Elder Group's Blog
It was wonderful to welcome Elder group back into the woodland. With two new members, it was important that we introduced them to Sweet Chestnut Camp, so the children set off to explore together. As they explored the camp, they were given the task of searching for a stick that was 1 metre long and our ‘rule cards’ that were hidden around the wood. On their return, they had to act these out to remind themselves of the rules we have in place to keep everybody safe and look after our woodland environment. A game of, ‘1, 2, 3, Where are you?’ also helped the children re-discover their favourite areas to hide and play in this woodland.
What about the 1 metre stick you may be asking? Well each week, challenges are set relating to our school values of community, aspiration and resilience. This week , I needed help to plan a woodland adventure playground! One of the elements we are hoping to include is a slack line. Slack lining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. Slack lining teaches participants balance, confidence, trust and team work. In order to set up a slack line we need to use trees that are approximately 15m apart and about 1m in girth. Using natural materials as measuring aids, together with tape measures to check, the children had to find a suitable area for setting up the slack line. Only two children took up this challenge, but we think they may have found the perfect area for this activity-guess who will be going slack lining first?!
To help remind the children of some of the other activities that they may like to take part in over the next few weeks, we played a game of ‘blindfold fetch’ in which the children had to work as a team to collect items linked to basic survival needs ie food, warmth and shelter. The winners are the first team that successfully brings back all the items. Objects such as fire strikers, tarps and mugs were scattered over the woodland floor. Each member of the team took it in turns to be blindfolded, whilst another gave instructions to help them find the items and ensure they didn’t bump into any trees or trip over. The winning team proved to be the one that gave the clearest instructions, kept their focus and continued to support all their members. Well done!
Next week the ‘community’ challenge will be for everybody to help collect firewood as we are planning to cook pancakes over the camp fire. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.
If you would like to blog about your first session back in the woods, please submit a comment below.