Last week I spent some time taking photos of children having a wonderful time at SpringStock! holiday club over at Greatwood Adventure in the picturesque village of Chewton Keynsham. I took a spectacular mud dive almost upon arrival. Flat on my front. Camera almost in the mud. I think it acted as an ice breaker for the kids, who might have been wondering who I was and what I was up to. Obviously I planned it as such.
I had been invited along by Will Fear, a local cub-scout leader, teacher, and now Adventure Specialist. Will is launching his new venture offering outdoor skills and fun in the form of holiday clubs, birthday parties, and interventions for children who need some extra support in tricky times.
He and his wife Sarah, who runs a very successful and well-considered pre-school on the same site, taught the children how to strip a hazel bough, and make it into a bow. They made arrows, and over the course of a day, and a hike, became rather accomplished archers.
After snack time, Sarah took a group of children, who were not feeling the urge to get involved in the impending nerf gun battle, to the pond which overlooks the hills heading south to Compton Dando. They spotted and discussed the difference between frog and toad spawn, identified a variety of pond insects, chatted about newts ( I had just missed one) and chilled out drawing pictures in the afternoon sun.
The nerf battle was epic! Dens were defended and raided. Mud was slipped on. Pallet defences, built by Will, were lost and won. So much fun!
I learned about safe ‘fire position’ as I photographed the children using their flints and steel to make a fire, upon which they later toasted marshmallows. It is so refreshing to see children genuinely trusted with seemingly ‘adult’ tools. They were clearly revelling in it. I passed an 11 year old girl, who was safely using a pruning saw to make camouflage for her group’s den. I could see how much the children valued the trust put in them, and the skills they were acquiring.
I left Greatwood thinking that it looked like so much fun, and that I would rather like to go to the next holiday club. I wonder if they do events for adults?!