Since 2012, the SOS Survival team has been led by Stu Gilbert who created SOS after spending 19 years in the RNZAF, most of which as a highly qualified survival instructor.
As someone who is passionate about the outdoors and the experiences it can offer, Stu set about creating a business where he and his team could provide outdoor experiences that many children simply do not get a chance to take part in today.
Outside of adult training SOS quickly found a niche with Survival Birthday parties (2 hours of action packed survival activities) as well as with schools and youth based services. In an increasingly urban environment, opportunities for children to have a true outdoor experience are limited yet the benefit to their confidence, decision making, health and well-being are immense and widely recognised by parents and professionals alike.
As a result, SOS has now trained over 4,000 children either as individuals or as part of a school group and has a proud tradition of delivering exciting outdoor courses that cater for a wide variety of personal and learning needs. Whether this is at our training area or on-site at a school, SOS has a range of courses to choose from for kids aged 7 -17. We have half day, full day and overnight packages, plus special packages for birthday groups and school groups. We can also cater to specific needs and will work to understand your requirements and put together the right team and training modules to achieve your objectives.
All the SOS Staff are professional instructors with the relevant backgrounds, who are skilled in imparting their knowledge and creating realistic but safe scenarios.
What your kids will learn
Kids love watching the adventures of Bear Grylls on TV. Now, imagine learning the actual skills that Bear uses on his shows.
With the exception of our in-school courses, all our courses happen year-round at our bush training area near Muriwai. With streams, native trees and a variety of native plants, children have the opportunity to really immerse themselves in the outdoors while not being far from home, and we also cater for families to do courses together.
While they learn practical based skillsets under the careful guidance of our instructors such as knot tying, knife work, fire lighting, shelter building and water purification, these are just a part of what a child takes away from a course with SOS. Their ability to work as a team, build their confidence, learn new skills and expand their comfort zone are just some of the additional benefits SOS courses provide. Your children will come home thrilled and exhausted, with new skills and newfound confidence in their abilities.
Our facilities and location
We care for our training area and as such try to have as minimal impact on it as we can which means facilities are limited. There is parking at the entrance to our area which is opposite 321 Muriwai Valley Road, beyond which is 4WD access only (which we provide). We have a large Army tent and BBQ available for any survival birthday parties free of charge and there’s plenty of fresh air and space to move!