you are required to follow a “Code of Conduct” found in the downloads on the right. Remember, you are applying to be part of the Leadership Team; our expectations are that you are trustworthy, able to follow instructions and have a mature and responsible approach to fellow Scouts and Leaders. Should you meet these expectations, you will have earned the right to wear the Bivouac Leader Badge. Dates - see the “Information Sheet” download. It is requested that successful applicants attend at least one planning meeting and support at least one of the Pike’s Pool or Blackwell Adventure days prior to the activity weekend. However, participants MUST attend the Young Leader Award – Module A training. If this is missed, the applicant will not be able to attend the activity weekend and we will not be able to refund any money. Cost - £30, includes transport and food for the main weekend and Module A training. Participants will be selected at random if applications exceed the maximum number of places available. All applicants will be contacted soon after applications close on 21st March 2018.

bivouac-2

Bivouac Leader / Adult Staff

badge_leader

Information Sheet
Applications are welcomed from appointed adult leaders and non-appointed helpers, predominantly but not exclusively from Birmingham County. All applicants must be over 18, have a valid up-to-date scouting DBS check and be recorded on a Group, District or County census. Bivouac Leaders & Adult Staff are the backbone of Bivouac. The activity needs the ongoing support of approximately 60 adults in a number of roles, not only on the different activity weekend award sectors, but on the selection, preparation, assessment and briefing days – and that’s all before we consider the “behind-the-scenes” roles; kitchens, catering, food purchasing, equipment set-up, coach management, toilet maintenance … It is requested that staff attend at least one planning meeting and support at least one of the Pike’s Pool or Blackwell Adventure days prior to the activity weekend. You do not have to have ever helped on Bivouac before or have any outdoor skills; in 2017 we had 11 new leaders. We will guide you through, give you support every step of the way and make sure you know all you need to know. Dates - see the “Information Sheet” download. Cost - £10 contribution (non-refundable) is requested towards the food provided on the main activity weekend. Details for making payment and a clothing order form will be sent via email within 7 days of your online application been received.

Your Feedback

Constructive feedback with practical suggestions for change or improvement is always welcomed. A huge amount of work goes into the planning and organisation of the activity and there is always room for development and enhancement. We are keen to hear feedback on the new online application process for 2017, the quality of the information provided prior to the event, the timing, location and organisation of the planning meetings, briefing events and preparation days, the activity weekend transport, the cost of the activity and the overall general organisation. In the first instance, please contact bivouac@birminghamscouts.org.uk.