Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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July 2, 2013

Teen readers learn survival skills at library

Greensburg —

GREENSBURG –The Greensburg Public Library hosted The Unofficial Hunger Games Survival Course with Creek Stewart on June 26 and July 1, with another planned for July 24 that is already full.

The course, which teaches many of the survival skills mentioned in the bestselling young adult book series by Suzanne Collins, is designed to take the survival skills from the book and bring them to life in a way that will leave a lasting lesson. Creek Stewart, owner of Willow Haven Outdoor, wanted to introduce teens to survival skills through the popular book series because it gave him an opportunity to provide valuable lessons to readers who wanted a more immersive experience.

Willow Haven Outdoor is located in Anderson and is dedicated to teaching "pri-modern" survival, which is a combination of primitive survival skills in a modern world. Willow Haven Outdoor features a 10,000 square foot lodge and 21 acres of wilderness, making it a premiere survival and preparedness training destination. A variety of courses are available, ranging from a few hours to a few days. 

During the class, which lasted six hours, participants were able to learn Hunger Games character Peeta's natural camouflage techniques and Rue's herbal bee sting remedy, and even how to identify and prepare katniss root. Students in the course were also taught how to build a shelter from materials found in nature, collect water from multiple sources, build a fire without matches and shoot a bow, among many other skills. "Things like knowing how to start a fire, how to build a temporary shelter, or even just sharpening your knife are all crucial skills to possess," Stewart said.

The skills taught during the course could all be used during what Creek calls "sudden and unexpected survival scenarios." Stewart, who has been teaching survival skills for 15 years, believes that many emergencies cannot be predicted or prepared for and that knowing how to survive in the wild is of vital importance. He decided to write his survival guidebook, "The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide," after noticing the success of the series and seeing an opportunity to relate to its readers. 

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