The movie “Castaway” is a gold mine of ideas for troop meeting activities. Rope-making, wilderness first-aid, spear-fishing, water conservation, natural shelter making, and ice-skate dental-care: all covered.
One great activity revolves around the main character’s frustration with trying to successfully open a coconut. As I watched it, I realized that, despite growing up on a farm and spending countless hours shucking corn, cracking and picking out pecans, and even plucking chickens, I had never opened a coconut. Probably the main reason I never did is that I hate the taste of coconut. But no matter…. if I were marooned on a Pacific island for years, my pallet would likely become much less discerning.
Coconuts have tons of uses in wilderness survival. Obviously, there is liquid inside and the “meat” for food. The shell can be used as a container, bowl, flotation device and much more. And the shucks made a great fire starter.
I’m no expert in coconuts and would only be duplicating a wealth of coconut tribal knowledge across the web to explain all of the possibilities here. Go buy two coconuts per patrol and have your PLC Google “coconuts wilderness survival”. They will have a great scout activity planned pretty quickly.
Of particular note is how to determine if a coconut is “ripe,” how to properly pierce it without wearing the juice on your lap, how to open it for the meat, and how to use as fire starter. There are plenty of other ideas like how to use the wood for fire or raft building, and how to weave the leaves.