However, those activities are usually all dayers (the only thing we do after heading out the centre). But some of the sessions we run require another activity alongside, to make sure our Adventurers are getting the full value out of their day.
For example, the target sports sessions we run (axe throwing and archery) are often only a half day activity. Nevertheless, given that we run our target sports at our Bushcraft site, it gives us the perfect opportunity to combine it with a half day, bushcraft session. Giving the Adventurers a full day of activity.
That was exactly the case when a group from Mansfield Woodhouse headed out, in the January cold snap, for a day of axe throwing, foraging and fire lighting.
You can watch exactly what they got up to here:
How The Day Ran:
Explaining how the day runs is always a little tricky. Aside from always heading out the building by 10:00am and being open between 9:00am - 4:00pm, the schedule for each day changes from activity to activity.
Though we do have certain policies in place (such as our one-hour bus policy) there is always some nuanced challenge on the day, which means that running to a tight schedule never really happens - that’s the great outdoors for you!
Fortunately, we got an access all areas look into a day in the day service, so the below times are true, almost to the minute. Giving you the best idea as to what happens and when:
9:00am - Adventurers Arrive
First things first, the Adventurers start to arrive at 9 o'clock, ready to have their breakfast, get their appropriate clothing on and get ready for the day ahead.
9:20am – A Quick Run Through of What’s Planned
So our Adventurers know what the plan is for the day, the instructor (in this case, it’s our Chesterfield Day Service Manager, Harry) for the group will run through what is planned for the day, where they are heading and a rough idea as to the timeline of the day. We try to give enough detail, so our Adventurers know what we’re getting up to, but not too much, just in case we must change our plans.
9:45am - Heading Out
Once the Adventurers are full from their toast and morning brew, had their targets for the day outlined by Harry and were kitted up ready to go out, it was time to jump in the bus and head the location of choice. We always aim to be out the door by 10:00am. We want to make sure we are maximising our time outside, in the great outdoors. Credit to Harry and the speedy Adventurers, we were heading out the door and packing up the bus by 9:45am.
10:00am - Arriving At the Bushcraft Site
Given that our Bushcraft site is only a short 15-minute drive from our Mansfield Woodhouse centre, it was a only a short trip down the road, to the location for the day’s activity. When the Adventurers arrived, it was time to unload the bus of the axe throwing equipment (all safely stored of course) and make the short walk down from the parking area to the bushcraft shelter.
10:30am - Axe Throwing
After Harry had set up the target (with the assistance of one of the Adventurers), created a safe zone where Adventurers needed to stand, set up a safety line, which is not to be cross apart from by the instructor to collect thrown axes, and instructed the group on how to throw correctly, it was time to test the groups throwing ability.
Given how cold it was (at one point during the day it got down to -4!) the target board was rather solid, so it required much more throwing power than normal for axes to nestle into the board.
After the first couple of rounds of throwing, where Adventurers got their eye in, and with a little more coaching and guidance from Harry, more and more axes started to land in the board.
By the final few rounds, all Adventurers had landed an axe in, or very close to, the board. So, their perseverance paid off.
12:00pm - Lunch Time
When midday rolled around, it was time to head into the bushcraft shelter and grab some lunch (and to warm up too!). Though inside the shelter, it was still rather chilly, so the Adventurers were eager to polish off their food and get ready for the afternoon’s activity.
1:00pm - Post Lunch Chat to Run Through Afternoon’s Activity
Once the Adventurers had finished their lunches and layered up again, it was time for a quick chat, to run through the afternoon activity.
1:15pm - Packing away Axe Throwing
Before heading out to forage for firewood and get some warm blood pumping again, the Adventurers packed away the axe throwing equipment. Working together, the Adventurers made light work of tidying up the area, ready for their fire lighting session when they returned.
1:30pm - Heading Out for A Walk
Whilst on their way to find firewood, Harry was quizzed by the Adventurers about trees and their behaviour during certain times of the year. All our instructors have strong knowledge of the local wildlife, tree behaviour and foraging, so answering the tough questions thrown their way is always a pretty easy task (don’t ask many of them about football though - they haven’t got a clue!)
2:00pm - Foraging for Firewood
Once the Adventurers had reached the denser woodland and shrubbery, it was time to start foraging for firewood. The Adventurers were looking for silver birch brash, as it’s perfect to help the fire to get started.
2:10pm - Finding Some Winter Fruits
Whilst on their way back to the bushcraft site, Harry took the Adventurers on a little detour, to find some chestnut trees and to show the Adventurers a badger hide.
Chestnut trees are a fantastic source of winter fruits and are in abundant supply around our local area. We love to use chestnuts in all manner of different ways, but our absolute favourite is to roast them over the fire.
2:30pm - Back At the Bushcraft Site to Start Chopping Wood
Once the Adventurers had collected enough wood to start a fire, it was time to head back to the bushcraft site to warm up.
Using some logs that we had pre-cut at the centre, the Adventurers started to baton the wood to create small thin strips (often known as kindling) to help them build up their fires.
3:00pm - Fire Lighting
Once the wood was chopped and fire pit erected, it was time to get the fires going. Individually, each Adventurer used a flint and steel to get their fire started. After a few practices goes, lighting some cotton wool, it was time to start the real fire.
One by one (again with guidance from Harry) the Adventurers all managed to get their own fires going. By the time all the Adventurers had lit their fire, there was a cosy fire to sit round and enjoy its warmth.
3:20pm - Round Up of the Day and Heading Back to the Centre
Unfortunately, the Adventurers couldn't relish in the warmth for too long, as it was time to head back to the centre for the end of the day. After a quick rundown of the day’s activity from Harry, plus what the plan was for the rest of the day, the Adventurers set about safely extinguishing the fire and packing up the bus, before heading back to the centre.
3:50pm - Targets, Diaries and Support Plans
As is the case at the end of every day, once the Adventures arrive back at the centre, it’s time to review support plans, write in any dairies and discuss the targets that had been set out for them, at the start of the day.
4:00pm - Home Time
Once all the Adventurers have been through their targets and support plans, 4:00pm quickly came around and it was time to head home.
So, as you can see, there isn’t much room for anything else when we head out on our day’s sessions. The Adventurers are kept busy from the moment they step out of the centre doors.
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See you out there!