Sarabeth’s, a restaurant on Central Park South in New York, is a perfect place for a Manhattan weekday breakfast; oh the fresh-baked muffins, scones and more… but it’s not the place I’d expect to meet instructors from the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. After a few cups of coffee and a savory meal, I realized that unlike last year, the “Year of the Creative” for Scotland (when I leaned to paint for pleasure with artist Hazel Campbell ), this year, the “Year of the Natural” had become a bit more, “physical” with it’s adventure.
This visit to Central Park wouldn’t be about walking off breakfast, meandering through the meadows or lounging on the great lawn. No, I would use this picturesque setting to learn basic several survival techniques including; evasive combat maneuvers, repelling down boulders, creating clean drinking supplies, learning how to start fires, and enjoying unique protein (no, not worms).
Over the course of an hour we were briefed on many of these activities under the guidance of Scott Heffield, one of the main instructors who works side-by-side with Bear Grylls (the Man vs. Wild) at his survival academy in northern Scotland. Scott gave us an excellent (and thankfully quick) sampler of what it’s like to attend the Survival Academy in Scotland and also told many stories. The finale to the week long course is surviving thirty-six hours in extreme conditions, but as Bear Grylls says, “It may hurt a little.”
Although, I received a taste of the intensity (and of mill worms), I still left smiling. If you are looking for some extreme adventure, this might be something you need to sign up for. No, they are not running it in Central Park again, but with “survival” adventure in demand the Bear Grylls Survival Academy recently announced they planned to open a second academy in the Cat Skill Mountains of New York. It is set to open in November.
Stay adventurous, Craig.
I’d like to thank Visit Scotland as well as LDPR for the invitation to this event and giving me a true taste of survival, the Scottish way. Also, all still photos not watermarked with Stay Adventurous Travel Photography are courtesy of LDPR. Thank you.