The SOS has been in existence for 39 years. During these years, we have introduced a wide variety of people to the ABCs of survival: Bank employees, farmers, children, young people, retired people, mountain walkers, nature lovers, hunters, cyclists, pilots, free climbers, parents; the gender ratio is 35% women, 65% men. The good feedback over these many years has confirmed that we are on the right track. We take suggestions from written course evaluations, personal and verbal suggestions seriously and integrate them into subsequent courses.
In spite of all the currents, we have never lost sight of our goals: a teaching platform that can pass on a lot of quality knowledge in a short time and in an unforgettable way. The copying of our activities by various other outdoor schools confirms our high level of experience and that we are on the right track.
The further education of the course leaders is a great concern of the school. Until today there is no university in the world where you can train in this field with its diversity. However, the field of knowledge behind Survival is huge. Examples are: intensive plant knowledge, in all seasons determinable and knowledge of their application, group dynamic processes (and his own) to understand and these for the group to convert, building physical laws to understand and apply (isolation value of foliage...), perception ability (senses) to intensify. Thus, the most important requirement for existing and future SOS teachers is that they are willing to continue their education independently. Christof Hagen, main course leader in all SOS courses, invests considerable time in further education every year: Intensive contact with primitive people, Earth-Skills (Survival-School Los Angeles), McPherson Prairie Wolf (Kansas). These impulses come course participants directly to use.
Several years of strong networking with important survival schools in the U.S. and Europe also helps. So that the school teaches also in the correct century, Christof Hagen is active beside it as occupation pilot.
The connection between the Stone Age and the 21st century is an important foundation for all courses at SOS. We humans are all a product of the 21st century and "back to the Stone Age" is not in keeping with human nature. In order to understand the present with all its challenges it is inevitable to experience the natural past of mankind. Many skills and much knowledge from that time have atrophied today, but are extremely important in our daily lives.
All courses of the SOS have a common structure, with a corresponding emphasis on the advertised course topic. This helps to see the activity always in the appropriate context. For example, when making a Stone Age bow, it is pointed out and taught that animal food is not necessary from spring to autumn in our latitudes at midland altitude, and that a warm and waterproof shelter, a fire and plant food have absolute priority.
Thus, all courses have the following common structure:
- Food: vegetable/ animal
- Stone Age Craft
- Expansion of our senses
- Group tour
- Philosophy of primitive people/ today
- Accident prevention/ wilderness medicine
The SOS courses are not borderline adventure courses, or physically stressful camps. Everyone can later try out, learn and apply what they have learned at their own pace.