May 2018 – Survivorman Campout

Posted by Chris Fournier on March 27, 2018

The world famous Troop 16 Survivorman Challenge Campout is here again! This is a competition campout where Patrols do things just like the TV show Survivorman. This year will be “surviving” a traditional plane crash scenario where teams will have challenges in First Aid, shelter building, trapping & snares, identifying edible plants, demonstrating safe fire building. Teams will also demonstrate their skills to build survival tools like a compass and camp gadgets like a solar still!

This year we have a special guest!  The one and only Les Stroud will be joining us.  So, this year we will do things a little differently.  After we arrive on Friday night we will assemble together so that Les can talk to the entire troop.  After which we will have a Troop Dinner.  So parents,  please DO NOT send a Friday Night dinner.  Level 3 participants and referees will be served first and when then complete their starting line challenges and begin the Survivorman weekend.   Level 1 & 2 scouts will also eat dinner and after dinner will set up their tents. Both adults and boys will get briefed and receive a packet of specific information for their team, including a schedule and other items to make the weekend challenging.

On Saturday morning, right after breakfast, there will be two different activities happening at the same time.

First, the First Year Patrol troop guides will teach their patrols (i.e. – the first years) orienteering skills until 10:00 am. Then they will launch on their respective challenges. These challenges are designed to help first years to get requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class signed off. There are nearly a dozen requirements that will be signed off!

Meanwhile, the Level 2 Challenge participants will take a short hike to their crash site, where they will compete in Patrols. Each patrol will have their own section of the plane to sift through (all sections will be practically identical). It will be up to each patrol to determine what gear to take from the site and what gear to leave. Whatever they take, they must carry for the entire challenge and return on Sunday morning. At 10:00 am, the plane will ignite and all patrols must leave the crash site and head out on the trail to face their challenges. They will be allowed to bring certain items like day-packs, and required to bring other items. This year, boys will be choosing where they will camp and will be judged on the location of the campsite as well as how good they make their shelter.

At the same time, Level 3 will be waking up to start their challenges. Realizing that their plane has crashed in a dense wood, they will have to move on from the crash site since it will be impossible for a Search & Rescue plane to find them.

Level 2 & 3 teams should be on the lookout to signal Search & Rescue aircraft that will be flown over the crash sites by the Civil Air Patrol who will be working with Troop 16 to train their Cadets for Search & Rescue in the Colorado Wilderness!  This year, the SAR plane will be piloted by a past Troop 16 Eagle Scout: Trevor See.

Three Challenge Levels:

Level 1 Challenge:

First-Year Scouts will participate in the map reading and orienteering parts of the Challenge, but will sleep in their tents on Saturday night. They will compete as a patrol on a variety of Trail to First Class requirements challenges to find the location and combination of a strong box containing the Level 1 Challenge Cup and Treasure. At each point on the map, these teams will radio into the command post and be given a challenge to complete. The challenge may be knot tying, first aid, plant identification, orienteering, or any other trail to first class requirement. If they are successful in demonstrating their ability to complete the challenge, they will get access to a card that has a part of a location or combination on it. In completing the challenge, they will all complete several Trail to First Class requirements: 5 mile hike, orienteering, first aid, knot tying, etc, so they should definitely bring their books; and by attending they will also work on camping requirements, like cooking as a patrol, and being properly dressed. When the Level 1 team completes all of the challenges and locates the strong box, they will get the First Year Cup filled with Skittles.

Level 2 Challenge:

All other patrols, except the Staff Patrol and boys meeting age and rank requirements, will compete in the Level 2 Challenge. The Level 2 patrols will compete against each other for the Level 2 Challenge Cup. The participants will compete as patrols to read their maps, find points, face challenges to demonstrate the skills they’ve learned, and build their shelters. They will sleep in their homemade shelters Saturday night. At some point during the day, each patrol will have to signal a rescue plane and succeed in being rescued, or they will forfeit significant points in the challenge which will make it almost impossible to win. There will be an actual Search & Rescue Plane overhead, and Search & Rescue teams on the ground. Before dark, Patrols will be notified of the “Extraction Point”, and they will need to find their way to it by 10am Sunday morning. Adults will shadow these teams for the purpose of tallying points for the survival skills demonstrated properly. Teams should be prepared to face significant leadership challenges along the way. Their ability to overcome these challenges will determine how well they do at the challenge. The team with the most points, as determined on Sunday morning, will win the Level 2 Challenge Cup, filled with Skittles.

Level 3 Challenge:

This Challenge is restricted to boys currently serving on Staff (or at least 16 years old and Star Rank) and participated in at least one level 2 challenge.  Please see Mr. Fournier for pre-approval to sign up for this level if you are not currently serving on Staff.  Level 3 will start on Friday night and must build their shelter on Friday night. This may happen after dark! There will be harder First Aid Challenges and some food difficulties to overcome!  ALL LEVEL 3 TEAMS must have 4 participants and there will only be 3 teams allowed (12 participants total).   You must submit your team to Mr. Fournier for registration and approval.


We need a lot of adult support for this campout (minimum of 24).  There is no special training needed other than completing the BSA Youth Protection Training.  Overall we need a minimum of 24 adults that can camp and participate as referees to make this happen.  For planning purposes, please don’t wait until the last minute, sign-up now.

Who may attend: All scouts and scouters registered with Troop 16 AND any adult scouter registered with Denver Area Council. A Class 1 medical form must be on file with the troop to attend.

When: May 11-13, 2018 We will meet at the Church at 4:00 p.m. on the 11th and return between 10am and noon on the 13th.

Where: We will be camping Friday Night in the Santa Fe and Raton campsites at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch/Camp Cris Dobbins and Saturday night in the Gates Outpost part of Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch.

Who is in Charge: Mr. Fournier is in charge of the Challenge and Camp Plan.

Cost: Camp fee of $30 per person must be paid in advance.

Sign-up Deadline: May 8st 2018 – NO EXCEPTIONS

What to Bring:  Scouts should bring their tents and normal camping gear for Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, they will be limited to the items included on the rules sheet, based on their challenge level. Be prepared for any weather condition including Snow, Rain, Hail, Heat and Cold (all have occurred on the Survivorman campout).


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Competition Documents:

Below are links to all of the various training materials for Level 2 and Level 3 and to all of the rules for the 2018 Survivorman Challenge.  Level 1 scouts will need to bring their scout handbook to Survivorman.

Level 1 Challenges

How to score points (Level 2 & 3)

Attack Points Training Map highlighting

Edible Plants


Make Cord

Make a Compass

Native Animals


Psychology – Emergency Response



Traps & Snares


Troop 16 - Parker's High Adventure Troop