Wild….. Wet…….. and windy ……….. Hardy Holiday Foresters!

January 4, 2018

in Community, Events, Holiday Forest School

January 2nd 2018

Well it has certainly been an interesting few days at our Holiday Forest School at the start of this year…… whilst the weather may have been pretty bracing,  we are very proud of our hardy, determined and resilient Forest Schoolers.

Tuesday saw our two older groups come together in a series of challenges, completed in and around our usual site at Beaumont Park but also further afield. Twenty nine young people aged between 8 and 14 years worked together in teams of six and seven. Each team started with twenty tokens  and were presented with a series of challenges. Each of the challenges were rated as easy, medium or hard and then the team were given the opportunity to ‘bet’ a number of their tokens, being fully informed of the odds, beforehand. Team decisions were to be reached unanimously and any additional information was presented. This included some of the challenge titles and if one or more teams would be able to win.

Challenges included finding the longest stick in 2mins 30 secs, finding a face in a tree, finidng a holly leaf with the most spines (please see #NFhollychallenge on our Facebook page and Twitter), teams disappearing within 6 and 4 seconds and finding Robin.

Fantastic opportunities for group discussions, presenting reasoned arguments, co-operation, negotiation, compromise and tactics. The session also provided opportunites for different young people and skills to shine.

Whilst the weather was pretty challenging at times, and there were a few struggles emotionally, the teams were fantastic at supporting each other and motivating themselves and staff were incredibly proud of the resilience shown. Some of our youngest members have just moved up into the older group and coped brilliantly in the conditions.

Games of tig, soup and hot chocolate helped to reduce the chill and provided a much needed heat and calorie boost.

Love the creativity and thinking outside the box that our groups feel confident and comfortable enough to show. Also the relationships they are building with each other and the staff, and being able to show their vulnerabilities.

After five challenges it was all to play for with one team clearly out in front. Much debating and discussion ensued as the final challenge was presented…… Level – hard, Odds 10-1 and only team could win. Some of the teams went all out, ‘betting the majority of their remaining tokens whilst others played more tactically, ‘betting’ only 1.

Team PPASEC – current score 24 – placed 1 token for the final challenge

Hunger Games Tributes – current score 33 – placed 5 tokens

Hejis Hegdehogs – current score 68 – placed 45 tokens

Team R (no name) – current score 19 – placed 19 tokens

Team E (no name) – current score 19 – placed 17 tokens

FIND ROBIN proved to be a challenge too far and all teams were unsuccessful in completing…….. This turned the results around dramatically and a new team came out on top.

Final scores……..


Hunger Games Tributes – 28

Hejis Hedgehogs – 23

Team R – 0

Team E – 2


During our reflection at the end of the session, we considered things we had found challenging, be it personally or as a group / team, and what we had enjoyed. Commnets included the cold, keeping our circulation going, getting our fingers back, finding ways to agree as a team (including using rock, paper, scissors) and choosing who to nominate to run in the final challenge. Others commented they had enjoyed the Robin Hunt, having tokens to ‘bet’ and exploring new places.

Staff commented they had enjoyed the challenge element, ‘betting tokens’ and the group discussions that had taken place, going further afield, exploring new areas and opportunities for the group to have time to chat whilst walking. We had also noted children who had shown real maturity, be it supporting younger children, resolving differences or apologising for upset caused. Lovely to note the interest our older members have in becoming and developing as Young Leaders……. (watch this space!)

Super, super session and a huge well done to all who attended……..and to the staff team who supported, encouraged, played, made refreshments, provided extra layers and much much more…….

A huge thank you too to Friends of Beaumont Park for supporting us with funding and enabling us to provide a much needed provision in our local community.

Who’s in for February???????????

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